Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Ironman France Recap

Overall, I have to admit that I was quite happy with the day. This is not something I say often, so you may want to take note; ) As there always are with a race this long, there were a few mistakes , but I also managed to check off a few goals, namely cracking the 10 hour barrier and having my best ever Ironman run.

My mantra for this race, as provided by Coach Paul was "keep your shit together". I realize this isn't your typical inspirational message, but in many ways it was rather reassuring because it emphasized that I had done the training I needed to do and that if I avoided mistakes, I would have a good day.

As it turned out, I didn't need to wait long on race day to put my mantra to use. A few hundred yards into the swim, I looked up and realized I was waa-aay off course. In fact, the alternate title for this post was IM France 140.8; ) In my defense, I was in pretty good company. As I found out later, about half of the field had followed a kayak that led us towards the wrong buoy. Which is no excuse, but what can I say, sense of direction has never been my strong suit.

I typically love the mass start because with 2,400 other friends or so, it is virtually guaranteed that even I will have someone to swim with. Halfway through this swim, however, I was re-evaluating our relationship and cursing my "friends" who were still absolutely pummeling me with every stroke. It felt like a bar fight.

(Sorry for the pirated photos, but,well. . .I'm cheap; )

The bike ride was spectacularly beautiful and pleasingly uneventful. Not easy,mind you, just no surprises. This was my third time at this race, so things that might have otherwise shocked me--like the 16% wall at 20 km and the climb that seems to last the entire first half of the ride--were now routine. I enjoyed the spectators' cheers of "allez, allez, allez" and entertained myself by checking out the names on the rider's race numbers and trying to guess their nationality as I passed. Franz, Jean-Claude, and Jesus were all in attendance.

The run was fairly challenging from the get-go. I've felt better starting runs, but I have been working a lot on shortening my stride and increasing my turnover for a more economical running style. I don't want to jinx myself, but I think it may be working. In spite of not feeling spectacular, I managed to hang on for a sub 3:20 marathon, and a 9:58 overall time, which is a new PR.

Next up is a week of R& R, before ramping back up for Ironman Canada in August!


  1. Hi Katya,
    Just found this as I was looking for the "You know you're a tri geek when..." bit, after reading Melanie McQuaid's column in August Triathlete. I did IM france in 2005, it was roasting hot but I loved the race. Sounds like you had a good one; congrats on the PB.

  2. hell yeah Katya!!! congrats on the PR you killed it for sure. lets all get together and celebrate when you guys get back in town. rimels & some "chocolate and peanut butter flavored lettuce" are in order.

  3. Nice Work!! A friend is pushing me to do this race next year. You are make a good case for it. Congrats!!

  4. I just raced IM France too, let me tell you you looked really strong on the run, you passed me by like flying, plus... you're a babe !! :-) Congrats on your performance!!

  5. Whooooo hooooo you broke 10!!! Nice job! I'm doing this race next year - will need to pick your brain at some point if you can help me :)

  6. Hi Katya! I did the IM race last Sunday and I had the pleasure to see you in action during the bike split!

    I tried to stay at your pace and so I closed the bike split in 5h36' (45' less then my best forecast!!!!)

    a great pleasure

    sportly yours

  7. awesome race! congrats on the sub 10.

    And I like the speedo pic in your last post, thats awesome. I'm going to try and work that into a witty blog post.

    good luck with your recovery

  8. Hmm.. lemme try this again..

    You killed it! Congratulations! New PR, sub10, sub3:20.. all things to be so proud of. Revel in it - you're a rockstar!