Race Report: Ironman Mount Tremblant

I am an Ironman!

Race: Ironman Mont-Tremblant
Race Date: August 18, 2019
Authored by: Melaney Bouthillette

By the numbers: My finish time was 14:21:32, #1626 out of the fortunate 2230 people to finish

Training hours: Yes, it takes a lot to train for an Ironman, without counting the years leading up to my fitness base, I put in about 390 hours of training since last December to get to the start line.

First off, one of the reasons I picked this race was for the location and local support. Mont-Tremblant is an amazing destination that fully embraces the Ironman and welcomes athletes year-round to train. I felt this both when I went to train there over the summer and during my race week. Also, I love Canada so I am biased. This is known to be a difficult course, similar to Lake Placid, but I would choose a bike course with an elevation profile over a flat course any day.

Race Day:

4:30am wake-up call. Not too early compared to local races since I was on site so that was nice. Key to the race- stay on site, you’re steps from transition and it’s so convenient! I ate all the food on my breakfast list, put on my race tats, or rather, had Mike put on my tattoos which resulted in my age having a backwards “3” on my leg. His response, “what do you expect for 5am?!”. No biggie, amusing, and made sure he got my race number 7’s right! Tied up my bags and we took off. 

Set-up is pretty easy at such a big event since you only need to check over your bike, pump up your tires, and drop your special needs bags. We then walked over to the swim start but I stayed a little above where everyone was packed in to have some space. Waiting wasn’t too long, heard the pros go off (with fireworks!) and I waited until around 6:30 to go join into the beach chaos. I walked down, volunteers were already cheering and dropped off my clothes bag and ran into my training friend Kelly. That was great since we got to chat, and we both went into the water to get adjusted. I always try to do this now since I get cold easily and it definitely took me a few breaths to get comfortable with the cold but otherwise it was fine. I filed back into the line and then waited to start. By the time they got close to the end, everyone was just walking slowly into the water without pausing. I seeded myself far left as I had planned so I could swim over to the side and avoid the crowd. I waded into the water and then just started at a moderate pace. Actually, the water is what was worrying me the most but in the end it was totally fine. The crowd wasn’t too bad and I actually should have seeded a little forward b/c most feet I found were slower so I had to keep passing and passing. It got more crowded a little further out, maybe b/c I was catching up to more of the pack, but still manageable. I was thinking about being pulled along by the crowd- a man we had run into the day before said the swim is like a vortex, it just pulls you along- so I thought about that and how I should try to swim more in the crowd to get a pull. I didn’t really need to sight or look for buoys (all that practice wasted!) b/c I just followed the crowd. I looked at my watch twice, once at the first turn buoy, it was 35 min. And once again at the second turn buoy back, I think it was about 42-43 min. I was on track to be faster than my anticipated 1:30 which was great. To pass the time I started to count to 50’s, it was about 100 strokes between buoys. Next thing I know we are shallow and wading out of the water to the steps. BAM! I did the swim, very relieved and very happy with my swim, honestly the conditions could not have been better.

Swim: 1:22:43

I got my wetsuit stripped off and then walked to the transition tent. I saw Mike and my mom on the side at this point cheering which was nice. I took my time changing fully into bike shorts and put my jersey on over my tri top. The women’s changing area was quite crowded so no one could really assist you but that was fine. I carried my shoes out to my bike.

T1: 9:56

The bike! I knew I needed to not really push hard anywhere on the bike, go with the rollers and be steady on the climbs. The first loop seemed to go quick. I saw the pros coming back off the highway when I was just going on! Wow, they are fast. I stopped once for a bathroom break since I already had all my fuel needs and I caught Mike again on the side in town before heading to the first Duplessis loop. I made it up most of the hills without standing so I knew I was doing okay. At the beginning of the second loop I made a longer stop to get my special bag (PB&J sandwich, powder fuel, chews). I took these, went to the bathroom again and filled my bottle with water I found and mixed my drink. I took a sec to eat half my sandwich and put the other half in my pocket. I chatted with a few people stopped here which was nice and we had a laugh. One guy had a good laugh at my backwards “3” on my leg. 

The second bike loop got hotter and windier. I took one more bathroom break at the same stop before the turnaround. The way back was a little more difficult. There was a full on headwind headed back, I could see the brush on the side of the road and trees moving. I tried to tuck my head down and be steady. I wanted water at the last highway aid station and they had run out (doh!). When I made the 180 degree turn off the highway to head back around and down into town there was silence (confirming the headwind I thought I was feeling). Luckily, the first aid station on the Duplessis loop had water and I grabbed a whole bottle to fill up my top bottle. I was getting pretty thirsty so I think I should have drank a little more towards the end of my bike. One more Duplessis loop, a little more challenging than the first but still not bad and I was done. There were plenty of people walking the hills so it gets the best of some.

Bike: 7:30:43

I came back into transition thinking, wow, how wonderful, no issues and decent weather the whole time, how lucky! They took my bike, a nice Ironman touch, and I walked to the tent. I saw Mike on the side and then I heard M-H yelling as well (she made it!), so those were nice pick-me-ups. I changed into my compression shorts, visor, my backpack, and put on sunscreen in the tent. I took off jogging out of the tent feeling pretty good. After a little bit I slowed myself down to about 9:30-10 min./mile because I didn’t know how long I could last otherwise and I was afraid of blowing up towards the end.

T2: 7:03 

The run was fun and I took it all in. The volunteers at the first aid station helped me fill up my bottle completely (so great!) and then I was good for fuel for half the run. I stopped at a bunch of the aid stations for water and ice in addition. A little bit into the run I was getting a headache so I drank some more, thinking I was likely dehydrated. After a little bit I realized it might be my visor so I took it off and put it around my race belt, and tada, problem solved! I usually don’t run with the visor so I think the visor was too tight for me. I remember from the run that I just wanted to keep moving. I took the run 5K at a time and didn’t have any issues. I saw someone with a Tri-Hard jersey on and I thought I could catch up to say hello but even though he was slow, so was I! Haha, it was hopeless to try to catch up, like a turtle chasing a turtle. Towards the end of my first loop I knew I would see my family so that was nice, they were by their hotel outside cheering and Mike was taking pictures. He said “you’re still running!”, and while I was slow, I knew I could keep going. Right before the aid station there was a water stop so I stopped to grab a full bottle to empty into mine. A nice volunteer even got me a cold bottle. I stopped at the aid bags and took out some stuff that I wanted to keep but not wear and stuffed into my backpack pockets, filled my bottle with Skratch, and got my ginger ale and pretzels. I continued walking and drinking and ran into M-H right after the pick-up. I stopped to say hello and take a picture. I then took off jogging again for loop 2. For the second loop I took the strategy to walk the hills and take the time to eat here. On the first big uphill I walked quickly and tried to eat my pretzels. That was a joke, it was like the saltine challenge where 1 pretzel dried up my entire mouth and I could barely eat it. I guess this is a sign of being dehydrated. I then thought to screw the pretzels and focus on water and my bottle of Skratch. Thinking after, I never did bring pretzels on a warmer run to try this out so that is my fault, nothing new on race day kids. I took in more water this round and I remember seeing Kelly on the hill and we had a nice hug to say hello. The 10K out was light out. I got past mile 18 and then I got to start thinking, I’ve never run over 18 miles, cool! I think it started to get dark towards the 10K turnaround and I remember it looking neat to see the silhouettes of people running up and down the path and the sky had nice colors for the sunset. Almost back to the MT Village I saw Kelly heading in the other direction and we gave high-fives, we knew we both had it at this point! It got dark towards the end, and on some of the paths, very dark, so I took my time, watching my steps, walking the hills and managed to keep a good pace the whole way back. It was really cool to see the big spotlights on the other side of the lake heading back.

The finish line is great (obviously), you get to climb up a little hill in the dark where no one is watching (so you can walk, haha!), and then it’s downhill from there. I took in all the high-fives along the way and looked all around. I slowed down as I crossed the finish line to hear my name. I think the first time they said my name they said I was from Maine, so luckily they corrected and said MA, and I heard it that time! Good thing for repeats. I couldn’t really see anything from all the lights at the finish line, so I didn’t know where Mike or my mom were standing. I got shuttled past the finish and the volunteer was wonderful at helping me out, getting me all my stuff, and talking to me. He said, come back for the last hour, it is worth it. 

I was definitely tired at the end, I’m sure that is not surprising to hear. I had no appetite so I went into the tent, got my clothing bag, and put my legs up against the tent pole on the side. I stayed there for a little bit then went to have my photo taken with my metal. I finally managed to get out of the tent and Mike was right outside waiting for me. We went and sat down on a bench, I was a little lightheaded and didn’t think I could walk around too much. Mike went and got my mom and then nicely went and got my bike and gear bags as well. I regrouped and walk out of the area, I got my picture in front of the big IM sign and then walked to the hotel. Having the hotel close by was such a lifesaver! I rested, showered, and went back out to watch the final 30 minutes of the night. It was great to see the perseverance of people coming in at the final moments. 

This race was made a little extra special when I decided to put my story out there and fundraise through the Ironman Foundation for the Colorectal Cancer Alliance. Through the Your Journey, Your Cause, Ironman allows you to use their platform to raise money for any charity of your choice, no limits on the amount (so no pressure). I was overwhelmed by the generosity of people and made well over my goal and am pleased to help out in a little way in memory of my dad who I wish was there on race day.

 

Race Report: Pumpkinman Half-Iron Aquabike

Race date: September 8, 2019
Authored by: Liz Smith-Freedman

Pumpkinman is a weekend event in South Berwick, Maine, less than 2 hours from Boston. On Saturday the venue hosts a sprint tri and on Sunday the Olympic and Half are held simultaneously. Several team members have participated in this race before and it’s gotten mixed reviews. I found it a mostly positive experience.

Because this is a small, mostly local race, the vibe is very friendly and supportive. Even those guys with shaved heads and M dot tattoos were pretty chill. The swim takes place in Spring Hill Pond on the premise. The course for the half is a triangle and the course for the Olympic was a triangle within the larger triangle. Swimmers swam their respective triangles twice. I found that set up rather confusing, especially since for the first and forth leg of the swim was directly into the sun and difficult to see. But the water was a perfect temperature and there were no weeds (my pet peeve.) They also had wetsuit strippers, which were a nice touch.

After the swim and the strippers, participants ran up a short, steep hill to transition. The bike course for the half was a double loop through well paved country roads. The race promotes the bike course as the most scenic in New England, as it takes the riders past quiet farms and woodlands. There was support along the course; however, one Gatorade and water stop was halfway up a steep hill, which wasn’t too well thought out. There were rolling hills, but nothing too steep. Contrary to advertising, the course is just short of 56 miles – 53.3. Afterwards there was a Thanksgiving style meal with turkey, gravy, stuffing, etc. with pumpkin spiced Maine beer. 

This was my first aqua bike, so with the shorter course and no half marathon at the end, it felt like cheating. On my way home, after the lovely meal, I felt a sense of guilt passing runners on multiple loops of the 13.1 course. But it was a beautiful day and I was without the complete exhaustion from a 70.3, so I drove home happy and satisfied.

2019 Transition Clinic

On April 6, 2019, Team EnVision met up in Concord for a fantastic transition clinic guided by Coach Becky Paige and Professional triathlete Karen Smyers!  While it was a tad chilly to start off our morning, we enjoyed a great walk-through of transition 1 and transition 2 by Karen while we sipped our coffee and discussed tips and tricks that should be considered to make anyone’s transition easier come race day.  Karen covered the basics for those who were new to triathlon while also providing expert tips to those of us that are triathlon veterans!
To get warmed up, a few of us practiced our wetsuit removal technique.  Putting on the wetsuit was the real warm up exercise though!
As the morning warmed up, the group viewed how Karen and Becky performed T1, bike mount, bike dismount, T2, and run start  as a series.  They put on a great race for us!  Team Envision then gave it their best go, practicing the full set of transitions a few times to clean up all those time-sinking habits we might have created that didn’t do us any favors, or to build up a brand new motor memories for things we haven’t tried before.
Becky and Karen then expertly worked with small groups of us to help on particular focus areas we wanted to improve, such as a barefoot to shoe bike mount, flying leg mount/dismount, bike handling skills, shoe specifics, and more!
Overall the clinic was an excellent way to shave off those extra minutes wasted in transition to speed up our next race, and left us all feeling more confident heading into our season.

Team Envision 2019 Race Series

We are EXTREMELY excited to announce the 2019 Team Envision Race Series!

The Team Envision race series are selected triathlons for all members of all abilities. We want to encourage all members to race, have fun, and build camaraderie. The Race Series consists of seven races this year.

For each of these races, our bright red Team Envision tent will be there.  We encourage prospective members to stop by and meet us there!

Season Opener Triathlon and Duathlon
Saturday, May 11
Duathlon and Sprint Triathlon
Hopkinton, MA

Harvest Sprint Triathlon
Saturday, June 8
Sprint and Olympic Triathlon
Wareham, MA

Patriot Half Triathlon
Saturday, June 15
Half Distance Triathlon and Aquabike
East Freetown, MA

Boston Triathlon
Sunday, July 28
Sprint Triathlon, Olympic Triathlon, and Aquabike
Boston, MA

Sharon Triathlon
Sunday, August 11
Sprint Triathlon and Aquabike
Sharon, MA

Cranberry Trifest
August 24 – Sprint Tri
August 25 – Olympic Tri and Aquabike
Lakeville, MA

Title 9 Triathlon
Sunday, September 8
Women Only Sprint Triathlon
Hopkinton, MA

Team Training Weekend

TE’s premier annual event  is our Training Weekend, which offers daily opportunities to swim, bike, run, stretch and roll, eat great home-cooked food, attend clinics, share great tips and resources, and make some new best friends.

Training weekend is held in the beautiful setting of Southern Coastal Maine at University of New England in Biddeford.  We run and bike through the beautiful rolling terrain, swim in the gorgeous UNE pool and at a nearby beach, and relax in the hot tub. Participants should feel free to adjust the intensity levels and attendance of group workouts and/or head out on their own to fit individual training needs.

All members are invited to this great weekend that includes two breakfasts, two dinners, two lunches, snacks, comfortable living suites, coached practices, interactive clinics, and tons of fun!  And don’t forget to bring all your gear and plenty of clothing options because you just never know what the weather will bring.

When: June 21-23, 2019
Where: UNE Campus, Biddeford, ME
Estimated Cost:  $200 each based on 12 attendees  – TE members only due to our insurance policy.

Race Mania 2019

Come by to meet Team Envision members and learn more about us! A special membership discount and invitation to a team activity will be offered to those who share their contact info with the TE!

Register for Race Mania now!

Registration is open for the 2019 season!

We are looking forward to having another great season and hope you’ll join us! Team EnVision is a wonderful, inspirational, supportive, and FUN team to be on!!  Registration is open all season long so never think it’s too late to join.

Here are the details:

Early Bird Registration for Current Members (Now through Dec 10)

  • $85 Basic (when using the Promo code sent to current members via email)
  • $255 Basic + swim (includes all outdoor workouts, plus swim 21 sessions at Draper Pool, Thursdays 7:30-8:30 starting January 10, 2019)* Will will cap swim at 12 members. First come first served. ($255 when using the Promo code sent to current members via email)

Regular Registration (After midnight Dec 10):

  • $95  Basic
  • $265 Basic + Swim (includes all outdoor workouts, plus swim 21 sessions at Draper Pool, Thursdays 7:30-8:30 starting January 10, 2019)* Will will cap swim at 12 members. First come first served.

Recruitment Bonus:  Any member who is currently registered can earn a $40 rebate by recruiting a new member!!!  These are the conditions to be met:

  • Recruiter must be currently registered and paid up.
  • New member must register and when asked how they heard of TE, they must write the name of the recruiter.
  • Once payment from new member has been received on signmeup, and your membership coordinator verifies who recruited the newbie, she will notify the coordinators and the treasurer will authorize a payment to the recruiter of $40 in the form of a TE check.
  • Members can recruit as many new members as they like!    Let’s grow our Team!

Registration link: http://www.signmeup.com/127644

Have questions? Check out the membership page or contact our Membership Coordinator.