Muskoka 70.3 – Rapport de course

Vendredi matin, on part de Québec vers 7 heures du matin pour un 8 heures de route en direction de Muskoka. Francine, Pierre-Yves, ma blonde et moi-même dans l’auto et s’est parti! On rejoint Marie-Michèle, Miriam et Maelle à St-Nicolas et on se suit direction l’Ontario. Muskoka est situé à environ 2h30 au nord de Toronto, ce qui constitue une bonne ride à partir de Québec 😉

On arrive finalement en ville vers 17 heures le soir, un petit stop à l’épicerie ou on vide la moitié des tablettes afin de nourrir PY pour le weekend, puis c’est le LCBO afin de s’assurer que toute la gang ne manque de rien. Après tout on est 12 dans la maison qu’on a loué, et on n’est pas tous très sage alors ça prend un peu de vin …

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Rapport de course – Ironman Mont Tremblant

Nous arrivons sur le site le vendredi midi comme l’an passé, de manière à avoir le temps d’aller chercher nos sacs, numéro de dossard, etc. avant la fermeture. Notre plan initial à Miriam et moi était d’aller faire une ride de vélo après cela, mais notre estomac avait une toute autre idée. Nous avons alors décidé de s’asseoir sur une terrasse pour boire de l’eau et manger un peu.

Par la suite, nous sommes allés faire notre «check-in» à l’hôtel et nous avons profité du reste de l’après-midi pour visiter l’expo et dépenser un peu. Ensuite, c’était déjà l’heure du souper de pâtes traditionnel. Nous nous dirigeons vers l’énorme tente dans laquelle nous serons environ 3000 personnes à ingurgiter des pâtes!

Le souper était correct. J’imagine que l’on ne peut pas trop en demander à un cuisinier qui doit préparer un souper pour 3000 personnes, transporter le tout dans une tente et le servir par la suite. Un souper tout de même assez plaisant, en compagnie de Miriam et Stéphanie.
Par la suite, direction chambre d’hôtel pour le dodo. Le vendredi soir c’est la journée où l’on doit bien dormir car pour beaucoup de personnes la veille de la course, dormir c’est extrêmement difficile.
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Quand on veut, on peut ;)

Quand j’ai eu 40 ans,  j’ai décidé de me remettre en forme. Cela m’a amené à essayer le triathlon. Cinq ans plus tard,  j’ai complété mon 8ième demi-Ironman.

Je me souviens encore de mon premier, à Magog en 2010; j’ai vraiment pensé mourir dans le lac, sur le vélo et à la course à pied! J’ai finalement terminé le tout avec un temps de 6h11.

Hier,  j’étais à Mont-Tremblant pour mon 8ième que j’ai complété avec un temps de 4:57:01. Alors je me dis: Quand on veut, on peut. Il suffit de s’y mettre et de mettre tous les efforts. Dans le monde d’aujourd’hui où tout nous est donné sans aucuns efforts c’est parfois difficile à comprendre pour la plupart des gens qui nous trouvent un peu fous de toujours vouloir se dépasser comme cela. Moi je pense que c’est ce qui nous permet de profiter de la vie au maximum.

Mais bon, revenons au sujet principal de mon billet d’aujourd’hui: Ma course d’hier.
Nous étions une superbe délégation du club, au moins une douzaine. Une bonne partie de cette belle gang là en était à leur premier demi-Ironman. Félicitations à vous tous!
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Marathon d’Ottawa

En fin de semaine avait lieu le marathon d’Ottawa, une des courses les plus courus au Canada. J’avais décidé plus tôt cette année de ne pas le courir étant donné que mon objectif principal cette année est l’Ironman de Mont-Tremblant à nouveau.

Par contre au début avril j’ai discuté un peu avec mon entraîneur et elle était d’accord à ce que j’aille m’amuser à Ottawa. J’ai donc commencé à monter mon volume afin d’arriver à la ligne de départ du marathon avec une forme respectable. J’avais deux objectifs en tête, le premier était de battre le temps d’Alex il y a deux ans à Ottawa qui était de 3h29 et le deuxième était de me qualifier pour Boston en 2014. Pour cela j’avais besoin d’un temps sous les 3h25.

Étant donné que je me suis décidé à la dernière minute les hôtels étaient pleins et le marathon aussi. J’ai donc acheté le dossard d’une amie qui ne pouvait le courir à cause d’une blessure. Par contre je devais toujours me trouver une place ou dormir. Stéphane, le frère de Patrick, ainsi que toute sa famille ont été assez gentil pour m’héberger pour le weekend.
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Ironman Mont-Tremblant

“Robert Lejeune, you are an Ironman”

Je crois que tous les gens qui font du triathlon ont rêvé un jour ou l’autre d’entendre le fameux Mike Reilly prononcer leur nom avec sa grosse voix grave. Dimanche le 19 août 2012 j’ai eu le plaisir de l’entendre à mon tour. Je ne peux pas vous dire combien de gens ont terminé un Ironman dans leur vie. Mais je peux vous garantir que pour chacun d’entre eux ca a surement été une expérience hors du commun.

Un Ironman c’est une longue journée, mais avant tout c’est une longue année d’entrainement. Des semaines interminables où l’on empile les heures les unes après les autres. Pour certain c’est 20, ou 25 et des fois mêmes 30 heures semaines. Sans calculer que l’on doit tous travailler 35 à 40 heures semaine pour payer ces folles dépenses.
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Demi-Ironman Mont-Tremblant

La journée débute bien, je me réveille de bonne heure au condo que nous avons loué et je déguste deux bagels avec un couple de café. Par la suite, ma blonde nous dépose à la zone de transition et je prépare mes affaires tranquillement.

Puis on se dirige vers la plage pour les départs, une superbe plage qui est si grande mais qui sera si petite au départ du Ironman dans deux mois … Ma meilleure natation a vie dans un demi-Ironman donc je ne peux pas me plaindre. J’avais espoir d’être un peu plus vite depuis car mes temps dans la piscine sont mieux cette année mais je vais prendre ce temps-là tout de même!
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Syracuse Half Ironman

Last Sunday was the initial Syracuse Half Ironman. Me and my family headed there Friday. Saturday morning was family time so we headed to the zoo to visit a bit in the morning. Then in the afternoon I headed to the expo for pre race meeting, packet pickup, shopping etc.

After that we headed to the transition zone to drop the Speed Concept and then we drove the bike course to get a feel of what it would be on Sunday morning. The more I was driving on the course the more I was nervous about the ride. There was hills everywhere!!! One thing you can say about that bike course, it is far from being flat 😉

Sunday morning

On Sunday morning I woke up early, the hotel was at 20 minutes or so from the transition zone and I wanted to be sure to be there early. I had some oatmeal for breakfast and a coffee, then I woke up my wife and kids and we got ready.

I was REALLY happy that we left the room early because there was a ton of traffic on the way, I would say easy 30 minutes wait. When I finally got to the parking I was at like 10 minutes walk from the transition zone. I finally got there just to hear that it was closing in 5 minutes, I rushed through my routine to make sure everything was laid out for both transition. Finally they postponed the start by 15 minutes since there was too many people still jammed in the traffic.

The swim

I was in the second wave of the 40-44 men and I was hoping for a 40 minutes swim at best. I said to a friend that if I had a perfect day I could probably swim a 40 minutes 2k. We jumped in the water and started swimming, after what felt like 2 minutes we started passing green cap which was the from wave before us. At first I figured that it was someone having a bad day, but when I saw a second one then a third I knew I had a good day.

Then I saw a couple of yellow cap, and then some purple. At that point I almost thought I was a good swimmer for once. Now I know how it feels like to pass people on the swim.

When I reached the first yellow buoy I felt really good and thought that I just started to swim and I was already at the first turn. The turn was crowded, even if we had wave start it was still crowded. For the second part of the swim I still felt great and was drafting from a bunch of guys in front of me. We were still passing people left and right. When we finally got to the second yellow buoy there was a guy who was holding it. I hope everything was ok with him.

We then turned and started heading back to the beach, still I was feeling awesome and I could have swim all day long.

We finally reached the beach, when I got out my son yelled at me “Check your time” I was really happy to see that I was at 40 minutes or so for my swim, first of the three done with a time that made me happy, yeah 🙂

I then proceeded to the wetsuit stripper, dammit this is something I could get used to. When I started running after the stripper I lost my goggle, someone was kind enough to grab them for me and gave them to me. Then I restarted running and dropped my swim cap … WTF was up with me at that point. Anyway, grabbed my swim cap and run to the transition zone which was a long way from the lake.

I am usually in the last 15% of the swim but today I got out of the water in the top 45% 🙂

Transition 1

I decided to put socks on for the ride, it was cold and I knew I would need them so I took the time to put them on. Running without the shoes but with the socks kinda ruined that purpose since when I jumped on the bike my socks were wet but still, they kept me for having frozen feet I guess.

The bike


When I got on the bike I didn’t know what to expect, the day prior to the race I drove the entire bike course to see how it was and I was scared of all the hills. It seems like there was always a hill.

So when I jumped on the bike that morning I was really unsure of what kind of bike split I could come up with.

The first 3km or so were downhill which was nice, besides the railroad which was really dangerous. When we reached Jamesville we got to the start of the first hill, nothing too long but it had a good % still. I decided to not push too much while going up the hills and to keep my energy to push on the flat/downhill instead so I just cruised up the hill. Then when we got up it was flat for maybe a km, I hammered it down to pass as many people as I could pass.

Since my wave was the 19th of 21 so I had a ton of people to pass on the bike which was really cool. Then we got to the hill, it was around 10km(6 mile) long so once again I cruised my way up. When we finally reached the top of the hill it was really cold and we were in the fog which was really special to ride. It was a little bit more dangerous, but so much fun to ride.

I knew that my family would be at the hill where we were crossing the 20 and I was happy to see them there. My son ran by me for a while yelling, I almost fell like the riders in the Tour de France going up a hill 😉

After that I was all by myself for a long while, I knew I wouldn’t see them again before at least 60km. I tried to get into my best racing bubble and passed as many people as I could.

It was the first time that I was in a triathlon with that many people, and it was really cool because I always had someone to pass 🙂 There was a couple of riders which I pass and they re pass me over and over. I remember Liam, Steve and Lucy for sure. Also a guy with a nice Cervello whom I couldn’t see his name and another one with a black Trek TTX.

After maybe 60km or so I decided to check my average, I was pretty sure I would have an ok average but nothing great. To my biggest surprise I was at almost 31km/h which made me really happy since I knew that he last 15km was mostly downhill and that it should help me get that average up.

When we passed the 20 again I was hoping to see my family there but I didn’t, I wondered what happened since my wife told me she would be there. Maybe they went for food or something and missed me who knew. Anyway I just kept going knowing I would see them at the finish line.

Even if that was the downhill part of the course it was still hilly. Most of that course was rolling, with some HUGE hills to go up here and there.

They said that this race had the most challenging bike course of the Ironman 70.3 series, since I haven’t done them all I can’t confirm this but it was not the easiest course for sure.

We finished the last kilometers with some rolling again and once I got to the top of the last hill my family was there waiting for me. Then it was time to remove the shoes and head to transition again. I felt great for the entire bike course and I could have kept going without any problem which was a really nice feeling on race day 🙂

Transition 2

Once again I decided to get some dry socks on, I had three pair of socks with me. At that point I had the weirdest idea of putting on my compression socks. I tried for maybe 30 seconds before deciding that it would take me an hour to get those things on with my feet all wet. So I grabbed my other socks, but them on then my running shoes and off I went. I had to go pee, but the porta potty were all full with people waiting in line. So I started running instead.

The run


Accoring to the profile of the run it was mostly downhill for the first 7-8km then mostly flat up till the finish. So my plan was to try to get some nice split on the downhill while not pushing too hard and then settle into a pace when we would hit the flat section.

As they said the first section was downhill but with some uphill here and there which was more than enough to make those splits harder than I thought that they would be.

During the first km I stopped to pee. Then I started getting the km in. There was people all the way from jamesville to Syracuse, not a ton but alwayssome people here and there who were cheering for us which was cool.

Every time I hit an aid station I grabbed water, I had two gels with me and decided to get one in after 3km or so, thinking that I would have the other one after 12km. The run was tough, I wanted to hit a 5:15/km pace for the entire run but there was no way I could hold onto that pace sadly. I tried to convince myself to run faster at almost every split, but I had a hard time.

At some point around the 5th mile I wanted to walk the aid station, but told myself I was not allowed to walk a damn aid station before mile 10, which I did. At mile 10.5 or so I walked the aid station and I stopped to pee once again. I guess that the fact that the weather was colder than usual didn’t help since I was probably sweating less than usual.

From mile 7 or so to 11 we were on Erie blvd which is as straight as you can have a straight street and it was tough on the mental to see that long in front of us.

Around mile 11 we finally turned on another street, the nicest part of changing the scenary came with a false flat going up for a mile and a half maybe. Then we turned left with maybe 1 mile to go and it was downhill and then flat to the finish chute.

My son was waiting for me maybe 250 meters from the finish line and he ran with me behind the other spectators since WTC doesn’t allow family member to run with us anymore.

I finally crossed the finish line in 5:34:38 with a huge smile on my face.

I just love this sport 🙂

Every time I do a long event like this one I always think how long even if they like that, those days must be for the families coming to cheer on us. I am really happy that my family was there with me, and for that I thank them 🙂

Swim : 40:43 (97/276 AG 852/2098 OA)
T1 : 3:52
Bike : 2:49:13 (62/276 AG 458/2098 OA)
T2 : 3:19
Run : 1:57:31 (102/276 AG 812/2098 OA)

Total : 5:34:38 (77/276 AG 581/2098 OA)

Marathon des deux rives – Half marathon

Last Sunday was the Quebec city marathon. I decided to run it as part of my training for Syracuse 70.3 which is in less then three weeks now.

I woke up early on Sunday morning, got my coffee and had a good breakfast, the start was at 8h30 and it was a 20 minutes car ride or so so no stress. My friend Patrick, who was running his first half marathon ever, picked me up in the morning and we headed to the start.

Once there we walked around and chatted with some friends. I saw Genevieve who was also running her first half marathon. I think it is really cool to see people getting into the sport, and I really hope that even more of my friends will get into this wonderful life style 🙂

Twenty minutes or so before the start Patrick had to go to the porta potty, so I told him I would wait for him. But we never had the chance to meet before the start, so I headed to the starting line. At that point I still had no idea how hard I would run that half mary. But I knew it was a training run and that there was no way I would PR since I swam 2.5km and rode 75km the day before.

I was way in the back at the start which was cool, instead of starting with all the speedy I was with the people who were there to enjoy the day. When I, finally, crossed the starting line I decided to push a bit and see how the legs were feeling. For the first 4km or so I had a PR`pace, and it made me wonder “Can I really PR today?”

By the time we crossed the bridge I saw Patrick in front of me. I joined him and we chatted a bit, his pace was ok so I decided to stick with him for a while. Around the 8th km or so Patrick tried to pass behind me to reach the aid station and he kicked me or something. I almost fell and I told him that was the reason why I wouldn’t run a 1h30 half today. We had a laugh about it and kept running. At the 11th km or so Patrick told me he couldn’t keep up with me at that speed and that he would just slow down a bit.

At that point I had a decision to make, pushing hard and try to make a time not too bad even if I knew I wouldn’t beat my east or stay with him and just enjoy a really nice day. I decided to stay with him and try to push him so he would finish with a good time.

For the next 5km or so we had a slower pace by still not too bad. But at the 16th it started to be really tough for him. He told me that if I was not there he would probably just sit and relax a bit. My daughter was at the 5km aid station volunteering, so I stopped to talk with her for a couple of seconds and drink some water. When I looked at Patrick at that point I knew I would have to push him to get the last 5km at a not too bad pace.

By that time the sun was really hot, the wind was not that strong and there was no shade at all on the course. So we had to suffer our way through the last km. His longest run was 18km which was correct to make sure he would complete the run, but still he had a hard time with the last couple of km. I pushed him through them, and tried to push him so he would sprint by the end. But he had nothing left in the tank, he did a mini sprint of maybe 25 feet, and that almost made him puke. At that point I knew I pushed him at his limit 😉

I completed the half with a time of 1:51:30, which was 8 minutes slower than my PR. But I was happy to run it with Patrick for his first!

Overall I had a really good day, and an awesome training run!

Race report – Triathlon Drummondville

Since the start was at 11:25 and the triathlon was at maybe 1h30 or so drive from my place, I woke up as usual, had breakfast then packed the car and drove there.

Once there I got to packet pickup and Steve was there, guess that the decided to arrive around the same time. I got into the tent, grabbed my stuff and then went to the t-shirt table. Once again they didn’t have all the size left when I arrived, and their t-shirt where huge. I grabbed a medium and it looks like I have a large. I guess they tough that triathlon was a sport where everyone is oversize.

After that I headed into the transition zone and prepare my spot, we had a rack just for us the old people 😉 Once my spot was ready I headed out for a little run to warm up. I wanted to bike too but I got squeezed in time and figured it would be better not to be late at the start.

My friend Steve was starting 10 minutes after me and I knew he had a good chance to pass me before I finish my swim, so I tried to push as hard as I could to not make it happened.

At first I was with some people and I tried to stay with them. It worked for most of the first loop, but when we were coming back in the current I lost them and after the buoy there was no way to get back to them. So I finished my swim all by myself.

By the end of the second loop I started seeing people from the wave behind me and I was scared that Steve would pass me, I got passed by maybe 10 people from what I count see. And I knew that he was a good enough swimmer to get out of the water in the top 10.

I just tried to swim as fast as I could to get out of the water. Once I approached the exit I heard a volunteer yelling that it was slippery, and slippery it was dammit. I almost fell while getting out of the water.

I really need to improve my swim, this is usually what kills my race. I can make up some time on the bike and run but the swim always put me so much in the back of the pack that it is hard to have a good time overall.

Once I reached my bike I put my helmet on and started feeling dizzy a little bit. I took a couple of seconds to let it pass, then I headed out of the transition zone. A transition without a wetsuit is always so fast, but there is no way I gain much than when I swim with a wetsuit.

I jumped on the bike with one thing on my mind, get back some time on the faster swimmer. At first I got pass by a coupe of guy from the wave after me and I tried to stay with them. It worked for a while but they were fast and at some point I lost them. I was not drafting of them, but trying to stay in range.

I tried to cheer on everyone from the club as I was seeing them on the course, and besides that I just push hard and tried to keep a good average.

When I got off the bike I was disappointed with my bike split, I had no idea what was my avg or exact time since I didn’t want to check but I felt like I had not much power during that leg.

I need to rethink my training, I feel like I do not have power on the bike this year and I can’t say why.

Transition 2 went as smoothly as the first one, I loved my Zoot Ultra Race, as easy as it gets to put them on.

I tried to get into that 10km with a sub 45 min time in mind. I wish I could have push to get it but sadly I didn’t have enough juice left in the tank to get it.

This course is mostly flat so it is an easy one to get a good run, which I did but not as fast as I expected. The only problem with it is that it is a 4 loop course, and every time you have to turn 180 degrees you lose some speed.

Not much to say about the run itself, it went as smoothly as it could with what I had left in the tank. I cheered on my friend from the club as much as I could, thanks the volunteer on my last lap and finished the race with a nice last split … guess I still had some juice finally because I pushed the pace for that last split 😉

Here are my results from last year sprint on the same course.
Swim – 20:15
T1 – 1:31
Bike – 33:02
T2 – 1:34
Run – 23:21

And here are my results from this year Oly, same course but twice as long. 2 loop of the swim course, 4 of the bike course and 4 of the run course.
Swim – 36:39
T1 – 1:38
Bike – 1:06:15
T2 – 1:36
Run – 45:38

I finished with a time of 2:31:52
Overall – 65/104
Age group (40-44) – 13/18

My time was 5 min or so slower than my best Oly, but this one was not wetsuit legal which cost me probably that 5 minutes. Overall a good race for me, but I really need to find a way to get faster in the water.