We left for Mt. Tremblant on Wednesday and I knew that I was in for a long drive, but the few stops along the way, especially the one in Ottawa in the Bayward Market for mussels, fries and treats made it rather enjoyable. We arrived at destination around 5:30pm and after settling in our condo at Cap Tremblant Resort, we decided to go out for a shakeout run on the Petit Train du Nord trail, part of the run course and a stone throw away from where we were staying.
(Brace yourselves, there will be photos, and lots of them!)
|The walk towards the condo|
|Our condo is at the bottom. No stairs, yay!|
Cozy, eh? I could not believe it when I saw it. Very quiet, spacious... exactly what we needed, and perfectly located in the old Mt Tremblant, away from all the craziness of the athletes village.
|At the start of the run with my Ironman in Training|
|Oh deer! Stopped us dead in our tracks and we took pictures and a video. These guys were totally unphased.|
Zin ran 8km run and I settled on a 6km distance as an out and back on the trail. It was exactly what we needed after sitting down for 8+ hours. Back at the resort we took a shower and went out for dinner because we were starving!
The next day we met with friends for lunch in the athletes' village, then walked around for a bit, immersing ourselves into the M-Dot Extravaganza and posing for pictures, pretty much like everyone else. My favorite past time in these places is to find the hardcore IM fans and the wannabe pros. Quite entertaining if you ask me. So much compression gear and aero everything! But let's go back to the most memorable detail, the food.
We ate in a restaurant called SoCal Kitchen and it was absolutely delicious. I even placed the guacamole as second best that I've eaten, first being the one that I make based on an Alton Brown recipe, of course.
|So much yum|
|Athletes athletes everywhere|
|A gorgeous day in the village|
|Quick ride in the gondola to save the legs with view on the finish line|
|Pledging allegiance to M-Dot|
|And another postcard view from the gondola with the changing tent in the background|
|I don't even remember if this was before or after. Let's pretend it was after and the wetsuits dried really really fast.|
The next morning, we went to St Jovite for breakfast and started the carb loading in style. Started? Umm... for the day, that's it. Bon appetit!
|Brioche and almond croissant. Orgasmic.|
And speaking of legit, here's another M-Dot picture because I was wearing my finisher tshirt. So legit, I'm going to show it to you in XL. Ahem.
|Two thumbs up for this IM finisher. I hope I didn't break your screen...|
|There was a 3rd crouton there, but I ate it before I took the picture|
|No caption necessary. Lick the screen here.|
It was absolutely glorious, aside from the ... uphill section on Montee Ryan. I was on my road bike and did not have clip-on bike shoes, and let's say I struggled a bit there. However the smile was stuck on my face for the rest of the ride and I just didn't want to go back inside. I rode for about 1.5h, then called it a day. Not only it was getting late, but I was also tasked to get us dinner, and as a good sherpa, I drove back to the village and quickly stole a chicken from St Hubert (within the free 15 minutes parking that I found without a credit card).
Saturday morning I tried to beat the rush at the beach and started my day with an early swim in Lac Mercier. There were only one or two people in the water and I could not wait to join them. I brought my little orange buoy just in case I was going to meet a weeds monster or a local version of the Loch Ness, but soon enough I completely forgot that it was trailing behind me. So much for the extra safety. At least it kept my car keys and phone dry.
I was pretty tired from all the walking/biking/swimming though and chose to keep it short, only a 5km out and back. However, the walk back added another challenge with the 15-30% incline of the road. It was so steep, I had even been afraid to ride on it on my bike. Once again, I met deer on the path and even saw a few that made the climb all the way to our backyard.
The plan was to stay with hubbs until the start of the race, then go back to the car, pick up the road bike and follow him all day with my camera, hopefully able to take some good pics and give him some kisses in return.
After a bit of a freak out because he forgot his aero drink bottle straw at home, we met at the swim start and I finally managed to calm down knowing that he found a bike technician in transition who helped him out. Many thanks to Cycle Technique for their assistance!
|It never gets easier... just a little overwhelmed.|
Eventually I saw him zooming by and managed to take the kick ass picture below. It was going to be one of the best I took that day since everything went down from there... especially the weather. A few minutes later and it was pouring!
Another hour or two went by and I tried to keep myself busy catching Pokemon in the village. But soon enough I had to go back on the road to see him coming back from the second loop and start the run. I was once again relieved to see him zooming by on his way to Chemin Duplessis and I knew that it would take about 30min for him to roll into transition. I went over to the run start and saw a few familiar faces leaving the changing tent. Eventually Zin appeared in a dry change of clothes and he stopped to give me a kiss. Everyone shouted "oh les amoureux!!"and cheered for us. And so he was on his way again... From the number of open umbrellas around you can guess that his dryness was not going to last.
I waited for him to come back at the end of the Petit Train du Nord and saw a lot of familiar faces again: our friends Paul, Louis and Mike Cooke, Durwin Brennan, then Jamie from the blog "From Couch to Ironwoman". It was really great to see them all. Once he started running the last 5km I knew that I had to go ahead and drop by the car to pick up Zindine's dry clothes so he can change into them after the finish. I stayed with him for another 5 minutes then hurried up to get myself to the finish line before he arrived.
There is always plenty of movement in the stands and I had no doubt that I'd get a good spot to see him finish. I left my bike somewhere at the back and joined by Maggie, Louis's wife and kids, I started the countdown. It took maybe another 10-15 minutes, then I heard Mike Reilly calling his name. I was over the moon and so incredibly proud of my hubby for finishing under 11h30, more precisely in 11h 19min 23sec. You can see me in the video on the left of the arch (second row from the bottom) taking pictures with my DSLR and yelling "Wooohoooooo!!!!".
The boys went to shower and change clothes at Louis's place, then we went out for pizza. I had a salad again (because I had pizza at lunch) and for once I skipped dessert. I did however splurge in a different store as I was sick and tired of my wet running shoes, so I bought the first pair of flats that I found and it was a pair of Birkenstock, my first! However I still had to wear my wet shoes one last time to go pick up the car and then Zin and his stuff from transition.
All went without a hiccup and we were back in our condo by 10pm. This day almost felt too ...easy. Nope, I don't believe it either. I know that it certainly wasn't for any of the athletes. Plus, spectating is quite a sport in itself, so I crashed on the couch, exhausted but so friggin' happy! The next day we were lining up for the finisher jacket at 6am, no surprise here. The boys were feeling a little tired, but not tired enough for some shenanigans with the fallen Ironman sign. Not sure what happened to it... but it literally went downhill from there. By noon that M-Dot was completely destroyed.
|Which one of you broke the Ironman sign, huh?|
We were surprised to see that there were no "special" jackets other than the ones we had seen a few days before in the store. So be it. The boys got theirs then we went for breakfast. I had one breakfast, Zin had two, of course. It was so, so good! We definitely recommend the restaurant Le Saint Louis in the old Mt Tremblant.
We spent the rest of the day being lazy. No more workouts for either one of us, d'uh. I have little recollection of what happened that day, so it's probably better that I start wrapping up this blog post as well. The next day we drove back home anyway, The End.
If you read all the way here... congratulations. You are an endurance reader. Bravo!!