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IMMT {Pre Race} Report


It’s hard to believe it’s already been a week since Ironman Mont Tremblant!  While on vacation last week post race, I made sure to write down all of my memories right away so I didn’t forget anything.  I never want to forget my first Ironman because it was SO amazing, in so many ways.  I’m going to start today with the pre race recap, and will continue with the swim, bike, run and post race recaps.  We were in Mont Tremblant for a full week, which gave me lots of time pre and post race to enjoy every minute of the experience!


Rainy (but beautiful) Tremblant Village

It’s hard to put into words what a PERFECT location Mont Tremblant, Quebec is for an Ironman!  Seriously, you cannot get much better than this place! From the beautiful mountains that surround you to the European feel, Mont Tremblant is truly a very special place.

Thursday 8/14: The Journey Begins… with a long car ride.


Todd and I left on Thursday morning for Mont Tremblant.  We stuffed my car (small SUV) with my bike and basically everything in my house.. I am not a light packer and just imagine what this looks like for someone packing for an Ironman.  I was so afraid of forgetting things that I literally packed everything x 2 (i.e. 2 HR monitors, 2 wetsuits, etc…) And then of course I bought stuff when I got to Tremblant.


The ride was about 7 hours (with a few stops along the way).  We live in Massachusetts, so we drove north to New Hampshire and then up through Vermont until we hit the border. I had to drink extra water on Thursday, already getting ready for race day… this did not help with the pee breaks.


Driving through the beauty that is Vermont

I had never been to Canada before, so it was exciting crossing the border!  It took us about 4 hours from our house in MA to get to the border, and then an additional 3 hours in Canada. Once we entered Quebec we were greeting with a ‘Bonjour!’ sign.  The excitement began…


As we got closer to Tremblant Village, Ironman logos/signs were popping up on the highway and backroads… super exciting!! I was finally here! We drove straight to our Bed and Breakfast, which was about 2 miles from the main village of Tremblant.  The plan was to stay at the B&B for two nights (Thursday and Friday) and then move to the Condo for the rest of the week.  The weather outlook was not very good for the Thursday and Friday (50’s during the day with rain and 40’s at night… cold!).  I was really nervous for Sunday’s forecast since they were calling for a chance of rain.  I tried not to think about it… but I seriously checked my Weather Bug App every single hour on the hour.


The view outside our B&B, Auberge du Coq de Montagne

Our B&B, Auberge du Coq de Montagne was adorable! The cutest little couple greeted us at the door and they were so sweet! Their names were Nino and Kay and they made us feel right at home. At this point it was around dinner time and we were exhausted.  We ate at a local restaurant (most of the food in Tremblant was just so-so and really expensive.. actually everything is expensive there). After dinner we got back to the room, and just relaxed.  While browsing social media and #immt I got an itch to go to the race village. The village was so close by (under 3 miles) and knew I couldn’t fall asleep without checking things out!  At around 10:00 PM we drove over there to see things set up and it was so awesome!  Everything was set up for the Expo the next morning, but no one was around.  The best part was seeing the finish line at night all lit up, so cool!  At that moment things became very real to me. My eyes filled with tears as I got a preview of what my Ironman finish would look like.


Finish line at night… before the madness begins!

Friday 8/15: Bib pick up, carb load, rain, rain go away, training sessions on the course!

Friday we were up bright an early and the carb loading began with French toast, fruit, total deliciousness at our B&B.  Bib Pick Up opened at 10:00 in the village and we wanted to get there nice and early! Waiting in line wasn’t too bad and I met some nice people along the way.


One thing I love about these races is the people you meet… especially in my case, other first timers!  While I waited in line for my bib, I met a guy in front of me who is 73 years old and has done 12 ironmans (he started doing them when he was 60! So awesome).



Once I got my bib and all my goods, it was time to go back to the B&B and get ready for my pre-race workouts.  The plan was to get a 15 minute swim to test out the lake, a 30 min bike ride on the course and then a 15 minute brick run… all done at recovery pace. I wasn’t really looking forward to the bike part because it was 50 degrees and drizzling outside, yuck.

Empty bike racks in the rain

Empty bike racks in the rain

Swim Workout: Testing the waters


Once I got to the lake/swim start area, there were a bunch of other people warming up.  There was a cute little boat house where we could change and leave our things while we swam.  I put on my wetsuit and got in the water…  my first thought was… chilly!  The water hit my face and it felt cold, good thing for the wetsuit!  Swimming for those 15 minutes was very relaxing and it was nice to just to get a feel for the water.  Lac Tremblant is crystal clear and is surrounded by mountains… just beautiful!


Short Bike Ride: Testing the bike and race wheels in the cold mist.


After the swim, went back to our room and I got changed to go for my short ride.  I must mention that it was around 50 degrees, cloudy and misting outside.  I was not happy about the cold temperatures.  I wore long sleeves on the bike and rode for about 25 minutes… just to make sure things were in working order.  Some people rode the hilliest part of the course on Friday, I honestly didn’t feel the need (we drove it later instead!).  I didn’t see the point in trashing my legs just to check out the hills on the course.  I would see the hills plently on Sunday:)

Quick run on the run course


After the ride, Todd came with me on a 15 minute run on part of the run course… it was fun to get a little preview of everything! The place we were staying was on the run course, so that was convenient.


Once all my workouts were done, it was time to relax and do more carb loading.


That evening we attended the Mandatory Athlete meeting (being a first timer and all. I found it helpful, but there was nothing mentioned that wasn’t in the Athlete Guide. After the meeting, Todd and I ate a big pasta dinner while watching a concert in the village.


Saturday: More Carb loading, bike check, gear bag drop off, gondola rides and REST

Saturday was another cold, rainy day in Tremblant.  The morning started early with breakfast at 7:30 with my QT2 Team!  The team breakfast was just a few blocks away from our B&B at the Hotel Tremblant. It was fun to carb load with pancakes and toast while meeting fellow teammates.  I even got to meet some of the QT2 pro’s which was really cool!  Like Beth Shutt who placed 3rd PRO during the race and is super down to earth. Go Beth!

After breakfast, it was time to get all of my special needs and gear bags together. Honestly, the whole special needs bag thing was a little stressful.  I had no idea what I was supposed to put in these bags (funny thing is, I didn’t even up taking either special needs bag during the race).  In the bike bag I put extra chamois butter, shot blocks, sunscreen and in the run bag: extra gu’s, pretzels, tums, body glide.  The good thing is, I didn’t have to put the special needs bags in transition until the morning AND I could also get into my bike and run gear… phew!

so much stuff!

so much stuff!

Once I had everything together, we headed back to the village/transition area (about a 5 minute drive) and dropped my bike and gear bags off.  We had until 4:00 PM to drop everything off, but I wanted to just get it over with.  At this point it was really raining out, so I put a few trash bags over my saddle and handlebars.



Once everything was dropped off, it was time to just RELAX for the rest of the day and put my feet up.  I got to spend some time with my family/cheering quad who stayed at a hotel right in the village.  One of our favorite things to do in Tremblant Village was to take the gondola ride from one end of the village to the other. So fun.. I could ride the gondola all day long.


That afternoon we had to move from our B&B to the condo across the street. Thank goodness for Todd and our friend Steve who moved everything while I sat on my bum.  Once in the new place I just relaxed, watched TV, carb loaded and painted my lucky (Ironman) toes.



At around 9:30 it was definitely time for bed. The alarm was set for 3:00 AM since we planned on getting to the race site for 4:30 AM.  I had to eat my pre race breakfast by 3:30 AM and I didn’t want to be rushed! Surprisingly, I didn’t have too much trouble falling asleep, which is crazy because it felt like Christmas as a kid/my wedding day combined in excitement.

Stay tuned for the swim/bike/run reports!




Hi! I just wanted to write a quick post telling you all that I crossed that FINISH LINE and I’m officially an IRONMAN!  The day felt SO amazing in so many ways.  I can’t wait to write a detailed race report.  I am still in Mont Tremblant on a little post race vacation, loving life… trying to soak in what I just accomplished.  WOW. Just WOW.

My official time was 11:28:36!  I placed 12th in my Age Group!  I am VERY proud of my time.  Although I wanted to break 11 hours, I am still super thrilled with my result! Now I can’t wait for the next IRONMAN (TBD).

Thank you everyone for your support and for tracking me and following my journey!!

with love,



This is my moment.

The moment I’ve been waiting for.

I am prepared, I am strong, I can do this.  These are just a few of the mantras I have been repeating in my head this week. Just a few days away from the biggest race of my lifetime, I am trying to just stay calm and relaxed… but it’s so hard!  My mind is consumed with the ‘what ifs’ and I am super anxious. Good thing I have been working all week and I still have to pack.. that should take my mind off things… oh and watching the weather forecast like a crazy person is a welcome distraction.

When thinking about my goals for IMMT,  sure I have certain numbers in my head…. but, as it gets closer, I am trying not to focus on the numbers.  Instead I am trying to focus on the PROCESS.  This is going to be my first Ironman and my body has never been through this challenge before.  Sure, I want to do the absolute best that I can, but like many people tell me, I can’t expect things to go perfectly.  Sure, I want to have a perfect day, but thinking that it won’t be stellar, and things can and will go wrong… I believe makes me more mentally prepared.  It’s going to hurt like hell, I will have (most likely) TONS of chaffing, at some point my stomach will feel nauseous, my knees will hurt, my back will break down… it will all probably happen, and I am prepared to deal with it… after all,  ‘pain is in the brain.’ 

A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there...

I have debated announcing my goals on the blog, because I can be quite superstitious about big races.  I don’t want to set myself up for disappointment.  On the other hand, I feel like announcing my goals will hold me accountable. This being said… without further ado… here are my goals for my first IRONMAN.  I am trying not to focus on that ‘magic number’ but it would be nice to reach my goals!  Finishing the race alone will be an accomplishment:)

My overall goal is to break 11:00 hours for the entire race.  I know it’s possible, and I believe I can do it, I just need to have a good day out there! Breaking 11 hours is a very realistic goal for me, but I am not going into the race EXPECTING 11 hours or less.  I will do what I can with the body I have, we’ll see where my body decides to take me that day. Also, I am not focusing on finishing at a certain place in my Age Group.. because let’s be honest… we NEVER know who’s going to show up that day.  Focus on the things you CAN control versus the things you CANNOT control. I can control my pace on the bike, I can control my speed on the run… but I cannot control placing in the top 10 in my age group, so I’m not going to focus on it.  I am focusing on the process and that’s it… oh and having fun!


Goal swim time break 1:10 

The swim has gone from my weakest sport, to one that I am now confident in.  The only thing I am worried about (per usual) is the start of the swim.  The swim start will be in waves, but I am the second to last wave to get in the water… after ALL of the men (including the old ones). I just need to relax during the swim and get in a groove!

I would love to get under this time, but I know that the swim is just a blip on the radar in an Ironman race.  My plan is not to overdo it, but maintain a steady pace that I’m comfortable with. The swim is the LEAST of my worries in this race.


Goal Bike time: 6:00 hours or less

I love this blurb from Mary Eggers (8 time Ironman finisher, 3 time Kona qualifier. USAT Triathlon Coach) who raced IMMT and wrote about it on her blog:

I think this course will reward the athlete who is process focused rather than outcome focused. What do I mean by that? More often than not I see athletes come to an Ironman bike course stating “I am going to ride a 5:45″. Which is fine, but they get so locked onto that 5:45 that they unfortunately run a 5:45 as well. Instead…. focus on the process. Your pacing.

Let’s just say if I don’t want to run a 5:45, I need to focus on my pacing on the bike. If I don’t break 6:00 hours on the bike, I will only benefit on the run (which is my strongest event anyways!). I’m trying to convince myself not to get caught up in the magic ‘number 6.’ Similar to swimming, I have been working SO hard on the bike this year and have seen lots of gains.  My goal on the bike is to focus on the process and my pacing. Most importantly, I need to make sure my heart rate is low enough (i.e. not spiking into Z2) and follow my nutrition plan! I have practiced the plan over and over… now it’s time to execute it!  My coaches say, take the Ironman bike as if it’s a long training ride, and that’s exactly what I’ll be doing.  After all, it all happens on the RUN.


Finish in under 3:35

My slowest Boston Marathon time is 3:28, fastest is 3:24.  Given the difficulty of the Boston Marathon course, and all of my bike-run brick training, I am fairly confident that I can run the Marathon in under 3:35. However, I am not getting stuck on this number because I have never ran an IRONMAN Marathon before.  Running a 3:35 marathon is not a stretch goal, but it also means things have to be going really well after the bike ride (i.e. my stomach is behaving itself).

Besides swim, bike, run (and the two transitions)…

I need to focus on my nutrition and the plan I have been following all along. STICK TO THE PLAN is my theme of the day. I know what I need to drink and when I need to drink it. When I need to have a power bar, salt tabs, gels, etc… it’s ingrained in my brain. The truth is, I have trained my ass off, but if I get the nutrition wrong (too much too little, wrong timing) things can go awry and F up my entire race.  Isn’t it crazy how it all comes down to science? I think so. Most important at all, I just need to remember to SMILE:)

Not sure what internet will be like in Quebec, so this might be my last post before the race!

In case you want to TRACK me on race day, and send good vibes, my BIB # is 779.  My swim wave starts at 7:00 AM. 


Just go to the race website on race day, Sunday August 17th:

Enter my BIB # 779 (under my maiden name: Kristin Lawhorn)

As you are tracking me, and I’m getting close to the finish, you can even pull up the LIVE streaming finish line!

If you are iPhone Savvy, you can also download the IronTrac App and search under 140.6 races, select Ironman Mont Tremblant.  Then enter my BIB # 779.  You will be able to track me from your iphone this way!

FYI my split times will be in KILOMETERS

**If you have done an Ironman before, feel free to send me tips for race day! **


Patriot Half Ironman



every morning you have two choices: continue to sleep with your dreams, or wake up and chase them

When I signed up for Ironman Mont Tremblant almost exactly one year ago, I had no idea what to expect.  I knew the training would be long and hard, but I did not have a clue as to what I was about to get myself into. Fast forward to now, I sit here six days away from the biggest athletic competition of my life and I have to pinch myself.  I am about to do an IRONMAN (THIS Sunday) and I am READY for it. Years ago I thought people who did Ironmans were F-ing crazy…. Now I’m about to become one of the crazy ones and I LOVE it.

How am I feeling?

I have officially started my taper as of yesterday, and last week was my last regular training week. Bring on the taper madness!  As of last week my body started rebelling a little and I’m frustrated about it: sore lower back, glute pain, left patellar tendon pain… I think my body has had enough at this point.  All of a sudden these aches and pains are coming on and it’s making me nervous! It’s also not helping with my pre-race anxiety.  I have some chiropractor and massage appointments this week to help with whatever the heck is going on.  I’m also doing whatever I can on my own to help ease some of the aches that I have… self massage, epsom salt baths, icing, biofreeze, etc. I know I will be able to handle the 140.6 miles, but probably not 140.7 🙂 Also, part of me thinks a lot of this is ‘in my head’ and I’m searching for things to worry about.  Sometimes pain is more mental than physical:)


Without further ado, here is my final IMMT Training Recap! Honestly, this makes me a little emotional. Where did the time go?! The next recap I write will be a POST-race recap!

Tomorrow or Wednesday I will post info about tracking me during the race!

Total hours last week: 15

Days Until IMMT: < 6


Open water swim 30 minutes at Walden Pond

Tried my new Blue Seventy Helix Wetsuit and it’s seriously badass!

August 2014 125


2:00 Hours
20 min @ Z1
Main Set:
3 X (10 min @ Z1, 10 min @ Z2)
To final ride time @ ZR/Z1

55 Minutes
Run the 1st mile off of the bike @ Z2 and the remainder at Z1

AUG 11 2014 044



500 @ TT + 10 sec pace
Main Set:
5 x (300 @ TT + 5 sec pace, 300 @ TT + 10 sec pace….all on an interval of TT + 10 sec pace). **use 3 stroke breathing on the Z1 legs**

AUG 11 2014 028


Tempo Ride
20 min @ Z1
Main Set:
2 X (20 min @ Z2, 5 min @ ZR/Z1)
To final ride time @ ZR/Z1 (as you feel)
**Keep cadence at 90 rpm throughout

Zone 2
15 min @ Z1
Main Set:
3 X (1 mile @ Z1, 1 mile @ Z2)
Cooldown @ ZR/Z1

Speed Set Swim

1000 continuous @ TT+10 sec
Main Set:
1 X (Best sustainable 300) Take 20 seconds rest after.
4 X (Best sustainable repeats of 100 on TT+10 sec)
Cool Down:
400 pull buoy @ best 800 TT pace + 10 seconds per 100
100 easy kick
400 pull buoy @ best 800 TT pace + 10 seconds per 100

35 Minutes @ ZR


This was my final long brick workout before IMMT! I did one of my favorite loop rides for old times sake.  We had a wedding that evening, so I had an early start (7:00 AM).  Typically when I ride, I thoroughly enjoy it… this time, I found myself just wanting the bike ride to be over.  My mind was consumed with thoughts of IMMT (can I actually ride 112 miles and then run a Marathon?!) and I just could not enjoy the ride or get in a rhythm.  My quads felt way more fatigued than usual, which was also weird since I did a recovery workout the day before.  I found myself feeling frustrated until mile 50 when i finally got into a groove.  Again, I think I am just ready and my body has had enough:)

AUG 11 2014 061

Z1/Z2 Ride 4:00 hours
149 minutes at Z1, then 81 minutes @ Z2. Descend the pace throughout the ride and finish toward the top of Z2. Keep cadence at 90+ rpm.

AUG 11 2014 058

Recovery pace run 40 mins


ZR Ride 1:15

Brick Run 40 mins

AUG 11 2014 099




Happy happy Friday! Today marks just {nine} days until IMMT!  I will be completing my last long ride tomorrow (4 hours) and a brick run.  Starting on Sunday I will be in official TAPER mode!

I’m back today for the YOU Challenge and today’s list is FOUR BOOKS. This is an interesting topic for me since I haven’t had time to read in probably six months now. I’ve been receiving magazines in the mail without having read the previous month’s issue.  For example, the September Triathlete Magazine arrived this week and I haven’t even finished July, or opened the August issue. As far as books go… forget about it- no time.

10 day you challenge

I’m also going to be totally honest here, I don’t really like reading books (unless they are cookbooks).  I wish I did, because I think it would be valuable, but I just don’t like reading.  Oh and I have a really bad habit of starting a book and never finishing it… happens to me all the time!

After IMMT, I will definitely have more time to read books, but I can’t say that I actually will. I rather spend my free time outside, unless it’s raining of course, then a book might be a good option, ha. Frankly I just can’t sit still, like ever, and reading books is too ‘still’ for me. My favorite kind of books are cookbooks, because I love to cook fun, healthy meals!

Here are two books that I would like to read at some point plus two favorite books that I’ve actually read:)

Books I want to read:

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Wild is about a badass hiker chic who hikes the Pacific Crest Trail solo.  As a girl who loves hiking and the outdoors, I have a feeling I will love this book.  It’s actually one of my books that I bought and haven’t read yet… need to get on that.

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.


A Life Without Limits by Chrissie Wellington

Just because it would be fun to read a book written by someone I idolize…

A LIFE WITHOUT LIMITS is the story of her rise to the top, a journey that has taken her around the world, from a childhood in England, to the mountains of Nepal, to the oceans of New Zealand, and the trails of Argentina, and first across the finish line… Wellington’s first-hand, inspiring story includes all the incredible challenges she has faced–from anorexia to near–drowning to training with a controversial coach. But to Wellington, the drama of the sports also presents an opportunity to use sports to improve people’s lives.


Two  of my Favorite Books

Following Atticus by Tom Ryan

This is one of my favorite books of all time and I have honestly thought about reading it for a second time. Todd, Oliver (our dog) and I are working on our (48) 4,000 Foot peaks in New Hampshire.  It’s a badge of honor for anyone to accomplish this task, nonetheless a small dog.  Attitcus, the lead character, just like Oliver, is a smaller dog and throughout the book works on his 48 peaks (and more!).  If you love dogs and you love hiking, you will love this book! I also recommended checking out the Following Atticus blog… it’s very inspiring.

Following Atticus is the remarkable true story of a man and a dog embarking on the challenge of a lifetime. This is author Tom Ryan’s inspiring tale of how he and his miniature schnauzer companion, the “Little Buddha” Atticus M. Finch, attempted to scale all forty-eight of New Hampshire’s four thousand foot White Mountains twice in the dead of winter. It is a story of love, loss, and the resilience of the human and animal spirit that’s as thrilling as Into Thin Air and featuring the most endearing and unforgettable canine protagonist since Marley and Me.

Last but not least… my favorite cookbook lately…

Oh She Glows by Angela Liddon

I love love love this cookbook!  Lately, I have been trying to eat less meat in my diet, and this cookbook has been my saving grace.  There are tons of delcious vegan recipes like her Protein Power Goddess Bowl with lemon tahini dressing (yummy!).  If you like a good vegetarian meal , I highly recommend this cookbook!

After a decade of struggling with an eating disorder and subsisting on diet, low-calorie processed foods, Angela Liddon vowed to get healthy once and for all. Done with feeling sick and tired, she threw out her fat-free butter spray and low-calorie frozen dinners. Instead, Angela embraced whole foods that made her glow from the inside out. But first, she had to learn to cook—and eat—right.


What are some of your favorite books?