Ironman Copenhagen 2017 Race Report

7 Sep

In hindsight, I’m not sure that 2.5 days/ 3 nights is enough time to get my body adjusted to the time difference. Maybe 1 or 2 more days before would have been good maybe not. I’m not one for just sitting around especially in a city that I have never been to.

Dan tried to get me to relax and off my feet. But running around trying to figure out the bike situation was a big hassle. I had a nervous stomach before that got resolved but I’m not sure that it went entirely went away before the race. I didn’t have much of an appetite and definitely didn’t eat as much as I would have regularly done before an Ironman. I was way more anxious than normal before the race. Maybe it was the bike or the different country or the time zone. Who really knows!

Long story long about the bike:

I thought it would only be $800 to ship my bike. (There was zero way we were taking it on the plane with multiple flights and dragging it around Europe). After a little more research it ended up being $2K to ship it. Well shit! Now what!?

We had 3 plans:
Plan A: rent tri bike
Plan B: rent road bike
Plan C: buy a bike (and then figure out what we would do with the bike later)

2 days before we leave, Dan gets word that the road bike is having some sort of mechanical issues that aren’t going to be able to be fixed by race day! Agh. So plan B was out! He gave us our money back and said he had a friend that owned a bike shop. He may be able to help us out. Dan said we have a tri bike that might work we will keep you posted!

Friday morning: wake up with nervous/anxious stomach ache. Picked up the tri bike. It was too big. Cue: panic!!!!!

So Dan texts Mikkel (the road bike guy) to see if his friend can help us. We get to Capillini and Jan sets me up on a brand new Weiler road bike.

Let me tell you about the bike. It is beautiful. He said we could rent it but if I got any scratches on it we would have to buy it! (The pressure is on! Thinking about how the bikes are racked in T1 and then again in T2). It was a bike that I could ride! So I was happy. I rode the road bike and Dan rode the tri bike back to our place. I did a quick 30 minute shake out ride to make sure everything worked and that I could figure all the gears out! It rode real nice BUT the saddle was not comfortable….AT ALL! It was a stock saddle after all. There was zero I could do about it but hope my ass could handle it on race day!

The day before was pretty annoying. I needed to swim in the morning but we couldn’t take our bikes/bags until the afternoon. So we took the metro to Amager Strand to do re-con for race morning. I did a quick swim. The buoys were out but there was only 1 set. I thought that was a little weird. It was cold but not awful. I had only been in OW once since Victoria. (Hope the swim goes well) 😉 there were a ton of weeds. I didn’t think it was a huge deal but I thought there would probably be people who didn’t like that.

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We went on with our day. Then back in the afternoon for bike check in. More annoying stuff. We had to have our helmet on and fastened before we could go into transition. We couldn’t take it off until we had racked our bikes. Just more walking around instead of resting!

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I definitely didn’t do a very good job of resting. We went out and did stuff. On foot, on our bikes. Oh well.

Race day!!!! I slept ok. I got all of my breakfast down. It was off to the strand we went. They had given us 2 tri tattoos bib #. I didn’t know where we had to put them. I ended up forgetting them and when we got to the beach I asked the “info” desk about body marking.

Me: I forgot my bib number tats
Info man: do you know your bib number?                                           Me: Yes
Info man: do you have your chip on?
Me: Yes
Info man: ok you are good to go!

This was my first triathlon ever not being body marked. It was nice!

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It was chilly. I got into my wetsuit and dropped my bags. That was another funny thing. You had to ask for special needs bags. I guess it’s not that big of a thing here. We just put them in the back of a mini van. It was pretty funny. I saw Dan for one last kiss and I was off for a quick warm up.

Swim: 1:05:36 // 1:41/100m (5 minute PR) bam!
This was my first non-mass start and I was pumped. It was a self seed. At check in you just asked for the color cap you wanted for the wave you were going to swim in. I was in the second wave 1:06-1:11. Then within the wave they broke us down again. I seeded myself in the 1:08-1:10. I was getting closer and closer. Then we got into 6 lanes. Every 6 seconds 6 more people would go. IT WAS AWESOME! No pushing and shoving. I loved almost every minute of the swim.  I got into a rhythm fast and stayed steady!

We swam under 3 bridges and they had the meters marked on each of the bridges. It was kind of nice to know where you were at. I swam well. I drafted some (not as much as I would have liked) but enough. I sighted pretty good. I had a really great swim and it was super fun.

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T1: 6:01
A quick run up the ramp. There were no wetsuit strippers. Grabbed my bag. Here is a big difference in the North American races. There was a small change tent and you only went in to if you were doing a full change. For everyone else, there were benches outside to use. No volunteers to help you. I was fine on my own. I took a bit more time then usual. Liz said to be patient and get my heart rate down. A quick wave to Dan and a long run with my bike.

Bike: 6:25:47 // 17.4mph
I told my friend on a training ride a few months ago, I wish I could just go for a ride and not worry about the work out or the watts. So that is exactly what I was going to do. I was on a rented bike. I wanted to enjoy the scenery. Liz told me to be patient! I was going to be patient and enjoy the ride.

The ride takes you through town then, along the coastline, and then through the rolling hills north of Copenhagen. The only considerable “climb” is Geels Bakke (not sure if that is the road or the area). It wasn’t bad. It reminded me of the climbs on the IMWI course that are lined with people.  All you can do is smile. So fun!  The first loop was great. We did get some sprinkles of rain here and there. But the sun would come out and dry us off.

I was not comfortable on my saddle from almost the beginning of the ride. I was pretty sad. It was not going to be pretty by the end of the 112 miles. I stopped at special needs and I had forgotten I had put chamois butter in the bag for a mid ride stop. Perfect! I got to the next aid station and reapplied! It only gave me relief for about 30 minutes. THEN it started pouring. All I could do was laugh and just keep riding.

Their were lots of spectators on the course and families in their yard cheering for us. It was a really fun course. I think I could have ridden it all day long had I been on my bike. (Lesson learned)

I was nearing the end of the ride. I was all of a sudden starving with nothing left to eat. There was nothing I could do. (Maybe not eating enough in the days leading up to this was finally catching up to me) 😦

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T2: 5:24 (by far my slowest T2 time)
I saw Dan as I cruised into transition. It was a long run to the bags and then to the benches. Again I took my time in there. I downed a whole gel and hoped for the best. It was go time!! Again Liz said to be patient and get my heart rate down. Ha!!

Run: 5:11:51 // 11:53/mile
I was really excited for the run. I was smiling and positive. I tried to go out reallllly slow. My heart rate was so high. It wouldn’t go down. I thought shit I was definitely in trouble. I didn’t even feel like I was moving. I took at least a minute at the first couple of aid stations to see what I could do. The salt tabs weren’t working. The walking wasn’t working. I did start the coke much earlier then I usual do.

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Finally after about 40 minutes I was into zone 3 kind of where I wanted to be but I was I already in a hole x2 (HR + Hunger). I saw Dan and that put an extra big smile on my face. I was still feeling good. I talked to a Danish guy at the end of my first loop. That was fun. He was super nice and we chatted until the next aid station.

The second loop was pretty good too. I’m not sure where it really started to fall apart. Maybe Mid 3rd loop. I had some stomach distress and unlike in Victoria where I just ran through it, I actual stopped. I knew I would feel better and I did. I think in retrospect that is what hurt maybe my cadence or my momentum going forward.

Maybe I was too hungry or my heart rate was too high on the bike. (that was my only gauge since I obviously didn’t have a power meter). Something was off. Maybe it was the jet lag or the time zone or the rain!  I definitely don’t want to make excuses. I think I went into a funk and couldn’t dig myself out!

By mile 19, I couldn’t take down any more gels, I just couldn’t do it. I was eating crackers instead. I took another bathroom break…what was happening. Agh! Then it was raining. I saw Dan a few more times. He tried to get me going but nothing was really working. I was walk running just trying to salvage the rest of my race. I definitely gave up mentally a bit too.

I was pumped to finally get my 4th loop bracelet. Only half a loop to go. It was mind over matter….you have to get moving. Then it was pouring. Finally at the 25 mile mark, just go and get this done with. There was a lot of self talking.  Trying to pump myself up!

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And just like that after passing the finish line 4 TIMES, I finally got to go down the chute. As fast as my day started, the day ended. Ironman #6 in the books and my second fastest one to date.

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I’m thinking Ironman Copenhagen 2019…who wants to go?!

13 Responses to “Ironman Copenhagen 2017 Race Report”

  1. Sherrie Beth Austin September 7, 2017 at 9:31 AM #

    LOVED the race report! I like living through it with you without actually doing it! I could relate to all of it and of course you have always had the best IronWill of anyone and that got you through the roughest parts — AND — you got great pics and a medal, which are two of my key criteria for success!! I hope you got great merch too!

    • Leslie @ TriathleteTreats September 8, 2017 at 9:05 PM #

      Well you should definitely come in 2019 to spectate!!! I got my regular merch: a visor, water bottle, and a sticker! 🙂

  2. Joann Symonette September 7, 2017 at 2:23 PM #

    Omg!!! What a trip!!! Your story is nuts!!! Good for persevering and conquering!! You rock! Cracks me up you are going back in 2019! Maybe I’ll join you! lol would you take a bike? Or rent again!? You are crazy! I love it tho! Hahaha
    Congrats again! Way to go!!

    • Leslie @ TriathleteTreats September 8, 2017 at 8:59 PM #

      YES!! You should come in 2019…that would be so fun! I will take my bike next time. I just didn’t take it this time because we were traveling a bunch afterwards.

  3. MoM September 7, 2017 at 7:36 PM #

    You make your mom proud ❤️

  4. Lee @ Tri*Inspired*Life September 10, 2017 at 7:15 AM #

    Oh wow Leslie!!! First of all, a big congrats on #6. What an accomplishment! I knew all about the bike troubles from your Instagram posts and I can totally understand your level of anxiousness around that. I still can’t believe you rode 112 miles on a stock saddle…..you are tough! Your swim was amazing….way to go! Hate you had some extra challenging spots on the run. You powered though and got it done though. Another IM finish line!!!! What an adventure you and Dan had on this once in a lifetime vacation post race. I really enjoyed all your photos on Instagram.

    • Leslie @ TriathleteTreats September 15, 2017 at 9:09 PM #

      Thanks Lee!! I can’t believe #6 is done and #7 is in 11 weeks…..crazy!!! I’m so excited that you signed up for MT!! That is going to be awesome!

  5. Kecia September 13, 2017 at 5:36 PM #

    I finally got to read this and it was so exciting! Huge congratulations on the day and crossing finish line #6! What a swim PR! Did you grow gills?!?! Next time pack your saddle so that you know you’ll at least have a small comfort from home 😉 As you know, I too had troubles with the loo on the run…wtf?! I’ve never had that trouble before! I’ve been told to take one Imodium before the race for future races. I will definitely have to try that in training first! Despite the obstacles thrown your way, you overcame them in superhero fashion! Rockstar status was definitely earned with this race! Your post race adventures…WOW! How amazing! You and Dan definitely lived it up and took full advantage of your post race vacation! We won’t be joining you in 2019 as it looks like we’ll be in Lake Placid in 2019 for Tim’s 40th birthday celebration on race weekend! 😉

    • Leslie @ TriathleteTreats September 15, 2017 at 9:14 PM #

      Thanks Kecia!! I have no idea how I keep improving in the swim. The rolling start is huge!! I love it. I am so glad that IM has gone that way!! 😉 I am definitely going to think about that Imodium before AZ. We will see!!
      I was really thinking I would do LP in 19 but I think Copenhagen is going to win out!! 🙂

      • Kecia September 16, 2017 at 4:53 AM #

        Copenhagen sounds like fun! At this point, I’ve never flown with my bike, and don’t want to ride something that isn’t mine. I have my eyes on TX and AZ, so I’ll have to fly at some point, but not for a few more years! 😉

      • Leslie @ TriathleteTreats September 16, 2017 at 2:38 PM #

        Can you use Tribike Transport? Would that be an option for you? I’ve used them for AZ and WI, and using them again for AZ this year. It is so much easier than traveling with my bike. 🙂

      • Kecia September 16, 2017 at 2:45 PM #

        We probably could use them. Not sure where the closest drop off is. I’ll have to look into it!

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