Ryan "Rykno" Provencher

My first half Ironman

A while back I decided that I'm going to compete in an IM in 2014. An important stepping stone was going to be the Vansbro Triathlon Half IM distance.

In December I was one of the lucky 450 that registered fast enough to secure a starting place.

Preparation started before, but in January I increased my training to match what I felt I needed to manage 5:30.

1 May I ran my first ever half marathon in 1:56. I was hoping to go under 1:50, but being sick did not help. But at lesst I knew I could run 21km.

15 June I road my bike 300km around Vättern lake in 10:16. My previous max was 160km in one day or 200km over two days. I averaged 29.2km/h, but crossed the finish line fresh and ready to run Smiley

Over the last two weeks I did two mini triathlons to practice my transitions, completed two 90km rides at 32 and 34km/h as well as back to back OW races the weekend before.

Last week I decided that the best way to get my body ready for this first challenge was to swim the 1km race two hours prior to the start. Lots of people jog or bike before the start, but biking only gets my legs going and running just wears me down.

Going into Saturday I felt really good about my perpetration, but I had never run more than 5km after biking so I was slightly nervous about having to run/walk.

Saturday up at 5:30, my mind was starting to wander. 06:00 ate six scrabbled eggs and made my mixed drinks. Went with Enervit topped off with Red Bull. Between breakfast and leaving i must have checked and re-checked my box 10 times. At 08:45 I leave our cabin for the racing area. We park the car by the start of the triathlon and walk to the start of the swim. I get there 20min prior to the start, changed and ready to race. The pre-race meeting for the traithlon was at 10:30, so I had 45min to swim, shower change and get back to my bike.

I got exactly what I wanted out of the race. 1km against the current in 12:53 and 5th place. Nearly one minute faster than my previous best sprint in Vansbro.

I get back to my bike, check in, and listen to the walk through. By now it's 11:15, race starts at 12. I arrange my transition area and at the last minute I decided to use socks for the run. I'm so happy that so many of you on fun beat came up to me before the start. It totally got me thinking of you guys more than stressing over my own race. Let's see if I can remember who I met: Jonas Larsson, Steffan Larsson, Per Sundström, Kajsa P, J B L... I know there were more but I just can't put faces to names. Even my own team mates from 338 Småland were around to lighten up the mood.

Of the 450 starters I knew there were some fast swimmers so I had no intent of being first but top 10 and a time around 25min was my goal. The first 150-200m went well. I started of to the right, and glided over to the left as the group thinned out. By 200m it was clear that 4 people were out front, but I managed to find two others at my pace and we swam together. Out of the water as number 7 with a time of 25:22. I could have pressed myself more and gone under 25min but it would not have effected my total time or place.

After a super long 400m run to the transition area, I was out of my wetsuit, number strapped on, helmet, glasses and shoes then off for the ride. T1 3:57 sixth person out Smiley it would be nice to get this transition down to 3:00 next year.

Three 30km laps. My goal was 2:50, or at least under 3:00. All of my teammates are great bikers so I had thoughts of biking hard just to make them sweat. I took the first 3-4km relatively easy to get over the first "hill". I felt great, put my head down went for broke. I was mentally prepared that everyone was going to pass me on the bike, but I was not prepared that I was going to pass anyone. By the 15km turn around I had passed my first biker. After 30km I had dropped to 21st, 19 males and two females in front of me. Average speed 35.09 km/h. All of my teammates behind me :)
During the second lap I was biking passed those that swam upwards of 1:15, as well as the two females ahead of me. One of my teammates (Carl-Emil) passed me on the second lap, but I managed to average 35.96 on the second lap, but got bumped up to 33rd place. Going into the third lap I starting thinking I might be able to hold off the rest of my teammates and hold the 35 average. At the 80km mark I started getting cramps in my left inner thigh. But thanks to my 300km ride I knew what to do. I pedaled hard down hill and lighter gears uphill. Made it into T2 after 2:33:46, 35.12km/h.....

I've read other reports about drafting during the race. Sure I saw people closer than 12m but I don't think people did it on purpose. I was passed several times by 3-4 cyclist who then slowed down forcing me to slow down behind them or speed up to pass them. I'd like to think I road solo for 89/90km.

In to T2 one of my teammates (Jakob) caught up to me and congratulated my on my impressive ride. With that I quickly took off my helmet, put my socks and shoes on and was off for the run. Time T2 = 2:52. Not much I could do better again there was several 100 meters in and out.

Also three laps. My goal was under 2:15 or better. It only took 1km and Jakob ran passed me. The first lap felt great, but looking back I ran too fast. I blame my teammates Smiley if they had all biked passed me I could have taken it easy, but with Jakob right in front of me and the rest behind me I wanted to keep them there. First 7km average speed 5:05 and I was 80th.
Around 8km I stopped for water, and got passed by another teammate (Alex). At 10.5km I took a gel and water. Going into the end of the second lap the 4th and final teammate (Christopher) passed me. The second 7km was 5:56 average and fell to 117th.
Starting to hurt, but decided to run the whole way no matter how slow. On the last 3.5km when I started noticing more and more walkers, I started to get choked up with emotions. Really had to calm down and enjoy the fact that: one I was going to make my goal time and two I had energy left to run over the finish line. I wish I had the last 3km split time Smiley
My previous best half marathon was 1:56 from May. I crossed the finish line 2:00.31.

149th male, 163 overall and 5:06.27 was my time!!!

I got a hug from the organizer, my medal, visor and a bottle of water. After a finisher picture I jumped in line for a massage. We picked up pizza and kebab on the way home.

So happy with the day. But even happier that my IM is not for another 13 months Smiley

Tjörn in just over 7 weeks. A tougher course but hoping to repeat.

2013-07-07 16:04.

Kommentarer till blogginlägget

Bra jobbat!

Grattis och bra jobbat!!!! Rolig läsning var det också! :-)

Grattis och jätte bra jobba. Imponerad, hejade allt jag kunde på löpningen och tänkte på er då ni simmade förbi där jag väntade på start. Roligt läsa. Grattis än en gång. Be proud.

Riktigt bra cyklat, bådar gott inför framtiden. Dåligt för alla oss andra :)

Bra dag på jobbet.... Cykelturen imponerar. Grattis.

Snyggt! Grattis. Jag la upp massa bilder på vår facebooksida. Du bör ju ha fastnat på några :)



Hej! Har ju följt din träning här på funbeat ett tag. Jätteskoj att få hälsa på dig i lördags också. Du såg grym ut på cykeln! :)

Tack Kajsa! Det var kul att träffas dig i växling område.

Jag träffade många funbeatarer på plats. Tur för mig jag ser ut som min avatar ;)

Vad menar du, ser jag inte ut som min avatar? :-/

Jag tror jag hade sparkat mer under simning om du såg ut som din avatar ;)

Grymt bra jobbat Ryan!
Du går från klarhet till klarhet och är lika trevlig i verkligheten som här ;-)

Grattis och bra jobbat. Önska jag kunde simma som du...=)

Och jag skulle gärna springa som dig ;)

Kul läsning och en kanoninsats av dig, grattis! Du verkar också ha samma plan som jag - funderar också på att köra full IM nästa år och ökar du bara lite i löpningen tills dess är det stor risk att jag får stryk :-)

Grattis till bra lopp och imponerande HIM-debut. Nästa gång får jag jaga ikapp de där fyra minutrarna :-)