Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Ryan Murrary's 2012 Ironman Canada Race Report


-          Weight workouts were key this year. I now love dead lifts and squats. I don’t know how this relationship came to be, but I love them.

-          Carbo-loading works (Thanks Jeremy), but expect to get uber high strung and cranky during the carb-fasting phase. There seemed to be an extreme increase of stupid people in my life during those three days.

-          Find a “happy place” and trigger words to get you there (Thanks Karen) and use it during the race. Mine was Kyla when she gave birth to Ewan in our bedroom last year.

-          Accept there is no happy place during the carb-fasting phase.


-          Don’t forget to apply sun block to the piece of skin on your back between the shorts and the top. I suspect my “tan” will still be there a year from now.

-          Wetsuits tear. If they tear in the sleeve close enough to the cuff, you can roll them up and cover the hole. This worked, but led to significant swelling in the forearm that felt like I tore a ligament and freaked me out a lot during the bike.

-          Did you know, the size of swim goggles gets smaller and smaller the closer you get to the front row?

-          Swimming is boring enough, let alone when the only thing to stare at is into the abyss.  

-          Holding the interval time per 100m (or faster) you want to hit during the race, during every swim workout, worked for me. I was able to turn off my brain and let the fitness and technique take over. Nailed it.


-          Just let the wetsuit strippers do it. It’s easier that way.

-          This time, I carried my bike shoes with me while running in my socks to my bike. Do this always.


-          Remember to adjust your speed magnet prior to the race start. I had to stop on Main St. and adjust the computer so it registered km/hr.

-          Check to see if the water bottle is still in the backseat water bottle holder. Mine fell out and I’m not sure when.

-          Use the tail wind to Osoyoos. I did, which gave me a good km/hr cushion leading into Richter’s Pass, the rollers, out-and-back and the climb up past Yellow Lake.

-          Don’t draft. It’s stupid. It’s really bad when you see three-four guys sitting up and coasting behind one guy. It was nice to see the Marshals were taking action.

-          Richter’s never knew what hit him.

-          Huge mental boost when I realized there was a tolerable head wind (if at all) on the rollers and out-and-back.

-          Got excited from back-boarding my water bottle into the water bottle drop box on the out-and-back. That was huge and one of the highlights of my race.

-          My family and friends followed me around the race course from start to finish. I imagine they looked like something out of a Robert Munsch book- travelling like some organized chaotic hurricane cloud of vehicles, people, cameras, pom-poms and Nova Scotia flags, bombing from one spot to the next. It was great seeing them so many times. 

-          My average speed came down significantly after all the climbing. In addition to the head wind leading back into Penticton, I accepted the best I was going to average was 35km/hr (I was shooting for 36km/hr).

-          This exercise in acceptance got me excited about the run. I was pumped to see how running circles around Prince’s island Park all year was going to translate into the marathon. Off the bike, I was well within the bike time range Sandra and I figured out.


-          Training like a runner to run a marathon was a great approach to this race. I came off the bike in 30-something position and flicked the switch to “you are now running a marathon, nothing else matters”.

-          Cadence, hips, arm position, foot strike.

-          I feel if there was a competition for aid station execution in terms of efficiency, most food and drink consumed, amount not spilled and speed, I would do REALLY well. Those aid stations were definitely my TV moments. I’m pretty sure I broke world records that day.

-          Chafe ALERT: Never, ever, ever (no matter how good it feels- and it feels SOOOOO good) pour ice down your running tights. EVER.

-          Cadence, hips, arm position, foot strike.

-          It was important for me to keep happy and have a positive mental approach through this race. I have never high-fived so many people during a race. It was awesome.

-          It must become law that every running race includes belly dancers ON THE RACE COURSE.

-          My half marathon time was solid with no feelings of letting up. I was also in the second age-group position and still catching some male pros.

-          Cadence, hips, arm position, foot strike.

-          Seeing Sandra coming back into town was awesome. I can’t say enough about her approach to coaching and training athletes. It works.

-          Hardest part of the run: the hill from Skaha Park to Main Street.

Finish and post race:

-          Coming into the last two miles was amazing. I’ve never felt so good during a race.

-          Ten months of focus and support from Kyla for what I was doing became overwhelming when I crossed the finish line. I’ve never been emotional during races and always thought it was a bit odd, but this one got to me. I get it now. It’s not about the race. It’s about the process and effort to get there.

-          Worst, most painful hot shower ever (see above point about pouring ice in shorts).


Carson Bannon said...


bobjan76@eastlink.ca said...

Ryan, you provided the entertainment that day. Your support group:parents,family, friends, you gave us many moments we'll always remember.Our tears at the end were for you and Kyla,yes your're right it is the journey. Thank you to Sandra for your coaching of our son.

Bob Janine Murray NS (we're the ones with the flag.)

Dallas Hall said...

What an awesome write up Ryan! Congratulations and kudos to your amazing and wonderful wife and family!!