Meg Marquardt: Ironman Canada race report

We love this race report from Team Oxygenaddict member Meg, who's just completed her first Ironman at Whistler, Canada. A great story of overcoming self doubt, and finding just how much she's capable of. Brilliant result, Meg - we look forward to seeing just how much more you will improve over the coming year! 

My race report is a bit late as we left Whistler early the following day after the IM and was off grid for most of the remaining time in Canada when we returned home yesterday. 
Decided to enter last November as a dream to go to Whistler and disbelief that I could really make this happen. After buying an online training plan, I was discouraged as could not fulfill the training and then I found Team Oxygenaddict which I joined in Jan. 2017, and have not looked back. My tri experience limited to a couple of sprint events and one Olympic all several years ago. 
My first 70.3 was in Rapperswill in June during which I thought to pull out of the full as I did not see how I could double the effort with a few short weeks to go. Encouraged by Coach Rob and others in the team,  I hung in there. 
I was pretty anxious the week of the event and felt tired until the day before! I invested in nutrition and hydration knowledge this week as knew all the training had to be in the bag. I am sure this made a difference. The race brief was inspiring and I recalled #DSDQDG often during the event. 

Race morning I was strangely calm and knew I needed to focus on the present throughout the race to complete the distance. The swim was relaxing, I focused just on keeping my stroke long and my sight on the targets and I came in one 1.10. The next 2 hours was depressing as I did not pass one person! I learnt that my uphill power I can work on but as we turned downhill - woosh! I passed loads of people and was so excited was "woohooing" loudly through the wind just having a ball. Then I followed the FTP plan and made it back in 7.23. The first 2 kms of the run was torture, and then I just fell into the usual rhythm. I stuck to my training of 9:1 and added in aid station walks too 🙂. The last 8 kms was tough and I ran the last 5 nonstop, my first marathon less than 5 hours. 
I pulled up really well ( just got a chest infection which exacerbated my asthma), took a week off - needed this mentally - Now ready to go again. What a journey it has been - Thanks to Team Oxygenaddict, I have changed my bike set up and position, changed saddles twice, bought power meters, bought acrobars ( twice), changed hydration system and solution, new wetsuit, new goggles ( now wear under cap ), new trisuit ( tried 3 types ),new bike shoes, new running shoes ( 3 pairs owing to wrong sizing ), and don't wear socks on the bike and ditched the compression socks. 
It all seems so easy now! Finally I thought the race would be harder than it was - it was hard but I was clearly well prepared. I followed the Team OA advice of " just do what Coach Rob says". Looking forward to onwards and upwards! Thank you everyone, the experience has changed me, and my family!