My first Triathlon
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Ironman Lake Placid - Triathlon
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Lake Placid, New York
World Triathlon Corporation
= 11h 22m 28s
Age Group Rank
Got a great nights sleep with Jill in the camper on the well inflated air mattress. I woke up at about 3am with excitement on my mind. Jill was up as well but we both tried to stay laying in bed until about 4:30. I was time to get up. I wanted to make sure I ate. No deviations from training days. Cinnamon Chex with yogurt. Yummy. Made sure I had all my nutrition bottles
(all 10 of them
) and my extra bags to head into town. My dad awoke to bring Jill and I into the start area. Long slow breaths.
We arrived at the TEAM LOCO
) tent right across from LPPB and started to rap with the rest of the team. It was really great to be there with all of them. These are the people that you shared all of the crappy training days with. They all know whats about to happen. Pulled my wetsuit on, it felt good, like it always does. That will come into play in a minute.
Brendan rolled up on his bike. This shouldnt have made an impact but he was still drunk from the night before and having just ridden as hard as he could up "subway hill" looked as if he was going to pass out. We sat him down with his glassy eyes. People on the sidewalk were actually stepping over him, no matter. It was some much needed comic relief. Show up to an ultra-endurance event after 1600m on two wheels and look like hell. Loved it
1h 02m 32s
01m 29s / 100 yards
Mark and I had planned to start together. This was of great comfort to me. Mark is a much better swimmer than I am but we knew that we had similar goals of going under 60 minutes. We situated ourselves at the front of the "under 60" swim wave
(the first AG wave
). We were probably inside the first 70 or 80 people in the water. Mark got ahead of me in the first few steps into the water and we parted ways until later. I thought he was going to crush his swim split. I got wicked happy for him then began to concentrate on my swim. I thought the wave start was somewhat boring. I knew I was where I needed to be because I could maintain my bilateral breathing.
About half way to the turn around I felt this terrible pain in my groin. More specifically my right testicle. Never felt this before. The only thing I could attribute it to is my wetsuit being up too high. Crap. Im going to have to swim another 50 minutes feeling like I've been kicked in the nards. A couple of times as I stroked to breathe I would over-rotate onto my back so that I could grab my crotch and give my boys some space to breathe. Didnt work. Again crap. Thought I would get some relief running on the beach to the second loop; nope still getting kicked in the junk. Oh well. Looked at my watch to see 30:27. 00:28 off pace for a 59:59. Great, right where I wanted to be. Second loop felt like I fell into a pretty good pace. Started to lap what turned out to be people that would later be pulled from the water due to the thunder storm and rain.
What would you do differently?:
Not put my wetsuit on so tight. Thats IT
Exiting the water I knew that I wanted to run by all the wetsuit strippers because I didnt want to get sandy shorts for the rest of the day. Running down the chute to T1 is one of the greatest feelings in the sport. Surrounded by thousands of screaming fans is SUPER cool.
I knew where my bags/hooks were because I had put paper Dixie cups over the strings to block any rain from getting into the bags over night. At this point it was pouring rain so I was very thankful of that. Sitting down in the tent an volunteer tore my wetsuit off. At the same time I slipped my bike jersey on along with helmet and glasses.
Exited the tent and ran out to grab my trusty steed. God I love that bike.
What would you do differently?:
5h 53m 20s
Ok this is probably be long winded but I will try to keep it brief. Just like a movie; Exterior, heavy rain, red suit on a green bike. Motivation go as fast as you can within your race plan for 112 miles. That would have been awesome had my powermeter functioned at all. The heavy rain had knocked out my only metric I cared about. I had TIME and SPEED. Thats it. After I got over the initial hissy fit of being in the crappy cold rain with 100 miles infront of me and no way of knowing how hard I was working I sat into a nice pace
Rolling down into Keene past the Cascade Lakes was just as much fun in the rain as it was dry. This time however, due to carbon wheels and accompanying brakepads, there was a little more white knuckling. I had ZERO stopping power. Oh well, balls out it was.
I knew from memory a lot of the landmarks and where I should be milage wise and when. When I got to the first out and back I started looking for Mark. I knew he had gotten out of the water first, he must have. As a team out and backs are great because you can get a nice boost from seeing familiar faces out there. When I got to the turn around I still hadnt spotted Mark. I got worried. If he didnt get out of the water before me hes got to be right on my tail. Still several miles rolled by and no Mark. What happened? I hope hes OK. I started to speculate. Finally he rolled by smiling. Good to see him.
Climb to Willmington was uneventful. Well, it was still raining, so there was that. Nutrition alarms for time were still going off on my garmin. That was a silver lining. Infinit was doing its job AGAIN.
I knew I was far enough into the race and a good amount infront of the rest of the field because at some points there was no one infront of me nor anyone behind me. These were great moments I could take some time and reflect. So I did by peeing on my bike for the first time. And second, and third. What a concept!! Note: I probably wouldnt have done this if it wasnt raining.
Returning to town was awesome. Coming up the bears a familiar screaming face became clear. Leigh
(Rob's number one fan
) was going crazy. I must have been the first TL shes seen since the swim. I did something stupid. I was drinking out of my bottle and tried to shift my front chainring with one hand. I slipped off the bullhorn and almost wiped out. Thankfully my elbow landed on my aeropad and no one was any the wiser. It was early enough in the morning that people were excited to see bikes coming down Mirror Lake Dr. TL tent went bonkers.
I pulled into special needs and was met by about 6 or 7 people to help me with my bag. They were all calling my name. It went by so fast that I couldnt actually tell you who was there. For those of you that were...thank you. They said throw your bottles on the ground we will get them. Grabbed the freshies and was on my way. Its neat to be at that point in the race. The town is truly electric. At the oval behind the school I saw Jill, Zach and Ashley. Zach was going nuts. They make me smile. Loop 1: 2:45. AWESOME!
Climbing out of town it started to dry out and all the while I started to notice some stinging coming from my left foot. I reached down and stuck my fingers in my shoe to clear what felt like rocks and sandy debris. When I looked at my hand my fingers were all bloody. Uh-oh. I chose to not wear socks
(I never wear socks
). Although I had never ridden in this much rain and road spray. I knew I needed to stop for help. At the bottom of the hill in Keene I stopped at the line of emergency vehicles. Clock is still ticking. The fine young men and women began to work on my foot/ankle. My leg still soaking wet and dirty made it impossible to clean and have any adhesive stick. They patched it the best they could and I went on my way. 15 minutes later....crap.
The rest of the ride I worried about what 26.2 miles on a blistered and bloody foot was going to feel like. DNF crossed my mind several times. Out and backs I saw that I was still out infront of TL but they were all gaining on me, and fast. Especially Joe. Finally at the last out and back as I pulled out from the aid station
(stopped for another patch job
) Joe went by. I knew he would but I didnt think it would have been till we were off and running. Saw, Mark, Rob, and Miah. Super pumped for all of them.
Returned through the notch and bears without any issues. Feeling fine other than worrying about my foot. Town was still going crazy. What a rush.
What would you do differently?:
Put socks on to prevent bloody food.
With the tape job falling out of my shoe I ran to get my next bag. Again everything was dry thanks to the Dixie cup trick. Who wants to start a marathon with soggy shoes? NO ONE thats who. Entered the tent hollering for first aid. While they worked to clean and prep for more dressings I was focussed on getting everything else done. Right side sock and shoe. I must thank a TL sponsor here. Disc-it laces were AWESOME in T2. Not only in this race but in all of them this year. The Drs nurses or who ever they were finished doing an AWESOME job on my foot. Mole-skin is my new favorite thing. Slid my compression sock over the bandages and headed out for my run. All the while trying to put the thought of the bloody foot out of my mind.
4h 13m 39s
09m 41s min/mile
Not being the best runner my goal was to survive. I knew Joe was off having a great run of his own and couldnt wait to see what he was going to do on River Rd. I had success two years ago walking aid stations so thats what I began doing. I had all my infinit for 13 miles all I needed was water to supplement. My run stories tend to be boring because I try to turn my brain off and just go. I hate to run. This makes it easier to tolerate.
The next thing I remember is seeing Joe out on RR. He looked great. I tried to emulate how he looked. All I have to do is smile. Foot was feeling good, legs were responsive, and spirits were high. After the out and back I saw Mark, also looking grand, Rob, looking speedy, and Clay, turning the legs over just fine.
Going back into town TL had the great fortune of having a secondary cheering section at the Cascade Acre Campsites. My family and friends came out in great numbers and a I thank every one of them. They made that longish stretch of road seem just a bit shorter. Thats a big deal.
Back in town I got to see Jill and her family but first I had to make it up Subway Hill. Two years ago and every training run since I have walked this hill. Not an easy thing to run. I kept my turnover high and ran up the hill. Not for lack of huffing and puffing. Every time I saw someone I knew it made me smile. Andy and Anthony, Cory and Ashlea, all of TL tent and fans. You guys were awesome all day.
At the second turn around I succumbed to the notion that Rob was going to catch me. I sped up a bit in spite of that. When he went by on his way to the turn around he wispered "youre gonna make me work for it arent you?" Yes...yes Rob I am. It wasnt until we were back on RR probably about half way down that he made that a reality. Boy was it good to see him. We traded stories walked through an aid station and he was on his way. I never lost sight of him. Saw Joe, looked like he was slowing a bit. Couldnt wait to hear about his race. Turned around saw Mark and Clay again. Then I heard this little squeaky voice above all else. I knew who that was, it was Tutu! Shortly after I saw her she caught me on the other side of the road. Where did that speed come from? Oh yeah I forgot she a Boston Marathoner. We chatted for a while then she too was on her way.
Turning the corner at the ski jumps I could tell I was making up ground on Rob continuing to run. As I was about to tap him on the shoulder as he did to me a fan shreeked "goooooo team loco!!!" to Rob
(he was walking, what a nancy pants
). Then saw me and again belted "wow look another one...goooooo team loco!!" Rob turned around and what was probably out of fear started to pick it up again. Made me laugh. It really felt like we were racing eachother. That felt really cool in the middle of an Ironman.
Back in town I saw Jill and family and friends. I was really starting to get a bit emotional. I was on pace to smash my previous time of 12:15. After the last turn around I could feel myself pick the pace up just a bit. I saw Matt Landy, who was just back from Ireland, who gave some positive vibes. At mile 26 aid station I stopped, walked, and met Mark with huge hug. Love that guy. More emotions starting. TL tent went bonkers again and then I saw it, THE CONE.
THE CONE that signifies; Left to another 13 miles or RIGHT TO FINISH. This time I get to finish. No one in front of me and no one behind me. The oval was MINE. Slapping 5's to each side of the fence. No clue how my legs felt, I was home. There are no words to describe what its like to be within those fences, in THAT oval, on that stage. I saw the line. Stopped to look behind one more time. Still no one there. I stopped gave the manliest fist pump to the ground I could muster. Mike Riley announnced "Hey Liam....Guess what??" I looked at him and put my arms up, he finished with "YOU ARE AN IRONMAN LIAM." What a moment. I crossed the line, stopped my watch and who was standing right there waiting for me, Rob. Great race my friend, it was truly fun. We got our pictures taken together to cap what turned out to be a perfect day.
11 hours 22 minutes. Turned into a 53 minute personal record. What about the foot you say? The medics did such a great job patching me up along with the compression sock, both the bleeding and the stinging pain had subsided. Although in hindsight that may have been the adrenaline. Other than the aid stations, which was planned, I did ZERO walking. Very proud of that.
Steve's wife Aileen was one of the volunteers that was at the finish line who caught me and guided me to a chair. I cant tell you how good it felt to have someone familiar right there with you. Thank you Aileen!! I went over to the fence to greet my family. Took the traditional picture with Penny the dog and Kissed Jill. Rob and I sat down and waited for Mark to finish. Couldnt have asked for 2 better dudes to race and finish with. Not too long after Clay came to join us. A couple of sodas, a slice of pizza and some french fries really hit the spot!
This race would NOT have been as fun as it was had it not been for my TL family both racers and athletic supporters. Hehe that joke never gets old. Seeing everyone out on course was truly motivation enough to get my klunky and broken ass to the finish line.
Last updated: 2014-08-08 12:00 AM
01:02:32 | 4224 yards | 01m 29s / 100yards
Garmin 910 read having a long swim at 2.63 miles.
Two 1.2 laps in Mirror Lake
0F / 0C
Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
05:53:20 | 112 miles | 19.02 mile/hr
Moving time was 05:35:40. Youll see why there is a difference in a minute
Two laps of 56 Miles in the adirondack high peaks
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:13:39 | 26.2 miles | 09m 41s min/mile
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]
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