Ironman USA Lake Placid - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Lake Placid, New York
United States
Ironman North America
Total Time = 14h 09m 14s
Overall Rank = 1484/2258
Age Group = W30-34
Age Group Rank = 64/108
Pre-race routine:

Arrived Thursday afternoon. Went to athlete check-in, & got a little bit of training in. I had been sick all week and had not done any training the 3 days prior.

Friday morning I swam with Fred (PennState), James (tasr), Bob (rstocks3), Tim, and Paul Fritzsche. Had a great day doing some training, getting stuff ready, etc. Met a whole bunch of fun people staying at the hotel. Later met the BT gang for the athlete dinner. Came back from dinner and Jorge had arrived. We went to the LP brew pub and met a bunch of BTTers. I didn't stay out late, but couldn't sleep anyway b/c i was so excited.

Sat I did a short bike and mostly just got stuff ready. Picked up my spare tubular at Placid Planet and the Elite Bikes tent was across the street. Those guys are awesome! Richie asked if I'd ever changed a tubular and when I said no he asked if I had some took a fully glued on tubular and got it off the rim and then back on all by myself. 100% shift in confidence on changing a tubular after that. Rest of the day was kinda busy getting my transition bags ready, etc. Super super super excited, which does not jive w/ sleeping. Slept about 4 hours, set the alarm for 4:22am. Ate a bagel w/ Pb&j, banana, apple juice, gatorade. Walked the 2 blocks to transition. Got my tires pumped up, dropped my special needs bags off. Very glad I got to transition close to 5am when it opened b/c it wasn't crowded yet. Next year I would wear a pair of cheap flip flops to ditch at the swim start. Long walk in bare feet from transition to drop the special needs bags off. Saw Kurt Perham, who Jorge coaches with, on the dock right as I was getting into the water at about 6:52am. Gave him a hug and the only thing he said was, 'Stick to the plan, Jenn.' Words that I would later repeat over and over. I was a little bummed I didn't see Jorge just before the start, but in hindsight it was just as well. Emotions are high at that point and I wouldn't be surprised if a quick hug led to instant tears.

Great few days leading up to the race. I was having a blast and meeting so many great people.

Mantras for the race...
RFM...Relentless Forward Motion
The fitness is there.
Stick to the plan.
Drop a gear, dumbass.
Control the things you can control and let go of the things you can't.

And 2 questions Jorge told me to keep asking myself was 'what can i do to make my situation better right now? and what can i do right now to make my situation better in 20-30 minutes?' or that's how i remember it. So at many points during the day i just kept checking in with myself on these 2 questions. Helps you think in the moment of what you can do to set yourself up to be feeling good 20 or 30 mins down the road.
Event warmup:

Couple dynamic boot camp stretches.
  • 1h 04m 37s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 32s / 100 yards

Plan was to swim it easy. I wanted to get out of the water feeling like the swim was effortless since for me my day really doesn't start until I get on the bike. Plan was to swim at an RPE no faster than a 1:30/100 pace.

Loved the swim. LOVED IT!!! Mass start. I started about 2/3 of the way over from the cable/boueys, on the right. I was in the second line of people. Asked the guys (all guys!) around me about what they were going to swim it in and most said an hour and a couple. Perfect! There was no countdown, I was defogging my goggles when the cannon went off. Whoops! I just started laughing that i wasn't even ready. Started swimming with minimal contact. Lots of people, but no issues passing people or getting beat up like I'd heard. I swam a good 500m and then started to cut in towards the boueys. The more I cut in the more people there were and the more fun I was having. Couldn't believe I was at the first turnaround so quickly. Took it wide and then was probably 15-20 yds to the right of the boueys with hardly anyone out there. Boring to be out of the mayhem. So i cut right in and swam about 5 yds from the boueys and I was instantly happier. Plus the draft is so much better the tighter in you get. Got out of the first loop in 31:05. Did the second loop in 33:32. At the turn around on the second loop, I wanted to pick up the pace and turn it on for the final 25% just for fun, but it's like a friggin movie screen flashed this, 'JENNIFERRRRRR, don't you dare!!!' So i just brought it home nice and ez.

Swallowed about 8 mouthfuls of water during the swim which i was close to puking on numerous occasions. Just swam a bit of breaststroke when i was on the verge of puking and it was fine. Contact I had was minimal. Some dude in the beginning was trying to get past me by putting a hand on my shoulder and using that to propel himself forward. So, i just dropped my shoulder and made it go limp so he didn't have anything to pull on. You want to pass me, do your own work sucka! The turn around on the second loop I took much tighter (like 5 yds from the boueys and got kicked once in each eye, but it was fine, the kicks just pushed my goggles on tighter.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Perfect swim. Super ez and super fun. Swimming in that insanity was by far my favorite part of the entire race. I was having a ball out there. Was totally wishing it was 3 loops!
Transition 1
  • 08m 16s

Was awesome running to T1 through all the people. Grabbed my T1 bag and into the Women's Changing tent. I had the stuff I wanted to take with me in one zip-lock bag, so it was ez to know what was going in my pockets. My volunteer could not figure out how to work spray sunscreen (really?!). She tried 4 times and couldn't get it, so i finally sprayed myself as best i could. Didn't get my back though (mistake!).
What would you do differently?:

Not have a volunteer help me in T1. I know what order i like to do things. She's trying to hand me stuff before I was ready for it, so i kept having to say, no not yet, please leave my sunglasses in my helmet until i get my stuff in my pockets and my suncreen on. She was trying to put my race belt on before i had stuff in the back pockets of my shirt, etc. She meant well, but i spent more time having to ask her to put stuff down than had i just done it myself. Not a big deal in the big picture.
  • 7h 32m 12s
  • 112 miles
  • 14.86 mile/hr

BIKE SPLIT 1: 36 mi. 36 mi. (2:04:48) 17.31 mph
BIKE SPLIT 2: 56 mi. 20 mi. (1:35:32) 12.56 mph
BIKE SPLIT 3: 92 mi. 36 mi. (2:16:40) 15.80 mph
BIKE SPLIT 4: 112 mi. 20 mi. (1:35:12) 12.61 mph

Plan was Loop 1: Super super easy. Loop 2: Super easy. 1st loop went great. A gazillion people passed me and I didn't care one bit. On the climb from Jay to Wilmington I blew a snot rocket and some fastie comes by immediately after and said, 'Perfect snot rocket, Jennifer. I love it, you're in a pink top with pink nails and had the most perfect form snot rocket. You rock, Jenn.' HA! I just learned those!! Made me smile. I had to pee on the out & back and tried to go on the bike but I couldn't. I stopped at the portapotties at the turn around but they were all full, so I just kept going.

Only issue I had on the bike was on the climb back into town on 86, I dropped my water bottle about a mile past the aid station. And it was starting to get pretty hot & windy and the majority of this part there was no shade. I only had one other bottle on the bike and that was my concentrated Carbo-Pro slurry, which i didn't really want to drink without being able to take a swig of water with each sip to dilute it.

I assumed there would be an aid station at the half way point near special needs. Nope! Stopped at special needs, grabbed my second bottle of Carbo-Pro, and the volunteer said 'someone is yelling for you.' HA! It was Jorge! Talked with him briefly & and told him my legs were fine, but my crotch was on fire and I had no water. Forgot to put on sunscreen on in Special Needs b/c i was too busy talking and being excited about how great the day was going! Sunscreen mistake #2...oops!

I now knew I was going to be waiting to get water now until the first aid station on Loop 2, which I knew would take me another 30 minutes or so to get to. So I just slowed my pace down as much as I could since it was hot & windy until I got water. Then I knew I wanted to ease back into the nutrition since I'd been over an hour with nothing. Just kept on biking at a silly ez pace and sticking to the plan.

Since I forgot sunscreen I stopped at the aid station in Jay just before the climb to Wilmington. Went to the bathroom, put sunscreen on my whole body b/c thankfully someone had some, talked with some of the kids that were working the aid station...they were so excited that *a racer* was talking to them. The one girl even asked if she could put the sunscreen on my back and when i said 'absolutely' she was freaking out! Gave them all high 5s and told them they all rocked! Awesome to make those girls day! I didn't dilly dally but I didn't rush either, just kept on having fun! Occasionally I would take a banana from an aid worker and sometimes I would miss, so when I got it, I would say, 'YESSSSSSSSS!!!' super loud and cheer for myself, volunteers ate up my little gps animation! And quite honestly it was real, i was super excited when i'd get the banana! Gotta entertain myself somehow. Pretty strong headwind for the beginning of Loop 2 and then on the climb back into town on 86. There was some guy I kept leap frogging with for awhile on the second loop and he finally says, 'Little miss Jennifer loves to kick my a$$ on every descent." HA! Yep! Just told him that descents are the only part of cycling I actually like so any opportunity I have to put it in a harder gear and pedal to go faster, I go for it! Finished in 7:32. PERFECT!!! I did that time in training and I knew I could run off a 7:30 bike split. When I did 7:10 on a different training weekend, my legs were super tired. So I was thrilled that I nailed it!!! Jorge told me that loop 1 should feel totally fine and loop 2 my legs should feel a little tired on the bears like i had indeed just biked a long time, but definitely not like they were trashed. That is exactly how I felt. YAY!!! Mission accomplished. I stuck EXACTLY to the plan! So happy and feeling great!

What would you do differently?:

Put a water bottle in Special Needs just in case. Remember to spray myself with the sunscreen i had in Special Needs!
Transition 2
  • 00m

Ez. Switched shirts into one that wasn't as tight. My volunteer rocked. She put my compression socks on while I put on sunscreen. You know how hard those suckers are to put on!!! :)
What would you do differently?:

  • 5h 17m 10s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 06s  min/mile

RUN SPLIT 1: 31.1 mi (2:29:52) 11:26/mile
RUN SPLIT 2: 26.2 mi (2:47:18) 12:46/mile

Started running and I was HOT. Quickly realized in the first few miles that I needed a new plan as I felt like the heat was sucking everything out of me. Decided I would walk the aid stations & the uphills. So I walked from the first aid station worker to the last one. I did not let myself even walk one step past the last aid worker. I also watched what other people doing to keep cool and copied them. So at each aid station I squeezed a sponge on my head and stuck one in each strap of my tank top. Occasionally i put some ice down my tank top as well. I was taking in some liquids, usually gatorade & water, at every aid station, but my stomach felt sloshy. Yet I was extremely thirsty.

Saw Jorge at mile 11/12ish and he ran with me for long enough to have the following conversation (like 15 yards!), "Please please please can i walk the entire rest of the mary? I promise i won't be disappointed with myself, it won't take away from it at all, & i really think i'll be much happier if I just walk the entire last 15 miles." His response, "No, this isn't a parade." Soooooo, i kept on running. There are exactly 2 people who could have gotten away with saying that, and it is Jorge or Scott (boot camp). Anyone else would have said it and I wouldn't have listened. If Jorge had not been there I GUARANTEE i would have walked the majority of the last 15 miles.

When I saw him at mile 14 I begged for beer. We talked about the stomach issues and decided to go to mostly just ice. So from there on out i would have a sip or two of something (G-ade, Coke, water) and then just chew ice. I swallowed a little bit of the ice but spit a lot of it out. Once in awhile I had an orange slice or a few grapes. Looked to my right at Mile 24ish and there was Paul Fritzsche! Paul is a pro-triathlete and friend who lives here in State College. Paul ran with me for maybe 1/4 of a mile and we were chatting away when i realized i was getting really out of breath and needed to shut up! Anyways, it's always such a pick-up to see a familiar face.

The entire second loop, I stuck to the plan of walking the aid stations and the uphills. I've never been so happy to see the bright orange shirts at the aid stations! Some tent had a bunch of people and they were playing Baby Got Back when i went by, so I gave the guy a good smack on the a$$ and everyone started cheering. Then another tent some people had a mic & a guitar and were playing indigo girls so I started singing along. Another tent was playing Boom Boom Pow so I stopped and started shakin it & dancing with them for 30 seconds or so. Basically I did everything I could to make it fun. I wanted to have a blast and soak it all in. I wanted to stay up mentally. AND I DID!!! Even when I wanted to walk and had the conversation with Jorge I was still smiling.

I had some emotional moments out there too. Somewhere about mile 18 or 20 i started to tear up, partially b/c everything hurt so much and i couldn't believe i was still running, and partially just the emotion of being so overcome with how far I've come and how well I was doing. I was truly in total shock that I was doing it and that I was blowing my expectations out of the water. I would look around at the 80% of people walking the entire thing by this point, and I knew I was going big by continuing to run. When I thought I couldn't do it, I just kept reminding myself over and over that the fitness was there. I wanted to make Jorge proud. I wanted to make Scott proud. I wanted to make myself proud.
What would you do differently?:

Nada! I am so so so glad I did not walk the second half of the mary. I am absolutely thrilled with how the run went. It took massive mental commitment to start running again at the top of every hill and the end of every aid station b/c every part of you, physically & mentally, wants to walk.
Post race
Warm down:

Finished with my arms up and the biggest smile. I was so happy and so proud of myself!!!!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Nothing! I trained smart & consistently, had a perfect race plan, and executed to perfection.

Event comments:

I am truly amazed at how far I've come. 2 years ago I had not exercised in 10 years. And I joined this women's boot camp with a friend. I thought I was going to absolutely die running 1/3 of a mile when I first started. And after a few weeks, Scott encouraged us to write out goals. He told us to write a goal that would shock the heck out of ourselves. So, given that until I started boot camp I'd never exercised in sneakers in my entire life, and that I had never rode a bike that shifted before (last one was when I was 8 and had a banana seat & streamers on the handlebars), I decided my goal was to do a sprint tri. Scott quickly jumped in that the goal wasn't big enough for me. So we upped it to an Oly. I went an bought a bike 6 weeks before my first tri. I started (largely unsuccessfully) attempting to run. In March 2008 I did my first tri. I walked a lot of the 10k run. I did a bunch more sprints last summer and it wasn't until July that I did my first tri where I ran the entire 5K. And then somehow I found myself signing up for IMLP.

In the fall I started doing Jorge's winter cycling plan. I loved it! It was totally different to do workouts on intervals & with a purpose. I wasn't sure what plan I was going to follow for IMLP training yet, but I was pretty sure I didn't think coaching for beginners was all that necessary. Mainly b/c I knew for someone like me, who had zero cycling or running background, that any sort of consistency on the bike or run would lead to improvement.

Anyways, Jorge & I were starting to become friends, & at one point awhile back we were casually talking about coaching, and he summed up coaching perfectly in something I've never forgotten and quite frankly really changed my mindset on coaching.

He said, "It is not about being a FOP or BOP or going fast or slow, is about getting yourself in the best position for you to accomplish your goal (finish an IM) and have fun along the way through training and racing. "

That sentence literally changed my whole mindset towards coaching. I had talked to my friend Holden who is a tri coach with Cadence Cycling and we knew we had known each other too long for me to see him as an authority figure so to speak. So we mutually agreed that was not an ideal coaching match, but he just kept encouraging me to go the coaching route and saying i really had no idea how much better everything would go. So I started looking into Jorge as a coach. I quickly realized the man knew his stuff. He is opinionated, but he backs it up. He states why he believes in the training methodologies he does, but yet also can explain exactly why he disagrees with other training methods (and you can be damn sure I challenged the hell out of him over and over and over on my beloved Galloway!!). He's the only coach i found who friggin sites his sources on BT forums! I don't even know how to write a bibliography anymore! He was one of the only people who did not tell me boot camp had to go. He understood what a driver that is for me, and was absolutely willing to work with me to keep it in the mix.

So I started training with Jorge in January. I worked my tail off. I have come so far this year. In January running 30 minutes was not easy. And by June I was putting up 2.5 & 3 hour runs and not having any problems. Every time I dropped boot camp from 5 days to 4 to 3 to 2 to none, it came from me saying that i thought i should back it down, not him. He has taken me from basically zero endurance training to an IM in 7 months, and I'm injury free! That is absolutely amazing. He deserves the credit for where i am right now. All I did was simply do what he asked me to do. He was without a doubt the best match for me. I am so so so happy we decided to work together. He designed the perfect training plan, set up the perfect race plan, & all I had to do was execute. My only goals were to finish & finish happy. I far far far exceeded those goals. Never in a million years did I think I would finish MOP. It meant the world to me that he was there and we had an absolute blast together at the race. I respect him immensely and could not be more thankful that I had the opportunity to be coached by him. I honestly do not believe I would have been ready to do the race had I not done coaching with him. Single best decision I made that I believe is exactly why I had such an awesome day.

This race was the greatest race I've ever done. The energy level was like nothing I've ever experienced. There's a different kind of respect for the athlete's racing b/c you know they did the time. You know how much work it really takes to get to the starting line of an IM. And there's some sort of bond in that. Until this point, I have not been sure if I liked this sport yet. I've always liked swimming, but the cycling &'s no secret I was not fond of either of them. Yet I worked my tail off anyway. I can honestly for the first time ever say that I loved it. Absolutely had the most fantastic race and tri experience. It has turned my tri world upside down. I can not wait to be recovered enough to train again. Now I want to learn how to push in a race. I want to actually learn some of the lingo rather than having to ask Jorge 18 times whether FT means the 20 min all out pace or the 60 min pace (ok, maybe that's a stretch, i really don't care what FT or LT or LTSS or any of that crap is).

I blew my goals out of the water. I am still flying high and am so so proud of myself.

Last updated: 2009-07-25 12:00 AM
01:04:37 | 4224 yards | 01m 32s / 100yards
Age Group: 10/108
Overall: 355/2258
Performance: Good
Suit: Sleeveless Wetsuit
Start type: Deep Water Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 08:16
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
07:32:12 | 112 miles | 14.86 mile/hr
Age Group: 66/108
Overall: 0/2258
Performance: Good
Wind: Strong
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 00:00
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:17:10 | 26.2 miles | 12m 06s  min/mile
Age Group: 64/108
Overall: 0/2258
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 5