Ironman Lake Placid - TriathlonFull Ironman

View Member's Race Log View other race reports
Lake Placid, New York
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
80F / 27C
Total Time = 11h 45m 1s
Overall Rank = 365/2600
Age Group = M 35-39
Age Group Rank = 73/316
Pre-race routine:

Went to bed around 8:40 and went to sleep around 10 ish. Up at 3:15 to eat one liquid Powerbar, 1 hard egg, one tea and two oatmeal packets. Considered a peanut butter and honey sandwich but was full. Then to bed again at 3:45 after trying to evacuate dinner -- to no avail. Up again at 4:20 to shave, dress (2XU shorts/sleeveless shirt, HRM, Road ID, timing chip, pullover pants, fleece shirt, spare running shoes and spare socks), grab frozen bottles and have a second cup of tea. Left house in Lake Saranac at 5:05 with a 32 oz. Gatorade to sip until swim start.
Event warmup:

Got situated at shuttle parking lot and then when arrived went straight to bike. Checked bike computer, loaded two bottles (20 oz. of liquid Powerbar and 20 oz of orange Gatorade so that I could have a taste of something non "LemonLime Perform" on the course if need be. Loaded six pre-cut pieces of Powerbar (three bars total) into bento and an "emergency" gel. Borrowed pump, put tires at 105 PSI and left for toilets. Line there and then went to check my bags. I was sure my shoes and socks were going to be soaked because at 3:15 it was raining. They weren't -- they were on the bottom rack and the top rack of bags caught most of the water (bike helmet, glasses). Put my socks in there for good measure in case it rained in the next 90 minutes -- of course, then I would have four wet socks but whatever. Walked quite a ways to drop of bike SN bag -- one tire bar, one tube, two CO2 cannisters and an emergency gel. Walked back and at 6:30 I suited up in wetsuit on Mirror Lake Drive, said goodbye to my SuperSherpa Paddy and waded through the crowd where I stretched on the sand. Did legs as much as I could stand it (not much) and took care of shoulders pretty well. Would have like to do a little more in the back and neck but I was too jumpy -- as soon as the amateurs could get in the water I slurped a Roctane, took a pull from the half-empty Gatorade (leaving it under a lifeguard chair) and went in. I swam for about 4-5 minutes really easy -- did 20 meters of fingertip drills, a little butterfly and then went to my starting position where I stayed, locked in, until the cannon.
  • 53m 9s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 15s / 100 yards

My race plan was to line up on the front line halfway from the cable to the shore -- about 40-50 meters off of the most direct path. Then, at the sound of the cannon I was planning to go 90-100 percent for about two minutes to find clean water before putting on cruise control and assessing the traffic. I followed the plan.
At the cannon, I bolted. At 2-3 strokes, I had cleared the people on either side of me and could not sense anyone on my feet. At 12-15 strokes, I was at speed and motoring without any interference. At about 25 meters, I looked right toward the shore and was clear of the field by a body length. I looked left toward the cable and was clear of the field and was also clear of a handful of people grouped about a body length back. It took a couple strokes to process this information and I kept going full gas for at least 100-150 meters. I remember thinking that this must be what it is like for those guys who ski down mountains in front of avalanches. I considered the idea that somehow I was being pushed by the field of 2600+ people behind me the way a wake pushes off the front of a boat. I couldn't believe it -- this was my singular moment of the race (so I thought, two minutes into it), I was the race leader and was clear of the whole field. I shut it down earlier -- by 45 seconds or so -- than I had planned and could tell from how I felt that my heartrate dropped nicely over the course of the next few minutes. About 700 meters down the course, I started angling over and never once was near another person until I was within about 10 meters of the first turn buoy. On the way back to shore, I focused on long strokes, even breathing to make sure all of my exhale was getting out (don't want to harbor any fugitive CO2 in my lungs) and high elbows over the top. No strain or physical signals were being sent to my brain that I had just overworked my shoulders, arms, back.
I started passing female pros shortly after the turn. Coming out of the water for lap two, I had slipped from super excitement and euphoric super high to a weird sense of calm and hyper alertness. I came into the beach with a few other guys and some pros and I just let them go up first -- didn't even try to get past them on the 3-5 steps of running through the water. I waved my arm in the air with a finger point/fist pump when I heard "Kent Lassman from Alexandria is coming through". It was like I went from the most addled amphetamine chest bursting awesome feelings of the start to the most serene, calm, happy feelings of a hippie still following the Dead all these years later. I dolphined off the bottom of the shallow water a few times -- not because I've seen pros do it, not because it saves energy or is faster (not sure that it does) but because I felt like I was 12 years old and swimming with joy out at the pond on a summer day. This sounds over the top and I may not believe it when I read it in a few months, but I felt like I was being touched by the hand of God and being shown how to love movement in the water. It was peace, in the fullness of the word, among the churn and chaos and clamor that is an Ironman swim.
I made it out to the peer, took the corner with one big stroke and three big kicks, and took off again, like the swim back to shore, about ten meters out to the side from the golden guide cable. I just didn't want to bother with people and have anyone spoil my time in that wonderful water. Looking back, I wonder if I was in some sort of self-induced seratonin endorphin fueled high. If so, I want to get me some more of it.
I was hitting traffic -- groups of about 3-4 swimmers -- about every 200-400 meters and powering around or simply past them because I wasn't ever on the line. The people I lapped were passed so quickly it would have been a total train wreck if I had swam over them. Imagine holding your breath and then slamming into someone who has their arms and legs moving while you are traveling twice as fast as they are. I barely saw a couple people and usually it was just their head as I looked 45 degrees behind me. I swam abreast of some guy for the whole second trip out to the turn buoy and dropped him on the two quick left hand turns even though I went wide, he got caught behind some yellow cap pros. I started kicking about 200 meters out from shore to get blood flowing in my legs and was still in my stupor of "everything is awesome I feel great." When I came out of the water, I had no idea where I was in the field even though I usually try to count people as they get away from me. At this race, I didn't even care and just swam and felt the water on my face and hands and loved it. About 25 meters from shore, right when I could make out the sand on the bottom of the lake, I took about 4-5 quick butterfly strokes. I thought that if Dana was watching at home on the computer with the kids they would know it was me because no one else would be so goofy as to start such a long day doing butterfly. I realized later, on the bike, when I tried to make sense of whatever had happened in the water, that some people probably thought I was showing off or being a jerk. Really, I was just enjoying the sensations of flipping my wrists back over my hip and letting them sail up in front -- it was a new and great feeling that I hadn't had yet that day. Also, butterfly kick in a wetsuit is a trip and I knew it would feel funny in the abdomen -- it always does. It wasn't work, just fun.
I stood up to come out and it was like I went through a transformation.
As I ran about 10 meters up the path and pointed to a stripper on the right hand side, it was like I retained all of the serenity of the past 50 odd minutes -- I could see faces, hear conversations, notice vividness of colors, enjoy the roiling waves of cheers erupting as people found their loved ones coming out of the water. And, and I had somehow bathed my brain as well as every major muscle group in supercharged testosterone. I think that I could have eaten the sidewalk curb or taken one of the 10 foot long metal barriers holding the crowd back and folded it in half like Superman. I felt like I was standing 20 feet tall and full of vim and vigor. It wasn't pride because I didn't even know where I was vis a vis the field -- it was different. It was my lats and shoulders and quads being blood engorged and instead of screaming for oxygen they were daring the world to give them more work, to increase the drag, to pile the weight on and try to make them strain. This feeling was in parallel and simultaneous to the serenity. I watched a few young guys run past me on the way to the oval -- one of them was 24, I recall -- and instead of thinking that I wanted to run him down or tear his arms off, I thought, good for you (Serene Kent), I'm going to drop the hammer on you during the second loop of the bike because I know how to suffer (Testosterone Kent).
In all, some of this stuff is embarrassing to write where it can be publicly viewed, but it was wonderful. It was other-worldly. I cannot compare it to any other experience. And, it was less than 10 percent of the race. I knew that the day was going to be overwhelming based on what had happened so far. My senses were in for supershock and IMLP delivered.
What would you do differently?:

Not a single thing. Maybe, maybe do more butterfly. What I lost in time was worth it because it felt good. I think I probably was smiling underwater -- after all these years, I am glad that I can still do it at all let alone in open water.
By the way, Andy Potts set the swim split record for IMLP by powering through in 45:01. Unbelievable. I would have liked to watch that from a kayak. He put two minutes into the next best swim split, from Peter Jacobs (47:10) and the third best pro was 50:00.
Transition 1
  • 05m 17s

Wow. It was like I was royalty and being served at the Four Seasons. The wetsuit stripper had my suit off in less than 10 seconds. I ran past my bag and had to go back, but then into the tent where there were about eight guys. I ran past them all straight toward the exit and set up in the last row where two guys were waiting for me. They dumped my bag, put my shoes in front of the correct foot, organized my gels and helped me get them in my shirt, and got my glasses out. One was named John and they were super helpful and obviously had either raced or seen a lot of transitions before. They sprayed me with sunscreen from my T1 bag and I was out the door. From the tent, I had to run about 1/5 of the way around the oval (on grass) and during that time a guy read my number through a bull horn to helpers who were in with the bike racks. As I entered transition and started running toward my rack -- about 8 in from the entrance -- I yelled my number about three times and suddenly there was a guy standing in the aisle with one hand on the saddle of my bike yelling my number back at me. I picked up my bike without even breaking stride, thanked him and just kept jogging toward the bike out. Curiously, as I ran out of T1, the person in front of me with her bike was Kim S. -- Aaron and Ellen's coach and the overall age group winner at IMLP 11. That was cool -- it made me smile like it was a positive omen to have a "friend" out there even though I don't know her and had only exchanged 5 words with her for the first time that morning.
All in all, T1 was like valet service for a movie star only I'm not a movie star and all that guy got for helping me and so many others was a Subway sandwich and a t-shirt.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Maybe I could have given John and the other guy more directions. They knew what to do but also didn't want to get ahead of me with the gels and sunscreen. Really, I rushed through, had no misteps excepting the initial delay of running past my bag by 10 feet.
In hindsight, I could have looked around more, the way I did on the bike and as I exited the swim. I was very, very task oriented and focused because I didn't want to get ten miles out of town and then realize I forgot something.
  • 6h 01m 10s
  • 112 miles
  • 18.61 mile/hr

More than 200 people passed me on the bike (pros and age groupers). I think most of them were between Wilmington and the top of the Keene Descent. I started bringing groups of 4-6 people back when I made the turn at Ausable Forks into the wind for the second time as well as on the last 15 miles and it was a huge, huge psychological boost. I didn't work any harder but was a titch faster than the first loop and was able to pull people back on the hills and the flats.
I will write a whole lot more about what happened during those six hours at There was the bagpiper who I applauded and nearly cried because of her beauty, the in-the-flow descent where I could find my heartbeat while at 45 mph by focusing and listening for it, pissing my bike three times, the foil over the lid of the Perform at roughly mile 90, seeing the race leader prepare to make the turn on the run while I finished the ride, and so much more. I was ready to ride another 50 miles -- not because my legs were fresh like daisies, it was work out there and that climb is relentless -- but because it was so amazingly gorgeous. Also, the tifosi coming over Papa Bear and down to Mirror Lake and then as you make the series of turns past the lake and around the sports complex behind the high school was like getting to sing at the Metropolitan Opera or take a snap and throw a pass during the Super Bowl. I was simply loving time on my bike with wind on my face and sticky-from-food fingers and all the sensations of balancing my fat butt on skinny tires while working. The sweat, the scenery, the sun blazing down -- it was awesome. AWESOME.
What would you do differently?:

Bigger bento or better organization so that it would be easier to take the pills. I had them in ziplocks which was doable, but awkward. I hit the nutrition exactly as planned. I rode my heart rate and cadence and not speed or average speed. Cadence in the mid 90s unless climbing and then it would either be at least 80 or else whatever was manageable without coming out of the saddle. The course is hard, but there is nothing that made me come out of the saddle with a 25-11 gearing. With that said, I used all the gears without shame. I'm very happy to have nearly even split. I'd love to go about 15 minutes faster per loop and negative split by 5-10 minutes. That would be superlative.
Nutrition Plan: Start with 20 ounces of liquid Powerbar in the first hour. Start with a frozen bottle of Gatorade in the aero bars. Set watch for 30 minute repeat and at the bottom of the hour, eat half a Powerbar. Top of hour, eat a Gu gel. Every second hour at the top of the hour, take an Eduralyte salt tablet and a Gas X chewable tablet. Switch from solid to gel during hour five to six so as not to finish with the last thing going into my stomach being a solid bar. Take water as needed to cool off and drink at least 20 ounces of Perform per hour. Went with two Roctane and four regular Gu.
Transition 2
  • 02m 53s

Again, it was like valet service. I stopped my bike completely and there were people pointing and telling me what to do. I couldn't have screwed up if I tried. My bike whisked off left, I ran off right, grabbed my run bag and was in the tent before my body even realized I wasn't riding anymore.
Same strategy, I ran to the back of the tent toward the exit door, picked an open area and dumped my bag. Someone -- didn't catch his name -- helped me with my socks and we joked that I had four of them because of the rain. My belt was already on because of the bike, glasses were already on and all I had to do was three things: socks, shoes/tug laces, hat.
I was out the door, got slathered in sunscreen, grabbed water, and saw Pat standing right there cheering as I took off on the run.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I was more aware of what was going on than in T1 -- saw Pat -- and only had a handful of tasks so it was all very straightforward. I felt fine so I didn't need to stretch or eat. I was an eager beaver to get out an run.
  • 4h 42m 32s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 10m 47s  min/mile

This too, is going to have to wait for the blog. I started insanely fast -- 7:33 for the first mile. I ran for about 20 seconds and had a brief conversation with Peter Jacobs, which was cool. I ran up the hills from the horse area to Mirror Lake Drive on both loops without stopping or walking. This may or may not have been good physical strategy but it was my only psychological strategy since I knew if I started walking on those hills I would have to walk all the way to the lake before being able to start again. At mile 15 I peed myself at an aid station. About a mile later I got dizzy and desperately feared that the day was about to come to an end -- it turned out well but you'll have to read the blog post. I was able to get into a semi-groove and run well for about eight miles. I was respectable and holding everything together until the dizzyness and then it became a war of attrition mind versus body. I danced past every music area except where Eye of the Tiger was on an endless loop in the heart of downtown. This included some club music, three different CCR songs, a reggae song that didn't sound like Marely, and something from either Ozzy or Black Sabbath. During GNR's Sweet Child O Mine I also ran while doing air guitar. Among the throngs of spectators, I found a Jens Voight fan and we had a connection over her sign that said, Shut Up Legs -- that was at about mile 23-24. I may have been the first person to recognize its awesomeness and she was overjoyed when I did my best German accented imitation of him and then told her I love The Jensie. This exchange happened while I continued to run. I was nearly delirious and loved it but it was totally confusing for everyone around her.
I kept my nutrition plan for 11 miles and then started eating or drinking whatever I felt like -- twice trying Gu Chomps because I thought I had to have food (RE: dizzy, but more on that later) and otherwise just doing salt tablets, Perform and water with ice down my shirt. I was absolutely convinced that I was getting sunburn, yet, I didn't. I think my brain was telling me that my body temperature was too high and the only thing it could grasp for frame of reference to send me the message was either fever or sunburn. I also shouted out Christopher Walken's line about having a fever and needing more cowbell probably no fewer than six times.
Nutrition Plan was a four mile sequence that was to be repeated over and over:
1 -- Perform
2 -- Water with Gu
3 -- Water
4 -- Skip it and run past it
Every 45 minutes or so, take a salt tablet.
What would you do differently?:

Start slower. I should have held it together longer. The breakdown around mile 15-16 wasn't inevitable and proof that it wasn't fatal to the race plan was that from that point forward I ran the whole way except walking every aid station.
I keep reviewing the ride to see where I used legs that could have been saved for the run and genuinely think I rode smart except perhaps the first 5 miles I could have settled down more quickly. In all, my run has made amazing progress in the last year but not enough to turn in an Ironman run. I set a marathon PR by 23 minutes, but think that with more hill training, I could realistically drop another 30 minutes off of this split in a year's time. When I was tapping out the 8:40s-9:20s splits, I didn't feel under any pressure and I ran the whole way watching heart rate not splits and it stayed in the 140s until mile 16 and then it started dropping to about 125-132 (excepting the big hill back into downtown.)
Post race
Warm down:

Massage -- then about an hour later took a 30 minute hot bath followed by shower followed by two pieces of pizza then I crashed out.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I feared that my left leg would blow out after injuring tendons throughout the shin four weeks from the race. I could have run much better. My gear, race plan, and training were all that I could give considering resources and other priorities. They fit together well -- but they could always be faster, sharper and more consistent.
I have no regrets for swimming "too fast" and burning up energy that I could have used in the last 90 minutes -- although that is because of the unpredicted but totally other-worldly experience that it gave me. Rationally, I shouldn't have done it and I should have backed off.

Event comments:

See you at IMLP 13.
I don't have words to sum up the experience -- it was that grand, that wonderful, that difficult and that boggling. I'll spend a year trying to figure it out.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2011-07-31 12:00 AM
00:53:09 | 4224 yards | 01m 15s / 100yards
Age Group: 1/316
Overall: 12/2600
Performance: Good
For some reason, my HRM never works when submerged. From the final results: Lap 1 -- 1.2 miles, 25:52, 1:20/100meters Lap 2 -- 1.2 miles, 27:17, 1:24/100meters From my watch which I started when the pros left at 6:50 a.m. Lap 1 -- 35:52 (don't forget to subtract 10 minutes) Lap 2 -- 27:21
Suit: Blue Seventy Reaction (Sleeveless)
Course: Two loops of a rectangle in Mirror Lake. Approximately 1100 meters straight out, left turn and about 15 meters before left turn and another 1100 meters back to shore. Run out about 10 meters on beach and turn left where it is necessary to swim 15-20 meters to get to the start line. Absolutely brilliant lake to swim. Gorgeous. Stunningly clear. Good change of visuals on the shoreline to mark progress. Like swimming with the gods on Mt. Olympus. Could probably see at least 10-12 feet down and make out objects on the ground. I nearly felt guilty when I peed in the water -- I didn't -- but nearly did.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 73F / 23C Current:
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 05:17
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
06:01:10 | 112 miles | 18.61 mile/hr
Age Group: 49/316
Overall: 212/2600
Performance: Good
From final results: 30 Miles -- 1:19:06 -- 22.76 mph 26 Miles -- 1:39:35 -- 15.67 mph Lap 1 = 2:58:41 30 Miles -- 1:25:18 -- 21.10 mph 26 Miles -- 1:37:11 -- 16.05 mph Lap 2 = 3:02:29 From HRM:
Wind: Some
Course: 10 miles of rollers net climb, big descent, fairly flat to Upper Jay and to Jay, out and back for about 8 miles to Ausable Forks net downhill wind at back then turn around and gentle incline (not a climb at all) into wind, right toward Wilmington and start some big rollers for about 6 miles then a 1 mile flat out an back on Haselton Road, right turn, quick left and then essentially climb back through the valley for 12-15 miles to Lake Placid.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 95
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:53
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Below average
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Good
04:42:32 | 26.2 miles | 10m 47s  min/mile
Age Group: 73/316
Overall: 365/2600
Performance: Average
From final results: Split Name Distance Split Time Race Time Pace Div. Rank Overall Rank Gender Rank 3 mi 3 mi 25:11 7:27:40 8:23/mi 8.2 mi 5.2 mi 50:21 8:18:01 9:40/mi 12 mi 3.8 mi 39:43 8:57:44 10:27/mi 16.1 mi 4.1 mi 46:52 9:44:36 11:25/mi 21.3 mi 5.2 mi 1:02:24 10:47:00 12:00/mi 25.1 mi 3.8 mi 46:30 11:33:30 12:14/mi 26.2 mi 1.1 mi 11:31 11:45:01 10:28/mi Total 26.2 mi 4:42:32 11:45:01 10:47/mi 73 365 317
Course: Scenic, hilly, at least half of it rocking with lots of fans.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
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: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5