Ironman Lake Placid - Triathlon

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Lake Placid, New York
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
55F / 13C
Total Time = 15h 12m 32s
Overall Rank = 2116/2764
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 260/306
Pre-race routine:

This race report will be the most lengthy race report I have ever composed simply because I don't want to leave anything out when it comes to this great experience and I don't want to forget anything.
My journey started about 4 years ago when I decided to enter my first Sprint distance triathlon. At the time triathlon was something I wanted to check off of my bucket list to say that I had done "one". At the time my plan was to be a "one and done" kind when it came to triathlon. My first triathlon was a sprint distance tri in my hometown for which I borrowed a road bike from a friend of mine to use. At the time I decided that a 13 mile ride would probably not be all that comfortable on my Wal Mart brand mountain bike but I also did not want to spend a bunch of money on something I was planning on doing once. The bike I borrowed was an old aluminum frame 10 speed. Needless to say after that race I was absolutely smitten with the sport and signed up for 3 more sprint tri's that year.
The following year my passion for the sport continued as I competed in more sprint tri's, one oly distance, and my first HIM tri. I also purchased my first aluminum frame road bike, a Specialized Allez. This was also the season that I became a member of the Tremont Triathlon Team. During this season I watched several members of the Team compete in and finish Ironman Louisville. While watching Ironman Louisville live streaming on the computer I remember thinking how cool it would be if someday I could compete with some of these individuals in an Ironman race and cross the finish line to hear my name called as an "Ironman". At that time that dream still seemed so unattainable to me though.
My third season as a triathlete included competing in more sprint tri's, another oly, and another HIM (Ironman Muncie). Ironman Muncie was a great experience for me because I finally felt like I had reached the 70.3 level and could hang. I remember that summer while training for Muncie we were also in the process of selling our house and buying a new house and I remember going to look at houses with Gene Pflederer and he was wearing his Ironman Louisville finisher jacket and at some point I said to him "I'm sorry but I can't concentrate on anything in this house because I am focusing so much on your jacket". I REALLY wanted one of those jackets! At this point I felt like it was time to make that jump to the next level and go for the Ironman. At the time I was actually planning on signing up for Ironman Wisconsin 2014. On July 29 James Nissen posted on facebook that registration would go live at noon for anyone interested in signing up for Ironman Lake Placid. At the time I think he was throwing that out as kind of a joke, little did he know that planted a seed in my mind. Later that morning I called my wife while I was at work and the conversation went something like this....ME- "Hey honey I got this crazy idea...what do you think about me signing up for Ironman Lake Placid in New York instead of Wisconsin next year? We could like make it a family vacation and everything!!!" WIFE- "Yes I think that is crazy. Too far to go for an Ironman." ME-"Ha Ha yeah your probably right". So at lunch time my wife ended up taking me out to Monical's. While sitting at Monical's I end up getting on on my phone on the Lake Placid website. My plan was to keep hitting register to see how hard it would be to get a slot to Lake Placid to see basically how hard it would be in September to register for Madison. While sitting there waiting for pizza I ended up hitting register 3-4 times before finally getting a slot. I thought to myself wow that was a lot easier than I thought. I even said to my wife "Wow that wasn't so bad. I hit register a couple of times and got a slot for Placid." Her response-"Your in. Go ahead and sign up, Happy Birthday". My response- "Seriously?". Wife- "Yep. Do it. We'll make a vacation out of it". I was literally in shock as I typed in my credit card information and was shaking so bad with excitement that I couldn't even type in my USAT membership number and ended purchasing the one day license. So now that I was registered the journey to Ironman officially had begun!
We ended up arriving in Lake Placid on Wednesday, July 23. It was a long 2 day drive to get to Lake Placid. On the previous Saturday I was out on my last longish training ride and when I got home I noticed that I had two areas on my rear tire where the rubber was worn down to exposed cord. Not good. I ended up making an emergency trip to the local bike shop to have them inspect the tire. While there the tech told me that he would not trust the tire for a 25 mile ride let alone a 112 mile ride and that replacing the tire would not be an option as these are tubular tires that need to be stretched and glued which would take 2-3 days and we were scheduled to leave for Placid early Monday morning. Initially I freaked thinking I was going to have to run my tubular on the front and my stock wheel with clinchers on the rear. My wife ended up talking me off the ledge and suggested that we at least take the aero wheel with us and see if there was a shop out in Placid that could replace the tire during the week. Good thinking! Sunday evening, while at open water swim practice, Pat O'Donohue offered to take my wheel with him as he was leaving for Placid that night and would be arriving there a day ahead of us. Imagine my excitement when Pat sent me a message saying that High Peaks Bike Shop already had a tubular tire stretched and would have it glued and ready for pick up when we arrived in Placid! Crisis averted...or so I thought.
So back to our arrival in Placid. We arrive in Lake Placid, pick up our keys for our condo, and head to the condo to unload. When we get to the condo it is totally awesome! Our condo was 3 bedrooms, 3 full baths. Plenty of room for all 10 of us along for the trip. The view was amazing. We could look out of our balcony and see Mirror lake and downtown Placid. We ended up getting in to town late afternoon so unfortunately there would be no training that day. On the following day (Wednesday) I met James, Pat, and Chris down at Mirror Lake for my first swim in Lake Placid. I was so excited to get out in to Mirror Lake! I had spent the previous 12 months reading about the clear water lake with an underwater cable that you could follow around the entire swim course and not even have to sight for while swimming. While walking up to the beach I couldn't stop smiling. I couldn't believe that I was finally there IN LAKE PLACID! While putting my wetsuit on I was shaking thinking THIS IS HAPPENING! Totally nerdy I know but couldn't help it. I ended up swimming an entire lap that day followed by a short 2.5 mile run with the guys around Mirror Lake. I was in such a hurry that morning to get to the lake that I even forgot to bring a towel.
Day 3 in Lake Placid was a rough day for me. Probably the day when my morral hit rock bottom. My plan for the day was to do a short training ride of about 18-20 miles on the first part of the bike course on route 73 to get a feel for the 8 mile climb out of Lake Placid to the Keene decent. The first part of the ride was pretty uneventful. Stopped at the school just across from the oval to take pictures of the beginning of the bike course as there were 2 really steep hills at the beginning. Also stopped to take some pics of the Olympic ski jump which was huge! On the way back in to town coming down the big hill at the junction of 73 and River Road I hit a pretty good sized sharp rock with my front tire and hear CO2 and can fell sealant spraying out. I immediately slow down and pull off to the side of the road to inspect the damage. The front tire has about a 4 inch cut. I pull out CO2 as my tires just had fresh sealant put in a week prior hoping it would seal up. Nope. Not good. I call my wife to come pick me up and tell her we need to head right to the bike shop. We end up dropping the wheel off at High Peaks and the tech jokes with me and says "I didn't expect to see you back in here so soon". He ends up recommending a new tire since the slit is so big. Luckily with bike check in not until Saturday and this happening on Thursday they had time to stretch a tire that day and glue it that evening and pickup would be available Friday afternoon. After dropping off my front wheel at High Peaks I head home, get cleaned up, and head off to athlete check in. Time to get my wrist band and swag! Was really excited about this. Athlete check in was very organized and streamlined. We moved from one station to the next spending a total of about 30 minutes at check in. Also made my first trip to the Oval at this time to get my backpack and to get a look at the finish line and bleachers. Can't believe that in 3 days this thing is happening!
On Friday morning woke up early and headed down to Mirror Lake for another swim. Was planning on just a short swim but ended up feeling good and doing an entire lap. This marked the end of my taper training and the last training session I would do before the big day. Couldn't believe that Ironman training was officially over. Was ready to rest and get to the big day though. Ended up visiting Whiteface mountain that afternoon with the family which was cool!
Saturday was bike and gear bag check in. Ended up walking my bike and all of my stuff down with my wife. Headed into transition and racked my bike in spot number 1743. On the way to gear bag check saw Pat, James, and Chris and conversed with them for a few minutes. After bike and gear bag check it was time to rest. Spent the rest of the day with my feet up chililn. Excellent meal that night consisting grilled tilapia, rice, and broccoli. Went to bed at 8:30. Read one last text from Gene Plederer who had finished 2nd place in his age group at the Route 66 HIM earlier that day. When I heard the news I sent him a congratulations text. He responded back later that evening and told me that he had had a long day with the race and showing houses after and that he would be watching all day tomorrow and that I should get to bed and get some sleep.
Event warmup:

Sunday, July 27 woke up at 3:30 a.m. Light breakfast consisted of 1 cup of oatmeal, 1 banana, and 1 cup of coffee. At 4:30 a.m. grabbed special needs bike and run bag as well as morning clothes bag (containing wetsuit, goggles, and swimcap) and headed toward town along with my father-in-law.
The walk to the center of town and transition seemed so long and so quiet. Think we only passed two other people on the way to the oval. As soon as we got to the top of the hill just beyond Herb Brooks arena the scene dramatically changed. It was just after 4:30 and the middle of town outside of transition was full of people getting body marked. Its funny I had planned on heading straight to transition to get my nutrition set up on my bike. I had totally forgot about body marking. Ended up walking down a ways as everyone seemed to be standing in line in one place and found a volunteer right away for marking. Removed my long sleeve shirt for marking of my shoulders and read for the first time that morning the phrases my wife and kids had written on my arms the night before. The previous night before heading upstairs to bed my wife traced with green marker my 3 year old sons hand print on the inside of my left forearm. On the outside of my right forearm my 5 year old son wrote "don't stop" and signed his name. On the outside of my left forearm my 7 year old son wrote "last long and finish strong love you". And on the inside of my right forearm my wife wrote "you got this! Meet me at the finish. You are Ironman. We are so proud of you. Love you! Love me".
After body marking I headed to transition and my bike. Walked to my bike and placed my two rear bottles full of Infinit and filled my aero bottle on the front with Infinit. One last check of the tires, gears, and brakes. Ready to ride! On my way out I met up with Chris, Pat, James, and Eric. Was trying to be calm but was extremely tight and nervous. Walked out of transition and met my father-in-law who had my special needs bags. Walked up the hill towards Mirror Lake following everyone else in hopes they would lead me to special needs. Ended up hanging a left at the top of the hill and found special needs bike drop off. Continued to follow people as I overheard the guy in front of me say he was heading to run special needs next. Walked over to run special needs and dropped that bag off and then headed over to the beach. By this time it was around 5:30ish. Still an hour till go time. Ended up standing around with my father-in-law for a bit people watching. At 6 walked over and got a pick with Pat, Eric, Chris, and James. After this ended up putting my wetsuit on and got ready to walk to the beach. In the meantime my wife had called and said she was on her way. Walked inside of the fenced off area for athletes only thinking I wasn't going to see her before the swim start. Shortly after walking thru I saw her walk up so I walked back over, got one last pic with me in my wetsuit giving a thumbs up, gave a kiss to my wife, a fist bump to my father-in-law and said "see you in a few".
By this time it had to be around 6:15 and they were announcing that the pro's would be starting soon. Walked over to the beach and got in the water to swim a bit and get acclimated to the water. While in the water they sang the national anthem so I kind of floated with my hand over my heart. Shortly after this the cannon boomed and the pro men were off. 3 minutes later the cannon boomed again and the pro females were off. At this time I ended up getting out of the water and headed to the beach and lined up with the 1 hour 40 minute group. Almost game time!
  • 49m 5s
  • 2112 yards
  • 02m 19s / 100 yards

This part of the race was interesting. Was standing on the beach with the 1 hour 40 min group when the cannon goes off at 6:30 for the age group start. Seemed like we stood there forever before we started moving up toward the swim start. I remember standing shoulder to shoulder with all of these fit people thinking what the hell am I doing. At one point the guy standing in front of me turns to me and the guy next to him with this big grin and says "This is my first Ironman. How bout you?" I nodded and said "Yep me too. Gonna be a great day! We are going to be Ironmen today!"
Once we did finally start moving up I noticed that I was REALLY far toward the back. I mean almost one of the last people lined up. This kind of made me a bit nervous to think I would be one of the last ones in. Not sure why but it did. I ended up moving to the far left side on the beach and walking up a bit. Guess I was getting a bit anxious to get in the water. Finally I could see the bit red timing arch and could read the clock. It read 6:49. Put my goggles on, followed the person in front of me, walked thru the timing arch, got my feet in the water and it was ON LIKE DONKEY KONG
I have to admit the first 0.6 miles of the swim went extremely well. Little to no contact. Nice smooth water. Got into a nice rhythm and felt really good. On my way out I counted buoy's so I would know for the next lap how far I had to go. There ended up being 7 buoys and then the big red triangle buoy was the turn buoy. On the first half of my first lap at one point I remember breathing to my left and seeing lightening off in the distance and I remember thinking to myself "hope that stays away from here". Again on the backside of the first lap felt pretty good and strong. Little to no contact the entire first lap.
After completing the first lap I came out on the beach and walked thru both timing arches. Took my time and adjusted my goggles a bit before starting the second lap. Just prior to getting in the water to start my second lap I gave a fist bump to one of the volunteers standing down by the water. I thought to myself "great first lap! Now do one more just like that!"
Started the front half of the second lap and this is were it gets interesting. I remember around buoy 4 or 5 the water started to get really choppy. So much so that at one point I took a big wave right in the mouth as I was taking a breath and had to stop to cough up water and catch my breath. No big deal. Has happened to me plenty of times. Didn't rattle me or make me nervous. Stopped for a second then kept on going. Around buoy 6 I could feel it raining. And it wasn't just raining it was pouring. Kept going for a while thinking to myself "ok almost to the turn around. Two buoys to go!" Next thing I know I hear the guys in the kayaks' screaming and can see them frantically paddling towards all of us. I ended up stopping for a second and just floating so I could hear what they were saying. At one point I remember hearing "Everyone out of the water! Lightening! Everyone out of the water!" At this point I was so far out I wasn't quite sure what to do. Do I keep swimming to the turn around and make my turn and head back or do I simply turn around and head back? At one point I ended up yelling "Where are we supposed to go?" Not sure if someone heard me specifically or they were just making a general announcement but I head them yell "Cut thru the course and swim to the bank as fast as you can! We need everyone out of the water because of the lightening!" After hearing that announcement and the urgency in which it was announced I have to admit I did panic a bit. It was definitely one of those "Oh shit moments".
At this point everyone in the water is frantically swimming for the bank. I ended up heading toward a spot on the bank where I could see there were some stepping stones to get out of the water. I swam over the climbed out and tried to get up off the bank a bit so other people could get out. We all kind of stood there for awhile not really knowing what to do. One person said "Well now since the swim is cut short we will all probably be DQ'd". Another person said "We should all just hang out for a few minutes and wait for an announcement because once the weather passes they may let us get back in and finish". I remember standing on the bank thinking "No way did I come 1000 miles and train for 6 months to not make it past this damn swim". Shortly after that one of the boats came to the edge of the bank and told us all that they wanted us to go out to the road and walk back to transition and start the bike. Again someone makes the comment "Oh they are letting us start and letting us continue so we are not disqualified". Sigh of relief from me. We ended up walking up this hill thru some evergreen trees and hopping over a wooden fence to get out to the sidewalk and street. Again it was basically follow everyone else for now.

What would you do differently?:

Not a thing. Can't control the weather. Was having a great swim. First loop was timed at 49 minutes. Was on track for a 1:40 swim which was my goal.
Transition 1
  • 00m

T1 was absolutely nuts! Walked down Mirror Lake Drive after getting out of the water and walked on the cobblestone sidewalk for awhile. Started to notice that this was pretty hard on the feet so ended up walking on the road instead. While walking I thought this would be a good time to turn on my Garmin 310 to get ready for the bike. My plan was to save the battery of my garmin by not using it on the swim. I reach down on my left wrist to turn my watch on and realize my watch is not on my wrist! WTF! I immediately panic as I realize I have lost my Garmin 310 either somewhere in Mirror Lake or while getting out of the water! Again I panic thinking what am I going to use to keep track of my pace and distance on the bike and more importantly the run. I have a bike computer that measures distance, speed, and time but it is not all that accurate as it measures based off the RPM of the rear wheel. After my initial panic and disbelief I calm down and say to myself "Forget it. Nothing you can do. Not going back to look for it now. Gotta keep moving forward no matter what!" Pouring rain, thunder, and lightening all around. Ended up getting down near swim exit and wetsuit strippers had moved from beach to road where everyone was coming in. Saw a few people laying down in the street to get there wetsuits off. Walked for a little ways with someone carrying there wetsuit over there shoulder and at one point he turns to me and says "You missed the wetsuit strippers back there". I nod. Intentionally passed the wetsuit strippers as it was around 50 degrees, raining, and freezing cold...meant to leave the wetsuit on as long as possible to stay warm.
Made it into transition and grabbed my bike gear bag. Headed for the mens changing tent. Walked in to the mens changing tent and it was a complete zoo. All the chairs were already filled with people changing. It was basically standing room only and the ground was a muddy sloppy mess from the rain. Found a small open area and stripped off my wetsuit. Changed out of my swim trunks and into my dry T3 tri suit. Put on my socks and bike shoes, rolled up my wetsuit and stuck it in my bike bag along with my swim cap and goggles and handed my bag to one of the volunteers. Calmly walked out of changing tent carrying my helmet and sunglasses. While walking thru the changing tent heard an announcement on the overhead speakers saying "The worst of the storm is yet to come. You can wait out the weather in the changing tents or head off on your bikes at your own discretion". Headed out of the changing tent and made a quick stop at the porta potty. After this put on my helmet and went to get my bike. Was not about to wait out storm. Clock was ticking. Keep moving forward. Grabbed my bike and headed to bike out. Mounted bike at mount line and heard volunteers say "Be careful. First part of the course is a steep downhill and it is really wet". Time to ride!
What would you do differently?:

Not a thing. All things considered I think I had a good T1. No need to rush in an Ironman.
  • 7h 23m 55s
  • 112 miles
  • 15.14 mile/hr

My plan for the bike was simple. Hold back on the first loop and get a feel for the course then hammer the second loop as hard as I could in the hopes that I would finish with a good bike time to give myself a cushion for the marathon just in case the bottom fell out.
Exited the mount area of the bike in the pouring rain. I realized right away this was going to be an interesting first loop. Came down the first hill clipped in one pedal with my other leg down and out of my pedal totally on the brakes. Kept looking behind me to make sure there was no one there. Did not want to cause a pile up. Took the same approach to the second downhill which was even steeper. Made it to the bottom of the hill and hung an immediate and sharp left turn. Saw my wife, nephew, and father-in-law and gave them the thumbs up and yelled "I made it out of the water!" and then took off headed out of town.
The first 8 miles on route 73 was a steady climb out of Lake Placid. Continued pouring rain, thunder, lightening, and cold. This part of the bike ride was pretty miserable. I had started the ride with my sunglasses on thinking they would keep the rain out and I would be able to see better. I realized soon that I could not see shit with them on. Ended up taking them off and holding on to them in the hopes that it would clear off and I would need them at some point. Even though the first part of the ride was miserable I tried to keep my spirits up thinking "Hey come on the swims over! The bike is where you are the strongest! Make it happen!"
Made it past the climb out of Lake Placid and started the decent into Keene. This is where the ride went from interesting to down right scary. With the wet conditions of the road I was not about to decend in my aero bars. I took the downhill up on my brakes praying that I did not wipe out and take others with me. At one point I could smell my brake pads burning and looked down at my bike computer and was coasting at 40 mph. Scary! At this point I also started to get REALLY cold. Temp that morning was probably around 60 degrees. Couple that with wind from the storm and pouring rain and it makes for a deadly trifecta. Less than a mile from Keene I noticed several people pulled off alongside the road huddled under a tent I assume trying to get warm. At this point I was so cold my teeth were chattering. I knew if I didn't get moving soon hypothermia could become an issue. I had been coasting for awhile and not pedaling much on the downhill. In Keene I made the decision to start pounding the bike in an attempt to get my heart rate up to warm up. I remember hitting the flats pretty hard and passing several people. At the Ausable Forks out and back saw James and Chris. This gave me a bit of a lift just to know they were out there.
Rain finally stopped sometime during the Ausable Forks out and back. Was still pounding the bike pretty hard but felt good. Made it to Willmington and the out and back in Willmington again gave me boost. Quite a few people out on the streets cheering us on. Made it to the route 86 left hand turn in Willmington and prepared myself for the climb back into Placid. At this point was feeling pretty good and knew that I was almost done with the first loop. So far so good. No technical issues on the bike which was my biggest fear for the day.
Continued on until I hit the 3 bears. Mama, baby, and Papa bear all marked in spray paint on the road. Hit all 3 pretty hard but remained comfortable. Papa Bear again was lined with spectators cheering which was cool. Tried to give lots of thumbs up and smiles to let everyone know I appreciated the support and felt pretty good. Made it to the top of Papa Bear and then made a right turn and was a bit suprised that the course continued to climb. That was tough. Once I reached the top of the hill though I heard someone yell "Its all downhill from here"...thank goodness.
Decended the hill and made a sharp left turn onto Mirror Lake Drive. Out of the corner of my eye I saw someone jump out into the road and yell "Wooo! Go Robert! Happy Birthday! You got this I love you!" Hey that was my wife! Wish I would have known she was there sooner I would have stopped for a minute. Headed down Mirror Lake Drive and thru the town of Lake Placid. Tons of people lining the streets cheering! Felt unbelievable! Felt like a rockstar! Made a right hand turn down near the lake and headed to special needs. Stopped about halfway thru and yelled out my number and soon I had 2 volunteers helping me. One volunteer held up my bike while the other filled my front aero bottle with water and Infinit (both of which were in my special needs bag). Stuffed another zip lock bag of Infinit powder in my front nutrition bag, grabbed my dried figs, and off I went. Again passing thru the center of town past the Herb Brooks arena was amazing! People yelling and cheering really pumped me up and made me ride faster and harder.
Made it thru the craziness of town and then headed out for my second loop. Once it calmed down a bit I grabbed some dried figs and tried to eat really quick. Really wanted to get some solids in my stomach as I was starting to get hunger pains and I had only taken in liquid nutrition in the form of Infinit during my first loop. Still felt really good at this point. Made it past the first 8 mile climb again feeling good but excited for the decent into Keene with dry conditions this time. Started the decent and for a while got aero and coasted but soon got scared as my bike started shaking a bit and just didn't have the confidence to let it fly. Again rode the brakes most of the decent but was glad to not have to pedal and climb for a while.
Ended up stopping for a bathroom break just outside of Keene. Felt like this was a good stopping point as I had not been off of my bike yet and I figured I was at least 70 miles into the bike ride. Felt good to get off for a minute and stretch my legs. Didn't stop long though.
Rest of the second loop was uneventful up until mile 104. At this point I remember saying in my head "hey this is the longest you have ever ridden on a bike". I had ridden one century ride prior to Placid and several 80-90 mile rides but nothing beyond 100. At mile 104 my right hamstring and right only started to cramp. When I say cramp I mean totally lock up. I stopped pedaling for a bit and coasted and stood up out of the saddle to stretch. Also took 3 big gulps of Infinit. Not sure why as I knew that I was most likely behind on my nutrition at this point and slamming it all at once would not help. Shortly after the cramp passed the heavens opened once again and it started downpouring cold rain and thundering. At this point I am thinking "Seriously! 8 miles left and I am cramping and getting rained on again! Just make it back to town and get off of this damn bike!" I was also at this point trying to celebrate the fact that I had not had one technical issue on the bike, which was my biggest fear given the uncertainty throughout the week of my tires and wheels.
Made it past the 3 bears for the second time. The second climb thru the 3 bears was considerably harder. Made it to the top of the hill following the right hand turn and started the downhill to Mirror Lake Drive. Looked for my wife at the corner but she was not there this time. Again passed thru town and got energized from all the people. Saw my father-in-law and nephew in the middle of town and gave them the thumbs up. Came around the corner just past the Herb Brooks Arena and made the final left hand turn and headed up the hill towards transition. I had made it thru 112 miles of the Ironman bike ride! I was so excited and elated to get off my bike!
At this point coming into transition gets a little foggy for me. Not sure what the heck happened but I remember coming up the hill and seeing the dismount line and slowing way down. Got my left foot unclipped but could not get my right one out. Ended up colliding with the guys bike in front of me and falling to the ground. Heard the guy in front of me yell something. Sorry dude I tried to stop...really I did. As soon as I started to get up there were 2 volunteers there to help me get my bike up and I immediately asked if the other rider was ok and they replied "Yep he is gone already he's fine". Picked up my bike, handed it to a volunteer, felt a little discomfort in my right knee, took off my helmet and headed to transition.
What would you do differently?:

Had a pretty good bike considering the difficulty of the course with all the elevation and the weather at the beginning. Still lots of room for improvement. If I had it to do over again I would hold back a lot more on the first loop and ride more conservatively and I would try to incorporate more solid foods on the bike instead of going with all liquid nutrition. Nutrition on the bike is something I have yet to figure out.
Transition 2
  • 17m 17s

T2 was a huge mess for me. After getting up from my crash and handing my bike off to a volunteer I ran to the gear bag rack and grabbed my run gear bag. After this I was a bit disoriented and did not know where the changing tent was. Stopped to ask another volunteer and she immediately noticed the blood running down my right leg from my banged up knee. She shuttled me over to the First Aid Tent to get checked out. I realized as soon as I sat down in first aid this was a huge mistake. I walked in and sat down and immediately noticed to my left some guy laying on a cot hooked up to an IV shivering wrapped in a solar blanket with his wife or girlfriend stroking his hand. Mentally this really hit me. I remember seeing this guy laying there thinking "holy shit this guy looks a lot more fit than me and he is layed up and looks like death...I need to get out of here fast!"
The nurse began cleaning up my knee, asked me what had happened and asked me if I was done for the day. My response "No way am I done! I have a marathon to run! Tonight I am going to be an Ironman!" While sitting there I asked her what time it was. I was relieved to hear it was just before 4 o'clock. I did the math quickly in my head...4 o'clock=8 hours to do a marathon...I can walk the marathon and be done by midnight...this thing is actually going to happen! Tried not to celebrate but was just relieved to be off of the bike.
After the med tent headed over to the changing tent where I changed into my red, white, and blue T3 tri suit and running gear and headed out. On my way out I found the sunscreen volunteer and got lathered up and found water and filled my water bottle with Infinit and water and headed out.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really. It was necessary to stop at first aid and get my leg cleaned up which took a big chuck of time but oh well.
  • 6h 42m 16s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 15m 21s  min/mile

So the marathon was where the wheels sort of came off for me. Not sure what the heck happened here. I ran out of T2 feeling pretty good. Immediately upon exiting T2 I saw my wife and family. Not sure where the heck I was mentally and why I didn't stop but I gave them a quick wave and ran down main street I think. The funny thing about this is that my wife has a picture of me running out of T2 and waving but I don't really remember it. I think I was just overwhelmed with everyone cheering and all the people. Ran down main street passed Art Devlin's and made the right hand turn and ran down another pretty steep hill and headed out toward the ski lift area and River Road out and back. I remember stopping at the first aid station to walk a bit thinking "ok 1 mile down...25 more miles till you become an Ironman". This would kind of become my mantra for the marathon. Every mile that passed I would say in my head the mile and think only blank more miles until you become an Ironman.
Kept running but I remember somewhere around mile 2.5 my stomach started to feel kind of upset. By mile 3 I could hardly run more than a tenth of a mile before I would have to stop because I felt like I was going to get sick. Hadn't even made it to River Road yet and my marathon was already reduced to a walk. Was completely frustrated. I really felt like my run training was good and thought my marathon would be the strongest part of my race and I was already having to walk. Tried the run/walk technique but didn't have a watch to really pace or time myself so it was very difficult.
Made it to the first loop of the River Road out and back and started to look for T3 folks. First one I saw was James Nissen. Actually think I saw him shortly before River Road the first time. He was already heading back in from his first loop, he was way ahead of me. Next I saw Eric Glow on River Road not far behind James Nissen. Wasn't sure where he was in the race but I came to the center of the road to talk to him and give him a high five and almost got run over by a four wheel gator coming up behind me. Pretty far down River Road saw Pat. Stopped just briefly to talk. I remember he asked me how I was feeling and I said ok, even though I felt like crap. Finally saw Chris and he didn't seem all that far ahead of me but he really looked good and said he felt good.
Kept mostly walking and made it to the turnaround at River Road. Seemed like a long way out. Continued on back to town. When I got back to town again it was revitalizing seeing everyone cheering. Shortly before special needs on Mirror Lake Drive saw my family. Stopped to talk to everyone for a few minutes. Gave my wife a hug and kiss and told her I had to keep moving. Made it to special needs and grabbed my extra Infinit powder and refilled my water bottle with water and Infinit. At this point was still trying to down Infinit even though every drink was making my stomach turn. I knew hydration and electrolytes were important so I didn't end up like old boy back in the med tent. Still had 13 miles left to go. The funny thing about this point in the race is that you come so close to the Olympic Oval and the finish line only to turn left and head back to the River Road out and back but you can see people running into the oval for their finish and you can hear Mike Reilly. Man what a tease! Shortly before the left turn to head back towards out of town James Nissen caught up with me. We walked for awhile together and I told him about being pulled out of the water and loosing my Garmin. I also asked him what time it was because I knew I had done A LOT of walking and did not want to be too close to the cut off. He said he thought it was around 8 o'clock and not to worry that I had 4 hours to do a half marathon. Again I felt like I could relax a bit and enjoy walking the next 13 miles if I had to which at this point seemed like my reality. I remember seeing James make that right hand turn and heading into the oval and thinking "man I can't wait to be back here!" As a matter of fact when I was running down the hill I made the left hand turn and yelled to the volunteer standing there in the road "I'll be back in a little while!" Again couldn't believe it was actually going to happen for me but didn't want to celebrate until I crossed that finish line.
The next 13 miles where kind of a blur. I remember heading back out on the River Road out and back and felt absolutely miserable. Not only did I have an upset stomach but my feet were really hurting and pretty much everything else. Kept trudging along. I tried several different things to settle my stomach. Tried pretzels and warm chicken broth thinking maybe I needed more sodium. No good. Tried cola thinking maybe I needed carbonation or sugar. No good. Around mile 16 actually started dry heaving a bit along the side of the road. I remember taking a drink of Infinit and it tasted so sweet it just made me sick. After this I pretty much laid off the Infinit as I felt like it was not helping. At each aid station I kept grabbing ice water and just taking sips. I knew I needed to stay hydrated as much as I could and I also knew I was dangerously close to dehydration as I had not urinated at all during the marathon. My plan was actually to hit the med tent after the race for an IV. Kept moving forward walking as fast as my legs would carry me. I remember passing Chris Kinsey shortly after my dry heaving incident and told him about my stomach troubles. He offered some Tums. I was a bit reluctant to take them because I have always followed that rule that you don't do anything new on race day that you haven't tried in training. For me this included no Perform, no GU chomps, no gels, if I hadn't used it in my training I was not touching it today. I did take the tums and put in my pouch on my race belt in case I wanted to try them later. Not sure what mile I actually popped my first Tums but I really think these may have saved my race or at least helped me the last few miles. About 20 minutes after taking 2 Tums I felt so much better. My stomach was finally settled. I remember after making it past the River Road out and back and passed the ski lifts there were very few people still on the road spectating. I knew I was getting closer though.
Finally around mile 23 I made it back in to town and saw a few spectators. At this point I knew I had only a 5k left to go before I was an Ironman and began to celebrate. I remember picking up and finally jogging after walking 20 of the previous 23 miles. Every person I passed I either gave a high five to or a fist bump. Man did I feel great! Back thru the middle of town, up the big hill, left hand turn and up another hill, past the oval and made a right hand turn toward the Mirror Lake out and back. Again I could hear Mike Reilly and I knew soon my name would be called.
After passing thru the main part of town I started to walk again. Walked thru most of the Mirror Lake out and back. Made it back in to town passed where we had turned earlier on the bike to head up the hill to special needs. Finally hit the last downhill toward the Oval. Began a steady jog and right before entering the Oval saw Pat. I ran over and remember Pat saying "Congratulations! I am proud of you!" At this point I got choked up and could barely hold back the tears. I ran in to the Oval and it was absolutely NUTS! I remember passing some lady walking who looked like she was hurting pretty bad. No WAY WAS I WALKING THIS! I gave high fives along the way and made the left turn and immediately saw the finish line and was totally blinded by the bright lights and could hear the music pumping! I looked back to see if there was anyone else behind me because I wanted MY moment and MY finish...there was not. I raised my hands in the air and could hardly contain my excitement! I remember hearing "Robert Jones from Morton, are an IRONMAN!" I had done it.
What would you do differently?:

Not sure really. Need to work on a better nutrition plan next time I think. Also probably more long brick runs after long bike rides.
Post race
Warm down:

After crossing the finish line a volunteer was there to immediately escort me over to get a solar blanket, finisher hat, and T-shirt. She also asked if I felt ok. My reply "For the most part". My plan was to hit the med tent for an IV but after crossing the finish line I didn't feel like I needed it. Walked over to the food area and they had a pretty nice buffet set up but did not feel like eating anything. Did grab some chocolate milk, water and orange slices and sat down for a few minutes. Saw James Nissen in the finishers area. He came over and congratulated me on my finish and we talked for a bit. After this went over and got my finisher picture taken and then went to look for my family.

Event comments:

What an experience for my first IM! A tough course...tough amazing finish.
Not sure what the future holds for me but I WILL not be a "one and done" Ironman. Probably not feasible for me to do an Ironman distance race every year with my kids as young as they are right now. Thinking I will be on the every other year plan if my wife will allow it. Looking at possibly IM Louisville, Wisconsin, or Chattanooga in 2016!

Last updated: 2013-08-01 12:00 AM
00:49:05 | 2112 yards | 02m 19s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/306
Overall: 0/2764
Performance: Good
Suit: xterra vortex sleeveless
Course: 2 loop course with short beach run
Start type: Run Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 65F / 18C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 00:00
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
07:23:55 | 112 miles | 15.14 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/306
Overall: 0/2764
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: 2 loop course. First 8 miles is steady climb out of Lake Placid followed by steep descent into town of Keene. Short out and back to Ausable Forks and one on Hasselton Road in Wimington. Last 11 miles is again climb out of Wilmington back to Lake Placid.
Road: Smooth Wet Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 17:17
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
06:42:16 | 26.2 miles | 15m 21s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/306
Overall: 0/2764
Performance: Below average
Course: Out and back on River Road done twice and a short out and back on Mirror Lake Drive. Some challenging hills in town.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
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