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Ironman Lake Placid - Triathlon
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Lake Placid, New York
World Triathlon Corporation
73F / 23C
= 14h 45m 8s
Age Group Rank
I arrived in Lake Placid on Wednesday evening with my wife and my dog. We rented a condo and were just outside of town and out of the madness thankfully. I had a bunch of friends doing this race from my three different tri groups that I’m associated with. My friend Matt from our BT mentoring group the Asphalt Junkies which we’ve started years ago, my large Long Island triathlon club the Wildwood Warriors which I had several friends
(Matthew, Douglas, Bobby and Dean
) racing and my training group Don Quixote triathlon which are my close friends and training partners
(Wynn, Teresa, Bonnie, Bobby, Jillian and Derrick
). Teresa was not racing this year and was the only smart one among us not to dive in as we did pretty impulsively and register for IMLP. Wynn unfortunately was unable to race due to injury. He was the one who put this out there and pretty much got us all on board to do this race. Most of us did IMMT in 2014 and it worked out great. I really didn’t want to do IMLP when I registered. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to do the race itself I was not sure I wanted to make the time commitment necessary for doing another Ironman. Anybody who has done this knows it’s pretty much a second job when it comes to training for an Ironman. I knew when I signed up what I was in for so I did get onboard pretty quickly when it was time to get down to the training.
Wynn, Jillian, Teresa and myself pre rode part of the IMLP bike course on Thursday. We rode from the Brookside Inn in Jay up 9N to RT86 and then cut back via Fox Farm and Springfield Rd back to the Inn for a 20 plus mile loop. It was a very good reconnaissance ride for me. RT86 heading to Wilmington and then riding RT86 back from Wilmington into Lake Placid has to be the toughest part of the bike course. It was good to get an understanding of what I was going to be in for. Derrick put together a really good summary of the race and Bobby also added to that. They were spot on in their assessment of the race and the swim, bike and run courses. I ride a lot of hills so that doesn’t phase me at all but after riding that small section of the bike course I knew that I could not screw up my pacing and execution on the bike or I’d be in for a long miserable day.
On Friday I met up with Wynn, Teresa and Bonnie and we got checked in and registered. That afternoon we headed over to Mirror Lake and met up with Bobby and his friend Dale to get a short swim in. It was great I really enjoyed the swim on Friday. It was a short 25 minutes swim but it was like swimming at Wildwood Lake back on Long Island. It was great to be able to get a swim in before the race.
This being my third Ironman I’m usually very nervous. I was very nervous the first time around doing Wisconsin in 2013 and then again at Mont Tremblant in 2014. This time I was very calm and relaxed. I ‘m not sure what the difference was between now and the previous two. Maybe it’s just the experience and knowing what to expect. I was just happy not be all wound up before the race. The first two I sort of felt like I was being led to the gallows for a hanging. This time out I felt really prepared, calm and relaxed.
Fast forward to race morning. I didn’t sleep well and I never do when it comes to big races but I was up at 3 am. I had my morning checklist and I went through everything. I’m very organized and prepared for these events and I think I was more so this time. This is where experience comes into play. I had everything that I could want or need for this race so I really didn’t have to worry. I ate my usually breakfast and had a single cup of coffee and some water. I made sure I had everything and then I packed up my stuff in the van and I drove off with my wife and the dog and headed for the transition area. She dropped me off and I got my bike set up then went to look for Bonnie. She brought a pump with her so I found her at her bike and headed back to pump up my tires. I also dropped my glasses in my bike SN bag and then went back to see if my friend Matt was in transition. I didn’t see him or any of my other friends racing. I then hit the long line at the porta potties by the Mobil station with my SN bags. After I get out I hear someone calling my name and it winds up being Matt. What a nice surprise! We’ve been trying to meet all week and I finally get to see him. I meet him and his wife Sara and we walk up together to the run SN’s area to drop off our bags. On the way back Matt and Sara split off and we wish each other well and I head to the SN’s area to drop off the bike bag. With that done I’m heading over to the swim start. I get the wetsuit top on and then head into the swim area.
I’m usually very nervous for the swim. I’m not a good swimmer or a fast swimmer as a matter of fact I suck at swimming. I don’t love to swim but I don’t hate it either. I actually enjoy the long swims I do in the lake at home. But when it comes to Ironman I am usually nervous and anxious. I was pleasantly surprised to say I didn’t feel that way for this race. I had a little nervous energy but I felt pretty relaxed as I lined up at the 1:30 to 1:45 sign for the rolling start. Yep I’m that slow. I couldn’t get up further even if I wanted to it was just a sea of humanity on the beach and we were all packed in there like sardines in a can. Then 6:40 am rolls around and the race for us AGer’s begins. I say a prayer for all the participants, volunteers, supporters and police and medical personnel before we start. I always do this before the race and I know for sure that I’m being watched over and will be in good hands today. It took me roughly 12 minutes to make it to the water. As I’m heading up I hear a guy with a megaphone calling out my name. I’m thinking no way this can’t be, John? Sure enough it’s John. John co-runs the Wildwood Warriors triathlon club. He is very outgoing guy so you give him a megaphone and he knows how to use that thing. I raise my hand and yell over to him and he sees me. I’m pretty much to the left side of the beach because I’m planning to stay wide and off the cable so I don’t drown. John is telling everyone to let my friend through. I had to laugh at that. I go over slap hands with him and he offers up encouragement and wishes me well. He also gets me in a great position so I can get in the water wide. It was pretty awesome seeing John at the start. After what seems like an eternity I finally make it to the waters edge and here we go the start of Ironman number three. They say the third time is the charm although I’m not sure that is always the case.
1h 48m 12s
02m 34s / 100 meters
So off I go I get into the water and it is surprisingly very comfortable. I’m right where I want to be way outside on the left. There was a fog at the start of the race over the water but it’s burning off and you can see a long ways out now. My plan is to swim slow which I am an expert at doing and not waste energy. Just find a good rhythm and stay straight. It takes me several hundred meters but I finally settle in. The water is pretty choppy even though I’m not really surrounded by many other swimmers. I think it was a little windy and that along with the 2500 others in the lake contributed to the chop. I know the swim is going to be very long. It always seems like an eternity. My goal here is to swim the whole two loops without stopping except for the crossover on the beach for the second loop. My last swim at IMMT was not good. I didn’t put in enough training time for the swim that year and my fitness was lacking there. I had to stop quite often on the way back to shore at IMMT. I was determined not to do that this time. I make it to the turn around and it’s all good. I’m heading back and I have a guy to the left of me who I picked up after the turnaround. He is swimming as slow and as badly as I am. While I’m swimming fairly straight he is weaving about. It’s quite annoying but I totally understand and I can’t really judge him for being a poor swimmer because I suck too but it’s really distracting. I wind up sort of stuck next to him for a long time because I just don’t want to expand the energy to swim hard to clear him. Eventually he either slows, stops or weaves off in another direction. I keep on keeping on and finally make it towards the end where you angle back to the right and to the shore. Yes! Lap one is done. I swim all the way to the shallows and I’m on the beach. I look at the watch and I see 52 and change. I’m like damn I wanted like 50 minutes but it was choppy and I would say really choppy on the way back so I can’t complain too much. I run over the beach and take a few moments to catch my breath and compose myself and head right back in the water to start lap number two.
I had a lot off trepidation about doing Lake Placid because of the two loop swim. Me I personally like to get in and get out and get it over with. Here I knew I’d have to get out and get back in which I really wasn’t crazy about doing but it is what is. So I head on out and I’m a little tired less so physically and probably more so mentally. I tell myself don’t stop just keep on swimming and the sooner this will be over and your race will begin when you get to the bike. I stay wide the water seems less choppy as everybody is out or finishing up. I make it to the turn around again and head on back. On the way back I know I’m slowing down but I’m not tired like IMMT. My swim fitness is much better and I’m just paddling along here knocking the buoys down one by one. I see a few women ahead and parallel to me on the cable and that is good I’m sighting off them and it’s helping me keep my pace and keeping me going forward. I finally make it to the right angle and turn towards the beach. I think don’t hammer just cruise on in no need to waste any energy. I finally make it and get out and look down at my watch and I’m mystified. I see 1:48 and change! I’m like damn how can I be slower then I was at IMMT and I put so many more hours in on the swim this year? Yep I was disappointed but I didn’t have time to dwell on it and got myself moving towards the transition area. It was just a sign of the things to come.
What would you do differently?:
At this point the only way I’m going to improve my swim is to dedicate myself to doing that and having someone coach me. My problem is I don’t like swimming in the pool or doing drills so until I get serious about my swimming this is pretty much going to be the result. I’m disappointed the work didn’t translate into a better time however it did improve my swim fitness and overall fitness and I was only two minutes slower then IMMT and I only had to stop once on the second loop to avoid a collision with someone weaving in front of me and another guy I was swimming next to. The other thing was my Garmin had my distance at 2.74 miles. What? Yes I swam 2.74 miles or there about if you take the Garmin at face value.
I pulled my wetsuit zipper up and ran over to the strippers um wetsuit strippers that is and pulled my cap and goggles off. They pull my top off and then pulled my bibjohn off in like two seconds. I took Derrick’s advice and ran/jogged to the transition area. No slacking off I got my bag and got to the tent. I wasn’t super fast but I got all my stuff I needed and was ready to go. I got my bike and did have to stop at the porta potty. I really had to go. I also pulled out my first Snickers bar of the day. My stomach was growling at the end of the swim. I really should have eaten something before the swim. I thought about it but didn’t follow through. Once I was done there I was off to the bike mount and out of transition.
What would you do differently?:
Not much really other then try to move a little faster. I did a full outfit change and the distance from the swim exit to the transition area is long. I thought I would be about 20 minutes so I was actually surprised by this. I’m not winning any AG awards for a Kona slot so as long as I can get everything I need as quickly as I can I’m happy. I do think I should’ve eaten something prior to the swim start that would’ve saved some time here and clearly I can do better with my transitions overall but this is actually an improvement over IMMT and IMWI which also have long distances from the swim exit to the transition areas.
7h 38m 23s
The bike has certainly become my strength and it has continually improved. I definitely made gains in the offseason with all the MTB I do and then in the training leading up to IMLP. I really thought I had a great chance to improve on my bike time from IMMT even though this is a very tough course. It was wishful thinking and the IMLP bike course would have none of that. I was just another victim today. It was funny Wynn, Teresa, Bonnie and I talked after one of our training rides in regards to preparation and the quote by Mike Tyson came up in our conversation “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”. Well I had a plan for the day and I executed the plan and I still got punched in the mouth repeatedly I might add. I would have to say it was a very humbling experience to be tamed by the bike course.
I start the first loop and I’m keeping it easy. I have a normalized power range that I’m going to ride to for today. I have my low end number and my not to exceed number. I’m hoping to see those numbers stay somewhere in the middle of my range for the day. As I leave out I head towards Keene and this is not so bad there is some climbing, some flat stuff and then the big long descent. Lot’s of recovery to be had there but more like not wasting energy on the first loop down the Keene descent. I’m a little conservative the first time down the descent. As I’m heading down there is an ambulance and cars in the other lane stopped. I see a stretcher on my side of the road with medical personal and two bikes. I think it’s just a one bike crash and another biker must have stopped to help. I go by slowly since I saw it ahead of time and I’m hoping that the person riding the bike that crashed is not badly injured. I make it down the Keene descent in one piece and over to 9N and it’s a little up and down there but mainly flat where you can settle in aero and just ride along. I get to Jay and hear someone yell my name. I go by stick my hand up and wave but I miss seeing Wynn and Teresa. I know it’s them and it’s a nice morale booster every time you see or hear someone you know. I just keep riding along 9N. I’m also taking in the course and the amazing scenery it has to offer. I do this all day on both bike loops. It’s very easy to get caught up in the race and not notice the beauty of the course. I make it a point to glance up and take it all in as much as I can. Even through the misery of the second loop with the heat and wind it’s hard not to appreciate how wonderful it all is. It’s also pretty exposed like nearly all the bike course is and there is a little wind and as I ride on up to Ausable Forks it’s getting hotter out. The close you get to Ausable the more the road sucks. Very patchy and beat up but I make it to the turn and head back to where the beast of the course is going to be on RT86 up to Wilmington and back to Lake Placid. I’m eating, drinking, pedaling, and constantly monitoring my power numbers like it’s one of my vital signs and it literally is today. I finally make it to RT86 and here we go. I know exactly what to expect here a lot of slow pedaling. Spinning away up the long hills and taking advantage of the down hills where ever I can. It really sucks but I’m moving along. I do the out back in Haselton and hammer up and down there and get back to RT86 and hammer down the hill and make the left back to start climbing Wilmington. I feel pretty good I’m executing my plan. I’m climbing well and not overdoing my effort. I’m looking at my time and it’s behind my planned scheduled but I’m not willing to ride harder. I know that will end in disaster so I just keep moving along. It’s also getting hotter out so I just eat, drink and pedal. Shift the gears like nobody’s business. I take advantage of all the gears I got, today is not the day to be grinding so I don’t. I finally make it to the bears and I climb all three of those bitches on the way up to Papa Bear I see Paul from our Wildwood Warrior tri club. He’s got the Viking helmet and the Thor hammer and he calls out to me I ride past and high five the hammer. He offers words of encouragement and I’m feeling awesome at that moment. The energy on the bears is pretty awesome like TdF. I make the left for that last little climb and I’m zipping back into town I hear people calling my name out. I’m not sure who it was but I’m super happy to hear it. I’m heading toward SN’s to swap my three bottle of Infinit out and look at the time and I think I’m around 3:40. Well no way I’m hitting my targeted bike split today especially knowing loop two is going to be far tougher and slower. I’m probably not going to best my time at IMMT and I’ll be lucky to best it from IMWI.
I begin loop two and now this where the nightmare begins. I’m not feeling bad as I head back towards Keene. I think I was a little faster through here then the first time around. I didn’t get a chance to do the descent prior to the race so I’m feeling more confident about how fast I can take it the second time around so more speed. Before I really hit the Keene descent again it was before the upper lake and I hear Wynn again riding up and he’s shouting encouragement over to me while I slowly ride by. Yes this time I saw him and I’m thinking he’s all over the place today. Must be out getting a ride in and then as pass the parking lot to one of the lakes I see Teresa out there and she yells over I wave and yell back. How awesome was it to see Wynn and Teresa out there? It was very awesome and it would pretty much be the theme for the day. They were out and about cheering us on and supporting us all day right up to the finish. How many people would spend their entire day not only cheering their friends on but cheering everyone on? Not many. I survive the Keene descent again and it’s really not bad when you can ride in the middle of the roadway but I can see where it might get somewhat terrifying if you’re riding the shoulder. There are a lot of places where there is not very much room and the road is not great so I’d be a little nervous bombing down the Keene descent that way. I’m back over on 9N and it’s hot and now it’s windy. Great I get to now ride in a headwind. This is nothing new as I ride in the wind all the time back on Long Island. Long rides all the way out east and back where there is usually a headwind in both directions. I’m used to it so honestly I’m not worried or thinking about it. I’m just pedaling. I’m slowing down too whether I realize it or not and it’s super hot in the sun. I’m not drinking enough as I should be. Yes I’m drinking and eating but I really need to be doing more. I’m making my way up to Ausable Forks again and I look down at the Garmin and I don’t see power numbers anymore. It’s like flat line. Damn the batteries have to be dead. No warning just kaput. Damn, Damn, Damn! I knew I should have changed them the night before I dropped off the bike. So I get to the turn around at Ausable Forks ride up to a shady spot and I change the batteries. I was prepared for this. It took me all of two minutes to do it and it was worth. No way was I riding on just feel alone I just didn’t trust myself to do that and yes when I said I was prepared I was prepared for just about anything. I have to say I have both the Garmin Vector pedals and the Powertap P1’s. I had the Powertaps on my tri bike and man it is so easy to change the batteries. Thank God that was the case. So off I go and the little break helps I’m hot as hell but I’m moving pretty well back to RT86 and feel alright. I hit RT86 again and head toward Wilmington and this where it gets rough. The sun is out in all its glory and we are totally exposed. I’m hot as hell and pedaling slowly. It’s much harder the second time around. Basically it was just like the getting repeatedly punched in the mouth heading toward Wilmington. I was beginning to understand what Wynn, Derrick and Bobby had say about the course specifically this part of it. I finally make it over to Haselton and once again hammer up and down the out and back or at least in my mind I did and I hammer back up RT86 to make the left and start heading back to Lake Placid. This part of the ride that sucked beyond belief. Once you get into the thick of the climb going up Wilmington you are moving so slowly it feels like it’s going to take an eternity to get back. I’m melting at this point and it doesn’t matter how much I drink. I can’t pedal faster or harder for fear of blowing up and having to walk 26.2 miles so I just stick with it. I finally get to a point where there is a turnout and I just have to stop and eat. I’ve eaten four Snickers bars already and I don’t think I can muster eating another one but the Amrita bar I have is not looking very appealing either. I pull over and force myself to drink and then eat the Snickers. It goes down and I feel a little better and think I can make it the rest of the way. I’m looking at the time and I know this will be my worse bike leg ever at an Ironman but you know at this point I don’t care. I need to finish the rest of the climbs and I still have a run to do. I’m now focused on getting back without blowing up. I’m still pacing pretty well considering the heat and probably my lack of hydration and I get a little second wind after the break and make it up the bears which are now pretty sparse which tells me all I need to know about where I am time wise. I do the last climb and start pushing it to get back to transition. As I’m riding down in towards the transition down Mirror Lake Drive I see a lot of people out on the run. I will be one of them shortly I hope. With that I finally pull up to the dismount line and get off the bike. I grab my Garmin off the mount and head into transition. While I’m really more focused on what I need to do for the run I am deep down extremely disappointed with my performance on the bike.
What would you do differently?:
I just never got the chance to come up and pre ride the bike course for IMLP although I was planning to. In hindsight it was a big mistake especially since it’s only a 6 hour ride up from Long Island so the opportunity was there to train up here on the bike course. I also did not listen to my own advice and that was to hydrate. It’s not that I didn’t I just didn’t adjust to the conditions, the heat and I paid for it because it slowed me down. I think pacing wise I was doing alright and stayed within my power number range so I didn’t over ride the course and blow up. So on the one hand I’m bitterly disappointed and humbled by how hard the IMLP bike course can be but on the other hand I understand that no matter how much planning you do these things happen and you just have to roll with it and get through it. No bike split is worth throwing away you’re entire race. The fact the I was able to run and run well makes me think I did the right thing. If there is ever a reason to come back and do Lake Placid again this will be the reason because even now it’s just not sitting well with me.
They take my bike I run in and get my bag. I change but I don’t rush because I need to eat and drink some more. I eat another Snickers and drink several cups of water. I also got a bad cramp towards the end of the bike on my left thigh. It made me really nervous since I had a little issue in training with that on a few runs. I decide it’s time for extreme measures and I break the glass with the little hammer and break out the pickle ade pickle juice. Yep, I had two little bottles one for the bike and one for the run. I decide to do a bottle before I had out to run. I get changed and once again I do a full change. I change into compression shorts. They are da bomb for long runs, absolutely no chafing with these things and they cost me less then 10 bucks. I change my bike jersey to another bike jersey. I hate tri tops, I need sleeves and love having three pockets on my jersey. So I go from my old school Wildwood Warrior jersey to the new one. Well I may not have a good run but I’m thinking I’ll look pretty good trying. I load up all my pockets with a ton of stuff
(pickle juice, gels, bars, salt etc.
) and finally get it together and out of the tent I go. I know at this point I will be a 3 time Ironman it’s just matter of when I’ll get to the Oval.
What would you do differently?:
Not much here I think I would’ve moved faster had I done better on the bike. At this point I wanted to make sure I had everything I needed and felt good enough to go before heading out to run which I did so I can’t complain. However I know I can do much better with these transitions.
4h 50m 2s
11m 04s min/mile
I have absolutely no idea how I’m going to do on the run. I worked very hard to improve my pace over the last two years. I also put a lot of time in trying to become mentally tougher. I’m all good with suffering on the bike but I needed to improve my ability to suffer better on the run. I don’t mean suffer in the sense of killing myself I mean being able to hold or push the pace even when you’re feeling like the wheels are about to come off bus. I trained all year for this and I was about to find out if I could actually pull it off.
I head out and it’s hot as hell out and my stomach is feeling very full as I start, not bad but just full. I’m running along and I hear someone shout out to me and its Paul and his son. I just get out here and I’ve already see someone I know, it’s awesome. I’m like 3 or 4 minutes into the run and I realize I forgot to start my Garmin. Damn! I get it started and I miss .35 to .40 of a mile of my run. Ok no worries they have mile markers on the course and I can estimate between them. As I head out of town it’s just mad, crazy support. Lot’s of runners on the course people everywhere cheering you on. People calling out your name and encouraging you. It’s unbelievable and totally awesome at the same time. It’s what you live for when you do Ironman. Seriously I’ll never be a professional athlete in any capacity or sport but this is as close to it as I’ll ever get so it is so amazing to have people you don’t even know cheer you on. The energy of Lake Placid is amazing. I’m running along at a very comfortable pace and I’m taking it all in. I know my race is going to be short lived the memory of doing this is going to last a lifetime. It’s very hard not to get a little emotional as you run out amongst the crowds and the other athletes. It’s really hard to describe just how amazing it is. Heading out of town and out towards Keene and to the ski jump towards River Rd. I go and I’m running well and I’m thinking I need to redeem myself on the run. I’ve not had a good swim or a good bike today. I have to have a good run, I cannot walk today. I tell myself you need to run the entire course. Outside of walking the aid stations you need to run and you need to run the fastest pace you can. You didn’t train to walk the IMLP run course you trained to run it. I was going to find out exactly what I was made of today on the run. I was going to find out if I did indeed learn the art of suffering on the run. I see Bonnie’s brother Pete and her sister in law Dot and they call out to me and I say hello but I didn’t think to ask them if they’ve seen Bonnie and how she is doing. I’ve not seen her all day but I’m hoping like everyone else she is doing well. I make down to River Rd. and I’m running along and I see a guy in an Infinitri tri suit on and I look again and I see it is Dean. He’s moving at a real good pace. It’s early in the run for me but I’m thinking he must be on loop number two so I run up there next to him and say hello. I think he was quite surprised. Dean is a super humble nice guy and I was so glad to see him and see him killing it out there. We spoke for a few minutes and he offered to run with me. As much as I appreciated Dean’s offer I could not accept it. He’s a much faster runner than I am and I knew that he was a man on a mission and I was not going to hold him back. We wished each other well and off Dean went. It was great seeing so many friends on the run course this was the first of many on the day and night. I continue down River Rd. and there are lots of people walking. The heat and course have taken there toll on many. I see the medics out in several spots, not a good thing at all but I’m hoping it’s not serious for any of those who need attention. The out on River Rd. seems like it will never end. It’s like an eternity to get to the turn around. It’s not flat either, very rolling like good old Mill Rd. back home. So I keep moving along there I’m eating and drinking and looking for people I know and I finally reach the turn around and head back the other way. I do the same on the way back hit the aid stations eat and drink. I’m talking with one women and we run a little bit together. She is injured but is doing very well and is on her second loop. She runs and then walks when she needs to and then picks it up and runs again. We make it to her mile 20 and she needs to walk and we part ways there. I swear it’s much faster coming back on River Rd. then going out. I see Matthew, Douglas, Bobby Moore and Bobby MacDowell as I’m heading back they are both on loop number two and it is great seeing them. We offer each other encouragement and we all keep moving forward. I hit an open field with a farm with a big barn and you can hear Mike Reilly all the way over here. Again I take time out to enjoy the scenery as I’m running or shuffling along depending upon your perspective. I finally make it to the ski jump and heading back up 73 to town. There is a big hill after the right turn onto 73 just past the bridge. I run up it, I refuse to walk it. Walking it would be bad, yes I’m using more energy but mentally it may come back to haunt me. I need to show some resolve so I run. I see Pete and Dot again and this time I ask them about Bonnie and yes they have seen here and she is ahead of me. I tell them that is awesome and I’m glad to here that Bonnie is doing well. I’m motivated to keep my pace up now that I’ve heard that. I head back towards town and I see Wynn and Teresa again. One again more words of encouragement from them. As I get into town now people cheering and yelling out my name I keep going. I head up the last big hill there and I run it. Again I refuse to walk I don’t care. I trained to run its call Ironman for a reason. I’m totally locked in and I refuse to walk. My friend Karl calls out to me and runs over and runs with me. How awesome is that? He asks me how I’m doing and tells me I look great and then snaps a great picture of me. He offers more words of encouragement and I’m highly motivated now to get my first loop done and bring this thing home. I know it’s going to be a while but I feel great and I’m all fired up now. I hit Mirror Lake Drive and it is like pandemonium over there. So many people, the crowds are amazing. They are cheering everyone on like they are professionals. Again it’s hard not to get a little emotional when you go through there. At this point I’m trying to hold it together and just keep on keeping on. I make it to SN’s and get my bag. It’s a young guy who comes over with my bag and I thank him and reach in and grab a Ziploc bag which holds two jelly donuts. I pull out the bag and tell him this is what I’ve been waiting for all day, jelly donuts! He laughs and I thank him again. I eat the first one and it is the best jelly donut I’ve ever eaten in my entire life. I make it to the turn around and then head out for loop number 2. Not too bad I’m think I’m around a 2:20 to 2:25. I should finish the run in under 5 hours and I should PR my Ironman run time today.
When I run through town there is a couple of pretty good downhills so I go there and I’m attacking them. Not being reckless but just taking advantage of them. I feel good now I know that in less than two and half hours I’m going to be an Ironman for the third time. All I have to do is to keep running. I run down through Keene and I see Teresa again and more encouragement from her. I also see Bobby MacDowell again. He is looking great and he says the same about me. I know he’s heading to the finish and I’m happy to see him finishing strong. Just before I’m about to make the left on River Rd. I see Jillian and she calls out and asks me how I’m doing. I tell her I feel great although I know this is going to come back to haunt me. I also know she is headed to the finish as well. Now I’ve got this never ending River Rd to run one more time so I just keep my pushing my pace and I don’t let up. I keep eating and drinking at the aid stations and by mile 18 the race and the psychological warfare begins. I know the last 8 miles are going to be a real bitch. I’m tired, my legs are heavy and my feet really hurt. My mind is telling me it’s ok to start walking. I refuse, I just refuse to walk this. Walking is bad once you start a little then it becomes acceptable and then you are done. I tell myself this not what we came here to do. We need to keep running. So now I have to start the internal negotiations with my body and my mind. I need them to both be onboard with me now. If we walk we are just going to prolong the misery. It really doesn’t take much to convince them that running as fast as we comfortable can is the best option. They decide to get onboard with me. I have no more scheduled races for the rest of the year so I reiterate that and also promise myself a week off after the race. All you need to do is get me to the Oval so we can finish. It seems to be working because I continue to move forward. I finally make it to the turn around and I ask the volunteer if they moved it back because it just seems a lot further. He laughs and offers up encouragement which I totally appreciate. There were people out on River Rd cheering us on even at that time. I know I passed Bobby Moore, Douglas and Matthew out there and we all offered each other encouragement. Those guys were heading to finish. Before the turn around I finally saw Bonnie and we wished each other well. She looked great and was also heading in. No way was I going to catch her or anybody else today. I would be lucky to have enough energy and wherewithal to just to finish. As I head back past the open field and barn I can once again here Mike Reilly. So close but so far away. At this point I’m in a world of hurt, pain, again and misery but refuse to dwell on it. Just keep moving forward we are past mile 20 and have a 10K to go. I make it to the ski jump and start up 73 this time I do walk up the big hill. It was the only concession I had to make with my body and mind in order to get them onboard and keep me running. I power walked the hill and started running. From this point on mostly everyone is walking there are a few runners but not many. Everyone is telling me how strong I look and how great I’m doing. I just want to curl up in a ball on the ground at this point but I’m getting there. I run with one guy for a bit and talk but he says he can’t keep my pace so he drops off. We wish each other well and I keep going. I make back into town and it’s the last hill and again is total pandemonium. I’m so fired up the only thing keeping me going is the adrenaline. My feet started cramping up on River Rd. when I was walking the aid stations so I tried to get back to running as soon as I can. This last hill comes up and I’m running up it. People are going nuts and cheering me on. I’m thinking this is just so freakin awesome. At the same time I’m thinking I’m not so sure I can run like this to the finish but I keep pushing. I make it to Mirror Lake Drive and I know this is the last stretch, one out and back. I tell myself you can do it, we are almost there. It’s really dark once you past through town where the finish is so I carefully run to the turn around. People are out all over there cheering us all on. I’m dying at this point and want it to all be over. I finally reach the turn around and I know this is it. I keep running I know my body is very close to the point of stopping but I don’t let it. I get out of the dark and into the light and I finally reach the cones where it says to finish. I make the right turn and finally all the pain and misery seem to melt away. All the hours and months of training. Getting up early, working out late, being perpetually tired for the last 7 months it all culminates in that finally run through the Oval and to the finish. Every training run I’ve done I’ve envisioned this moment of running down the Oval and hearing Mike Reilly call my name. Does it ever get old hearing Mike Reilly call you name and say “You are an Ironman”? Not for me it doesn’t. I’ve watched my friends enter the Oval and finish for the last 4 years. Finally this was my time and my moment to do the same. As I enter I throw up a big thank you to the good Lord for getting me here safely and slap hands with a bunch of people. I hear my name being called to my left and I see Wynn and Teresa one more time. It was perfectly fitting and totally awesome to see them both at the finish. They are awesome friends. Mike Reilly calls out my name and says what I’ve been waiting to hear all day that in fact “You are an Ironman”! I make my way down to the finish and I like to do a little sideways jump through the finish although I wasn’t really sure I had much left to do it but I gave it shot and there was lift off. Yes I was defying gravity ever so slightly and was very fortunate to land on my two feet. Ironman number three was in the books. A well earned and well deserved 3rd Ironman finish I might add.
What would you do differently?:
Nothing, I had the best run that I could have on this day. It was my best Ironman run of my three races. I’ve learned how to suffer on the run and it paid dividends. I’m not sure I would’ve keep running if I felt like this at IMMT or IMWI. I’m very happy and proud of how I did on my run.
After I finish John comes on over and puts the medal around my neck. I got a big hug from him. It was so great to see him. He took me over and they took the timing chip I got a wet towel for my neck and my finisher hat and shirt. He then took me over to get my pictures taken. After that he took me over and I sat with Douglas. Then sitting right next to me is Bonnie she turns around and we were both surprised. It was great. We all talked for a bit congratulated each other and John brought me over something to eat and drink. After that Douglas headed out and Bonnie did the same to find her family. I got in touch with my wife and she was there but just missed me finishing. I found her and then went back picked up my bike and bags and headed back to the van. Unfortunately she had to park so far away I swear I think I had to walk at least a mile if not more to get to the van. What a long day but a very memorable and rewarding one.
What limited your ability to perform faster:
I’m an old slow guy to begin with. Ironman Lake Placid is a tough course. It was hot out and it was windy on the bike course today which made things that much more challenging. I can’t be disappointed when I put the entire race into perspective. I was hoping to do better but it’s an Ironman and nothing is guaranteed. You take what you are given and you do the best you can. My bike and run have continued to improve. The area which needs improvement is the swim. I can definitely take time off my swim if I decide to work on that. I also think I can get better on the bike and run. You can always improve your transitions as well. All in all plenty of things to look at here which can be improved upon.
Thank you to the organizers, the police and medical personnel, the town and all the people in Lake Placid who were out supporting the participants. The town embraces this event and support is overwhelming and amazing. Also a big thank you to the volunteers. They were awesome and are a big part of why the race is so great.
Thank you to my wife Joyce and my three children Kayla, Erynn and Austin for their understanding and support. Without them getting behind me I’d not be able to do this. I’m very thankful and grateful to have had the opportunity to do Lake Placid this year. I love you all.
Thank you Asphalt Junkies! You guys all rock and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your support and you all following Matt and I this past Sunday. I love you guys.
Thank you again to the Wildwood Warriors. It was an honor to represent at IMLP on your behalf. This is an amazing group of Long Island athletes and awesome group of people. I love this group.
Thank you to my training partners and good friends of Don Quixote Triathlon. Congrats to everyone who raced and like IMMT 2014 we all finished. Thank you all for your help, love and support. I really enjoyed training with everyone once again this season and it was great getting everyone back together to take on IMLP. You guys continue to challenge, motivate and push me to be better. I can’t thank you all enough. I love you guys.
Special thanks to my good friends Wynn and Teresa. They were out and about all over the course on Sunday providing major support and motivation to everyone. I think they probably logged twice as much mileage as I did on Sunday. I can’t thank you both enough for being out there from start to finish. It made the day that much more memorable.
If you want to do a challenging Ironman on a beautiful scenic course with arguably the best crowd support ever then go sign up for this race. What are you waiting for? Registration is now open.
Last updated: 2015-11-27 12:00 AM
01:48:12 | 4224 meters | 02m 34s / 100meters
Garmin recorded swim at 2.74 miles (4402 meters)
Two loops - Out and back
73F / 23C
Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
07:38:23 | 112 miles | 14.66 mile/hr
Two 56 mile loops - Some wind on the first loop. More head and crosswinds on the second loop. Roads were mainly good except towards Ausable and Keene.
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:50:02 | 26.2 miles | 11m 04s min/mile
Two 13.1 mile loops
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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