Ironman Lake Placid - Triathlon

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Lake Placid, New York
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
70F / 21C
Total Time = 16h 45m 40s
Overall Rank = 2182/
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 229/
Pre-race routine:

We arrived in Lake Placid the Tuesday before the race. Checked in to our rental house and went shopping for groceries. Unpacked the van and used the evening as a rest day.
Wednesday morning woke up early and rode for about an hour on the run course. Beautiful course with Olympic ski jumps in the distance and awesome streams next to the run course. Such a beautiful area. Later that morning took the kids down to Mirror Lake. They ended up swimming on the beach while I swam an entire lap of the swim course. The water is so clear you can follow the underwater cable all the way around the course.
Thursday am woke up early and ran 5 miles. 2 1/2 miles out to River Road and 2 1/2 miles back. Also rode the back portion of the bike course. Rode out to the 3 bears. Not as steep and scary as I remember them being. Thursday was also athlete check in. Got to the arena right at 9 and was about tenth in line. Made it through without any issues. Ended up going to the oval and going thru the expo. Money well spent!
Friday decided to use the day as a rest day. Had considered doing another swim but decided it wouldn't add anything to my race and also was pretty tired still. Attended the welcome ceremony Friday night which was awesome.
Saturday used the day for rest and hydration. Dropped my bike and gear bags at the oval around noon. The day before an Ironman is so tough. So many emotions and thoughts go thru your mind. Received a ton of messages from back home of encouragement.
Event warmup:

Transition opened at 4:30 am. I woke up at 4:30 and had breakfast. Nothing special. Oatmeal and banana and normal morning vitamins. Filled my bottles of infinit and water and tossed frozen snickers and uncrustables in special needs bags. Had already applied tri tats the night before to avoid body marking the morning of race.
Left our rental house around 5 am to walk to transition. Was about a quarter mile walk from our house. Stopped at bike special needs first which was located on the road between the oval and Herb Brooks arena.
After bike special needs walked down to the oval to put nutrition bottles on bike. Once I got to the entrance of transition I saw Gene Plederer standing there looking around. At first I had to look from a distance not two but three times to make sure my eyes were really seeing him. I WAS completely in SHOCK! I couldn't believe he came all the way from ILLINOIS! I immediately ran over and gave him and big hug! After talking for a few minutes I went in to transition to find my bike and told Gene I would meet him at the transition exit.
Walked in to the oval and the mood was electric! Everyone was excited and running around. What an atmosphere! Immediately found my bike and put infinit in my aero bottle and one bottle or infinit in my rear cage and one bottle of water in my rear cage. One last check of the brakes and tires and she was ready to go. Didn't rain overnight but there was a ton of condensation on all bikes.

After tending to my bike I headed over to gear bags to stash a pair of sunglasses in my bike bag as I couldn't remember if I put sunglasses in bike bag the day before.

Made my way out of transition to the exit and found Gene. We both walked up Mirror Lake drive to run special needs talking along the way and still in shock that he was actually there. Dropped off run special needs and headed over to Mirror Lake.

At 6 am they made the announcement that the pro's would start at 6:30 and that they would soon be allowing us to get in the water to warm up. Met Erin and the boys soon after that. Stood around for awhile just taking in the beauty of Mirror Lake and trying to relax before the big day.

Finally around 6:15 they made the announcement and the water began to fill with wetsuit wearing people. I immediately donned my wetsuit, gave my final hugs goodbye, and got in the water. First thing I did while in the water, I have to admit, was take a nice long pee in my wetsuit. TMI I know but the lines for the porta potties were already incredibly long. Mirror Lake felt great. Water temp was mid 70's. Swam just a little bit to get acclimated then made my way over to beach to line up. On my way over to beach ended up stubbing my toe on a huge underwater rock. While in the water they played the national anthem, I knew at this point it was almost go time. Ended up making it to the beach and got out of the water and lined up with the 1:20-1:30 swimmers.

While standing there the cannon went off signifying the Pro start. Potts and Tollakson were in the water! The same water I would soon be swimming in!

While standing there I noticed I was lined up on the right side near where the cable would be. This was not what I had planned. My plan was to line up outside to the left away from the cable to avoid contact and congestion during the early swim. I slowly pushed my way over to the outside left but the swim start was pretty congested. People were very nice about letting me over though. I had finally made it over and the cannon went off for the age group start. Its ON! We slowly all started shuffling forward.
  • 1h 47m 18s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 32s / 100 yards

So my plan was to hold back on the first lap and weather the storm with the hope that the second lap would be less congested and an easier swim.
I entered the water pretty much where I had planned to enter, far left away from the crazziness of the underwater cable.

After swimming the first 200 I noticed the waters around me were completely congested and full of swimmers. Felt the first person touch my ankle. Immediately freaked out thinking maybe I had seeded myself too high in the swim. Made the mistake of looking back to the start and seeing the sea of people still entering the water. Again kind of freaked out mentally but tried to remain calm and remind myself to stay in my box.

Continued to swim as best as I could but had to stop several times to calm myself and catch my breath. My swim was not out to the start I had hoped for. Finally made it out to the red turn buoy after counting 9 yellow buoys which were to my right. Made the short segment of the turn and headed back toward Mirror Lake beach. I noticed the kyack people were keeping us pretty tight to the cable and buoys and only allowing about ten feet of space which made for a tight course.
At one point on the back side of the first loop I felt something hard hit me in the back which made me stop for second and look up. It was one of the kyack guy's. He asked me "Are you even sighting? You are pretty far off course. You might want to consider swimming a bit tighter". I floated for a second, cleared the fog from my goggles and looked over and was only maybe 15 feet from the swim buoy on the my right. I thanked him and tried to swim a little closer to the buoy thinking maybe there was some drift or current on this side pushing me out but didn't seem like I was that wide. After taking a few strokes it seemed to get pretty congested again I sighted and noticed I was pretty much right on the cable. Again freak out moment as all I could think about was Andy Potts swimming over me on his second lap of the swim. Continued on.

Made it to the beach and the first lap was complete. During the first lap had pulled a muscle in my left intercostal area which made every stroke a bit painful. Checked my watch and was at 52 minutes for my first lap. Not a good first lap.

Immediately jumped back in for lap 2. Forget lap 1. Time to turn it up and get going as lap 2 should be less congested. After getting out about 500 yards to buoy 2 or 3 I noticed the water was incredibly choppy. Felt like we were swimming in a washing machine. Water still littered with people. Again feeling contact quite frequently which really surprised me. Had to stop every so often and clear my goggles as they kept fogging. Eventually stopped and peeled off my swim cap and stuck it down inside my wetsuit thinking maybe I was getting too hot and that was why my goggles were fogging so much. Didn't help much.

Kept fighting and swimming and eventually made it back to the beach. Felt like this was one of my worst swims ever. Exited the water and looked down at my Garmin and saw 1:49. Was pretty frustrated as I had hoped for the 1:30's and knew I was a much better swimmer than that. My actual time was 1:47 which meant my second lap was around 55 minutes. Slower than my first lap.

Made it over to the sand covered carpet, layed down and let the wetsuit strippers rip off my wetsuit. Jumped up and grabbed my suit and ran down the carpet off to T1.
What would you do differently?:

Was defintely a frustrating swim. I know I am a much better swimmer than that especially in a wetsuit. Both laps should have been no more than 47 minutes not 52 and 55. Swim was much more congested than I anticipated.
Transition 1
  • 14m 26s

Good transition. Ran into T1. Grabbed bag 1826 from the rack. Identified it easily due to the bright orange tape. Ran into changing tent. Found an empty chair and dumped bag contents on to ground. Immediately dried with my towel from my bag. Rolled up wetsuit and threw wetsuit, cap and goggles in bag. Changed from swim trunks to bike shorts. Applied chamois butter. Put on socks and bikc shoes. Grabbed tracking device, turned it on, and stuffed in back bike jersey pocket. Put the rest of my stuff in T1 bag. Put on helmet and sunglasses and ran out of tent. Had volunteer spray sunscreen on me. Ran back in to tent and went pee before getting on bike.

Ran back out of tent and ran by volunteer with mega phone. Yelled my number "1826", hoping he had heard me so they would grab my bike. Made it around edge of bike entrance and alll the way down to where my bike was racked. Bike was already waiting for me being held by volunteer. AWESOME!. Put my Garmin on bike and switched to bike mode and headed to bike out and mount area.

Good transtition!
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Great transition. No wasted time or movement. Clean transition.
  • 7h 55m 22s
  • 112 miles
  • 14.14 mile/hr

Jumped on bike at mount line and left transition. Immediately upon leaving there was a sharp left hand turn followed by a right hand turn and a steep downhill. Took all of these very slowly and cautiously. Made the right hand turn onto 73 and headed out of town. Once we made it past River Rd we began the long climb out of Placid. Fairly steep uphill. Was in lowest gear in small ring. Slow pace. At times riding 6-7 mph. Made it to Mt VanHovenberg turn and finally had a flat section to get into aero and take fuel from aero bottle. This section was new, flat, and newly paved. Very nice. At turn around this was first aid station. Grabbed a bottle of water, took a few drinks and then tossed it.

After turning right back on to 73 had one more climb before I saw the "steep hill gradient" sign. This began the Keene decent. Took the Keene decent very cautiously. Up on my handlebars and feathering the brakes the entire time. Looked down at my Garmin and hit max speed of 32 mph. At 32 mph bike started to shimmy and shake a bit. Continued on until I hit the town of Keene where you make a left hand turn and the course flatens out.

After Keene we rode flats in aero position until the town of Jay. Tried to start my nutrition plan. Drinking Infinit every 10 minutes and taking salt pills every hour. Grabbed a couple of bannana's at an aid station and ate these also. Made it all the way to Jay without any issues and felt good.
After Jay rode the Ausable out and back. Took it pretty easy and conservative. At Ausable out and back got passed by lead motorcycle and by pro's Tollakson, Potts, and McMahon who were all riding together.
Continued on and made the left hand turn after the Ausable out and back. Pretty steep climb right here. Again low gear and spin but only speed of about 6 mph.
Made it to town of Wilmington and made the left hand turn on to 86 and began climb back to Placid. This climb is long and tough. Kept moving and trying to take in beauty of course around me. Continued with my fueling plan and knew that I was close to being back to town. Hit the three bears. Mama, baby, and then Papa. Saw Gene Pflederer who ran beside me on Papa bear as did a group of kids who were chanting my name. Told them they were awesome and thanked them. At the top of Papa made the right hand turn and took the last grueling climb onto school Rd. After that made the left hand turn on to Mirror Lake drive and was back to town. One lap down.

Rode thru town and past Herb brooks arena. Heard announcer call my name and say I was from Hotlanta. Not sure what that was about. Saw Erin and the boys right in front of arena. Made right hand turn to road that special needs was on. Stopped at special needs and picked up two uncrustables and a snickers bar. Headed back behind school and made the turn to start lap 2.

Headed out of town and at bottom of hill out of town at junction of River Road saw a biker laying in the road covered in blanket with ambulance and police by him. Hoping he was ok.

Began climb out of placid. Looked down at watch and saw that first lap was around 3:55. Way too long. I knew I really had to push this second lap. Took the climb pretty easy. Hit the Mt VanHoevenberg out and back and stopped at aid station to use the bathroom for the first time on the bike. Also drank a whole bottle of water and mixed up another bottle of infinit before leaving.

Made the final climb after leaving aid station and hit Keene decent. Keene decent was again pretty uneventful. Took it around 32 mph nice and easy. Made it to Keene and sighed a sigh of relief that I had made it down Keene decent twice safely. Continued on for the rest of the second lap trying to push on flats in aero and take climbs easy. Was averaging around 19-20 mph on flats.
Hit mile 102 after Wilmington on climb back to Placid and started to experience cramping in my right hamstring. Stopped alongside the road to quickly stretch and took a hotshot. This stuff tasted terrible! Not a fan of cinnamon which is what this stuff was. Burned like a shot of everclear going down too. Have to admit it immediately took my cramping away though.
Continued on until I hit Cherry patch pond and knew the 3 bears were coming. Took mama bear, took baby bear, took papa bear. Saw Gene again on Papa. He ran alongside and took some video asking how I felt. Both of my triceps began cramping while climbing Papa but told Gene I felt pretty good. Hid the pain well lol.
Finally made it back to town and was happy to make it to bike out. Glad to be off the bike. Grabbed my Garmin off my bike and handed my bike to a volunteer and headed for gear bags.

What would you do differently?:

I think I held back WAY too much on the bike. I kept thinking I needed to conserve on the first lap for the second lap but felt pretty good the entire second lap up until the very end.
Should have ridden the climbs more aggressively but seemed like everyone else was really holding back so I felt like I probably should too.
Transition 2
  • 12m 6s

After handing off bike took off bike shoes and helmet and ran to gear bags. Grabbed run gear bag which again was easy to identify with bright orange tape. Ran to changing tent.
Again dumped contents of bag on ground. Took off bike jersey and shorts and dried off with towel. Changed into tri shorts and shirt. Put on new socks and running shoes and hat. Transferred BAT to run belt pocket. Put on run belt. Stuffed bike stuff back into run bag and left run bag on chair beside me for volunteer.
Walked over to table where water was. Filled running flask with infinit and water. Walked over to pee trough and emptied bladder prior to exiting tent. Walked out of tent and had volunteer again spray me with sunscreen.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Again great transition from bike to run. No wasted time or movement.
  • 6h 45m 28s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 15m 29s  min/mile

Ran out of T2 and immediately saw Erin and the boys. Stopped for a minute to talk to them. Erin said I looked good. Felt ok. I asked what time it was. She said around 5 o'clock. I immediately said I really needed to get moving and stay moving.
Began a nice easy jog out of transition. Felt really good to be running. Tried to keep my pace around 10-10:30 miles for first mile. Stopped at first aid station and took drink of infinit and water. Still felt pretty good.
Picked up and ran again running 9:30-10 minute miles. Ran to mile 2 aid station. Again drink of infinit and water. Started to feel a little achy in my legs. Decided it was time to adopt 4:1 strategy I had been practicing with. Ran 4 minutes at 10 min/mile pace and walked 1 minute. Did this up too aid station 4 and noticed that I started to feel naseau setting in.
After aid station 4 was only able to jog for 2 minutes before I had to stop and walk. Tried to maintain a 15 min/mile pace while walking. Naseau continuing to get worse. By mile 5 or 5 1/2 was down to a walk due to naseau. Decided I was going to stop around mile 7 aid station to use porta potty and take some zofran.
Continued to walk it out until I hit mile 7 aid station. Ducked in to porta potty and sat for a few minutes while taking zofran and urinating for first time since start of marathon. Since I urinated I thought this was a good sign that I was hydrating even though I hadn't taken anything in for 2 miles. Exiting porta potty and didn't feel much better.
Met Gene out on River Road and by this time felt pretty crappy. Continued to try to walk brisk pace as I was down to a complete walk. At mile 8 1/2 wasn't sure how I was going to make it thru another out and back.
Somehow made it back to town and met Erin and the boys prior to special needs. Again had been walking for quite awhile now and felt really crappy. After making lap thru town Gene told me that he thought I really needed to try to grab some pretzel's or Coke to settle my stomach. Wish I could but my stomach was so upset.
After talking with Gene we decided he was going to go and get my bike and bags and meet me back out on River Road. I would take to out and back on my own. Handed my sunglasses and water bottle to Gene. Also took his long sleeve shirt from him as it was getting pretty cool with the sun going down.
Headed out of town on my own.
From this point on things got a little blurry. I remember grabbing some pretzels and coke at an aid station on the way out of town and forcing them down. I also remember feeling a sense of urgency that I really needed to get moving. I tried to jog the downhill sections out to River Road and once I hit River Road. Also tried to maintain a steady walking pace. Ended up alternating Gatorade and coke at every other aid station. Also remember taking a salt pill with coke at one aid station and felt quite a bit better.
Met Gene on my way back to town and he sounded excited and said he could tell I had been running and had picked up my pace. This made me fell very good. He now said Irontrac had me finishing around 11:30 but I knew I had to keep moving. Being out on River road that late was very odd. ATV's running up and down the rode constantly and saw an ambulance pass me twice. Tried to ignore all that and kept moving.
Soon found myself back in town. I met one of the volunteers out by the entrance to the ski jump and he congratulated me and told me I was going to make it and that the red carpet I was about to run down matched my red long sleeve shirt I was wearing. This made me feel good too. Continued run/walking in to town. Made it to the bottom of the final hill in town and met Carter. Once we hit the oval Gene left us and headed to the finish line. Carter and I headed down Mirror Lake drive on the final out and back.
Kept run/walking and trying to walk at a brisk pace. I could hear Mike Reilly announcing and I knew my time was coming soon. Finally made it past special needs on the way to the oval and then past Lake Placid Pub and Brewery. At the bottom of the hill near the entrance to the oval I stopped and gave Carter a hug and told him to go find his mom and I turned right and headed in to the oval. Couldn't believe how many people were still there that late. I saw my wife inside the oval and she said "either better speed up or slow down" wasn't sure at the time what she meant by this. After seeing her I saw the volunteer that I saw outside of town and gave him a big high five and thank you!
Once I turned the corner the lights were so bright it was blinding! I then saw an older man jogging right in front of me. I slowed way down to give him his moment to finish. Gave high fives all along the way. Heard Mike Reilly announce my name. Ended up jogging down the chute and the older guy in front of me had stopped and gave Reilly a hug. I side stepped and kept jogging and went across the finish line. I was so glad to be done and to have crossed not only by midnight but 6 minutes shy of 17 hours!

What would you do differently?:

Not sure how to answer this. I know I need to work on race day nutrition more. Maybe more long bikes with long brick runs in training to test nutrition?
Post race
Warm down:

Went into finisher area and got t-shirt, hat and medal. Also walked over and gave back tracking device. Walked over and got my finisher photo taken.
Walked over to food area and asked for chocolate milk. Was really disappointed that they had no chocolate milk.
Ended up grabbing a gatorade and water and sat down for a minute wrapped in solar blanket. Had 2 or 3 volunteers check on me. Just wanted to sit for a minute and rest.
After resting for a few minutes walked over to porta potty and urinated and then walked out of finisher area and up stairs to high school and sat down on a bench overlooking the oval.
Soon my boys and wife walked over and found me and all gave me a hug.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

What can I say. Perfect weather. Tough course. Just not my day. Tough swim. Held back too much on the first lap of the bike. A lot to think about for the future of my Ironman career

Event comments:

What can I say? IM LP is a beautiful venue. Very well organized tried and tru event. LP course is without a doubt the toughest race course I have ever encountered. I am disappointed in my performance this year but I think my preparation could have been better. At times my heart was not in the training. I definitely did not diet well and raced this race 15 lbs heavier than I did 3 years before.
I feel like I still have better Ironman races in me. I also think I need to change up my training a bit as it is getting boring and stale. I also think I need to seriously work on diet and nutrtion and weight a lot more before I attempt Ironman.
Next year will be spent restructuring my training, working on better pre-race nutrtion, losing weight to race at a more healthier body weight, and most likely focusing on shorter distance events. I had contemplated retirement from triathlon after this event. After this race I know I need to take some time off...but I am not retiring or leaving...I have unfinished business!

Last updated: 2016-07-28 12:00 AM
01:47:18 | 4224 yards | 02m 32s / 100yards
Age Group: 227/
Overall: 2127/
Performance: Below average
Suit: yes
Course: Two lap 1.2 mile elongated rectangle with short beach run in between laps.
Start type: Run Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 74F / 24C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Average Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 14:26
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
07:55:22 | 112 miles | 14.14 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
Wind: Little
Course: Two 56 mile loops thru the Adirondak hills.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 12:06
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
06:45:28 | 26.2 miles | 15m 29s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Bad
Course: 2 out and backs taking you thru town 4 times. Mostly downhill on the way out of town but uphill on the way back. A couple of legitimate hills in town.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5