Ironman USA Lake Placid - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Lake Placid, New York
United States
Ironman North America
Total Time = 14h 05m 28s
Overall Rank = 1603/2200
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 76/123
Pre-race routine:

Arrived in Lake Placid around 5:00 from Connecticut via Vermont after a long week of driving back and forth, packing and getting household stuff squared away. Our son had his college orientation at St. Michael's in VT the 15-17th so we had already been to Burlington VT and back home earlier in the week to drop him off. We picked him up on our way to LP on the 17th. Exhausting! As we drove into town and passed by the Olympic oval, I got a little emotional, but I don't think anyone in the car noticed. We unloaded the tons of gear and luggage and set out to see the oval, explore the main street and determine a place to have dinner. Ended up at Jimmy's and then back to the hotel. Ran into Mark (rollinbones) and made plans to swim in the morning and hit registration afterward. I was very nervous and finding it difficult to relax and enjoy the family time, but tried to maintain a calm exterior.

Thunderstorms, swim, registration on Friday morning. Met fellow BTers MaineRob and JuliaPurr while standing forever in the reg. line. Had lunch in the Brew Pub which would later prove to be the first mistake :o. Later that afternoon, my husband came down with "the pukes". I was totally freaked!! OMG — a bug two days before this huge event and we are all four of us squeezed into this hotel room and there in NO WAY i am gonna escape this!! Damn! Anyhoo, he's puking his guts out for several hours and he feels sure that this is the result of something he ate at lunch. He is down for the count for the rest of Friday and part of Saturday. This becomes hugely stressful! My folks arrive in town that evening so boys and I have dinner with them (at Jimmy's again). My bro (always entertaining) arrives shortly there after and all provide a little distraction — which is good.

Saturday, I finally got motivated to put my T1 and T2 bags together and get my bike set up. Put the Zipps on the bike only to find that the rear wheel is not sitting right in the rear dropout and the front wheel is rubbing on the breaks. It seems all messed up and not sure why. I stress over this for way too much time. I need some help but my husband is sick as a dog in bed. I leave it for awhile and go for a swim. While I'm gone Dave comes back to life and starts to feel better — yeah! I take the bike out for a spin to see how its working and I know for sure now that it is really messed up. Take it to the bike mechanics in the oval. For seven bucks a women resets the wheel in the rear dropout and adjusts my front breaks. I believe I am good to go. Mistake number two.

I put the bike in transition and go back for my T bags. With everything where it needs to be, I am ready for Sunday. Dinner that evening with the whole family out towards Saranac Lake which was fun.
Event warmup:

Actually got some sleep Saturday night and woke up feeling rested and ready to go around 4:00 a.m. Drank a Boost right away and then another. Always like to get these in before I get too nervous to eat. Ate half a bagel with peanut butter. My folks and bro showed up! Got dressed, grabbed Special Needs bags and pump and headed down to the oval to get body marked, pump tires, reset bike computer, put bottles on bike, etc. A long, crowded walk to SN areas to drop off bags — felt like it was getting late and got frustrated trying to get through the gathering crowd. I am really feeling the nerves now. I see some peeps and say hi. Struggle into my wet suit as the rain drops begin to fall. Its time for me to get into the shute and make my way into the lake. A hug and a kiss from my sherpa and off I go. I try to locate my family in the crowd before i go through the timing mat, but its no use. But, I do find Polly and we bob in the lake together waiting for the canon to go off. I feel calmer now.
  • 1h 31m 39s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 10s / 100 yards

For all I had heard about the swim, it was not as bad as I had prepared myself for it to be. I started back behind the big crowd on the start line kind of midway between the shore to my back and the dock where Mike Reilly was. So there was a crowd in front of me and a crowd in back of me and I was with the people peppered in between. The canon went off and I immediately got on task. There was really no space to swim in initially so you just had to sort of wangle your way through without getting elbowed or kicked or clawed at. It was a really good distraction actually. In a few minutes, I was able to sort of start swimming. For the first loop I was not really on the buoy line but out from it a little. I drafted some, got caught up in a few folks and at one point got my head pushed down as I came up to breath. Inhaled some water and had to stop and try to breath again. I cussed a few times when I just couldn't get the right of way, but all in all, I just kept moving forward as best I could. Mostly I got mad, but never panicked or frightened. Came out the water at about 43 minutes for the first loop feeling pretty good. Got right back in and headed out for the second loop this time sticking right on the line. Pretty much hugged the line for the entire second loop. On the way back in this second time I kept getting tangled up with this big guy who was like a magnet to me. When I tried to swim out of his way he just kept gravitating toward me. He had this big crazy kick and I was really not wanting him to knock my teeth out. I finally just shoved him really hard to get his attention and he swam away like a big dopey fish. Finally out of the water, but not feeling like I had worked too hard. Got stripped pretty quickly and headed up the shute. Heard Mike Reilly say my name and home town. That was cool. Saw my support crew further up and high fived 'em. It is raining now and would continue to rain for the rest of the day!
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really. I fought my way through and didn't panic or exhaust myself. I want to learn better technique in the off season this year and try to improve my swim times.
Transition 1
  • 14m 2s

This transition took too long. I was a bit disheartened by the condition of the transition area. It was really wet in the changing tent and all the stuff in my bag was wet. Being near-sighted, I had worn my prescription goggles all the way up into transition. I nearly forgot to get my cycling glasses out of my bag before the volunteer whisked it away. Maybe the goggles would have worked better anyway. As I ran through the racks to get my bike in the mud and puddles, I was already beginning to manage my expectations for the day. Just get through it I thought to myself. I saw Rob and said "hey".
What would you do differently?:

Ummm… Hurry up! ;)
  • 7h 26m 4s
  • 112 miles
  • 15.07 mile/hr

Once I got on my bike I felt better (for a while anyway) I immediately got into my groove and set about gettin' the ride done. The bike seemed fine for the first bit, but as soon as I shifted into the small ring and tried to access the big gears on the rear cog, I could tell things were not right. The chain was not running smoothly through the rear derailleur and it was crunching through the front derailleur. I had to try and avoid those easy climbing gears for fear I would bust the chain or something. I forged ahead anyway knowing I had no alternative. All was tolerable until I hit the road up to Wilmington before the out and back. We all know that stretch of the course is tough and you need your small gears to climb it. I shifted one too many times and the crank just locked up on me. Going up hill, this was rather inconvenient. I got my foot out but then put it down and inadvertently re-engaged the cleat. In order to avoid falling over in the road, I rolled down into this really deep ditch along side of the road where I fell down in a rather ridiculous manner. It was kind of a deep hole filled with mud, but it was soft and I felt no pain although my shoulder was sore on Monday. A guy who was driving a pickup in the other direction stopped and jumped out to help me out of the ditch. Asked me if I was okay repeatedly as did other riders going by. I was fine although I could barely see him as my glasses were wet and fogged over. I said something about this whole thing being crazy and he said "nothing ventured, nothing gained" — too true! I took a look at all the parts, got back on and forged ahead, but now I was paranoid about that happening again which put a damper on all the fun. I got off a couple of times in the out and back to take a look at the damned thing, but it wasn't anything that I could fix. I had to work really hard on 86 climbing the bigger hills in a harder gear than I wanted to, but really had to be careful not to push the bike beyond what it could tolerate.!! I got through the first loop without further incidence. The second loop was much like the first. Wet! I crunched along pushing the harder gears and praying that nothing would break. I had gotten my second bottle of PERP at special needs, but hadn't put enough water in at the first aid station. It was like paste but I continued to take in a little from time to time. I ate a cliff bar and a few more gels. I drank a lot of water and gatorade. Finally got out on 86 for the final climbs back into town. Stopped at a aid station to pee. Two guys held my bike for me while I went into the porto. The volunteers were just amazing all day long! Somewhere on 86, the freakin' crank locked up again. I said out loud "this can't happen now"! I managed to get my foot out of the pedal and stay upright, but now i'm on a hill and have to get going again. It worked out, but I really feel like some one up stairs was looking after me. Whizzed by my family and friends one more time and headed into T2. A bike handler said "I'll take that" and I said "You can have it!" referring to the bike. I was really glad to be off that thing. All I had to do now was depend on my own two feet to carry me home. Nooooo problem.
What would you do differently?:

I should have taken my bike into the shop the week before the race and had it tuned and checked over. The mechanic that adjusted the rear wheel in the drop out should have checked the shifting, but I should have asked her to do it and then tested it before racking it. It pays to know how your own bike works and I need to focus on this a bit in the off season too. I have no doubt I could have been faster on the bike if it had been working properly.
Transition 2
  • 06m 9s

Quite a bit faster with this transition. Had a great volunteer help me put my running socks on. Changed into running shorts. Put on the fuel belt which I ended up NOT using. Regular glasses on, shoes on, visor on and off I went.
What would you do differently?:

  • 4h 47m 36s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 10m 59s  min/mile

I felt really good coming out of transition and had no problem running the first 7 miles. I decided to alternate water/gel and gatorade at each aid station and walk the stations as needed to get these thing in. I did this for the entire first loop I think. I didn't care that it was raining anymore. I had been wet for hours now and it was just fine. I didn't feel cold or uncomfortable. I was happy to be running and the people lining the streets were so encouraging with "you look strong" "nice pace" "you're gonna be an ironman today". Just awesome to hear your name from complete strangers with kind words attached and nothing but belief that you were gonna get this thing done. On the out and back for the second time, I started to walk a little but soon made a deal with myself to only walk through the aid stations. I stopped once to use the porto. I saw Polly again and she had just gone through the turnaround timing mat. She told me to catch up with her so we could run together. I told her I'd try. Eventually I did catch up and we ran together for a bit and chatted and that felt really good. We were approaching mile 20 and I was really feeling like I wanted to get this thing done. I had a little bit of stomach discomfort so I decided to try the cola at the next aid station. It was like rocket fuel! I picked up my pace a little and just started to really find a good groove. Ran strong up the subtler hills back into town again with lots of encouragement from the spectators. Walked part of the really steep hill and jogged the rest and just took off from there on a mission to git'r done! I saw Polly's Dad and assured him that she was right behind me. She had been kickin' my azzz all day and I could see in his face that he was wondering why he was seeing me first coming up that hill. I had a second wind and I was gonna ride it all the way to the finish. I ran past a ton of people just walking it in along Mirror Lake Drive. I couldn't understand why they weren't excited to reach the oval. I just started eating them up, picking them off. My stride felt really smooth and I was just gliding toward the finish. I came around the turn and down to main street. Volunteer directing me to turn right and then left into the oval. Yup, I'm there! Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run" is blaring. I am the only one in the oval. I high five a bunch of people to my right. Kids mostly who are excited to see me even though I don't know them. I am grinning ear to ear and Bruce is singing for me (I am born and raised in Jersey so it feels right!). I come around the turn and I can see the finish. I see Dave to the left and my Mom. They have been there all day cheering every time I passed by and I want them to have this moment too. I put my arms up and pump my fists and I feel like rock star as I break through the tape. It was amazing!

A volunteer wrapped her arm around me and congratulated me. She asked me how I was feeling, was I okay for her to let go? Did I have someone to come get me? Got my hat, my shirt, my medal. I wanted Dave to be right there, but after a minute or two I knew I needed to get some food in my stomach and sit down. I wandered into the food area and groped at the sandwiches looking for turkey. Nope, no turkey — just ham… ummm… okay — ham is fine. I nearly fall into the pile of sandwiches… find a chair, sit, wonder how I will get up again, wonder if Dave will find me here. I eat the sandwich and chat with some people. Suddenly Dave is there and its all good. He is beaming and I am so happy that he is there with me as he has been every step of the way.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. The last 10k of this run was just amazing for me. I felt really strong heading up the hills back into town and just got so jazzed passing by the oval knowing I would be there very soon. Really pleased that I could make up some lost time on the bike with strong marathon.
Post race
Warm down:

We walked slowly back to the hotel. My family was gathered in our room. We had a quick champagne toast and then threw them all out so I could get cleaned up. They came back up shortly after and we ate food they had picked up the night before. So awesome to have them there with me and share in the whole experience. Especially my Mom!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The thing that limited me most is my poorly functioning bike. Outside of that, I actually did almost exactly what I thought I could do. I was thinking that 14 hours was very achievable if all went well and that's what I did. Maybe I could have gone sub 14 with my bike in top form, but lets face it—the bike could have ended my day much earlier so I am thankful that I was able to ride it 112 miles and get to the run. Its all good. I feel like my training served me well — particularly on the run and that I toed the line well prepared and with everything I needed to finish an IM. The finish line experience was everything I imagined it would be.

Event comments:

The volunteers were beyond awesome. My hat goes off to each and every one of them. And to all the family and friends and strangers that encouraged me all day long out in the pouring rain — Thank you!!

Profile Album

Last updated: 2007-07-23 12:00 AM
01:31:39 | 4224 yards | 02m 10s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/123
Overall: 0/2200
Performance: Average
Suit: Sleeveless 2XU
Course: 1.2 mile out and back — two loops
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 72F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 14:02
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
07:26:04 | 112 miles | 15.07 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/123
Overall: 0/2200
Performance: Below average
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 06:09
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:47:36 | 26.2 miles | 10m 59s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/123
Overall: 0/2200
Performance: Good
Course: Two loops with a nice climb back into town each time.
Keeping cool Drinking
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:
Race evaluation [1-5] 4