Ironman USA Lake Placid - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Lake Placid, New York
United States
Ironman North America
Total Time = 12h 30m
Overall Rank = 958/
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 168/
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 4:30 and had a big bowl of oatmeal and a banana. Started hydrating with bottle of water and a can of diet coke for some caffiene. Left the house at 5:00 am and the journey began.
  • 1h 08m 52s
  • 3862 meters
  • 01m 47s / 100 meters

As swims this season go, this was a below average performance, however I am completely happy with it given that 3-4 mins in this portion of the race really doesn't mean squat. I got into the water with a little under 10 mins to go and immediately swam across the lake to the area my family was standing. I got their attention and waved. They took pictures and yelled. Was nice to get to see them one more time. Mike Reilly started talking and before I knew it, the starting line was full of swimmers. I had seeded too far back, but in retrospect, a couple of mins on the swim wasn't going to make or break my day so I took it in stride. Seeing my family was worth getting stuck behind the pack. With my pool times and half distance races, I thought under 65 would be possible. The first 200 yards I kept thinking..this isn't so bad. Then I caught up to the pack and it was total chaos for the next 1/2 mile. Just kept my head about me and tried to find a lane. Things started to open up on the way in but every once in a while it would get crowded. I ended up inside the bouy line, but truth be told, I really was just following all the other fish. As a side note, the bouy line is nothing more than a thin peice of string. With all the bubbles and movement going on, it is hard to keep site of it. I would find it every now and then and follow it, then lose it. The way in wasn't so bad and it opened up a bit. The rain began on this leg and would continue for the rest of the day. Every time you looked up to breathe, you saw a spray on the water from the rain. You could sense it was raining pretty hard but you were in the water so what did it matter? Ran through the timing mat for the second loop. Waved my arms over my head across the lake and my sister saw me and waved the big American Flag she had. I gave 2 thumbs up and my family all waved back..they knew it was me. That was cool. Second lap again got crowded on the way out. Seemed to go almost the same as the first lap as it opened up a bit on the way back in. I rarely sighted in this swim as there was always several people around you. Overall, I expended very little energy on this leg and was happy with the result. Got my top off, sat down for the strippers and before I knew it I was running up the hill to the transition tent.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe start farther up in the pack. I was not freaked out at all by the congestion, so I should have seeded myself higher. As I said, I'll trade that time for the last minute waves to the family.
Transition 1
  • 08m 57s

This is a long run to transition. You run through the bag area and grab your bag and head to the tent. The tent was a little crowded, but was unenventful. With rain in the forcast all day, I spent extra time liberally applying vaseline. I had placed a jar of it in every transition and special needs bag I would see today. I did not want rubs and blisters to deal. This race is hard enough. Ran out of the tent and toward the bike rows. Was cool to hear them yell out my number and someone in my row was getting my bike. I helped him pull it clear and was off to the start of the bike.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. I thought it went fairly well. Probably bring a towel as the ground was getting muddy.
  • 6h 44m 48s
  • 112 miles
  • 16.60 mile/hr

This is a cyclists course. Having started cycling last March (2007), I am not an experienced cyclist. In the conditions we faced today on this course, you need experience. As soon as we started the bike the rain just started to downpour. Everyone was saying how scary the Keene descent was going to be. I had never ridden the course before...I was getting freaked out. The first 2 climbs out of town are pretty long and steep. They are often forgotten about on the course. I took the advise I kept hearing this past year which is to take the first lap extra easy. I did a good job of this mostly because the weather was forcing me to. Just before the downhills, I reached around for a water bottle in my tail. I must have reached funny because it felt like the muscle in my right lower stomach popped out. It freaked me out and scared me. 3 years ago in 2005 I had surgery in this area to donate a kidney to my brother. At first I was scared I ripped it or had a hernia occur. I was scared so I rubbed it and rubbed it and took some deep breaths. It felt better but still felt wierd. I just kept praying that something like this wouldn't take me out of the race. I had minor lower GI issues feeling like I had to go the rest of the day, but nothing like that again. I started to feel better about it. I kept waiting for the big decents and soon we were upon them. Let me just say this...I was scared out of my mind. There was water streaming down the road and the rain really picked up. The rain, the fact you were not putting out energy on the downhill, and the mountain air all combined to make you freezing cold at this point. I started to shiver and thought, crap don't tell me I'm gonna freeze all day. I was not experienced enough to let it fly like others were doing. I was afraid of fishtailing in the rain and losing everything I worked for this past year. At one point on the really steep section I had both hands on my brakes and was squeezing as hard as I could. I looked down and I was still doing 40MPH. It was like you had very little brakes. I held on and made it to the valley below. Things warmed up and the fairly flat section from here to Jay was welcome. I focused on drinking and nutrition and thought I did a pretty good job of this during the day. I probably drank too much for the weather as I was peeing all through the second lap. Yes, I learned that new trick during the race. I figured in that pouring rain it really didn't matter and no one would know. I chatted with several people and got passed a lot. I didn't care. I let them go and focused on taking it easy. I did not want to make the rookie mistake. I took the left onto 86 and knew the course would get tough from here. The hill up this road to Hazelton is long and wears on you. People were in good spirits even though the rain was miserable. Glad I went sockless. The Hazelton out and back was ok. I hit a pothole that loosened my right arm rest and that kind of annoyed me. Overall the condition of the roads was not very impressive. The scenery on a clear day and even in the rain is spectacular, but the roads have seen better days. Many sections were fine, but some were pretty bad. Hazelton was a section that could use some improvement. Hit the firehouse station on the way back for some nutrition and another bottle. The volunteers the whole race were great. Never complaining about standing out in the rain all day. Turned and made my way to the climb back to Placid. This section has been documented in many a report so I wont' go into details. Suffice it to say everyone is correct. There is no single hill I went over that I was scared I wouldn't have enough to get up again on the second lap. That said, the climbs are continuous and long and really wear on you gradually. Soon I was up Papa Bear (the crowd there was great...loved the devil with his pitch fork) and then up that extra hill to the right of Papa Bear. Heading back through town was really cool as the streets were lined and people were cheering and screaming. You really had to go slow as you had several sharp turns that were hard in the wet conditions. The second loop was pretty much a duplicate of the first except I was feeling a little more tired obviously. I remember chatting with someone and we passed the 90 mile mark. She smiled and said hey we only have 22 miles to go, that's less than an Oly bike course. That made me feel good. Up to that point I really wasn't tracking distance or time. I was just pedalling along at a pace I knew was sustainable. The second time up Papa Bear was tougher, but I knew at that point I was done. I pumped my fist as I past the Tri Club tent on Mirror Drive and they were going crazy. Made my way through town again and was really psyched to be off the bike. A guy from my club was my bike catcher and it was great to see someone I knew. He gave me a big cheer and grabbed my bike. I was off to the bag area again.
What would you do differently?:

I could have done a lot differently but in retrospect it was smart that I didn't. I was definately not comfortable with my handling experience on the downhills in those conditions. I lost a lot of time there, but better safe than sorry on my first IM. I also could have pushed it more on the flats as I had more in the tank, but again, my goal was to finish and I did not know what the run had in store for me yet.
Transition 2
  • 06m 6s

Pretty uneventful. I spent the time changing shoes and put vaseline all over my feet before putting my socks on. This was a very very very good move that paid off big time later on. I also vas'd up the important areas as well, which is always key.
What would you do differently?:

Not much
  • 4h 21m 17s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 09m 58s  min/mile

The first mile of the marathon is downhill which is pretty cool because it gives you time to get your legs under you without having to get your heartrate up. Of course in your head you are thinking that you are going to have to go back up that hill on the way back. For the first 5 miles I was keeping 8:30 pace and felt pretty good. I kept looking for people in my club who passed me on the bike. I knew I was a stronger runner so I was calculating how long it would take me to catch them. Of course I wouldn't know until I saw them on the other side. This happened at the mile 5 aid station so they had about a mile on me still. I hit the turnaround and started back. I loved that the aid stations were every mile, because it gave you a reference as to where you were. You can't see a mile marker until you are close up on it, but you can see an aid station from a 1/4 mile away. Mentally I focused on the miles completed. I purposely did not focus on the miles remaining. It was mentally better to be saying "I'm done 6 miles already" than to be saying "I still have 20 miles to go." I caught one of my club mates at the 6 mile mark and the other just after the 8 mile mark. I was feeling pretty good. I wasn't eating anymore as I was not very hungry. I was drinking little sips of coke at the aid stations as I still had some discomfort in my lower abdomin, but nothing freaky. You really didn't need as much hydration in this weather. I again focused on the miles and each one seemed to tick off. Soon I was in town and passing the tri club tent. They went nuts and I waved my arms. They did a great job all day in the rain (as did all volunteers and spectators) keeping the enthusiasm high. I passed my brother just passed the half way point timing mat and he said, 13 miles and your an IronMan!! That's when it kind of hit me. I was just passed the 10 hour mark and I thought even if it gets bad I can walk 13 miles in 7 hours. I knew at that point I had it. I started to smile. The second lap was harder and each mile ticked off a little slower. I saw a lot of people bonking and I passed probably as many who had passed me on the bike. I won't kid you though, the last 6 miles were hard. That was the first time I focused on what I had left. I thought 6.2 miles...that's just a 10K. Well that was one damn hard 10k. Once back in town the energy level picked up and my spirits were again lifted. I was 2 miles out from achieving my goal. I hit the out and back on Mirror Lake Drive and it was a good feeling passing the special needs area knowing you are on your second lap and don't need to stop. The tri club tent was going nuts at this point as I was now less than a mile from the finish. They were all shouting I was an IronMan and I was really getting fired up. The last mile is really great as people are lined up and soon you hit that magic split in the road where you bear right and head to the Oval. I high fived the crowd and waved my arms to get them cheering. Once inside the oval I felt like I could walk on water (how appropriate for the day). I got halfway around and I looked behind me and no one was in the oval behind me. This meant I could take the spotlight. I began to wave my arms and jump up and down trying to get the crowd going. Everyone was cheering wildly and I was loving it. I barely heard Mike Reilly saying the magic words. My family had luckily gotten a spot right along the fence at the finish line. They were screaming and going crazy. I crossed the line in exactly 12:30:00 and I was an IronMan!!!
If you would like to see a small video clip of the finish go to and play the clip. It's my wife's site.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. I was very happy with a sub 10min marathon. I was hoping to do around this pace and really felt good for most of the run. Don't get me wrong, it was difficult as is every IronMan marathon I'm sure. I just expected the worst and was surprised by a good run.
Post race
Warm down:

Got a massage and this was a bad idea. It felt great, but once I stopped moving I got real cold. Was shivering the rest of the night till I got a hot shower.

Event comments:

The volunteers and crowd were just spectacular. I can't imagine standing in those conditions all day long. No one complained or had a bad thing to say. Only positive cheering all day long. My hats off too them. I still can't believe I am an IronMan!!!

Last updated: 2008-02-08 12:00 AM
01:08:52 | 3862 meters | 01m 47s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Below average
Suit: Full
Course: 2 Loop rectangular box keeping bouys on the left.
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 08:57
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:44:48 | 112 miles | 16.60 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Course: A very hilly beautiful course.
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 06:06
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:21:17 | 26.2 miles | 09m 58s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Course: 2 loops with several steep hills and long rolling sections.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]