Ironman USA Lake Placid - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Lake Placid, New York
United States
Ironman North America
62F / 17C
Total Time = 15h 27m 43s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = W50-54
Age Group Rank = 24/43
Pre-race routine:

Woke up about 3:45am before either of my two alarms went off. I had slept soundly since 8:30pm Saturday night. Breakfast was an English muffin, coffee, banana, natural PB, and later an organic apple beakfast bar and bottle of Gatorade Endurance. My husband, 17 yr old daughter, oldest son and my daughter-in-law were all in LP with me as my support crew and cheerleaders. My second oldest son (wonderful triathlete) lives in AZ and is prepping for the Bar Exam (it's this wk) so he was not able to be there. He would be tracking me all day.
My son got up extra early with me to help me take my SN bags down to the start. When we opened the front door it was still quite dark and I thought the sprinkler system was RAIN. I was so relieved that it was just the sprinklers. LOL What did I know at that point?? I was very lucky to have a townhouse within a block of the swim start. We dropped off my bags and headed to body marking. After that I loaded up my bike with hydration/nutrition and then walked back to the townhouse to put on my wetsuit.
Event warmup:

My family and I headed down to the start around 6:15am. One of the first people I saw was KathyG, her family and her great friend Sue. We chatted and got some pics. Before I knew it it was time to head over the timing mat and into the water. I positioned myself well to the back and center. And there was Kathy again! Fun! The sky was overcast but no rain (yet).
  • 1h 38m 1s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 19s / 100 yards

This was a good swim for me. I looked at my watch when I swam under the starting line flags and it was already on 1 min and 40 seconds. That means my swim was a bit closer to the 1:36 I swam when I did the course when training in LP in June. And that was in ideal conditions (and on the cable the whole way). For me, this was a good swim. I was able to get very close to the cable for whole time. I did some drafting and passed when I needed to. I got my goggles kicked off one time by a big guy who seemed to be panicking. But I adjusted them and continued on. Later I would find a big scratch on my neck and remembered that someone had clawed me when stroking. No biggie though.
About have way through I could see that my bare arms were covered in goose bumps and that it was raining pretty steadily. No worries, though, since the rain would pass over quickly...ha!
I actually had two cute guys pull off my suit... And then there was my family jumping up and down and cheering me on! Woo Hoo!!! I love them to pieces....
What would you do differently?:

I just learned to swim with my face in the water 3 yrs ago at the age of 48. I am generally pleased with where I am, but I do hope to pick up some speed in the next year. Overall, I am happy with this swim. I had a projected 1:45 so I was well under that. Good!
Transition 1
  • 09m 16s

By the time I got to the transition tent I was pretty chilled. It was pouring and transition was already a muddy mess. Unfortunately I only had a sleeveless singlet to pull on for the bike. Like so many others, I had left all rain gear and my arm warmers back in my room. I will never ever make that mistake again.
What would you do differently?:

Lesson learned...EXPECT the UNEXPECTED with the weather (especially in LP)
  • 7h 44m
  • 112 miles
  • 14.48 mile/hr

I knew I was in trouble with the temperature as I started my decent into Keene. My teeth were chattering. I got as aero as I could do safely in the weather conditions. When I got down it protected my core a bit from the cold. Visibility was pretty poor and there was a lot of water on the road surface. I never got over 40 mph but I still enjoyed the excitement of the trip down! The whole first loop went by pretty quickly. With the out and back I was able to spot a few of my speedier friends. And the spectators were just awesome! I couldn't believe that they were out in that rain!
When I reached SN, the volunteer there was very concerned for me. He said "Honey, you are blue...I think you need to do something..."...I didn't let him get much further. I thanked him and grabbed my honey and pb sandwich and stood off to the side to eat it. I could see my hands shaking and my finger nails were blue. I could only imagine what my lips looked like. I think it was worse to stop and let the chill set in, but I had no doubt that I would continue on! I hopped back on and rounded the corner and there was my family again! Yeah!!! That gave me a boost!
The second loop was slower but I stayed within a certain comfort zone. My mental game took over and I kept reaching into my brain's bag of tricks to get me through. I decided to stop allowing my teeth to chatter and despite how sore my jaw got, I kept it locked! It was eerily quiet on course because all of the athletes went into themselves and no one was chatting at all. The monsoons really opened up on the second Haselton loop. But hey, we were all in the same "boat" (could have used one for sure that day!) and that in itself gave me strength.
What would you do differently?:

Again, I would have been dressed much warmer. I had hoped to be off the bike in 7:15, but the conditions were what they were. I've only been cycling for 3 years so I stayed realistic about my bike handling skills and just got the job done.
Transition 2
  • 11m 31s

See my run description below....
  • 5h 44m
  • 26.2 miles
  • 13m 08s  min/mile

It was so cool to be able to hand off my bike! The transition area was a muddy swamp. We had to run part way around the oval to the changing tent so I took my bike shoes off and carried them. I grabbed my Transition 2 bag and headed into the tent. It was pretty flooded, but I grabbed a seat. A volunteer took my bag from me and then 2 more volunteers came over. They were very very concerned and wanted me to go to the medical tent. "Hypothermia" is what they said. They wrapped me in a blanket and got me a cup of their coffee. They said I could not leave until I stopped shaking. I could not even open my bag because my fingers were so cold. The volunteers were amazing. They rubbed my back to help warm me up and helped me get my gear out. When they finally let me stand up they took me by the elbows and said we had to go to the medical tent first. I begged them to just let me start running! I knew I could get my body temp up! Luckily I had stuffed a jacket into my T-2 bag. They were reluctant but finally gave me the go ahead. I ran out of the tent and there was my gorgeous family again! I ran up to them and told them NOT to worry. I would be nowhere near my running time goal but I would finish! I was prepared to run a 4:15. My recent marathon PR is 3:24 and I had really trained hard for this run. But this day was now all about survival and finishing an IM. I was able to run much of the first 14 miles. In fact, my husband was sure that I would finish the run well under 5 hrs when he saw me head out on the second loop. But soon after that my vision got funky. Everything was getting wavy in front of me. I knew my body temp was still off. When I slowed to a speed walk I was fine. Then when I ran I got light headed again. I had to make the decision right then and there. Do I keep running and risk blacking out? I knew that would land me in an ambulance and my day would be done...OR do I abandon all time goals knowing that I could speed walk and then run the last couple of miles and into the oval and finish my day an IRONMAN! And that is exactly what I did. Once I made that decision the whole race changed for me. I started really taking in the sights and sounds of my surroundings. I saw such amazing acts of kindness from the volunteers. I tried to boost up as many struggling athletes as I could. I could not wipe the huge grin off my face if you paid me! lol It was still pouring buckets. Someone was handing out mylar blankets so I tied one around my shoulders and marched on. As darkness set in I passed a frog and a snake on the road and I wondered if the rain had forced them onto a solid surface. A pick-up truck rolled by and the volunteer handed my a glow stick...Cool! There were more and more spectators as I headed back into town. It was just awesome! I could hear Mike Reilly in the distance. Someone had made a huge Mdot symbol out of red Christmas lights. I didn't even mind the 2 mile out and back as I turned away from the oval for the last time. In some weird way I didn't want the experience to end. I know that sounds crazy, but it's true. Once I gave up my time goals I was free to embrace everything about this adventure and I was loving it. Then I started to run. I don't remember my feet touching the ground. When I made that right turn into the Oval I was overcome with emotion. I ran down that chute blowing kisses and high 5-ing spectators! I heard Mike Reilly announce me as a first time IronMan! I "broke" that tape and felt like a million bucks. My catcher asked me how I felt and I said "just AWESOME!" I got my medal (kissed it!), shirt and cap and there was my family and my friends! We hugged and my daughter was crying buckets of happy tears. My husband hugged me and said "We worried about you all day long and you finish looking like you just ran a freakin' 5k!" We all laughed at that! Then we took a bunch of pics. My daughter scooted into the finish area while the rest of my wonderful family went to pick up my bags and bike. My daughter came with me for my finish line pic and then some food. Yes, I have a cast iron stomach, and yes, I ate two pieces of pizza and a hoagie. We walked back to the townhouse holding hands and sharing stories. I was really chilled and I took a hot shower and a hot bath. We all sat up talking until 1am. I slept sporadically and got up around 7am. Since I was awake I decided to head down to the finisher merchandise tent. My son and DIL went with me. Then they took me out for a huge breakfast at the Downtown Diner. Wow, was that good!
What would you do differently?:

Given what I had on this day, I wouldn't change a thing! I have very low body fat and that serves me well in hot temps. On this day I would have had to have been dressed for the conditions in order to have a solid time.

Post race
Warm down:

See above

Event comments:

This journey has changed my life. I have always been a late bloomer. Now I know that the Powers that Be had a plan for me. There is so much that I want to do in my lifetime. Most importantly, I want to give back into the world so much of what has been given to me. I am in the process of exploring where those energies will be directed.
Also, my triathlete son and I will both be competing at IMLP 2009! How cool is that? And my oldest son will be competing at the NYC Marathon this fall (his second marathon). My daughter runs and swims (water polo team this fall)and is an accomplished equestrian. My husband maintains his fitness and my DIL runs and does yoga.
We are all embracing a healthy life style and I could not be happier.
Given the circumstances, this year's race became all about finishing an IronMan. Next year it will be about finishing and hopefully being more competitive.
Thanks to all of you for your support and guidance!

Last updated: 2008-07-28 12:00 AM
01:38:01 | 4224 yards | 02m 19s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/43
Overall: 0/
Suit: sleeveless Blue Seventy
Course: Mirror Lake...small lake with a narrow start area. Two loops (get out and run over timing mat after first lap)
Start type: Wade Plus: Shot
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 09:16
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
07:44:00 | 112 miles | 14.48 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/43
Overall: 0/
Wind: Little
Course: two loops through rolling hills of LP (14 mile out and back to Haselton). Loop through town...
Road: Rough Wet Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 11:31
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Below average
05:44:00 | 26.2 miles | 13m 08s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/43
Overall: 0/
Performance: Below average
Course: two loops (two segments each...11 miles and 2+ miles) Rolling hills and out and back along lake
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5