Ironman USA Lake Placid - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Lake Placid, New York
United States
Ironman North America
73F / 23C
Total Time = 13h 38m 26s
Overall Rank = 1278/2258
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 34/100
Pre-race routine:

We spent the pre-race week in Saranac Lake in a "cottage" on Flower Lake. It was nice being outside of LP and not getting too caught up in the pre-race buzz that begins to build on Thursday morning as athletes start to arrive and they start to setup for the race. We arrived on Monday to a gorgeous day in the Adirondacks. Hit the supermarket so we could cook our own meals for the week and chilled by the lake.

Tuesday, I went into LP for a swim and run on the course. There were very few athletes around yet. Had the lake mostly to myself! The boys and I went for a hike later on in the day.

Wednesday, Dave and I did a little ride on the run course. A short brick run followed. More athletes around on this day. Took the rest of the day pretty easy.

Thursday, I went into LP to register before the big crowd got in. It was Dave's birthday so he and my son went mountain biking at White Face Mountain together while I hung at the cottage and started to get my T-bags organized.

Friday, we went into LP for the Gatorade swim and another short ride. Started stressing a litte about my bike as there was some rubbing happening, but couldn't figure out where it was coming from...

Saturday called for a short run and ride. Decided the bike needed to be looked at so brought it to Placid Planet where a really great guy put it immediately on the stand and adjusted the rear wheel in the dropout. The tire was rubbing against the cutout. He also tightened the headset and checked the shifting and just generally gave it a good once over! I rode it on the run course after to be sure that it was good to go and it felt great!

Last year I had mechanical issues that cost me quite a bit of time so was really important to me to be sure the bike was in good working order. I knew that if I was going to get my time under 14 hours, this would be where it would happen!

Finally got the bike and my gear into transition. It was hot and incredibly crowded down at the oval. Spent a good 20 minutes just trying to get a parking space and then walked a good half mile to get the oval.

We cooked dinner back at the cottage and tucked in early to try and get some sleep before the day.

Up at 4:00 a.m. Two Boosts, oatmeal and banana, half cup of coffee for breakfast. Felt a little nauseous -- seems to be a standard pre-race experience for me lately. Got in the car about 4:45 and headed into LP hoping to get a parking space right off the main street -- which we did!

Body-marked, pumped tires and put nutrition on bike. Checked on transition bags, founds some friends who were doing the race too for the first time and gave them a pep talk! Found Polly and Chris at the tent they had set up for the day. Wetsuit on. Photo shoot with my boys :).

Made my way into the shute and down to the water with the crowd of athletes. I seeded myself about 20 feet from the start line and bit right of the buoy line thinking i would start wide and swim in toward the line to avoid the fray. Bobbed around and chatted with some other peeps while waiting for the cannon to go off. It started to rain.
Event warmup:

Did a few strokes in the lake to warm up.
  • 1h 20m 39s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 55s / 100 yards

Okay, I started kinda close to the front really although I wasn't on the line or right on the buoy line so it was complete chaos right from the get go. I got smacked around pretty much the whole way around on the first loop. It took some time to work my way over to the buoy line but I did manage to get there and round the red buoy that marks the first length. I had to fight for every stroke. I got kicked, punched and dunked like crazy! I did manage to draft and was definitely caught up in the washing machine effect! I was mostly surrounded by red caps (the guys- women wore white) and many of them had wild kicks with 6 foot spans. My goal was to protect my teeth and stand my ground on that damned buoy line! As I got close the shore to end the first loop, I literally had to fight to get out of the water. I threw some punches and pushed a little to get out and then back in for the second loop. I heard the announcer say my name. I had done the first lap in under 40 minutes which was awesome for me!

The second loop was much better. I swam right on the line and held tight whenever anyone challenged my position. The way out was nice and smooth with not too much contact until the turn. It got a bit crazier on the way in but not as bad as the first loop. It went by pretty quick! I saw 1:20:?? on the clock at the beach and couldn't believe it!! Eleven minutes faster than last year!
What would you do differently?:

Nothing! This was a good, hard fought swim. I stood my ground and didn't let up. Worked really hard on my swim technique and speed this past year and was really excited to see it pay off!
Transition 1
  • 11m 56s

Got my wetsuit stripped right off and headed up the shute. Saw Dave and gave him a big smile and thumbs up! Got my own bag off the rack in transition and ran into the big sweaty tent. All the chairs were full so had to get to the other side to find a space. Put my cycling glasses on so I could see what I was doing and they immediately fogged up! DOH! Socks on, shoes on, helmet on, sunscreen on, shove some stuff in my pockets, stuff the wetsuit, cap and goggles into my bag and asked a volunteer to re-rack it for me. Hit the portolet and off to get my bike. Noted that there were a lot more bikes still in transition than last year. That made me happy :)
What would you do differently?:

Not sure. One of my goals for this year was to keep things as simple as possible. One outfit for the race, all nutrition on the bike at the start and use what's on the course. Eye wear is a problem as I'm nearsighted and I get discombobulated when I can't see what I'm doing... Not a bad transition though. A few minutes faster than last year so I'm in line for a course PR so far with both the swim and T1.
  • 6h 54m 19s
  • 112 miles
  • 16.22 mile/hr

I was excited to get on the bike. I knew this was where I would get my sub 14 hour race and I had every reason to believe that my bike would cooperate with me this year. Last year, I had mechanical issues that had my on the ground once and going very conservatively for the entire race.

Heading out of town is fun with the crowd and fast down hills and turns to get out on the course. Then the reality sets in with that first climb. The sun came out and it felt hot. I stayed conservative and just tried to go steady and smooth. The newly paved area along the river and before the big descent was awesome! Wherever there was free speed, I tried to maximize my effort. The descent and the backside of the course were really fun. My bike was humming and I knew I was making good time.

Then came the climb into upper Jay before the out and back. This is my least favorite part of the course. Having ridden it several times now, I know this for sure. Its hard work and it kicks your azz. Finally got to the out and back. This was almost entirely repaved since I'd ridden it in June! Got some good speed going here before the hard work that is the end of the course. Climbed back up into town and knew that I had had a good first loop. Saw my support crew and they knew it too! Was awesome to see them!

The second loop went equally well. My pace fell off a little, but it started to heat up and there was a pretty good headwind developing. I still managed to keep my pacing fairly even and managed a 30 minute PR over last years bike time! I thoroughly enjoyed the trip around Mirror Lake to transition!
What would you do differently?:

I might have ridden a little harder... but, in hindsight, its probably just as well as the run was going to be tough.
Transition 2
  • 06m 51s

A little slower this year in T2. Not much, but a little. Had to back track to get to the portos... I did get some help putting fresh socks on and shoes, hat, nutrition, etc.
What would you do differently?:

Not sure. Need to practice transitions maybe...?
  • 5h 04m 41s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 38s  min/mile

I knew as soon as I got started that the run was gonna be tough. It was warm and sticky and that was definitely taking its toll on everyone. However, the crowd was amazing coming out of transition and you gotta run for them! I ran until I got down to the out and back and then started to do more of a walk/run. I was making deals with myself and it was only the first loop — a little worrisome... Forced myself to run until I got to the next aid station where I would allow myself to walk and drink and eat an orange slice. The oranges were, by far, the most appealing thing I saw.

I couldn't seem to relieve my thirst even though I was drinking at each station. I couldn't wait for the next station! I started asking for ice and mixing that with coke and carrying it with me between the stations so I could sip it as I went along. This was good. I made it through the first loop in pretty decent time and began really to focus on that sub 14 goal. No way was I gonna blow it on this run.

The second loop was tough indeed. Most of us out there were struggling though so I wasn't alone. At one point in the out and back I'm pretty sure I was hallucinating because I thought I was looking at the turn around and then realized it wasn't there... wishful thinking! I kept plugging along, walking a little, running a little, holding tight to my precious cup of ice and liquid. Finally got the out and back done and made the turn to head back up into town.

I had been leap frogging with a nice guy named Kevin in the out and back. This was his first IM and he was walking quite a bit too. When he was waling, I was running. Then he would run and I'd be walking. Every time I ran past him, I'd say giddy up and he would run some more. We had a little exchange and I told him he had a pretty impressive first IM going. He had funny shorts on. They were long -like down to his knees - nice shorts, but not running short or biking... they were baggy like something you'd wear to a picnic or just hanging around. I found them to be quite endearing. He was a nice young guy just doing his thing with no big ego or attitude. When we finally got to the top of that first hill after the out and back, he started to run again. I told him to got get it and he ran ahead. I didn't see him again, but I was happy to have met him briefly.

So all there was now, was a measly little 5k to run to get this sucker done. I knew the crowd along the route back up into town would get me there. I walked most of those last two big hills but tried to walk fast. The sub 14 was pretty much in the bag, but I wanted it not to be too close to 14 — yes, I was feeling greedy ;).

Finally got onto Mirror Lake Drive and got lots of encouragement from the crowd. Didn't see my support crew so figured they must be waiting for me in the oval already. I was behind last years run time. I started to push pretty hard to get it done. I was like a mile away, but it felt like 5 miles. Once I hit the turnaround, I really dug deep to run faster. Finally, finally -- the turn into the oval. It seemed oddly quiet, but I could hear music and Mike Reilly. I ran hard around and over that humped mat and headed for the finish line. Saw Dave with his arm out. Fived him and almost took my arm our of the socket!

Ran into the arms of a catcher who was concerned about how cold my skin was. Suddenly there were two of them holding on to me, asking me questions. I got my hat and my shirt and my medal, but they wouldn't let go of me. Pretty much forced me into the medical tent where I felt sure I might pass out if they didn't let me sit down.
Post race
Warm down:

It was a mad house in the medical tent. The guy in front of me was puking his guts out into a box... I was standing there with this gal holding me up feeling pretty sure I would pass out if I could move around or sit down really soon! Finally got weighed and didn't really think i was down that much, but they insisted I needed fluids. This was not really what I had in mind for a warm down and I was missing the post race fun! Insisted I needed to at least let my husband know I was in here... I was able to call him finally and an hour and two bags of IV fluids later, they let me go.

The people working the medical tent were awesome. They had their hands full with people in way worse shape than me. I did feel better after the fluids so was probably the best thing. The walk back to the car was slow, but I felt okay.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I had an excellent race and really achieved all of my goals for this second crack at LP. Right after LP last year, I sought help with my swimming with the specific goal to improve my swim time. DONE. My bike time last year suffered due to mechanical issues. This year, I got to the line with bike tuned and a great new fit. My run suffered a bit, but overall, it seems that most of us struggled with the heat and humidity of the day and in the overall standings I did pretty well. Really there are no limitations, only excuses. I won't make any. I did my best. One foot at a time toward the finish line. All good.

Event comments:

I'll be forty-six in a month. I didn't sign up for LP 2010, but feel certain that I'll do it again. Can I do it faster? Yeah, maybe... :) or not... I love this race.

Last updated: 2008-09-15 12:00 AM
01:20:39 | 4224 yards | 01m 55s / 100yards
Age Group: 49/100
Overall: 1524/2258
Performance: Good
Suit: 2XU Comp1 Full Sleeve
Course: Two loops pretty much an out and back rectangle.
Start type: Deep Water Plus:
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation:
Rounding: Good
Time: 11:56
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:54:19 | 112 miles | 16.22 mile/hr
Age Group: 42/100
Overall: 1468/2258
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: Two loops with some challenging hills.
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 06:51
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:04:41 | 26.2 miles | 11m 38s  min/mile
Age Group: 34/100
Overall: 1278/2258
Course: Two loops with some nasty hills back into town.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
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