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Ironman USA Lake Placid - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Lake Placid, New York
United States
Ironman North America
68F / 20C
Total Time = 14h 02m 12s
Overall Rank = 1588/
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 299/387
Pre-race routine:

A little background. My first IM was Wisconsin in 2006. Those who were there will remember that the weather was terrible. Raining all day with temps in the 50's. One of the things that appealed to me about LP was that the race was in July, reducing the chances of dealing with that weather again. Guess not.

We rented a camp on a lake about 30 miles north of LP, both for the few days before the race and for a weeks vacation afterward. My wife and I dropped the kids off with my parents, who would bring them up on race day, and we had a few days before the race alone in the camp and LP. We spent the day before the race just wnadering through shops in LP, with me sucking down calories all day. I watched a lot of racers getting in one last work out, but I decided that I had to trust my training and stayed away from any race prep other than relaxing.

Drove the race course, and developed a new mantra: "don't be a douchebag." ie...don't try to do too much on the climbs and be safe on the descents. I told my wife to yell it at me when she saw me on the course.

We had a nice dinner together, and headed back to camp for a good night sleep. I was alseep by 9:30 - and awake again by 11. It was raining - and I mean really raining - it was so loud it woke me up, and kept me from falling back to sleep. I started thing about 06, and the possibility of racing in a downpour again. Needless to say I was awake for a while. I'm not even sure when I finally dozed off.
Event warmup:

Up at 3:30 - out the door by 4:15. In LP by 5. Body marking - tire pressure check - special needs drop off - in to the wet suit - final goodbye to my incredibly supportive wife - and out in to the water.

No rain at this point, and I thought the weather was going to be ok. While I was standing in the water waiting for the start, some guy came over and interviewed me with a camcorder. Ran through the race plan in my head. "Don't be a douchebag."

My hope was just to improve on IM Moo 06 - better than 15:18:40. My training said I could do it, would race day bear that out?
  • 1h 23m 29s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 59s / 100 yards

My plan was to start to the right and back - as always - let the better swimmers get out and then move in to the bouy line. Worked like a charm. I got in to the blender earlier than I wanted, but I always seem to. I stayed relaxed for the first loop, and basically on the outside. For the second loop I got on the line and followed it all the way aorund. Drafted a bit, and passed when I had to. Basically stayed relaxed and kept in mind that I had a long day ahead of me.

I started to notice the rain, and my thoughts turned to that screaming descent in to Keene.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. I shaved about 10 minutes off my 06 swim time. This was just about what I expected based on training, and I was happy with it.

I forgot to start my watch when the cannon went off. Sometime in the first couple hundred yards I remembered and hit the button. That left me wondering what my actual time was all day.
Transition 1
  • 08m 28s

Went fine. By the time I ran from the swim to the tansition tent it was raining hard. I hadn't seen a weather forecast, so I held out hope that it was just a passing shower. No such luck. Made a fairly quick transition and got out to the bike.

Would have been nice if they had some kind of floor down in the transition tent to avoid all the mud.

Shaved about 4 minutes off 06 here.
What would you do differently?:

  • 7h 28m 29s
  • 112 miles
  • 14.98 mile/hr

Bike started off very badly! While coming downhill out of the transition, another rider tried to pass me on the right with verry little room on that side. He tapped me and we became entangled. We veered to the right and crashed in to a couple standing along the course. The woman hit the ground hard. and everyone went flying. The man told us to get back on the bikes and go, while he took care of the woman lying on the road. I gathered myself and took his advice - then I noticed that I had thrown my chain. I got off and fixed it - I went on my way.

I spent the first ten miles of the bike gathering myself. Was that woman ok? Was I ok? Was my bike ok? The first question I will probably never know the answer to. The last two seemed to be yes. I have some road rash on my knees and legs, my aero bars were askew, but generally I seeed to be ok. I knew I had to get my head together before the descent in to Keene. It was pouring now, and I had to be focused.

The descent was just flat out scary. I rode the brakes the whole way. The rain felt like a million needles on my skin. I couldn't really see very well. I topped out at 33 MPH, and people were flying by me. I couldn't take advantage of the speed the descent offered, but I figured one crash was enough for the day.

Once I tuned on to 9N, I settled in to my mantra, and reminded myself that the course is way more than one bike loop. I took it easy and really started to feel good. The turn on to 86 - the out and back - and the climb back in to LP were uneventful. I wanted to stay in the saddle for the whole first loop, and I did. Time wasn't awesome, but I was ok with it given the conditions.

The second loop was more of the same. The descent was even scarier this time. I was worried that some fatigue might lead to a mistake. I took the same approach though and played it safe on the way down. the rain had not let up, but at least I wasn't cold. The air was surprisingly warm, and I actually started to feel really good as I made the turn up 9N.

"Don't be a douchebag." The urge to hammer the stretch up to 86 was overwhelming. I just kept reminidng myslef that I wanted to "run" a marathon. I stayed within myslef.

The climb after turning off of 9N was the first place I got out of the saddle. A nice easy swaying motion. It felt great to stretch out, as my back had tightened up a little.

The out and back seemed loooong. I started to notice some people really suffering on this part. I passed one guy on an uphill who kept saying "ow ow ow ow" out loud. I stuck with the plan thoughs and saved it for the run.

The second climb back in to LP is where the suffering really started. It was a real struggle to keep myslef focused and not just hammer as hard as I could to "get there." I talked with a few other racers on the way up, and that helped. I went up Slooooooowly.

What would you do differently?:

Don't crash.

Find a race site where it isn't puring on race day. Seriously - two IM's, two floods. My bike handling skills were not good enough to fully take advantage of the descents in the weather conditions. Rather than being a hazard to myself and others, I took what the course offered, but it slowed me down. In the end I did shave about 12 minutes off 06 on the bike. I was hoping for better, but improvement is improvment.

I'm thinking Arizona or Florida next. Of course with my luck it will snow there on race day.
Transition 2
  • 03m 49s

Quick in and out. I was dying to run - and I got out there quickly.

I had dry clothes in my bag, but it was raining so hard I saw no point. I just left the trisuit on.

I actually skipped as I got on to the run course.

Shaved about 10 minutes off 06 here.
What would you do differently?:

  • 4h 57m 35s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 22s  min/mile

I left T2 feeling great, and hit the course running hard. I knew I had to slow down or burn out, and I took advantage of the first aid station to do just that. I got some calories and coke, walked up the hill and settled in to a comfortable pace. I felt great. I didn't focus on anything other than staying comfortable. It worked great. For the first loop I only walked the aid stations where I took aid, the rest was a comfortable run. That got me a 2:17 first half. I could not have been happier with that. Hanging around 10 minute miles for the first half of the mary is really great for me. "Don't be a douchebag" paid off. I had something left in the tank!

The second loop started off like the first. The strategy was to keep a comfortable running pace as long as I could, and see where that took me. I was amazed at how good I felt. Even the pouring rain wasn't dampening my spirits. (And it was really pouring!)

Around mile 16 I notice blisters developing on my feet. Nothing terrible at that point, but I could tell it was going to get worse. Still the "comfrotable run - walk aid stations" strategy worked great - Until mile 20 or so.

I hit the wall. The blisters started to really hurt, and my knees and lower back started killing me. The strategy shifted. Walk the hills - walk the aid stations - "run" everything else. I was soo happy with my race up to the point I wasn't even upset. I knew from my slightly off watch that I was going to blow away my 06 time. Again, I took what the day gave me.

When I came back in to town my family was there at various points. My brother was at the start of the out and back with my two oldest kids. They started singing to me in Dutch - and I started singing along. The out and back was challenging, I thought I was going to toss my cookies a few times and had to slow down to keep it under control.

I entered the stadium running, and sprinted trhough high fiving spectators and acting like an idiot. My wife and sister were there screaming for me. I can't describe how great I felt.

The clock read 14:02:12 when I crossed! I shaved 41 minutes off my 06 marathon, and 1:16 off the total race. I was floored! Incredibly happy.
What would you do differently?:

I need to learn how to get through the "marathon wall." Other than that - not a damn thing. I was very very happy with this run.

Post race
Warm down:


Pizza with the fam while my legs tightened up! (Knees are still hurting - but better than they were.)

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Weather - again. I think I could have done better on the bike if the weather had cooperated.

I had a few minutes think about the 2 minute 13 second difference between my finish time and going sub 14. No crash - one less bathroom break etc... and I get there. Still I'm really happy with this. I guess sub 14 is the next goal.

Event comments:

No complaints. As always the volunteers were tremendous.

Last updated: 2008-07-27 12:00 AM
01:23:29 | 4224 yards | 01m 59s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/387
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Suit: Sleeveless QR Wetsuit
Course: Two loops in beautiful Mirror Lake.
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 75F / 24C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Average Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 08:28
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
07:28:29 | 112 miles | 14.98 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/387
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
Wind: None
Road: Rough  Cadence:
Turns: Below average Cornering: Below average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 03:49
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:57:35 | 26.2 miles | 11m 22s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/387
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
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: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2008-07-27 10:55 AM

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Subject: Ironman USA Lake Placid
Took a week long vacation post race, so I'm just getting this up now.

Thanks to all those who followed the racers online - I was thinking about all the BTers last Sunday. Congrats to all!

Edited by MUL98 2008-07-27 10:59 AM

2008-07-27 1:52 PM
in reply to: #1562443

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Flower Mound, TX
Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid

Great race.  Sorry about the crash, but you did a great job of bouncing back from it.  41 minutes off your marathon time is incredible.  You had a great run split and race overall!

Well done.

2008-07-27 3:47 PM
in reply to: #1562443

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Canandaigua NY
Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid
Nice job recovering from the rough bike start!  Awesome run!!!
2008-07-27 4:13 PM
in reply to: #1562443

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New City, New York
Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid
Geez Bill GREAT race considering that start! Very nicely done. Another in the plans? Good for you. You are a true Ironman!
2008-07-27 4:40 PM
in reply to: #1562443

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Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid
Congrats on the IM PR Bill! LOL! I love your race mantra — Too bad about the bike mishap, but at least you were able to get right back on and go. Who knew spectating could be so dangerous…??
2008-07-27 4:55 PM
in reply to: #1562853

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Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid
rollinbones - 2008-07-27 4:13 PM

Geez Bill GREAT race considering that start! Very nicely done. Another in the plans? Good for you. You are a true Ironman!

I'm on an every other year IM schedule. If I told my wife I was doing one every year I would wind up divorced. Next year I will top out at a half - probably in Racine.

I'm seriously leaning toward a warm weather race in 2010. I have time to decide though.

Edited by MUL98 2008-07-27 4:55 PM

2008-07-27 9:07 PM
in reply to: #1562443

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Fishers, Indiana
Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid
Great race, and way to pull it back together after the bike wreck--that could mess the mind a lot, and you persevered! Congratulations!
2008-07-28 8:33 AM
in reply to: #1562443

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Southern Rhode Island
Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid

way to go! Sounds like you overcame a lot of obstacles that can really mess with the mind and spirit. Awesome job in overcoming the bike wreck, many people would just throw in the towel after something like that. Really nice marathon time also. Pouring rain can just amke things miserable but you pulled through.

for future races you just need to remember a sign a saw on my 1/2 iron I did a few weeks ago... "there is no wall"


2008-07-30 2:35 PM
in reply to: #1563731

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Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid
nfd31 - 2008-07-28 8:33 AM

for future races you just need to remember a sign a saw on my 1/2 iron I did a few weeks ago... "there is no wall"


Problem is, my knees kept saying "oh yes there is a wall!"
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