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Ironman USA Lake Placid - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Lake Placid, New York
United States
Ironman North America
75F / 24C
Total Time = 15h 53m 51s
Overall Rank = 1907/2258
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 254/304
Pre-race routine:

Arrived with my family on Thursday after a 10-hr drive up from Northern Virginia. Checked into the Crowne Plaza just off Main St. and then got a quick bite to eat.

Started Friday with a 0.6-ish mile swim with some friends, got some breakfast, then rode the run course with a few detours. Walked all over the tri-expo, and went to registration to get my required gear. Attended the athlete's pasta dinner at the Horse Show Ground and was back to the hotel relatively yearly.

Started Saturday with another short swim, then grabbed a late breakfast with the family. Packed all 5 bags and headed to T1/T2 to drop the bike and gear before the 3 pm cutoff. Attended the Team Z dinner (pasta) and went back to the hotel to sit in the hot tub. Was in bed by 8:15 pm.
Event warmup:

Up at 1:00 and drank two Ensures to top off carbo stores. Laid back down but never was comfortable enough to fall into a deep sleep.

Up at 4:40 a.m. Never hit REM sleep. Had a bowl of oatmeal and a cup of coffee at the Team Z tent. Dropped my special needs bags off and made a last trip to the bike to remove the bags (covering the PowerTap and the PT Hub seal). Drank 2 bottles of Gatorade over about 1 hour to ensure was hydrated. Got back to the Team Z tent and met my family by 6:30. Got dressed in the Orca and scanned in at the swim start. Ate a Gu. Swam across the start to make sure everything was as supposed to be and waited with my friends in knee-deep water, near the back and right, while the Pro's started. The cannon fired at 7 a.m. and started the overall timer on my watch, as well as the chrono timer to track the swim time.
  • 1h 32m 57s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 12s / 100 yards

The swim was the most apprehensive part of this for me -- not the distance, but just the mass start of 2200+ people. This ended up being the most enjoyable swim of my life!
What would you do differently?:

On the second loop I was too close to the underwater cable which connects all the buoys, resulting in me getting caught up and kicked in the face a couple of times by people floundering around. I would have stayed more to the outside, which was a great place to be.
Transition 1
  • 10m 45s

Wet-suit strippers did a great job. Running from the strip point to the T1 tent was a haul, but nothing too bad.
What would you do differently?:

Nada. I went to the far side of the T1 tent and had plenty of room and time.
  • 8h 25m 1s
  • 112 miles
  • 13.31 mile/hr

First loop was great; second loop was tough on the last 20 miles. Kept power (wattage) to below 150 watts average as much as possible; ended the bike leg with 151 watts average and 208 watts normalized power. With a LT of 210 this was pushing it for me, even though the time was slow.
What would you do differently?:

Train more representative course, e.g., Skyline Drive with far more hills than I normally do. The last 20 miles of the course should be very hilly to represent the course.
Transition 2
  • 06m 59s

No issues. Everything went like clockwork; just need to speed up to take time off.
What would you do differently?:

  • 5h 38m 10s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 55s  min/mile

Did a 5'/1' run/walk sequence, with a walk up the steep hills (2) that worked well. Finished very strong -- ran the last mile with no issues. Coke, Chicken Broth, Pretzels, Orange Slices all worked well and got me through the entire run leg. Did not use one Gu or Clif bar the entire run leg.

My left knee was screaming the entire time but 800 mg Advil took care of that noise.
What would you do differently?:

Nada overall. Run more I suppose, but I'm convinced the run/walk is the way to do this type of race.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around with my family; walked back to the Team Z tent, rode my bike (easily) to pick up my special needs bags (I had clothes in them). Ate a subway sandwich and drank some more coke.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

In the swim, simply need to improve efficiency.

On the bike, I limited my output to the same average power as my longest training ride (151 watts), so my knee is definitely the major limiter. I simply need to work on strength and balance between both legs.

In the run, my knee is the weak link, but this is made more challenging because of my weight. I lose more weight --> It will be easier to run.

Event comments:

This was the most challenging event I've every accomplished in my life, even more difficult than climbing Mt. Whitney last August (which led to a knee surgery in September 08). The 140.6 was not the issue; it was the bike time cut-off that made this mentally challenging. I finished the bike leg at 5:08 pm, only 22 minutes before cut off. Psychologically, that is a terrible constraint.

Last updated: 2009-02-03 12:00 AM
01:32:57 | 4224 yards | 02m 12s / 100yards
Age Group: 276/304
Overall: 2077/2258
Performance: Good
Suit: Orca S1
Course: Rectangular 2-looper, with an exit onto the beach to record split time, then back into the water.
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 10:45
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
08:25:01 | 112 miles | 13.31 mile/hr
Age Group: 284/304
Overall: 2114/2258
Performance: Average
Wind: Strong
Course: A two-loop course that covers nearly 5500' of climbing per loop. The last 15-miles or so is some serious climbing.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 06:59
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:38:10 | 26.2 miles | 12m 55s  min/mile
Age Group: 203/304
Overall: 1543/2258
Performance: Good
Course: 2-loop out and back.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2009-07-29 11:17 AM

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Vienna, VA
Subject: Ironman USA Lake Placid

2009-07-29 12:20 PM
in reply to: #2315046

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Fulton, MD
Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid
Nice job, Ironman!
2009-07-29 12:27 PM
in reply to: #2315046

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Northern VA
Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid
Nice work Paul! Congrats Ironman!
2009-07-29 1:49 PM
in reply to: #2315046

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Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid
Congrats IM!

I saw you finish....I've bumped into lots of team Z folks at Mooseman in NH last two years.

Congrats on a fun swim, making the bike cut off and keeping your power in line, and doing a great job of managing knee issues and doing a run/walk that works for you.

I too was worried about the bike cut off last year started running at 10:00...or excited to get off my bike.

Ironman...great job~
2009-07-30 8:36 AM
in reply to: #2315046

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Millersville, MD
Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid
Great job!  I imagine a cutoff staring you down is quite motivating. 
2009-08-02 6:52 PM
in reply to: #2315046

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Herndon VA
Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid
Great job, Paul!  It was fun to track you through the course.


2009-08-03 1:56 PM
in reply to: #2315046

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Evergreen, Colorado
Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid
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