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2005-07-28 9:04 AM

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8763
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Subject: Ironman Lake Placid Race Report
Ironman Lake Placid 2005


My 3 goals for this race were:
1 – Swim strong
2 – Ride smart
3 – Run every step

First off, I felt much better coming into this race than I did going into Ironman NZ in March. I was rested, I was stronger, and my running was going well. About 30 days out I was going to pull the plug on my race season, as I was in the dumper after I raced the Auburn ½ IM – not sure what it was, but I wasn’t feeling myself. My main goal six weeks out was to get to the start line in shape enough not to embarrass myself and to enjoy the day. I wanted to ‘want’ to be out there, something that had eluded me at IMNZ and then later at Auburn ½ IM. Considering where I was on May 30th, I feel pretty good about my performance. It was the slowest of my Ironmans with the exception of my 1993 race (11:46 first attempt). I would like to use the excuse that I am getting older and that is the reason I am slowing down but when my swimming is getting faster each year and my running is getting faster at the longer distances, I can’t really blame it on age, now can I? In some ways I think I have lost the ability to suffer on the bike, and if that’s the case then I need to get that back in the next off season.

Leading into the race my swimming was about the same as IMNZ, but my biking was still going poorly, for reasons unbeknownst to me.

This was the first Ironman that my parents got to watch and also my brother Kevin and my nephew and niece, Drew and Kaitlyn, got to see. This was Melanie’s 4th Ironman to watch and I can tell she is getting the itch to do one, which is nice to see. Next time I attend an Ironman, I think it might be Melanie who is racing with me being the Iron Sherpa instead of vice versa.

So – race week was all good, I was feeling good, rested, unstressed etc. Nothing to report that was of any consequence.

Race morning I lined up for the swim about 2/3 off to the right of the start line. My plan was to angle in slowly and get on the underwater cable by the first turn, about 1,00 yard away. I swam hard from the gun and had clear water for about 100 meters. The guy next to me who had sprinted out in front was now right in front of me and I just sat on his feet and drafted, at a pretty leisurely pace. Somehow my wetsuit was pulled too low or something as I was getting cramping in my lower abdomen (in my personals) and I had a tough time pulling with my left arm. The same thing happened at IM Canada in 2002, except that was much worse. I managed the pain, stayed in the draft, and just got pulled along. I stood up to run back in and this part was difficult, so I had to walk the turn around – I looked at my watch, and it had never started but my watch said 7:31 AM so I knew I was close to target (59:00-1:02). I got on the underwater cable this time and just stayed there and didn’t pick up my head the whole way. I cruised the 2nd loop; nothing to report and when I crossed the mat I was 1:01:04 so I easily went under 30:00 for the 2nd loop. I ran to T2 – put on arm warmers, shoes, helmet, glasses and headed out.

Onto the bike we headed downhill and then we climbed for a good portion. I was determined to follow my watts on my Power Tap (PT) – knowing that would give me some good feedback. My heart rate wasn’t coming up yet, but I don’t worry about that as I usually don’t race with HRM and its just ‘noise’ on race day. I worry about how I ‘feel’ – and now I had the instant information provided by the PT to tell me exactly how I was doing relative to how I ‘should’ be doing. The first 40 miles I let lots of people go by and this took a lot of discipline but when I looked at the PT and saw the watts I was pushing, I knew I was making the right decision. At about 2.5 hours I decided to push the pace up and I did so passing many people on the 6 mile climb back to town. I didn’t have to stand and just spun up the last few hills at about 90-100 RPMS. I kept pushing the pace for a bit, and this time I would look at the PT and I ignored the watts, as I kept thinking I had to make up time. I knew my bike split was going to be slow otherwise. So I kept picking it up until about mile 86 when I started to not be able to get my HR or my watts up. I backed off here and just re-grouped. I knew if I kept pushing the pace, I would be in real trouble on the run. I sat up and drank most of my nutrition and kept taking extra endurolytes as I could tell the temps were rising. I was feeling much better by the last 6 miles into town and I cruised this again, only slightly slower than the first time. I sat up at the top of the climb and stretched my back, my legs, and shoulders. Once I hit T2, I was thinking this was going to be a very tough run.

In T2, I took my time, changed my jersey, body glided my feet, and even put on 2nd skin on the sides of my big toes to avoid blisters as long as I could. I hit the ground running and right away my legs felt great. I gave Melanie a quick kiss on the way by and I waved to my parents, my brother and my niece and nephew. I was on my way. I had a cramp in my left hammy right away but I popped an endurolyte and some Gatorade at the first few aid stations, and it never bothered me the rest of the day. I went through mile 1 around 7:15, mile 2 around 7:45 and mile 3 at about 7:30 – so I hit mile 3 at 22:30 – a bit quick but much of it was down hill and I was taking it easy. I felt very smooth and I kept up the effort. I carried a bottle of HEED with me and just kept sipping it every 3-4 minutes. The water at the aid stations was already hot, as was the Gatorade. I ran with the HEED until about mile 7 or 8 and then ditched it at an aid station. I ran well up the hills back into town and even back out until mile 18 – the only other time I looked at my watch – and I was running 8:08 pace but I could feel that switch had been turned on where I was slowing down and nothing was going to help me except Coke at this point. But, when I hit the aid stations, they were all out. No more coke. I think I had coke at maybe 3 aid stations. I know a lot of people depend on coke in a race and I am sure many people had to deal with the same thing. At this point, my body felt good, my breathing was labored but the only issue was the pain in my quads with every step. Anyway, people kept coming back to me the whole run even though I was struggling at this point. A little better pacing on the bike would have paid off here. Even if I had backed off 5 minutes on the bike, I think I could run in the 3:30s – so lesson learned on that account. I ended up having a hard time getting up the last few miles in town. I just kept my head down and my feet turning over. On the way back to the finish I tried pushing as hard as I could as I knew I would be close to 11 hours – but as soon as I pushed hard I was starting to see things go gray and a little fuzzy so I backed off – no need to NOT finish just to pick up a minute or so. So, I just kept the feet turning over, and slowed down only to let a guy in front of me pick up his son and run across with him. After I finished, I was toast. I got a massage, and had some pizza and coke and felt a little better.

I hit the swim goal, missed out on the bike goal, and absolutely nailed the run goal of running every step. That was a great feeling to be able to do that – not to say I did it, but b/c as it gets harder and harder, it gets easier to walk and I wouldn’t give in to that this time around like I did at my last 2 Ironman races.

Splits:
Swim: 1:01:04 (2nd best out of 7 Ironmans)
Bike: 2:53:58 for 56 miles and 3:09:37 for 2nd 56 miles
Total Bike: 6:03 (2nd worst out of 7 Ironmans)
Run: 1:43 for 13.1 miles and 2:03 for 2nd 13.1 miles
Total Run: 3:47 (2nd best out of 7 Ironmans)
Finish Time: 11:01:13

I got off the bike in 360th place and finished 209 – so I passed 151 people on the run.

Things that worked:
*Nutrition was dead on. I took in less calories than in the past. I used two bottles on the frame – each containing 430 calories of Sustained Energy and HEED. I stopped at Special Needs to get my other 2 bottles. I kept an empty aero bottle on the bike and dumped water in it at each aid station so I would have water when I needed it. I did one Endurolyte every hour on the bike. I also ate 1 power bar on the bike. On the run, I just managed aid station to aid station. I took in calories at each station, sometimes pretzels, sometimes Gatorade. It depended on the timing and how my stomach was feeling.

*Long runs that I did at altitude helped out a ton. The long downhill running helped a lot and the run consistency as well.

Things I need to do better:
*Being a short course athlete who excels at the sprint and Olympic Distance, I would say my biggest limiter is finding the time to ride the miles necessary to put up a 5:20-5:30 bike split on a course like Lake Placid.

*Learn to ride the watts better. Maybe a lighter bike would help me too – but for now I am sticking with what I have as it’s comfortable and it allows me to run well off the bike.

The future: It will be a while before I even think about doing another IM. The next 18 months I will focus on spending time with my wife and working on growing D3 to the next level. I do plan on racing some ½ IMs next year, maybe a marathon later this year, and I’ll definitely be working on bringing my bike power up, and run times down.

Thanks for your support in my preps for this race! You are all wonderful people who have helped me get to many finish lines! Special thanks goes out to my parents for driving the 6 hours to LP and to my to my brother who drove 9 hours to get there.

Until next time, keep your priorities in order and love the people around you like there is no tomorrow; because when it comes down to it, there really isn’t. J

All my Best,
Mike


2005-07-28 9:18 AM
in reply to: #209641

Champion
8903
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Orange, Massachusetts
Subject: RE: Ironman Lake Placid Race Report
Nice report Mike. Wish I had gotten a chance to meet up with you there. Sounds like you had a well rehearsed plan. Did you feel that 1 Endurolyte per hour was sufficient? I was taking 2 or 3 per hour on the bike, then I forgot my bag of them on the run and the cramping after 5 miles was probably the result of that mistake.

Congrats on a great race...and having the sense to hold back just a bit at the start of the bike loop too!

Edited by max 2005-07-28 9:19 AM
2005-07-28 9:25 AM
in reply to: #209666

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8763
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Boulder, Colorado
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Subject: RE: Ironman Lake Placid Race Report
Thanks Max. Do you have a race report? I didn't see it posted...

For me, 1 endurolyte per hour works on the bike. More than that and it's too much for me. I did that in 2000 and my stomach shut down and I actually gained weight during the race. I was bloated for about 2 weeks with excess water.

The sodium/magnesium issue is definitely personal which is why it's important to do it in training a few times to know what works and what doesn't.

I hope you had a good race in spite of the cramps.
2005-07-28 9:30 AM
in reply to: #209641

Champion
8903
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Orange, Massachusetts
Subject: RE: Ironman Lake Placid Race Report
Yes, here's my long-ish race report. It was my first Ironman, so I was paranoid about pacing, pacing. At all costs I wanted to be sure to finish. The cramping issues cost me a lot on the run, but I'm going back next year to hopefully knock an hour off my time!

http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/discussion/forums/thread-view.asp...
2005-07-28 9:45 AM
in reply to: #209641

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Master
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Newbury Park, CA
Subject: RE: Ironman Lake Placid Race Report

What's not being  able to get your HR up a sign of?  I know if you aren't killing yourself but your HR is way high it probably is signaling dehydration and you should hit fluids.  What do you do with a low HR? Calories?  Red Bull

Way to be disciplined on the bike.  You executed a great race.  I'm totally with you on setting a goal to run every step of the run.  That's my goal for Sunday's Half Vineman.  I hope to have the wisdom to tell the difference between being very uncomforatable and truly hurting.  I know it's not a marathon but 1/2s still hurt!

Congrats on another IM finish!

2005-07-28 9:47 AM
in reply to: #209677

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8763
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Boulder, Colorado
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Subject: RE: Ironman Lake Placid Race Report
Awesome Max! Congrats! More sodium and even just more water would help you - I didn't see a nutrition plan in there for the bike, but I would assume with the calf cramping it's something along the lines of hydration and electrolytes.


2005-07-28 10:12 AM
in reply to: #209641

Champion
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Orange, Massachusetts
Subject: RE: Ironman Lake Placid Race Report
I was taking Hammer Gel and Endurolytes on the bike at a regular schedule, felt pretty well hydrated too. I had absolutely no GI issues at all, I think it just came down to not enough electrolytes on the run. Bananas help me a lot, but the green ones they were passing out were very hard to stomach!

At least I know what I have to work on in my training for next year!
2005-07-28 10:37 AM
in reply to: #209695

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8763
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Subject: RE: Ironman Lake Placid Race Report
First off, good luck at 1/2 VM. I hope the race goes well for you.

Not being able to get your HR is usually fatigue - but the exact reason I was using the watts, so I would know the effort being put out in terms of energy. If it were dehydration, usually your HR skyrockets - I must have peed at least 7 times on the bike so it definitely wasn't a hydration issue.

When the HR is low, I just ignore it and go on feel - which is why I call the HRM 'noise' - it's just a distraction sometimes. You have to know the times to watch it and the times to ignore it. It's just a matter of experience.

Good luck with your goal - just keep it easy for the first 5 miles - very easy - then bump your HR to Zone 2 for the next 5 miles and then rip it for the last 5k. That is how I have my athletes approach it with good results.

Good luck!
2005-07-28 12:06 PM
in reply to: #209641

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Jacksonville, FL
Subject: RE: Ironman Lake Placid Race Report

Nice race Mike..just reading the replies & your answers is educational...thanks for the information.

2005-07-30 3:04 PM
in reply to: #209641

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Master
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Cinnaminson, NJ
Subject: RE: Ironman Lake Placid Race Report
Great Race Mike!!!!

Your report was a good read. I hope to stick to my HR plan on the bike for IM MOO, i just came off a 5 hr ride, this morning, my nutrition seemed pretty good, and i stuck with your/my HR plan, after the ride i felt pretty good, i don't see myself having a great run like yourself, but then again that isn't the goal... the goal is to finish with no injuries.

the only issue i seem to be having is my run, after that long bike i am having trouble with the run, it seems i need to walk more than run... i know what the goal is, but i would like to see myself run a good portion of the run. I also think i have a major problem with the heat while running, Eagleman was hot, could not run well, Mussleman was hot could not run, just last week went on a 2 hour run it was hot as HELL, could not run... So i hope it's not cray hot at my IM.
Looking to have a solid Aug as far as training goes.

Again good job with your race.

Do you have XL tops and bottoms yet??? I want to represent at IM MOO.

john
2005-08-01 9:47 PM
in reply to: #211642

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8763
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Boulder, Colorado
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Subject: RE: Ironman Lake Placid Race Report
John

Thanks - I have one word for you: discipline

If you have discipline you will stick with your plan. Let all the others go. I just did a search of all the guys who came off the bike within 15-20 minutes of me, and I can't seem to find more than a few who beat me to the finish line - so keep that in mind. Pacing on the bike = running strong to your ability. That is the key.

Do your long runs go ok? Are you biking too hard? What is your Avg HR on a bike ride and what is your LT?

What time of day are you doing your long runs? Do you use electrolytes when you run? Are you hydrating enough on the bike? Do you pee on long rides?

I should have the new unis in by next week - at least that is what I am told. As soon as I get them I'll let you know!

Let me know on these questions - let's see if we can't get this figured out :-)


2005-08-02 8:00 AM
in reply to: #209641

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Toms River, NJ
Subject: RE: Ironman Lake Placid Race Report
You couldn't break 11hrs Mike? I'm very disappointed in you. Haaa...great race, I am super impressed! I "raced" Lake Placid as my first Ironman and cruised to a comfortable 15:25:34 FINISH. Thanks to Ron for providing such a great resource and thanks to EVERYONE for their tips and race experience. I am 30y/o and I'll be in this Iron thing for life......
2005-08-02 8:42 AM
in reply to: #213545

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8763
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Boulder, Colorado
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Subject: RE: Ironman Lake Placid Race Report
Geno:

That was the first time I was over 11:00 - as i was pushing the last mile, knowing I was going to be close to 11:00 - I started to black out so I just focused on staying up right - I can live with 11:01 at LP - plenty of places to make up that 1 minute :-)

Congrats on your race Geno! You are young and have plenty of years to get faster. :-)
2005-08-05 12:18 PM
in reply to: #213364

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Master
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Cinnaminson, NJ
Subject: RE: Ironman Lake Placid Race Report
Mike

i will be discilplined on the bike i promise..

My long run seems to be ok when it's not hot, (above 90) but we haven't really had any days under 90 in WEEKS... this weekend i'll be able to get out early and we are having a cool front come through 88 high temp.. I don't feel i am biking too hard, i feel good on the bike again if it's not hot... for instance last week, wasn't that hot and had a nice 5hr ride, then yesterday a very hot day, felt bad about hour 4. (i am riding in the early AM) my avg HR is about 137 and my LT is 170, so i am staying in my zones..

most of my training is done in the AM to avoid the heat... i have been drinking pleanty on the bike got myself a cambak to help. i do use electrolytes on the bike and run.. about 3-4 per hour, i sweat a lot.. yes i pee on the long bike.. about 3 times on a 5 hr bike.

I am doing my training vacation next week... so i hope to get some good days in.

talk to you soon
john

mikericci - 2005-08-01 9:47 PM

John

Thanks - I have one word for you: discipline

If you have discipline you will stick with your plan. Let all the others go. I just did a search of all the guys who came off the bike within 15-20 minutes of me, and I can't seem to find more than a few who beat me to the finish line - so keep that in mind. Pacing on the bike = running strong to your ability. That is the key.

Do your long runs go ok? Are you biking too hard? What is your Avg HR on a bike ride and what is your LT?

What time of day are you doing your long runs? Do you use electrolytes when you run? Are you hydrating enough on the bike? Do you pee on long rides?

I should have the new unis in by next week - at least that is what I am told. As soon as I get them I'll let you know!

Let me know on these questions - let's see if we can't get this figured out :-)
2005-08-05 12:24 PM
in reply to: #217566

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8763
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Boulder, Colorado
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Subject: RE: Ironman Lake Placid Race Report
John

You had me confused for a minute there- I was reading your email like 'i know this guy' etc - well yeah - its you! Ok - sounds like you have it right - good work keeping the HR down, that is the key. Run in the early AM if you can too - we just had 3 days of rain, so the cool temps should be coming your way...have fun next week - relax and get some good head space. That is as important as the physical training.
Mike
2005-08-05 12:33 PM
in reply to: #217578

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Master
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Cinnaminson, NJ
Subject: RE: Ironman Lake Placid Race Report
Yeah it's me.. we normally don't communicate this way, but i read your IMLP post, so i just figured i would go from that...

yeah i feel i will do ok on the bike. so really worried about that run, i know i'll have to walk, but i don't want to walk the entire time... i am hopeing for a cool day at IM MOO, if i can get that then i'll be real happy and think i'll have a ok day.. But the goal is to finish, i don't even have a goal time set for myself, i just want to finish.

let me know when you get XL stuff in...

john



mikericci - 2005-08-05 12:24 PM

John

You had me confused for a minute there- I was reading your email like 'i know this guy' etc - well yeah - its you! Ok - sounds like you have it right - good work keeping the HR down, that is the key. Run in the early AM if you can too - we just had 3 days of rain, so the cool temps should be coming your way...have fun next week - relax and get some good head space. That is as important as the physical training.
Mike


2005-08-05 12:39 PM
in reply to: #217588

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8763
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Boulder, Colorado
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Subject: RE: Ironman Lake Placid Race Report
Will do on the Xl stuff. You know a good strategy is to change your run plan. Next time you have a long run go to 8' run/2' walk. I know it might sound bad but I have used this with many athletes who didn't want to walk but it made the marathon that much easier. here is an easy way to look at it: Walk when you 'want to' rather then when you 'have to!' - make sense? Start walking early on and you won't feel as nearly as fatigued. IF you feel really good then you can run in from 20 miles, no doubt passing A LOT of people. I think you should set ABC goals - 3 levels of goals just for your own sanity. Perfect day (A Goal), good day (B Goal), and the time you can absolutely accomplish no matter what (C goal)
2005-08-05 12:48 PM
in reply to: #217599

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Master
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Cinnaminson, NJ
Subject: RE: Ironman Lake Placid Race Report
I was thinking about a very similar run strategy but didn't know what times i should go with... It would be great to feel good at mile 20.. i think my head is going to take over and pull me through this... well my C goal would be 17 hours... ha ha ha...

mikericci - 2005-08-05 12:39 PM

Will do on the Xl stuff. You know a good strategy is to change your run plan. Next time you have a long run go to 8' run/2' walk. I know it might sound bad but I have used this with many athletes who didn't want to walk but it made the marathon that much easier. here is an easy way to look at it: Walk when you 'want to' rather then when you 'have to!' - make sense? Start walking early on and you won't feel as nearly as fatigued. IF you feel really good then you can run in from 20 miles, no doubt passing A LOT of people. I think you should set ABC goals - 3 levels of goals just for your own sanity. Perfect day (A Goal), good day (B Goal), and the time you can absolutely accomplish no matter what (C goal)
2005-08-05 12:55 PM
in reply to: #217612

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8763
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Boulder, Colorado
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Subject: RE: Ironman Lake Placid Race Report
Try a few different strategies - 6/1 - 5/1 - 5/2 - 8/2 - I like 8/2 or 10/2 because it will have you walking through the aid station.

My 3 goals are ALWAYS:
1 - FINISH
2 - FINISH with a SMILE
3 - ENJOY THE DAY!
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