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Ironman USA Lake Placid - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Lake Placid, New York
United States
Ironman North America
85F / 29C
Total Time = 14h 03m 21s
Overall Rank = 331/601
Age Group = W30-34
Age Group Rank = 0/
Event warmup:

Walked the 1.5 miles to transition to check my tires and load bottles. They announced the swim as 77 degrees and wetsuit "optional" basically encouraging anyone not vying for a Kona slot or age-group award to wear one. I wore mine, but feeling for probably the first time that I didn't "have" to, but rather would be more comfortable temperature-wise and with the sea of flailing people. There was a long barefoot walk to drop off special needs bags. We had to leave morning clothes bags in transition, so I was worried about so much barefoot walking. To make it worse the, four I believe, portapotties as the swim start had impossible lines so I ran downtown to the public restrooms before the start kind of freaking out that the race would start without me, but made it back to the swim start with about 25 minutes to spare.
  • 1h 34m 53s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 15s / 100 yards

I was so glad I had swam a loop of the course on Friday and done a shorter swim on course Thursday. This was the first time EVER I have not been nervous (in the past at times bordering on tears) before a swim start. I was happy to be able to swim with 2,600 other people. I can't hardly believe that my size-too-small wetsuit didn't feel in the least bit constricting in the chest (or anywhere for that matter) proof that all those times before it was just nerves and emotions making me feel like I couldn't breathe.
I stood neck deep in water on the far side of the buoys until about 5 seconds after the cannon and stayed fairly wide of the buoys which gave me basically open water for my entire first lap. My goggles were giving my a headache though and hurting my face something terrible. I took them off during the beach run, but basically just had to suck it up. On the second loop I got more daring and decided to swim the cable even though I knew it would put me in more contact with other swimmers. I could feel some draft there and didn't have to work at all to sight, but my second loop was actually slower probably because I kept having to either decide to stay behind a slower person or waste energy passing. This was probably the most irritated I was during the entire race and it wasn't even bad, but I couldn't figure out how people can possibly swim slower than I do, but still be in my path at a mass start and it was making me mad. If they're in front of me to begin with shouldn't they therefore be faster? I had to consciously decide to stop being irritated at people and just swim, but at least it took my mind off the goggle squeeze.
What would you do differently?:

This really was the most relaxed, least stressful OWS I've ever had, so can't really complain.
I need to try a swim mask maybe? The goggle squeeze happens in the pool too sometimes, but it's a little easier there to take a break.
Also, not waste energy or create negativity being irritated with other swimmers.
Considering I only swam the distance twice (maybe 3 times) in training and only swam about once a week or every other week total I can't complain that it was 4 minutes slower than IMWI last year. I just decided I don't really like swimming in the pool much so I didn't hardly, but did do several short OWS that helped my comfort a lot.
Transition 1
  • 08m 27s

Forgot you had to remove top portion of wetsuit before laying down and having the rest peeled so took a little longer than necessary. There was a long run to transition and all I had to do was socks/shoes/jersey/sunscreen when I got there.
What would you do differently?:

The bad parts (distance/wet pavement) I think were out of my control, but I could've had a better attitude about it.
  • 7h 19m 56s
  • 112 miles
  • 15.28 mile/hr

This started out really well as there are three steep and long descents on the first part of the loop. I'm a fast descender (aka heavy), so was really glad people did such a good job of riding on the right even on the descents. The second part of the loop however, had several long climbs that I really wasn't ready for, but the first loop at least seemed to go fast. After a pit stop early in the bike I had a mini freak-out thinking my saddle was loose and twisting side to side, but then decided my wet shorts were just not adjusted right. On the second loop I knew my average speed was dropping quickly, but couldn't really do much about it. I even pulled over at the beginning of the second loop because I was going so slow on a what looked like a flat section that I thought I surely must have a flat rear tire. No, just slow. At one moment I was going what I swear was downhill at only 7 mph. At mile 90 (as usual) is when my saddle started getting markedly uncomfortable so I tried to concentrate on the scenery and spectators to finish it out. I do think I did very well with my nutrition and hydration because I never felt weak or headachy at all.
What would you do differently?:

This really was a mostly enjoyable bike. I did a pretty good job of staying positive and in the moment. I only did two century rides in training this year, so I knew I deserved any discomfort I experienced. I'm just really shocked it was as fast and comfortable of a ride as it was rather than the sufferfest I thought it might be. I hardly ever use chamois cream since I don't usually have chafe problems, but had nasty saddle chafe from this ride probably because of the wet and ill-adjusted shorts.
Transition 2
  • 05m 23s

Somehow managed the 9th fastest T2 for women even though I initially put my run tank on OVER my bike jersey and didn't notice 'til I tried to sunscreen my neck and had to fix it. I was very glad to be out of my bike shorts and into clean clothes.
What would you do differently?:

Pay attention!
  • 4h 54m 44s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 15s  min/mile

The run is my relative strength, and I do think I had a fairly strong run all things considered. It was hotter than I had expected and I was so glad I had my handheld to fill with ice water at the aid stations that had ice. There was some unnecessary suffering going on out there. I really was happy for the entire run even though I encountered some not-so-great moments. At some level I knew that repeating to myself how much I suck, my training sucked and how do I even think I can do a 100 mile race when I can't even run this marathon well are not generally considered constructive and positive thoughts during a race, but the thoughts almost made me smile because I was doing an IM and I knew without a doubt I would finish it. I generally just walk the aid stations, but really needed to walk the hills so I started running the aid stations except for an ice stop which worked pretty well. The first half was almost a blur and it made me a little sad it would be over so soon. I knew that at least I could go under 5 hours for the marathon which I hadn't done in either of my previous IMs so made that me new goal, (although if I'd looked at my overall watch I could've shaved another three minutes off somehow I'm sure, but with two sub 14 hour IMs I didn't feel a lot of pressure to prove anything to myself or anyone else). I don't think I've ever felt nearly so good in a marathon although my shoulders and upper back did ache some and I didn't think to aquaphor my saddle chafe until mile 15 when my left achilles started twinging. My stomach did start to feel too sugary around mile 20 and I switched from sports beans to pretzels which were a little harder to choke down, but worked well. This was also when I started to get seriously worried about the achilles. I've never had issues with them before, but the race director had even specifically mentioned that this course brings achilles problems on for a lot of people. I was scared enough to powerwalk mile 20 deciding that I would rather powerwalk it in with 6 miles to go than mess up my training for a 100 foot race I have coming up in October. I really felt that if I did run it in the price would be steep and it really wasn't worth it to me. I was really pleased with my ability to powerwalk 13:30 minute miles up hills even at the end. However, somewhere in mile 21 I naturally ran a downhill and it felt a lot better so I ran on it. Again, I think I might credit good nutrition for my relative success in this. I must have been high on sugar and a little caffeine because I did really feel happy basically the entire time even when the content of my self-talk was negative. Maybe I'm learning to "embrace the suck"?
What would you do differently?:

Pay attention. Somehow 13:xx looks so much better than 14:xx for a finishing time and I totally could've shaved 3 more minutes off if I had realized I was that close to under 14 hours.
Post race
Warm down:

I did see my sister-in-law right before the finish and hear my name called so that was good.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

This race seemed like such a grand idea last July when I set an alarm to get on the computer at the right time to register hoping so bad to get in. Aside from IM Hawaii and IM France Lake Placid was the race I wanted to do most and I do see now with the course and spectator support why it sells out so fast. However, I had some family obligations disrupt my training and frankly suffered significant lack of motivation/depression in the months just before the race which interfered with my training and preparation. The good aspect of this being that at least I didn't get injured or burnt out.

Event comments:

This was an awesome venue for an IM race, although the course personally kicked my (deserving) butt. It feels really odd and kind of lonely to train for something for so long and not be able to discuss it with family except in the most general of terms (aka "The race was okay."). My husband hasn't even looked at the race pictures, maybe a good thing as I look like a fat cow (although that may actually add to the accomplishment and has made me re-commit to getting back to race weight). Recovery has gone very well and a week later I feel 100% again.

Last updated: 2010-09-20 12:00 AM
01:34:53 | 4224 yards | 02m 15s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/601
Performance: Average
Suit: fulll sleeves
Course: Two loops with short beach run between laps.
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 77F / 25C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 08:27
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
07:19:56 | 112 miles | 15.28 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/601
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: Lots of looong hills, but prettiest bike course I've done. An incredible number of people cheering and spectating all along the way.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 05:23
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:54:44 | 26.2 miles | 11m 15s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/601
Performance: Good
Course: Asphalt through town and into the country a little with several massive hills and a few smaller ones. A few patches of appreciated shade.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2011-07-30 2:32 PM

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Subject: Ironman USA Lake Placid

2011-07-30 6:33 PM
in reply to: #3621864

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Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid
It's hard to know where your life will be one year out, but you stuck with things as best as  you could. Congrats on finishing despite the challenges.
2011-07-31 8:45 PM
in reply to: #3621864

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The Catskills
Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid
Congrats on finishing with a smile despite the hot weather and difficult course!
2011-08-01 9:14 AM
in reply to: #3621864

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Southern Indiana
Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid
Congratulations on a good race.  Way to tough it out.
2011-08-01 9:18 AM
in reply to: #3621864

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Extreme Veteran
Olathe, KS
Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid
Great job out there! You did so well, especially considering all the family drama not to mention the other huge races you're been training for. I'm glad the swim went so well for you and that you were able to stay happy through the majority of the race. Of course there will always be those dark moments of self-doubt and negativity, but you overcame and finished strong! Congrats!
2011-08-01 5:15 PM
in reply to: #3621864

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Atlanta, Georgia
Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid
Just got to reading this - you did so awesome Amber!! I'm so proud of your non-freakout in the water and "keep on keeping on" attitude. Yep like Linda said we will all have those dark moments but the bottom line is that you persevered and finished like a warrior! So proud of you, and can't wait for the next big thing! You rock!

2011-08-01 6:44 PM
in reply to: #3621864

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Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid

How cool that your LP swim was best is a beautiful lake.

What a strong run you put together, finished strong and recovering well.

Tough when other things in life conflict with our IM dreams.  It was a tough day for me as I was disappointed I was unable to do the race.

Congrats on IM finish #3~

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