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Ironman Lake Placid - Triathlon

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Lake Placid, New York
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
Total Time = 13h 11m 37s
Overall Rank = 1191/2536
Age Group = W55-59
Age Group Rank = 5/26
Pre-race routine:

Set the alarm for 3:20 a.m. and got out of bed at 3:00. I was worried about the possible cold and rain for the day. Carrie was already up (no surprise there) and looked ready to go. I had my oatmeal with walnuts and Craisins and some water. I made my peanut butter and jelly sandwich for the bike and got my drinks out. Frank and Stacey picked us up at 4:15.

Event warmup:

We got numbered and headed to our bikes to drop off our nutrition. Then we met out at the road and sat on the curb. I ate a Power Bar and had some water. The sky looked dark and quite cloudy and it started to rain lightly. It didn't matter much at that point. It was in the 60s and we had sweatshirts on.

Our mistake was not heading over to drop off the special needs bags early enough and then hanging out at the lake. By the time we did that, it was a mob scene. It was hard making our way to the two special needs drop off locations. They were not near each other. That is also when I found out that our morning bag (the bag that was to hold what we were wearing before the swim) was to be dropped off in the transition area. The transition area was already closed! Not to mention, it was located two blocks away. I started freaking out. Who gets to transition 2 hours before the race and then isn't ready? Luckily, Carrie spotted Bob, Fred and Sophorn in the crowd. (Thank God for Bob's bald head...but don't tell him I said that.) We quickly got ready and gave our stuff to them. Then we had to inch our way into our correct seeding for the swim. It was hectic. So many people!
  • 1h 09m 42s
  • 3862 meters
  • 01m 34s / 100 meters

This was not a mass swim start. You were supposed to seed yourself and then just move over the timing mat in a group. Your time started once you got over the mat. They expected all 2500 people to get in within a half hour. I'm sure they did. There was so much contact. It was just nuts--people hitting your arms, touching your feet, grabbing, kicking. There was no much open water to swim and and when I'd look up and see some, people would come at me from either side. I could not wait to get out of there. I'm sure I have a few bruises.

What was nice was that they had the buoys numbered from 1-9 and then the turn buoy. So you could figure out where you were.

They also had the underwater cable that you could follow but I wasn't going near that. There were just so many people trying to swim on it.

What would you do differently?:

Not much. I wasn't expecting the swim to be so difficult. It was more like going into battle than going for a swim. I was very pleased that I did my expected swim time.
Transition 1
  • 08m 41s

I used the wetsuit strippers for the first time. That was neat.

Then I tried to jog down to the transition area. That was far and the mats were wet and slippery. You also had to do a 90 degree turn and run down a hill. Once into transition, you pretty much had to find your own bag in the maze of racks. They did have volunteers pointing you toward your row, which was helpful. Then it was another long run into the changing tent.

When my volunteer asked me how she could help, I asked what everyone was wearing. She said a few were wearing arm warmers. I had to make a quick decision because it was raining at that point. I chose arm warmers and a vest. I had my Gortex jacket but decided not to use it. I had toe covers on my shoes. I really didn't need those but kept them on anyway.

I headed out and a volunteer handed my bike to me.

What would you do differently?:

I would've left the vest and shoe covers. But you really don't know what the weather was going to bring. It could've been a freezing cold bike ride in the rain.
  • 6h 54m 58s
  • 112 miles
  • 16.20 mile/hr

It was like an ice skating rink starting the bike ride. There were steep downhills and turns, all wet. The rain was coming down. And that was just to get out onto the course.

Once on the course, I didn't feel cold. I could feel the rain running down my legs into my shoes. My socks were wet in minutes. I wondered why I even wore them.

I thought to myself, this is going to be a long 112 mile bike ride in the rain. Who wants to do this? This is not fun. How can I enjoy this beautiful scenery in miserable conditions?

Then I got to the dreaded 4-mile downhill. I wasn't looking forward to it on a good day. In the rain? It felt like a scary amusement ride. I felt like screaming. The brakes weren't working too good. I just hoped for the best. I wasn't going the fastest but I was hardly going the slowest either. I said to myself, "trust your tires."

After that, the rain stopped. It actually got pleasant out. I got warm and pushed my arm warmers down. They eventually came off. I managed to get my vest off while I rode. I shoved that in a back pocket.

It was around mile 40 that my velcro'd-on front bottle cage started slipping. It lost the grip because of the rain. I decide to try to pull it up a bit and then I noticed the Velcro coming undone. I tried to tighten it and it flew right off. There went my water bottle. I apologized to the woman passing me. She missed it, thank goodness. But there went my best laid plans for fluid. I lost my water. I did still have my Gatorade though.

Luckily, the next aid station was within a mile. "Necessity is the Mother of Invention." I quickly decided to use my back pocket. I grabbed a bottle of water and shoved it in. It worked. I was good.

Around mile 47, I was cruising along quite happy with my pace and then some guy came too close to me and forced into the guardrail. I was so afraid I was going to go over that guardrail as I hit it. Luckily, I just skidding along it, scraping my leg and my bike. I tried to get back on the road but there was a lip on the edge of the macadam. I fell to my left and hit my head. I couldn't believe it! It happened so fast. Two people saw it and ran over to help me up. They picked me up first and then my bike. That is when I noticed the vision in my left eye was totally distorted. I could see but everything was jumbled. I was scared. I contemplated quitting then and there. I didn't think I had a choice since I could not see straight.

The couple kept asking me how I was. I told them I couldn't see right. They tried to flag the ambulance down but it was transporting someone. I was just as happy that it didn't stop though because I knew I wouldn't have a choice about quitting.

After about 5 minutes or so--just a guess on time--my eyesight seemed to clear. I felt fine except for the road rash on my legs. There was blood but...oh well. I decided that I would continue and if I felt anything strange, I could always quit at that time.

I finished the ride. My eyesight and head seemed fine.

There were a lot of spectators. They made signs, some of which were pretty funny...wore outfits...cheered...had music...they were really great. They were screaming at you as you went up the hills called "the three bears." It was a little like the Tour de France on a tiny scale but still really neat.

Consumed on the bike: Clif Bloks, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on a sandwich thin, a chocolate Power Bar, and 2 GUs. I had just 3 Endurolytes toward the end of the ride because my calf was starting to cramp. I drank 3 waters, 1 Gatorade and 1 Perform. My second Gatorade tasted like soap so I threw that one away.

I did not stop at a porta pottie 7 times on the bike. Aside from the crash, I did not get off my bike at all. I rode in the aero position most of the way. Overall, I was quite pleased that I was able to do that. The shoulder pain that I expected and had endured while trying to get used to the new bike never really materialized.

What would you do differently?:

Not crash.
Transition 2
  • 09m 45s

Upon finishing the bike, all of the volunteers kept asking me if I needed medical. I refused. I didn't want to waste any time getting my wounds cleaned. I walked slowly into the transition tent. Again, it was a pretty long walk. I stopped at the porta pottie on the way in. I had taken my shoes off at the end of the bike. My feet were killing me. No way could I walk on shoes with cleats. Forget running. How do people run through transition?

Once in the tent, I decided to treat myself to a dry pair of shorts. I put on my favorite old tri shorts. I had been getting chafed on the bike and just wanted a little comfort. I Aquaphor'd my feet pretty good and put on dry Smartwool socks, my running shoes and a visor. I took the sunglasses off. I had left a hardshell sunglass case in my T2 bag. I didn't want to have to worry about crushing Linda Richey's sunglasses that I had borrowed. (Thank you Linda! They were awesome.)

What would you do differently?:

Maybe use a little sunscreen.
  • 4h 48m 31s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 01s  min/mile

I started out on the run course and was amazed that I could run. I ran to each aid station and then stopped for Perform and water. I didn't use the ice at all. I started taking 3 Endurolytes every hour. I watched the clock for that. I had GUs every 5 miles (4 total). The first time I walked was on the big hill at around mile 12. There was no way I was running up that. Then you turned a corner and there was another hill, so more walking. I continued to run until about mile 15 or so and that's when it was getting hard. So many people were walking by now. I'd see them walking and just want to walk. The motivation to run just wasn't there. But I told myself that if I spent too much time walking, that my good race that I had so far would be for naught.

I saw Bob, Fred and Sophorn several times. They took pictures. I saw Carrie, Andy, Stacey, Mark Dean, and Monica on the course. That was so nice to see them. That was what was nice about the run. It was an out and back that you did twice. There was ample opportunity to see people.

I started asking for the chicken broth at mile 13 where I expected it. They told me it wasn't ready yet. I was really disappointed. I think they had it by mile 14 or 15. I had that at every aid station.

At one point, while I was still running good, I started to get a cramp on the inside of my upper leg. I've never had a cramp there. I wondered if this was what was going to take me out. I told myself to just slow down and jog it out. I had some pretzels for the salt at the next opportunity.

I stopped at 3 porta potties along the way. A couple of times, I stopped and people were in there. I did not wait. I decided to forge on to the next one.

That big hill came at about mile 22. It was brutal the second time up. It was hard to even smile anymore when people called out your name. Our race numbers had our names on them. Strangers would cheer loudly for you. That was so nice!

You came so close to the finish line at about mile 23 but you had to run partway around the lake and back. Luckily, there were throngs of people cheering for you so that made it a little easier. It started raining again and I was so glad that I was almost done. I felt sorry for the people that were behind me. They were going to have to be in the rain longer.

Coming into the Olympic oval and running partway around the track was quite thrilling. I thought it was going to be really hard and seem long but the people cheering so loudly and calling out your name just pulled you along. It was an exciting finish. I remember to raise my arms and not stop my watch (thus ruining the finish photo).

My daughter saw me finish live on the internet. She described what I did so she had a good view. She said she saw the volunteers put the finisher medal around my neck and then escort me off. I told them right away I wanted medical attention.

What would you do differently?:

Try to run more and walk less.
Post race
Warm down:

They took me to the triage area. I told them I had crashed and hit my head and they took me right over to the medical tent. Once inside, I had to answer quite a few questions. Then they put me on the scale. I was amazed to see that I weighed the exact same amount that I did at registration. They told me that I did an excellent job with my nutrition.

I asked for an IV since I think that is very helpful. They were very stingy with the IVs here. They said no. After the doctor examined me and asked me a million questions again, he said I have a mild concussion and that it should clear up on its own. He said I did not need to go to the ER unless I vomited during the night, got a bad headache, and something else (I forget now).

They cleaned my wounds. Now that was painful, really painful! After covering me with blankets, I had to go to the porta pottie. Amy helped me up. She was so nice. And then I rewarded her by vomiting all over the place. I apologized profusely but they all said it was perfectly fine. Amy took me to the porta pottie and said she would come inside with me so I wouldn't pass out in there. Frankly, that was fine with me. She helped me get my shorts down and up. The pottie was outside and I noticed that it was still raining.

Then I went back into the medical tent and back to my cot. Amy asked if I had family there. I told her that my husband was around. She went to look for him and came back with the message that he would meet me at our pre-planned meeting place: outside by the Mobile station. I told her to run back and tell him that I would never make it that far. She then snuck him inside. Poor Bob was getting frantic by that point. I think I was in medical for an hour.

I still could not walk without assistant but I was anxious to leave. Bob helped me walk. I think I would've fallen over if he wasn't holding me up. Why oh why was our rental so far? We had to walk down that big hill, too. What a struggle. I had to take baby steps. When we got to the beginning of the development, he sat me on a rock and went for the car.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Who knows?

Event comments:

The volunteers were awesome! The people in the medical tent were unbelievably kind. I can't say enough good things about the people in Lake Placid.

The scenery was so beautiful, too!

Last updated: 2012-07-25 12:00 AM
01:09:42 | 3862 meters | 01m 34s / 100meters
Age Group: 2/26
Overall: 517/2536
Performance: Good
Suit: Long-sleeved wetsuit
Course: Rectangle--two loops
Start type: Run Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 75F / 24C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 08:41
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:54:58 | 112 miles | 16.20 mile/hr
Age Group: 8/26
Overall: 0/2536
Performance: Good
Wind: None
Road: Smooth Wet Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 09:45
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Below average
Running with bike Bad
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Below average
04:48:31 | 26.2 miles | 11m 01s  min/mile
Age Group: 3/26
Overall: 0/2536
Performance: Average
Course: Two loops.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %00
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

2013-07-31 12:49 PM

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Subject: Ironman Lake Placid

2013-07-31 2:35 PM
in reply to: #4817836

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Extreme Veteran
Spokane, WA
Subject: RE: Ironman Lake Placid
Wow! In spite of the crash and challenges of the day, you had a SUPERB race!! Great job, I enjoyed the report.
2013-07-31 3:15 PM
in reply to: #4817836

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Burlington, Vermont
Subject: RE: Ironman Lake Placid
You're kind of badass aren't you. That was a hell of a race given some of the licks you took. Very nicely done!
2013-08-02 6:27 AM
in reply to: #4817836

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Subject: RE: Ironman Lake Placid
A race report fit for your performance, full of drama and grit. You're right-- if the medical people had seen you on the course, they would've flagged you! Just make sure your vision is okay-- any neurological symptoms at all, you should see a doctor.
2013-08-19 6:58 PM
in reply to: 50yearoldbaby

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Subject: RE: Ironman Lake Placid
I have been to see the doctor twice since IMLP. She reprimanded me (naturally). All is good now.
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