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Ironman Lake Placid - Triathlon

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Lake Placid, New York
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
75F / 24C
Total Time = 12h 46m 30s
Overall Rank = 979/2536
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 159/306
Pre-race routine:

We drove up to LP on Thursday from Maryland. I got all checked in on Friday (MUCH smoother than IMFL). I went for an easy ~2 mile run on Friday to loosen up the legs and a quick swim in the lake on Saturday. I wanted to get a quick ride in too, but ran out of time. I racked the bike and stowed my bags on Saturday. We went to bed early on Saturday, but I couldn't sleep because I was a bundle of nerves. We got up ~4am on Sunday, and I ate an open face PB sammich. We made it to the course pretty easily using the shuttle. We got a few dirty looks bringing the stroller on the shuttle - suck it people.
Event warmup:

I did what I needed to do in T pretty quickly, then we headed over to the swim start. I thought I had plenty of time, until i saw the port a potty lines. OMG. I waited forever, and by the time I got into one the swim had already started. Thank God for the wave start! I did my business and then went to find B. She hadn't moved, but there were so many other people now that I couldn't find her. I started to freak out. Eventually I did, and got my wetsuit goggles and cap on with her help. I then turned on my Garmin, only to get a "low battery" screen. WHAT?!? F&*K!!! I charged it before I left, and only used it for 15min!!!! I've never raced without a Garmin's help, let alone one of this distance. My minor freak out turned into a major one, but B calmed me down. I then sprinted to get into my swim corral. I was confused why there were so few in my corral, when I realized in was in the 2:20 group, not the 1:20 group. Damn. Pushed my way through a bunch of people, then got in the water.
  • 1h 22m 44s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 58s / 100 yards

I had a pretty good swim for me, though I was surprised it was about a minute slower than my IMFL swim (it felt faster). I had a little trouble catching my breath for the first bouy or two, but I pushed through it and got in a good breathing rhythm. I was able to swim on the line for maybe 5/8ths of the swim. At the start of the second loop it was to crowded, so I swung to the left, and ended up somewhat off course. It wasted some time, and I cut back to the line in a diagonal. There was a group of 3 bigger guys all swimming shoulder to shoulder, and they would NOT let anyone by them. They weren't particularly fast, and I got stuck behind them for longer than I wanted. Eventually they ran into each other and stopped to yell at each other, so I passed them while they were arguing. For the most part it was a pretty uneventful swim, though there was a fair amount of bumping and contact on the line. Nothing terrible, though. When you're on the line you don't even have to sight, you can just put your head down and go.
What would you do differently?:

Warm up more, and try to catch the line sooner and stay on it.
Transition 1
  • 08m 22s

The T1 from Mirror Lake to transition is a long way - down a hill and across the street. Oh, and apparently it was pouring rain during the second loop of my swim. I got out of the water and ran to the "strippers" who yanked my wetsuit off faster than it's every come off. THANKS! Then ran to T1, grabbed my bag and into the changing tent. I didn't need to change, so my actual time in the tent was quick. The volunteer grabbed my bag as I left, and then I headed out to get my bike. I got almost the exact rack before a volunteer grabbed it for me. I then rolled it out of T, and stated the bike. 952 overall place in T1, 714 in my gender, and 138 in my division.
What would you do differently?:

Not much that I can think of
  • 6h 06m 34s
  • 112 miles
  • 18.36 mile/hr

I started the bike fairly easy to let my HR settle. I tried to take it easy up the first hill, and kept the bike in a low gear and just spun up the hill. I was passing A LOT of people at this point (results on Slowtwitch say I passed 629 people on the bike). When I started the Keane descent, I tried to stay in aero for as long as I could, but the road was wet and the course was crowded. I have no idea how fast I was going, but the bike frame was shaking. I eventually pulled up. Some dudes were KILLING it down that hill - more power to 'em. I kept a pretty consistent effort on the flat and rolling part (that out and back on 9N goes on forever). When I hit the climbing portion of the course I tried to keep it in easy gears knowing I had to do it all over again. For the most part I did a pretty good job, but felt a wee bit tired after the first loop. You go through town and do it all over again. The first climb seemed harder, but not too bad. I bombed down Kean again, probably a bit faster this time because the roads were dry. I was probably a bit slower on the "flat" portion of the race because the winds had picked up quite a bit (it threatened to storm all day but never did). I hit about mile 80 when I really felt it - my back started to hurt. I just though "uh oh." Not much I can do now. I started the climbs, and tried to say in lower gears to save a tiny bit of legs for the run. At the top of one of the hills there was a group of guys trying to get me to be the 300th person to wheelie. What the hell, I thought. I did, and they went nuts. The crowd was good around Mamma, baby and Pappa bear, then I went back into town and was done. I had cliff bars at miles 20, 60 and 80, and a gel at mile 40. I drank A LOT of that nasty perform and a lot of water. No real idea of how much of either.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. I would have loved to have rode the course before the race (not just drive it) but my schedule wasn't going to allow that this year.
Transition 2
  • 05m 8s

As soon as I got into T, a volunteer grabbed my bike. So long, bike! I took my bike shoes off almost immediately after that, despite the volunteers saying to keep them on. No way I wanted to trip. I ran to grab my bag, then to the tent. I wasn't changing clothes, so got my bike helmet off quickly, then my visor and running shoes on. I took a second to lube the boys with Aquaphor based on some chafing. I noticed a urinal trough in T, so decided that was a very good idea to get that out of the way. After that I headed out my run, err death march.
What would you do differently?:

Not much that I can think of
  • 5h 03m 42s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 34s  min/mile

If I could change the title of this race report from "run" to "death march" I would. My goal had been to run half to 3/4 of this marathon, based on how my back / leg held up. It didn't. I made it about a mile when I could feel my timing chip really rubbing and chafing. I stopped and tried to fix it but it didn't help. I then switched it to my other leg which worked. Around mile 2 my bib was falling off my race belt, so I stopped to fix that. Other than those stops, I ran 2-3 miles but I had constant pain in my hamstrings. It wasn't so much a cramp, as it was just pain. At that point, I just ran when I could and walked when I could. It was extremely demoralizing and frustrating, not to mention painful. The out and back took forever and was mentally draining. I finally saw B and LJ around mile 11, and think I said "Get comfortable because you're going to be here a long time." She was, of course, extremely supportive and loving. I walked almost the whole way into town and around mirror lake, which sucked because that's where the crowd actually is. I saw B again at mile ~15, and stopped to wring out my socks and chat with her. Of course, shortly after that I accidentally stepped in a puddle. I kept up the best walk / run I could for miles on end. It just kept getting harder and harder, and the walks more frequent and longer. I did try to stop briefly and stretch some, but it didn't really help. Eventually (around mile 21-22) I did catch somewhat of a second wind, and was able to start running a bit more. I definitely walked up the big hills from mile 21-24. But after that I was able to run for good chunks. I ran most of the final 2 miles, with only a short walk break around mirror lake to make sure I had enough juice to finish at a run. I rounded Mirror Lake, ran into the oval, and then crossed the finish line. Unfortunately, B didn't get to see me finish because it was too hard to navigate the stroller through the crowd. I was also a bit bummed - Mike Reilly did not say my name (I've watched a replay of the finish several times). I was actually surprised at my time - not having a Garmin I had assumed I was at like 14 hours. I was ~46min off my goal, so not good, but not nearly as bad as I had feared.
What would you do differently?:

Rehab my back and leg moths ago? I dunno, the limiting factor was injury so it was tough to figure out how to get through this.
Post race
Warm down:

One of the catchers grabbed me and asked if I felt OK. I told them no. They grabbed my stuff for me (hat, medal, and shirt) and guided me to a chair. I declined the med tent. I then chugged a chocolate milk and water. After a few minutes, I grabbed some mostly cold pizza and weaved my way through T to find B and our meeting point. I saw her, and we hung out in front of main street pizza for a while. I was freezing, and she and LJ were tired and cold, so we agreed to head back. I won't get into the whole story, but we both did something dumb, lost each other, and didn't get home for hours. Both of our phones were dead, and didn't get reception anyway. Duh.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Months ago, a back/hamstring / glute injury flared up, and it really prevented me from running and training the way I wanted to. I had hoped to make it through half, maybe even three quarters of the run. Unfortunately, I made it around 2 miles. Almost every step of the "run" hurt, and it really prevented me from doing what I needed to have a good race. Coupled with the fact that I had no Garmin, I had no idea how fast I was going, how long I had been out there, etc. Mentally, it was very hard to keep walking while feeling defeated. Making the turn for the second loop of the run was one of the hardest things I've ever done on a race course. I just kept thinking of all the sacrifices my girls have made for me to get here, and it helped me keep moving.

Event comments:

I've done a lot of races, and I'm not sure if this is my favorite, but the volunteers were definitely the best. HANDS DOWN. The vibe around town was electric all weekend, and WTC did a very good job keeping everything smooth. I felt like the actual race logistics were much better than IMFL. I will say that I loved the town of Lake Placed, but it kind of felt "too small" to handle the crowd. It was crowded, and everything was VERY expensive. Minor complaint, for sure.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2012-08-02 12:00 AM
01:22:44 | 4224 yards | 01m 58s / 100yards
Age Group: 211/306
Overall: 1519/2536
Performance: Average
First lap = 40:12, Second lap = 42:32
Suit: Zoot Fuzion
Course: Two laps of Mirror Lake. The water is perfectly clear and calm. You can see the cable they attach the bouys to the whole way.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 75F / 24C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 08:22
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
06:06:34 | 112 miles | 18.36 mile/hr
Age Group: 124/306
Overall: 779/2536
Performance: Average
30 mile split - 1:23:24 (21.58 mph) 56 mile split - 1:31:29 (17.05 mph) 86 mile split - 1:28:34 (20.32 mph) 112 mile split - 1:43:07 (15.13 mph)
Wind: Some
Course: Two loops through the Adirondack mountains. There's a ~5 mile uphill segment to get out of town, then a screaming decent into Keane. It's mostly flat / gentle rollers for ~20 miles, followed by ~20 miles of mostly uphill.
Road: Rough Wet Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 05:08
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Good
05:03:42 | 26.2 miles | 11m 34s  min/mile
Age Group: 159/306
Overall: 979/2536
Performance: Bad
3 mi 3 mi 27:29 8:10:17 9:09/mi 8.2 mi 5.2 mi 58:00 9:08:17 11:09/mi 12 mi 3.8 mi 46:20 9:54:37 12:11/mi 16.1 mi 4.1 mi 45:03 10:39:40 10:59/mi 21.3 mi 5.2 mi 1:10:43 11:50:23 13:35/mi 25.1 mi 3.8 mi 46:06 12:36:29 12:07/mi 26.2 mi 1.1 mi 10:01 12:46:30 9:06/mi
Course: HILLY! The course leaves town, goes down several big hills, then a long out and back. Headed out it seems like you just keep going on FOREVER. The way back is way more uphill than out. You then basically overshoot the finish line and head around the outskirts of mirror lake where there is a huge crowd. You then pass the finish again, and do another lap.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 1
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
Good race? Ok
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

2013-08-03 7:03 PM

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Fulton, MD
Subject: Ironman Lake Placid

2013-08-05 8:14 AM
in reply to: #4820441

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Crab Cake City
Subject: RE: Ironman Lake Placid
Sounds like it was a tough race but great way to work through it and finish!
2013-08-06 1:09 PM
in reply to: #4820441

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Ironman Lake Placid
Even though it's not the race you wanted, I'm still very proud of you and the hard work and motivation it took to even train for this race. I'm so happy that we were able to be there for you on race day!!
2013-08-06 7:10 PM
in reply to: ras26

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Subject: RE: Ironman Lake Placid

LP is quite different than PCB with total town support but you are right that the athletes swarm over the little town.

You overcame all the obstacles and injury to finish strong.

Lake Placid is famous for horrible cell frustrating to get separated and unable to find each other especially after an IM.

Heal up that hamstring and recover well.

Would you do LP or FL again?


2016-09-29 7:25 AM
in reply to: #4820441

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Subject: RE: Ironman Lake Placid
I appreciate the race report. IM distance is a beast. You've done it, and the identity of being an IM triathlete is bada$$. Congratulations 3 years late.
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