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Ironman Lake Placid - TriathlonFull Ironman


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Lake Placid, New York
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
70F / 21C
Precipitation
Total Time = 13h 41m 15s
Overall Rank = 1679/2772
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 100/172
Pre-race routine:

I drove the 1600 miles to LP. that was dumb, but flying options weren't great either, but who knew there would not be a single hotel to stop the entire night, so first night, I finally stopped and slept in the car in a hotel parking lot at 4:30 a.m. when I finally got near LP, traffic came to a stand still in Saranac. some 20 year old had flipped out while in Lake Placid and began driving crazy through LP, he then proceeded to Saranac, crossing the center line several times, then nailed a couple head on. they were in a Honda fit, he was in a Ford F-150. he killed the man instantly, the wife was air-lifted and died later, and the 11-year-old in the back seat in critical condition with serious back and pelvis injuries. the truck driver - no injuries and said, "I wish I would have killed cops." we sat in traffic for more than an hour as the road was closed. a real tragedy to start the weekend. We are all very lucky it wasn't us there at the wrong time, and also tg he didn't run over any of the thousands of people who had already descended on LP by Thursday late afternoon.

race day. I was going to get up at 4 a.m. to have a little to eat, get to the race early to get a close parking spot, and nap a little in the car. set my alarm on phone, on hotel clock, on the wake up call request, and ask my brother to make sure I was up too. some how I never noticed that the hotel alarm was set for 4, but the time was two hours fast so it woke me up at 2 a.m. no worries as it didn't really affect me. up again at 4, took a shower, off to the race start. I went to transition, got that squared away, then back to my car to listen to a great books on tape I was enjoying. did that until 5:30, then special needs back drop offs, and then over to the hotel to get a caffeine shot - they gave it to me for free. hung at hotel, used facilities, got the wetsuit on, headed down to swim start, got in the water to make sure wetsuit was fitting as needed, seeded myself, chatted a little, said a prayer, and waited for the start.
Swim
  • 58m 42s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 23s / 100 yards
Comments:

when we started the swim it was quite nice out, and quite warm. the people all got into the water quite orderly and it was a nice start. in fact, that sun was up enough that I wished for tinted goggles as turning to the right to breathe meant sun in my eyes.

I had bad cotton mouth before the swim started, and when I tried to start, I had a hard time breathing. I stopped twice to hold onto the kayak to get my breathing under control, wishing I would have taken some inhaler puffs as a preventative before starting (I figured out afterward it was what I drank in the morning pre-race that had an allergen in it. nothing.different.raceday! the breathing trouble meant my goggle clouded up bad so I stopped twice to take those off and clear them up too. then I saw a diver in the water who was there for safety, but my terrified of the water brain told me it as someone dead floating in the water. at this point, the early starters had already caught up to us and there were a lot of people on the line so I swam wide and thought - ok, if that is a dead person, other people are right on top of him and his head is pointed up and feet pointed down, so if dead, he has been there for some time. my first turn I looked at my watch - 30 minutes for the first turn. yikes, but now I was breathing and moving. at the second turn, there was a man hanging out in the water just treading water, looking for someone. holy crap, this is the guy who killed the other guy! (yes, this all goes on in my head when I'm swimming). he freaked me out - as my water terror made me think horror movie - he is treading water to find me and pull me under to drown me (yes, ridiculousness, but I swam very far wide now to get away). one of the kayakers clearly noticed this as she eventually said, "he's gone now, you can swim back in closer to the line." holy fright. at that point I told myself, "you really need to get hypnotized or something." despite the major problem getting started and the very wide swim, the back in with the two swim across spans, was still much faster than the out and I was pleasantly surprised that I was back in the water again starting the second loop in 58 minutes. myself and another person starting second loop with chit chatted a bit as we were getting back in and I knew I was a better swimmer than her and everyone else now in the water (yes, that's mean to have that thought, but it helped me calm down for second round, besides, everyone knows the killers lurking in the water waiting to kill other competitors are out of the water come second round).

now that my breathing and imagination was under control, I could swim right on the cable for sighting, and I was the one catching up to everyone and passing, I was cruising, even though I saw lightening off to my right when each time I breathed to that side, I didn't register in my brain that it was dangerous ...then 3 buoys from the turn, I ran into a kayak - he had purposefully cut me off, told me to do the swim across now, and swim back in. the swim back in was pretty crowded because, I thought at the time, that everyone was swimming back in at the exact same time (turns out the ones that were just making the turn back in were sent to a dock to get out of the water), but having cut across early, I stayed on the inside of the cable line and figured they wouldn't yell at me that I needed to get on the outside given the large number of people now coming in. they did shout at me to make sure and swim outside the buoys, but otherwise I held my spot as I was swimming quite well. I did have a moment where I thought, omg, were are going to fry on the tri as I kept seeing lightening, but what could they do. you could see all the divers in the water lined up on the inside of the cable watching like sentries and I thought, well, they are all in here too and will get electrocute as well. some how that was comforting and I thought about nothing more than swimming.

as we exited, it was chaos, but I found a stripped, they got my suit off pretty fast, and then I was running the very long transition. at this point others still wearing wet suits came running down the run area. what?!? someone explained, they were told swim to the dock, get out and run around the lake. one guy's expression was, eye browed raised, shook his head, and kind of shrugged as if to say, sorry, i'm a better runner than a swimmer, but what could I do, they said get out" the look was priceless
What would you do differently?:

nothing new on race day and go get hypnotized or something to deal with this ridiculous terror.
Transition 1
  • 01m
Comments:

this was absolute chaos as there were literally hundreds of people in the tent all at once. the volunteers shouted, "just change outside as there is no more room in the tent" it was a mad house, and quite funny.

then, of course, everyone was at the bike exit at the same time so there was a major bike traffic back up even getting to the mount line. cah-razy
What would you do differently?:

nothing, it was so crazy it was fun
Bike
  • 7h 10m 18s
  • 112 miles
  • 15.62 mile/hr
Comments:

the first uphills were actually quite easy as it was pouring so hard it was invigorating - and I had to stop to make a saddle adjustment because I was really stupid and put a new saddle on the day before. (long story). it was raining so hard I had a hard time getting the wrench to work. in what seemed a blink, I saw a sign that said, "be prepared for nasty down hill speed" then I saw the truck gradient sign, and all those people that were in the changing tent together were now on the mt top together getting ready to descend. as w start down, some guy's bottle holder snapped off his bike. debris, slucing water, and hundreds of people? no thanks, I'm riding my brakes down. another mile down the hill, another guy lost his entire rear hydration set up - both bottles, holders, and braces all fell off in one giant piece of debris. yeah, I'm not getting speed on this frogger downhill.

I was one of the few with a jacket on and I was freezing as we descended. my teeth were chattering and I couldn't decide what was worse, glasses on fogged, or classes off and rain pelting my eyes. I took them off and found pelting is better than fogging.

at the bottom of the descents, there were people stopped getting trash bags from the aid station as a means to warm up. I have to say, at this point, even with jacket on and freezing I thought, holy cow, I don't know if I will make T1 being this cold already.

once we had to start working, I warmed up. the out and back came pretty quick at there was a girl drafting off a guy. your a cheater, but whatever, until he kept altering his pace. he'd zip in front of me on the rolling downhill, and come in when he had enough clearance, but not enough for her but she'd cut in front of me anyway and stop pedaling as she pedaled fast to stay in his draft, but when he tucked she needed to slow down to stay behind him. uphill I'd pass them again, then here they'd come, pass, cut me off, stop pedaling repeat. on the third time of this and having to hit my brakes, I finally called out, "Stop cutting so close! that's three near hits already" at this point the guy being drafted off turned to look at the girl, sped up and didn't wait for her to get behind him again. after we dropped her I asked if he knew her - yes, a good friend of mine but I kind of felt like I had to let her draft. uh, cheating is one thing, but endangering others? he apologized saying, I didn't think she would keep doing that, and he off he went, never to slow to for her again. -- it was nice that someone who was doing the wrong thing on the course reconsidered and become the good steward during the race.

"flats" down, here come the uphills and they were HARD and the weather was getting weird. little pockets of hot mist rising off the road in between spots of cold gust, but that first 56 didn't seem so bad and I definitely did not push it - although I had a pang of panic as we were battling the uphill and right beside the road was a sign saying "700 ft drop waterfalls." what, what??!?! what if the rain made us lose control and over we went? oh good grief. some guy commented to me on the run, "I wish I knew how to turn my brain off" - yes, yes indeed.

as we were trudging through the hills first time around, some random guy was on the side of the road, being one of those people, checking closely what gear people were in - "you are in the wrong gear. your chain needs to be on ring 6." I wonder if anyone actually found this guy helpful? I did not.

Tour de France hill was raucous to say the least. huge crowds of people with flags, some with no clothes, crowding the road, cheering, shouting, running with their flags, creating a tunnel up the hill and around the corner. amazingly fun to ride through. as you get through this group and make the right hand turn, a bunch more people beside the roads yelling, "welcome back to town!" still further down, tons of cowbells. I love cow bells and the people awesome enough to be out there ringing them

as I got to special needs, I changed socks AND shoes as I didn't want to have blisters for the run. I also had dry shirt, jacket, shorts and pants in my bag, but the volunteer said, "you want to lose the jacket?" at this point the sun was out so I asked, "is it going to rain again?" he looked up at the sky gestured at the sun, and said, "look" I took that as a no, no more rain, so headed out on loop two with dry socks and shoes, no jacket, and a dt dr pepper in my bottle rack as I now was assured lots of water spots along the course

the second loop - wow, where did that first set of hills come from?? I didn't even notice hills first time around because of the chaos and rain. this time I definitely noticed, but also knew this time around my descent would be much faster. ...but first, another saddle adjustment. this time my wrenches worked.

downhill with no rain and 1/4th the people was much better, but then, the thunder and lightening started again. also, that dang saddle felt like it was giving me some serious butt sores, plus now I was too far forward, and a little too high - so I stopped twice more to adjust. no, this was definitely not about efficiency.

and now no jacket. I got a little cold on the out and back straight away so decided I better make sure and eat a little extra to keep warm. crazy enough, I had bagel in my shirt pocket and ate that, ate some chomps, ate some lava gels, and also grabbed bananas from the volunteers three times - that's a lot of eating for me on the bike. one banana area, the guy in front of me grabbed bananas three times before he was able to not drop it - big behind him, I was wondering if I'd get one as he kept knocking them all down like that gopher bop game. second last chance, he finally held onto one so I got the last chance one. we laughed about that one.

next, some guy decides he is going to ride a significant stretch without using his hands - I get it, he's a good cyclist that can steer without holding on to the handle bars, but doing it for at least 1/2 a mile as you are passing people and people are passing you? someone yelled at him - "even my kids know better than to ride like that around people!" again, I laughed. Right on lady!

as we started climbing again, another cyclist says, "this is the ground hog part of the course', you swear every turn is a repeat of what you just did. he was right. Yes, there was a lot of talking amongst the riders during this race - more so than any race I have done, but I think it was the craziness of the experience. I did see a race official come up upon two guys riding side by side chatting and tell them, 'stop talking and ride." ha ha haa. the rest of the race I saw a lot of penalty tents, and I saw people in penalty tents, but I was never sure that it was to get a break from the rain, or because they were being penalized for something. I think mostly a break as woman announced to everyone, "I think it's time for me to take a little break from these hills" ... and sure enough, she pulled over.
What would you do differently?:

nothing new, especially a saddle! but the saddle I had was not going to work either. living in the middle of nowhere, hours from bike shop not a good time to have saddle issues as I just didn't get a new one on time and stopping to adjust four times - well, it was a training ride....
Transition 2
  • 13m 26s
Comments:

I got teary-eyed when the bike was over as it was not an easy thing in any aspect. so glad to be off the bike and now the easy part was all that was left.

I did a full clothing change. shorts, shirt, socks, everything as I was now coldddd again. the trouble was I only had a long sleeve shirt to change into as I had not expected to take off my short sleeve bike top for the run. I decided I better carry my extra pair of dry socks with me in case it started raining again so dug out a ziplock, put food, socks, salt tabs, advil, bengay all into this bag to carry - plus wearing a heavy weight long sleeve t and wrapped a rain jacket around my waist as I really didn't want to have to not be able to finish because I got wet and cold. in the mean time, I was starving because although I had eaten quite a bit (bagel, breakfast bar, two gels, sleeve of bloks, and three banana halves) I had been freezing so was hungry. I asked the transition person if they had food. she went and found me some discards from other racers. ha ha. yes, the food you ditch, may be used! the volunteer was so excited she had found a salted carmel gu - ick, but I didn't want to poo poo her, so took it to carry in my bag too - as if I didn't already have enough to carry while running - and asked, maybe some granola bar or something? she found a fig bar so I walked out of transition having a full meal. but man, it tasted good to be eating something.


What would you do differently?:

nothing. I was cold so I ate a lot. that sustained me on the run. well, the long sleeve, heavy weight shirt and pull bag of all kinds of supplies was a bit much, but in transition, I was happy.
Run
  • 5h 17m 49s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 08s  min/mile
Comments:

very quickly the heavy weight shirt was a problem as it had warmed up again and it was wayyy to hot to run in this shirt. first I took the rain jacket from my race and handed it to a spectator and said, 'a prize!' ..and it was because it was brand new never worn. then I took off my visor and tossed it as too hot. at this point I was thinking, man, I should ask the crowd to see if anyone would give me a short sleeve shirt. at this point, a guy runs past without a shirt at all - a DJ in the crowd shouted, 'get a shirt on! you will be disqualified. I'm serious, someone in the crowd give him a shirt" some woman did. she gave him a tank top she had layered and handed it to him. darn! I should have asked earlier! that would be might shirt! and now that he was called out for not wearing a shirt, I couldn't just take my shirt off and run without, could I? I wondered this for about a mile, then realized, plenty of women running without shirts, I could too, so took my shirt off so now carrying shirt, socks, bengay, blocks, advil, salt pills, advil, wtf? I did this for 12 miles. at mile 12, I stopped and picked out the most trustworthy looking person in the crowd and asked her to run to my car and get me a tshirt. she couldn't find my car, but got a tshirt from somewhere. I left the long sleeve heavy weight behind in return. another half mile down, special needs and I ditched everything I was carrying but the bengay. I had dry socks and dry shoes in the bag too, but decided my feet for fine. now, I could finally run as I had a shirt and nothing to carry as the bengay could fit in my shorts pocket.

rest of the run went quite well, I bengayed on the fly as my Achilles was hurting, and handed some out to others too (at this point, who cares, I'm not setting any records, so might as well help others - it had become a social event). at one point I ran past a guy who was telling another, "..nobody means any malice on the swim, but you can't help but have the anxiety.." boy, is he right! ...although, maybe that guy was looking to drown me?
What would you do differently?:

carrying so much out of T2 was ridiculous, but I also knew I wasn't going to deal with the cold very well at all so overkill, but at least I didn't freeze. still, I truly was over prepared. Even as I threw the ridiculously large bag of stuff I carried the 13 miles into my special needs bag, which made a huge difference on being able to actually run, I had momentary panic - oh no, I just threw my advil and salt pills in there. relaxxxxx. I was fine the last 13 without.
Post race
Warm down:

this is where I really had trouble. I finished, skipped the food and straight to the massage tent. I took my wet clothes off right there - somewhat shocking the massage people as they laughed that I discarded everything immediately, but I knew I was getting cold fast as all was wet.

a very wonderful volunteer had gone to get my transition bags and everything had been zipped up in individual ziplocks so I still had dry tights, a dry shirt had just been handed to me at the finish so other than socks, everything was dry -- but the cold hit me fast and apparently my lips went blue from being cold. they called for help, grabbing hot broth for me to drink, wrapped me in layers of blankets, and even put blankets over my head. three cups of hot broth and lots of blankets later, I was better.

I gathered up my bags, and headed out of the tent - at this point I finally thought to stop the timer on my watch. 14:52:42 from the time I entered the water to the time I walked out of the finish line aid tent feeling tip top.

Because the roads were closed until midnight, I couldn't get back to my hotel so I knew the plan was to hang out for a couple hours. I walked the two blocks to the car, carrying my bags, wrapped in a silver blanket, and sporting a finishers medal, with lots of people saying "congratulations!" as I walked. It as so awesome. the crowd was so amazing. doing an IM in Lake Placid makes you feel like an Olympic gold medalist for the day.

Got back to my car put my wet clothes, shoes, bags on top of the car, got a heavy weight hoodie and heavy weight sweats over the fleece arm warmers and tights, and felt pretty good. now I wanted food so headed over to the bar on the run course. alas, although it was only 9:30, the pub said no more food so I had a beer to celebrate with the others who had just finished - well, I had a half a beer as I needed food. I went back to the finish line, explained I had finished but didn't eat, and now starving, and they let me back in. cold pizza, hot fries, lots of ketchup, and I was good to go. I contemplated going back out on the run course to walk with people still out there as that would be more helpful to people trying to get those last few miles in, but I decided to be selfish and do what I preferred - join the crowd at the finish line so I headed over to the grand stand to help cheer the rest of the finishers.

at first I thought, two hours? yeah, I won't last that long, but the finish line at Lake Placid is amazing. lots of dance music, cheering, tear-jerkers to see people finish, bleachers bouncing, a guy propose, and really all around amazing. EVERY ONE needs to go to a great IM finish line like LP, Texas or Louisville and enjoy the party at least once.

after the finish line fun was done, some guy who had just finished was asking about shuttle service back to his car. I volunteered to drive him and he went off to change his clothes. in the mean time they got his bike for him and when he returned, he was sure it wasn't his bike because they had given all finishers seat cover so he didn't recognize the seat. oh the brain cells killed during these races.

we drove the couple mile to his car, I dropped him off, then back to my hotel. I was wired and thinking, ok, how to minimize the backlash to my body. I asked the front desk if I could please use the hot tub - they let me even though way after hours (by now 1 A.M.), hot tubbed it awhile, focused on the achilles, then got some ice cream from the front desk, back to room and wrapped my ankle to help with blood flow and Achilles ache, and finally in bed by 2 a.m. I did wake up several times during the night with throbbing in my achilles, but otherwise slept well.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I pretty much gave up on this being a fast race before I even got there as I have another later this season and this was about getting it right, not getting it fast. I did a lot of things wrong, but not having dry socks was not one of them :-)

Event comments:

the check-in was pretty quick, although, not to miss a merchandizing opportunity, you could not get your swag bag at check in, you had to go down to the IM store, and go fully into the tents to get your backpack lest you forget to buy IM stuff while you are at it. on the other hand, in lieu of the banquet, we all received a $25 gift certificate to use at pretty much any area restaurant. I was very pleasantly surprised and happy to receive this. as an aside, as we were standing in line, there were some Kiwis behind me, then somehow in front of me, but from the line, we could see out a window overlooking the restaurants. one restaurant said, "wood fired pizza" they misread it and thought it said 'wood fried pizza', then proceeded to make fun of fat Americans and deep frying everything including pizza. I wondered when one of them would realize they misread - they didn't.

I do wish they would do a better job of getting good expo vendors. it was pretty lame with minimal vendors. I love a good expo. this was not one of them.

race day itself, having just done a competitor race a month earlier, I have to say, as much as I want to endorse the little guy, IM takes much better care of the people while out on the course. the volunteers are amazing, they really know what they are doing and have been instructed on how to safely help people, the course itself is as safe and debris free as possible with every little bump marked, and they have hired street sweepers to sweep the course before and after.

Lake Placid is a magical town. I did go to the free pancake breakfast on Saturday morning. they were delicious - and then one of the workers came and sat down and prayed for me and the person I was with - a Jewish Rabbi. that made me giggle, and the rabbi was so laid back about it. I really respect that she respected the pancake lady's beliefs.

While I was pretty happy with how IM dealt with the weather conditions race day, right now I am giving them an F rating as I'm not very happy with their post race handling of times. I was tracable all day long - although during the day, apparently they deleted my second loop swim time and T1 while I was out on the course. This somehow messed up my timing as after that, my sad 14 minute mile 'run' split turned into a 25 minute mile, followed by a 4 minute mile. How did IM resolve this? As of Tuesday, they had me listed as a DNS. No bike time, no swim time, no run time, just officially listed as DNS. After three emails to them, pointing out all the times I registered on the course, directing them to the time I can be seen crossing the finish line on the video feed, and have already been sent pictures of me on the course, they changed my DNS to DNF gave me a swim and bike time, but had me dropping out after the bike, despite being trackable by people at home all the way up to mile 25.

I'm not really sure which is worse, DNS or DNF. either way, don't get credit for having finished. More than 14 hours of sucking it up on a cold, wet day, a mountain of evidence that I was out there all day, and because they tampered with the timing chip database and started deleting information while I was on course, I get a DNF? several more emails to IM have so far produced zero results, but video of my crossing the finish line, registering at each check point, and Kruetz photography pictures of me on the run course is pretty conclusive -- but not to IM. Very, very disappointing not to officially be credited with ever having done IMLP, which to me, is the most important aspect of the race. I want it officially memorialized.

I hope they will resolve this eventually, but as of noon Thursday - no such luck and they do not return emails or phone calls. I am going to hope that they are just inundated at the moment, and give them the benefit of the doubt that the fact that they changed my DNS to DNF after the first three emails was coincidence and they have not yet reviewed the overwhelming evidence that I was out there the entire 14 plus hours.




Last updated: 2014-07-30 12:00 AM
Swimming
00:58:42 | 4224 yards | 01m 23s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/172
Overall: 0/2772
Performance: Good
Suit:
Course: all these people who tell you that is it super easy because you can site along the ferry cable are clearly not terrified of the water swimmers. well, I'm not terrified of the water, I'm terrified of the other swimmers. That cable doesn't help you be a better swimmer if you are to chicken to get close to that scrum ... until the second loop
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Bad Remainder: Good
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Rounding:
T1
Time: 01:00
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
Biking
07:10:18 | 112 miles | 15.62 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/172
Overall: 0/2772
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course:
Road:  Wet Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
T2
Time: 13:26
Overall:
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
Running
05:17:49 | 26.2 miles | 12m 08s  min/mile
Age Group: 100/172
Overall: 1679/2772
Performance:
Course:
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 2

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2014-07-31 11:07 AM

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