Ironman Lake Placid
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Ironman Lake Placid - Triathlon
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Dale and I lined up a few rows in front of the 1:10 finish corral with exactly 10 minutes to start.
I was more excited and honestly not too nervous. I was confident and felt prepared. When I entered Mirror Lake, two days prior for a practice swim, it felt COLD and REFRESHING. Fresh in my memory sill was my LP 2012 swim where I overheated during the Swim and on the first climb to Keene I found myself laying on the side of the road. I made it through the Bike but never saw the run and suffered my first 140.6 DNF.
The new time trial format was pretty good although there was still plenty of contact and bumping that I experienced. My first loop was pretty uneventful for the most part, and I even found myself over the magical cable after the first turn-around.
Coming out from the first loop I saw 34 minutes on my watch and for some odd reason was disappointed. Then I did the math and was pretty happy. Needless to say I slowed a bit on the second lap -- much of it due to zig-zagging, after seeing my Garmin map, and there was some decent chop that sprang up. On the second lap I experienced much less contact. I focused on my form and long reach and really generated power from my lower lats and core. I stayed well within myself and kept my HR low.
What would you do differently?:
Nothing. It was a great swim really. I swam :32 seconds faster than I did at Ironman Tremblant and I used much less effort. I was pretty well prepared for this swim having swam every week in a lake that was considerably warmer. Of course it would always be nice to get more swim training in, but I do have have to get to work in the mornings.
I love my Roka Maverick full suit.
I came out of the swim feeling fresh. I found two big guys who ripped my wetsuit off in lickity split fashion. However I chose to wear my one-piece race kit under my wetsuit with the the top rolled down. This proved to be a mistake because when I layer down to have my wetsuit removed, all the sand that clung to my back fell down into the crotch of my chamois pad. Yup, I had a sandy back, butt and crotch for the next 138 miles!
I had some pep in my step running along the lake and down the side street to the oval. No leg cramps like prior years! I went down the wrong row to get my T1 bag, despite practicing the day before. In the tent I had an amazing volunteer help me lay out my bike apparel and put my wetsuit back in the bag. Outside the tent I realized I'd left my bike gloves on the chair - whoops! No turning back now.
Upon leaving the tent the first thing I saw was my beautiful wife and kids. I promptly ran over and gave them all hugs and kisses. It doesn't get any better.
My strategy was to go very easy on the Bike and bust-out a great Run. I had my brand new HED Jet 60 Plus front and new Jet Disc C2 rear wheel, freshly cleaned chain and drive train components, newly-shaved legs (the data doesn't lie), Rudy Wing 57 helmet, DeSoto sleeved one-piece, and I spun every uphill and tucked aero on the downhills.
Lots of people passed me on the first 5 mile climb up to the Keene descent. Lots! But I know this 5 mile section is a course killer later on. On my way down Keene I saw my buddy Wynn climbing up that beast of a climb, and gave a loud shout out!
There were a few crosswinds that made me hit the brakes but I still managed a semi-respectable max speed of 45.2 and avg.'d 32.9 mph the first descent. A few miles after the decent on the flats I saw a pair of red Zip Wheels going FLYING past me and I thought "That looks like Dale?" I started pushing the pedals and caught up to the cyclist and sure enough, it was Dale! Damn was he flying! We exchanged some pleasantries and I let him go on his rocketing way. Go Dale! I as hoping to see some of my other local training buddies but to no avail. I did make lots of small talk and crack plenty of jokes with other riders. I like to keep it light and fun. We do this for fun, right!
My sandy groin and back was a nuisance but tolerable. For every two bottles of water I drank 1 Gatorade Endurance. And every hour I ate starting with a Bonk Bar, followed by Shot Blocks, all items I've eaten and trained successfully with.
On the Ausable out & back a 20 person "peloton" of blatant drafting riders passed me. It was Deja-vu to last IMLP race and in the same spot oddly. The rest of the first loop was uneventful including the climb to Jay (which I spun easy) and then the Notch and Bears (including a 2-minute port-a-potty break -- bless the awesome volunteers who held my bike the whole time!).
I finished the first loop in approx 3:12 minutes. I was a little disappointed but not surprised. I was thrilled at the "hot corner" by my hotel to see my little family. The best hi-light by far of the Bike!
On my second loop it was much of the same ...spinning up the climbs, cracking jokes, I swam Wynn and Teresa right before the Keene descent. I felt perfect and did decide to take a few more risks. I avg'd 34.1 down Keene and on the next 15 miles of flats I passed a ton of riders like they were standing still avg'ing 21.4 mph. I hit Mile 80 feeling great despite the temps beginning to rise.
I ended up negative splitting my 2nd loop by 3 minutes. I was grateful to finish the Bike with zero issues (save for the sand). There were a handful of riders with flats and mechanicals, thankfully I didn't see any crashes.
What would you do differently?:
Even though I spun the climbs, I should've climbed and spun faster, with a little more earnest. I was too conservative. Same deal with me is my weight. At 180 lbs, 5' 10" my power to weight ration stinks.
And despite feeling like half the field passed me on the first 5 miles of the Bike, in the end OA rank only fell 37 places from 659 to 696.
Lolly-gagged a bit.
Started the run feeling "OK" with a 9:29 pace for the first 4 miles. But the same story from my prior 3 full Ironmans played out -- as my legs loosened up and felt better, my stomach and lower gut tightened up And before long I was throwing upI This time reverse peristalsis occurred early, at about the 10k mark. I was in a hot, stinky port-a-potty dry heaving.
But this time I'd dialed in my nutrition and digested everything. There was nothing in my stomach to come up. One day I'll figure this out. *I hope*
Lots of Run Walk (errr shuffle) after that, and I just made the best of it keeping it light and cracking jokes with other racers. Saw the family twice, finally saw some of my training buddies Jillian and Tony. Jillian was walking unfortunately due to an achilles issue; Tony was striding along both times looking like a champ. High fived Wynn two more times and got love from my neighbor and buddy Sean.
Saw Dale on the first loop and he was still TEARING IT UP!
There was a fair bit of carnage on the course but also a lot of athletes looking strong. Many lamented about the heat, but after racing Eagleman a number of times, by comparison it really wasn't that hot. (Although E-man is like infernos of Hell, Satan's Underworld Ho!!)
Around 5pm it cooled nicely, there was close to zero humidity and the sun was mostly shaded by clouds.
As you can see from my race pics, I had a unique and bright DeSoto kit on. And there were three or four other racers with the same kit. We all had fun commenting that we'd stolen each others kits. I also had lots of fun conversations with other racers wearing pink tutu's and other cool kits that represented an important charity or cause. Great stuff.
All in all it was my typical 5+ hour marathon. Seeing as last time I DNF'd a LP, and many athletes DNF's or DNS, I was and am truly grateful just to finish. And finish I did. The crowds in LP were phenomenal! Blasting music, dancing an partying. It's such a supportive community. I soaked in my last lap and I enjoyed the entire finishing chute to myself, swinging my hat about my head. Kissing my wife and kids one last time and then dabbing as I crossed the finish line.
Yes, I "dabbed" as my finish line celebration. Figured my 12-yr-old son would get a kick out of it!
What would you do differently?:
Very frustrating to be a decent stand-alone runner but NEVER being able to run a decent Ironman marathon. Perhaps one day when I have the time and money I'll hire a coach and nutritionist to try and figure this all out for me. Because clearly after 4 complete Ironman's and a Swim/Bike/DNF at LP in 2012, I cannot figure this out.
Saw Dale's son Mike and was thrilled to hear Dale finished strong and 10th OA in his AG. WOW!
What limited your ability to perform faster:
It's been a tough year with my wife's Father passing away last month; managing a stressful corporate job with a lot of traveling; and having the house up for sale. I'm genuinely happy to have a great group of local athlete friends who helped me train enough to successfully complete the Iron distance this year.
The greatest thing about the Ironman journey is the camaraderie of good friends and the support of family.
Ironman Lake Placid is an amazing town, an amazing race, with amazing volunteers. I loved my experiences at Ironman Louisville and Tremblant; but there is only one Ironman USA.
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World Triathlon Corporation
80F / 27C
Overall Rank = 965/3055
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 178/444
Link to photo album: http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/Albums/Album/17323
Woke up at 3:30, ate some oatmeal, banana, mixed up some beet elite and washed down two beta alanines. Down at transition at 4:35 to get body marked and was one of the first athletes in and out of transition. While pumping up my front tire I accidentally unscrewed the core and all the air in the tire emptied out in two seconds flat! Stayed calm and screwed the core back in and proceeded to pump the tire back up. (For some reason I always have some odd issue with a tube race morning.)
Walked back up to my room, saw Dale on the walk back and made plans to meet up at the swim start. Back at my room I did some quick stretching and then proceeded to kick my feet up and watched some track & field for about 45 mins. It was lovely booking the Crowne Plaza, which was less then an 8 minute walk to the oval. Only downside to the Crowne is a short but very steep hill.
Put my hand over my heart for the National Anthem. A few minutes later met Dale down at the Swim start and did a quick 25 meter out & back WU.