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Ironman Lake Placid - Triathlon

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Lake Placid, New York
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
72F / 22C
Total Time = 13h 28m 49s
Overall Rank = 758/1644
Age Group = M60-64
Age Group Rank = 14/47
Pre-race routine:

Drove up Thursday afternoon-took 4.5 hours. I like being able to check in and wanted to get there for registration too-so the plan was to get there for ~3pmish. I was super happy to be at the Hampton Inn for the first time- right across from the swim start. The Crowne Plaza is where we've stayed most often but it is on a hill though, and walking up and down that hill can be quite taxing after a while. But no parking issues and you could get anywhere you needed. Again, it was super quiet at night, with very comfortable beds. No restaurant at the Hampton but the Crowne was super close, and we could drive a very short distance anywhere. The food is exceptionally good at the Crowne Plaza. And of course, perfect location, location, location! I could walk to Mirror Lake for a practice swim or walk to registration/transition/expo at the oval which was about 1/2 mile away. The expo was basically held at the Olympic Oval with the Convention Center/Lake Placid High School directly behind it.

Got my registration done-Number 901. Back to the hotel. Planned for a practice swim, worked on the bike and got set up with putting numbers on the helmet/bike etc. Did a short bike ride and saw new pavement for the Keene descent. Lots of rubbing on my rear tire which I could not quite figure out. Checked bike in and checked my bags-run/bike. Pre-race, got a light pasta dish and to bed super early with lots of alarms which never needed to go off. Mixed my nutrition bottles and put them in the fridge.

Woke up early, as usual, this time at 4 am (and shut off all alarms before they went off) and ate ~500 calories of nutrition. (boost/banana/rk treat/coffee). Shower/BR. Lots of body glide-Dress race ready. Wore my new Synergy kit. Brought chilled mixed bottles to transition and put cut shoes at swim exit. My lovely wife is so instrumental at helping me with all the preparation. She ran my list of things I'd need, and I had forgotten, so many things, again. There is always something I forgot but the list was pretty extensive this time...oops. Weather was 49 degrees and chilly in the morning but warmed up to 75 degrees by the end of the day.

DW walked my bike and run special needs bags to the areas, which was about a half a mile away in different directions. On to the swim warmup...sipping G2 to maintain hydration status. Went smooth, but only because I hadn't forgotten a zillion things thanks to DW.
Event warmup:

Did a short swim warmup in the 'swim area' to the right of the planned start. People were swimming every direction-it was chaos. The swim practice was from 6:00 to 6:20, then off to get in line for the start. Rolling/self-seed start but I could not get up close enough to my planned time, so I stayed with the 1:20-1:40 range group, which ironically is what I swam.
  • 1h 25m 8s
  • 4224 yards
  • 02m 01s / 100 yards

I was late getting into the line so I didn't line up with the group I wanted but it worked out ok. 5 athletes went off every 5 seconds. I came up to the line and the buzzer sounded and we bounded into the water and started swimming. I wanted to stay 10-15 feet to the left of the cable under the water so I didn't have too many people swimming over me but I drifted over there a lot and got swam over a lot. Tons of pushing to create space and some hard kicks to move people away. I get punched every time I've done this race. Got to the turn buoy and it was even worse. The scrum ended 10 feet past it and we swam to the next turn buoy and had another water fight before I turned and headed for the shore. It seemed to take forever to just get through one lap. I was counting down strokes, trying to think of other things but the time moved so very slowly. I think I had about 20 or 30 conversations with myself about various things. Eventually, I told myself to 'shut up'.

Got close to the end of loop one and started kicking hard to get the blood flowing to the legs like they told us to. This definitely helped out, then I walked across the timing mat and back into the water to do it again. My loops were perfectly even split. I had told my wife I expected ~1:25 depending on everything and I was 42/43=1:25.
What would you do differently?:

Should have forced my way closer to the front of the swim line to get to 1:15-1:20. I believe with the current, better swimmers and some drafting, I could have been 5-8 minutes faster but it really wasn't a race, just an event for me.
Transition 1
  • 07m 12s

Got out and went over and got 'stripped' by the girl/boy tandem team. Found my cut shoes and ran past a lot of people just walking up to transition. (Later found out that a guy tried to take my shoes and my wife got them back after a bit of a confrontation-I have his photo on my phone still which she took-He better hope I don't run into him at a future event!) Ran up and grabbed the bike bag and with my number being 901, I was right at the end of the monster pile and it was super easy. Dumped the bike stuff out and dried my feet with towel, put on socks, put on bike shoes, then helmet and clipped it, then put the wetsuit and swim stuff into the bike bag. Jogged out the rear of the tent and to my bike and again I knew my landmarks well. Got my bike-dropped the bag and I ran past everyone at the mount line, and again jumped on, turned quickly180 degrees twice, then clipped in. Turn left and start going fast down and out of transition!!! Let's go.
most of t1 on strava
What would you do differently?:

really nothing-that was my best transition and really the high point of my day--how sad.
  • 6h 42m 45s
  • 112 miles
  • 16.69 mile/hr

After the swim, I really didn't feel like pushing hard and then when I had issues with the rear tire rubbing and making noise, I was seriously concerned I'd get a blowout on the Keene descent. Fortunately, the crash happened on mile 30 or so and then the flat on mile 36-both way after the fast downhill. Never good to have a ~15:00 mile on the bike *(or the run really). Didn't have the end cap to shoot the c02 cartridge as it fell off in the crash so I asked riders for several minutes if they had one but didn't get any responses for a while. My rear bottle holders were also really loose but they stayed on. Finally got a Cyclonaut to stop and he gave me the top and I needed I put some air in the tire-but it actually measured 40 psi when I finished the race, so not really ideal. I was rushing and did a very poor job of tire changing.
part one-cut short when I accidently hit the button.
found a pic of something very similar to the road that was washed out and I went into
What would you do differently?:

not crash, not flat

I really should have inspected my bike much better and secured everything ahead of time. I was a bit lazy about doing that. I was also terrible at fixing the flat quickly and efficiently.
Transition 2
  • 05m 28s

As soon as you dismount, someone takes your bike-the 'bike catcher'. And then it's off to grab the run bag and get the run shoes/belt/visor/sunglasses. Drank a Boost again as I was pretty tired and a bit hungry. Once again, I knew hydration was going well as I felt I had to go pee.
What would you do differently?:

I could have gone faster but I was mostly defeated after the bike issues.
  • 5h 08m 18s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 46s  min/mile

Super tough again with the steady increase in the temps. Plus there was a thunderstorm, 15 minutes of torrential rain, then bright sun and hot/humid rest of the day. This had to mess with people's hydration plan-it certainly did screw me up. My wife was always there cheering me on-I think I'd have quit if she wasn't there. Great to hear Bobby out on the course too but I felt badly as I complained to him a lot more...
partial upload of run on strava
What would you do differently?:

Stick to the plan. Drink the set amounts and eat the needed calories. My gut revolted a bit because I drank too much of the concentrated sugar/bicarb water and needed more regular water when I was on the bike. I drank water and coke at every aid station and walked every one of them during the second loop. I was in survival mode at that point.
Post race
Warm down:

Felt like my breathing remained fast/rapid for hours. Walked over and collected the bike and all the bags. DW took the lion's share and I was leaning on the bike aiming it towards the hotel. Ate/iced/drank and bitched for a few hours more. My poor wife probably put on close to 20 miles of walking and being the uber-sherpa. I was not a happy camper that night and the ice on my back was heavenly. I did feel like I had so many people with me cheering me along but all their voices were drowned out by my loudly complaining inner self.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Old age, wickedly undertrained for the long distances and still messed up the fourth discipline (nutrition/hydration). My massage is scheduled for Saturday thanks to my son Mike. It's been two days and I'm back to work but still can't walk well.

Never again. Not a full IM-nope, not ever.

Event comments:

Bring your A game-this venue is challenging with a hilly bike and run. It is beautiful and I've stayed at some great hotels for this race. Lots of support along the course and it truly is an iconic race.

Last updated: 2022-11-05 12:00 AM
01:25:08 | 4224 yards | 02m 01s / 100yards
Age Group: 26/47
Overall: 1103/1644
Performance: Below average
stayed this pace the entire way 23 spm, HR was about 130 average
Suit: Synergy Trisuit
Course: 2 loops in scenic Mirror Lake. Rolling start with clockwise swim, which plays to my advantage being a right sided breather. Straight out along cable/buoys with short 90 degree turn for 10 M then second 90 degree turn back to shore along second string of cable/buoys. Short jog up beach around the timing mat and back into the water for second loop. I had counted that it took 50 strokes of one hand in my practice swim to get from one big buoy to the next on the way out and 58 on the way in as the current was clearly going out. It also took me a minute (at my pace) to get from the out lane to the back lane. Water was perfect in temp at 72 degrees yet still felt cool to me. Sun came up on the right side of the lake so from the first to the second turn buoy there was a lot of sun glare. I did not have my tinted of many, many mistakes
Start type: Run Plus:
Water temp: 72F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation:
Rounding: Below average
Time: 07:12
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed:
06:42:45 | 112 miles | 16.69 mile/hr
Age Group: 18/47
Overall: 757/1644
Performance: Below average
2 garmins-one on the bike, one on my wrist. The one on my wrist reset when I took a bottle from my downtube at ~2:45. That was timing the entire race from the swim, so I saved the activity and started to record a 'bike'. The other garmin died on the bike before the finish. It felt like the race was all screwed up for me when I can't follow times/pace.
Course: 2 Loop course heading out of town up a slight hill followed by several miles which includes a few steep miles. Mile 3 and 4 are each +150-200 feet and mile 9 is also ~+100 ft. The Keene descent is actually a long, winding switchback road and takes about 4+ miles. On my garmin, it was mile 13-16-with all being minus 220-320 feet and then mile 17 was still minus 100 feet. On the steepest section, you can get to 50mph, there are sections of it with some faster and some flatter. The third/last part is the most twisting and has some areas of road that are still a bit bumpy. I was extremely fortunate to have low wind for my pair of 808's as this can be very dicey from crosswinds and worse with wet conditions. After this part, it seems there are 30 miles where you can push a steady pace. There is still some moderate sized hills at 27 miles and 37/38 of several hundred feet of climbing. After experiencing the easy part, the second half will tax you if you went out too hard. The 'Bears' didn't seem like much and I'm not even sure where they are exactly. There were hills at 42-44 (+400ft) and 45/46 ((+150 ft) There were a lot of people out on the first lap cheering the cyclilsts but far fewer the second time I came around.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 76
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Too hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 05:28
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Below average
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:08:18 | 26.2 miles | 11m 46s  min/mile
Age Group: 17/47
Overall: 847/1644
Performance: Below average
first 3 miles are downhill so I tried to ease the pace and just stay ~10 min miles-which I was able to do for 3 miles. Actually held pace for the first hour really well. Then started back towards the oval to complete lap 1 and slowed as I came into town. HR monitor was turned and wasn't really working well. Still was ~11+ min pace for the first lap taking about 2:20 for lap 1. Then I didn't want to do this anymore. Complained that I'd never, ever do another IM race. Told all the runners around me that I only wanted to do sprint triathlons from now on. Bitched and bitched for hours. 11 min miles became 12> then 13. I walked every aid station and counted 10 (then 20) breaths of walking on any little hill. Final av pace for run was 11:49/mile.
Course: Slightly down for the first 3 miles followed by flat, small rollers for 3 miles, The first hill starts at mile 9 and is only ~75 feet. There are then a series of pretty short hills that bite a bit before hitting the long uphill after Lisa G's and then more up and to the left before getting close to the oval. I was thrilled to see Bobby who had finished his volunteering stint at the bike aid station and was waiting for me to do the final few miles. I was mentally shot by then, though.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? No
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2023-07-27 2:08 PM

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South Windsor, CT
Subject: Ironman Lake Placid

2023-07-27 2:32 PM
in reply to: #5286284

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, Minnesota
Subject: RE: Ironman Lake Placid

Great job! Your wife sounds pretty awesome.

2023-07-27 3:29 PM
in reply to: BikerGrrrl

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Middle River, Maryland
Silver member
Subject: RE: Ironman Lake Placid

Not bad for an old guy, Dale.   You do such a nice job of managing the situation (probably your career has a lot to do with that) and adjusting your expectations along the way.  Sometimes stuff happens and sometimes it happens non-stop.

And eff that dude who tried to steal your shoes.  The level of douchebaggery in triathlon never ceases to astound me, especially in Ironman events.  Your wife (a.k.a. security team) rocks!!

Enjoy your IM retirement and I'm sure you'll go back to destroying people at shorter distances soon enough. 

2023-07-28 8:49 AM
in reply to: #5286284

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Atlanta, Georgia
Silver member
Subject: RE: Ironman Lake Placid
Way to go, Ironman! 140.6 in July..say no more, it had to be epic.

I had a version of the shoe/T2 bag incident at an IM a few years back. Made for precisely the kind of additional stress you don't want on race morning. What's this about a wreck on the bike?

Congrats again..deciding to show up at the start line deserves a ton of respect

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