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Ironman USA Lake Placid - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Lake Placid, New York
United States
80F / 27C
Total Time = 11h 22m 32s
Overall Rank = 296/2208
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 70/415
Pre-race routine:

"...running has never been one of my favorite activities (I doubt I will ever "look" like a runner). Unless or until that changes, ironmans are not in my plans." --my first BT post, 9/2/04

Things change. :-)

Before starting, special thanks go to my wife who has put up with my new-found passion/obsession but keeps me grounded every day. Also to all of Team Kichula at LP (Jack, Emma, Sarah, Mom, Dad, Peter, Beth, Liz, Pat, Alyssa, Ron, Janie and Charles). And of course to all those at BT who inspired, encouraged, supported and educated me over the last 3 years--that includes many of you whether you know it or not.

Departed home about 4am on Wed. and arrived in LP around noon. Plenty of time to rest up from the drive and get everybody settled. Got a swim & run on Wed, rest & registration on Thurs, and another swim on Fri. Rained much of Thurs & Fri, so took the bike out for a short test spin on Sat. and then dropped it off at check-in. Otherwise, more rest.

Woke up @3:30am on race day and had my breakfast (3 Ensure Plus, glass of OJ, a Clif bar and 2 cups of coffee). Sipped on some GE until it was time to get into the water.

Event warmup:

Walked from our house to the race--about a mile. Seemed like plenty of warm-up.
  • 1h 04m 8s
  • 3862 meters
  • 01m 40s / 100 meters

Lined up somewhere in the middle of the lake and maybe 3-4 rows back from the front. Just tried to find a little space to tread water until the cannon went off. Only had to wait a few seconds to start swimming. There was certainly plenty of jostling going on, but tried to stay relaxed and would just drift left or right depending on what the bodies around me were doing.

After maybe 10min, sighted for the first time and realized I was on the buoy line. Used it as reference a few times, but most navigation was done by simply following people around me. Once in awhile there would seem to be a log-jam and the banging would pick up. Just tried to remember to "stay in my box" and focus on smooth, relaxed stokes. Worked for the most part.

Was out from lap 1 in @31min. Wow! Headed back in and stayed along the buoys again. Lap 2 was pretty much the same as the first except there was more jostling at the end of the loop than the beginning--I'm sure we were hitting slower swimmers at that stage.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. I felt pretty good getting out of the water and had a faster than expected swim (1:06-1:10 was my guess).
Transition 1
  • 06m 24s

Took my wetsuit off my torso and sat down for a stripper to take over. Took them 2 pulls, but it was done quickly. Saw Team Kichula on the long run to T1 and gave a smile & a wave. Entering the oval, the guy in front of me tripped and I almost went down. Instead I just jammed my big toe into a board on the ground. Ouch!

Grab my bag, into tent, empty bag, get what I need, re-stuff bag, drop it and go grab my bike. Get to the mount line without falling in my bike shoes and get going.

I didn't rush at all through T1, but didn't dilly-dally either.
What would you do differently?:

Not jam my toe. Remember to get sunscreen applied (though I had given myself a good coating before the race start).
  • 6h 00m 9s
  • 112 miles
  • 18.66 mile/hr

It began right away. Bikers would pass me up the hills and I would pass them right back on flats and descents. Some may say this is to be expected since I'm a bigger rider, but there were plenty of people who were clearly working much harder to get past me. It was just what I wanted to see.

There was little/no wind to start and the ride down into Keene was a blast. Hit a high speed of 51mph and was just blowing by people.

I took a gel hit about every 25min and would get a couple other hits of GE in between feedings. Felt like I was right on plan and the loop continued as expected.

Saw Team Kichula again just after special needs (decided not to stop for anything). They were great out there all day! Finished off lap 1 in 2:54:48.

At some point the wind picked up and it was in our face on the way out to Keene. Some of the slight declines still felt like hills and I only hit 43mph on the descent this time (and had to brake a bit for people riding wide). The heat was also increasing, though I admit I didn't really notice it. Turns out the temps would go a little over 80F on the day while I had been expecting maybe 5deg cooler. And the skies were bright blue so the sun was baking us.

Loop 2 went pretty much the same as the first, with people still sprinting by me up the hills but then nearly stalling out as we crested. It was frustrating a few times as I'd get passed just at the top of a hill and have to coast to drop out of the draft zone before getting back up to my goal watts. I did pee once on the bike and kept up the same eating and hydration plan. Loop 2 was slower due to the wind and I finished it in 3:05:20.
What would you do differently?:

Probably drink more. But this is hindsight from the run. Off the bike, I felt pretty good.
Transition 2
  • 02m 14s

Got off at the dismount line, jogged to the bike drop-off and a volunteer immediately grabbed my bike for me. Took off my shoes and helmet and jogged around to the bags & tent again. Dumped the bag and grabbed what I needed. this time a volunteer helped re-stuff the bag and put some sunscreen on my shoulders and neck.

Out the tent and onto Main Street for a nice relaxing marathon.
What would you do differently?:

Get more sunscreen on my arms and hands too.
  • 4h 09m 39s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 09m 32s  min/mile

I felt good as I started. Wanted to jog until the first turn-around and see nothing faster than 8:00/mi (mostly 8:20-8:30, but leeway for the first downhill mile). Ran 7:45, 8:07, 8:11, 8:53, 8:13, 8:22. Crap! So much for my jog. I rationalized that I felt good, but believe this and the heat were my undoing.

Back towards town, the run got harder as the climbing kicked in. I ran up the first big hill but then walked the steepest portion of the hill right into town. Right then I knew it was going to be a long second half. Started running up the hill again as the road turned and the grade dropped some. Saw Team Kichula yet again and that picked me up (as did all the people through downtown).

Thought about taking a brief walk break at the turn, but decided I had some downhill to work with so kept going. That was a good decision because I used the downhills to keep me moving pretty steady (even though slower now) until I hit the next turn-around at about mile 18. Mile 18 was where I had told myself the race began. Unfortunately for me, that's where it ended.

I had already started walking entire aid stations (goal had been to run to the end while grabbing what I needed and eat/drink afterwards so as not to walk too long). Now I started taking walk breaks bewteen stations that grew longer and longer. I did find the juice to do an 8:40 for mile 19, but that was it. Last 5 miles were @12min/mi pace.

Still, had enough energy to start running as I approached the oval again. Put on my best face for the crowd (and I was genuinely happy even if I was also torturing myself with every stride). Saw Team Kichula along the finishing straightaway and went over to high five them all. Then crossed the finish line as I heard Mike Reilly announce me as an IronMan!
What would you do differently?:

Run slower at the start and drink more.
Post race
Warm down:

Got my medal, shirt & hat. My catcher asked if I was OK and I said I was a bit light-headed. He asked if I was OK to get my finisher's photo. HELL YEAH! Got that done and my catcher walked with me towards medical but I told him I would be OK. Walked for a bit until I found a place to sit down. Realized I felt pretty bad. Found my Dad & wife and decided to check myself into medical. After an hour or so of lying down and getting some fluids & food into me started to feel much better.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Heat & dehydration seemed to be my undoing in the marathon.

Event comments:

Some of the stuff around the race could be done better (or at least communicated better). But NA Sports puts on a fabulous race-day production. And the volunteers were as amazing as I had heard in stories. The crowd support is also great at LP, especially for large chunks of the run.

I would most certainly come back here again if I decide to do another IM one day.

Last updated: 2006-08-07 12:00 AM
01:04:08 | 3862 meters | 01m 40s / 100meters
Age Group: 68/415
Overall: 308/2208
Performance: Good
Avg. HR - 159
Suit: Full westuit
Course: 2 loops in Mirror Lake with a short exit onto the beach bewteen laps. The "loop" is basically an out-and-back.
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 68F / 20C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 06:24
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:00:09 | 112 miles | 18.66 mile/hr
Age Group: 101/415
Overall: 447/2208
Performance: Good
Lap 1: TSS 136, IF .684, NP 213, VI 1.06, HR 148 Lap 2: TSS 133, IF .657, NP 205, VI 1.05, HR 147 Total: TSS 270, IF .67, NP 209, VI 1.055, HR 147
Wind: Some
Course: 2 loops with plenty of climbing and one fast descent.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 84
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 02:14
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:09:39 | 26.2 miles | 09m 32s  min/mile
Age Group: 80/415
Overall: 378/2208
Performance: Average
Avg HR 149, but was @155 for first 12 before falling to @145 for the remainder
Course: 2 loop course with a 2 downhills towards the beginning of each loop--making them uphills towards the back end. Middle section largely flat with some rollers.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %3%
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
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] 5

2007-07-27 1:49 PM

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Not a Coach
Media, PA
Subject: Ironman USA Lake Placid

2007-07-27 1:57 PM
in reply to: #904271

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Wisconsin near the Twin Cities metro
Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid
Great race, John.  Nice that your family was able to share it with you.  Congratulations IRONMAN...I'm sure you will hear those words again at some IM in the future.  And again, thanks for that "small favor" you did for me on Monday morning
2007-07-27 2:03 PM
in reply to: #904271

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Libertyville, IL
Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid

Awesome job and congrats Ironman!!!

2007-07-27 2:10 PM
in reply to: #904271

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New City, New York
Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid

Nice open, it has a familiar ring to it

Congrats, my friend. It's been a blast doing the cyber thing w/ you over the last 2+ years but even better racing and hanging out w/ you.

I knew something was up on the run as I watched your splits. Just goes to show that even the  best prepared can be humbled by IM. You still managed to gut it out and come out with an excellent time for your first (I'm confident you'll be back Wink). 

You've set a great example for us wannabe's. I know I'll be cursing thinking of you while on those long trainer rides this winter.

You're well on you way to that goal of becoming a competitve AG'er - Ironman! 

2007-07-27 2:20 PM
in reply to: #904271

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Clifton, NJ
Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid


that was your FIRST? you're amazing!

2007-07-27 2:34 PM
in reply to: #904345

South Jersey
Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid

Great job, JK!!! So proud of you. It's been awesome following your IM journey over the past few months, and I was so excited to follow you on race day. Oh, and I even managed to catch you crossing the line, despite the fact that I only had about 8 secs of IM Live video, before I would have to refresh to get more .

You executed your race very well, especially on the swim and bike. And, it sounds like you're a little disappointed with your marathon, but don't be! How many people in this world can run a 4:09 mary? Not many. And you did it after 2.4-mile swim and 112-mile bike. That's pretty sweet in my book! And, think of how long your run has come from your first post on BT .

I'm glad you had a great experience and all the support from Team Kichula. I've surely learned a lot from you over the past few months and from your RR, so you'll definitely be a big part of my IM training in coming year. I still can't believe I'm doing this thing .

Oh, and at some point, you'll have to tell me about the parts of the race that could have been done better (or better communcated). Thanks .

Take care and enjoy the recovery time, IRONMAN!!!!!!!!!


2007-07-27 3:10 PM
in reply to: #904271

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Frisco, Texas
Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid

Congratulations IRONMAN!  Sub 12 hrs....awesome. 


2007-07-27 3:45 PM
in reply to: #904271

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Lansdale, PA
Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid
Oh man, what an awesome race. I was thrilled to watch you cross the line! You have an awesome fan base here at BT and everyone here was cheering you on. Good for you, what an awesome job, IRONMAN!
2007-07-27 3:58 PM
in reply to: #904271

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Cinnaminson, NJ
Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid

great job Johnny K!!!    You had a terrific race, very nice work.


Great idea putting your very first post in the race report.

2007-07-27 4:11 PM
in reply to: #904271

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Herndon VA
Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid

Hey John,

Great race and report!  That was an amazing time and always I'm amazed at your dedication to the training.  How much do you think you're performance was do to lifting.   Congrats on being an Ironman.


2007-07-27 4:32 PM
in reply to: #904271

Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid
Woo Hoo... Excellent job, JK! You should be STOKED!!!

2007-07-27 5:04 PM
in reply to: #904271

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Oak Ridge,
Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid
Fantastic Race!   Congratulations Ironman!
2007-07-27 5:11 PM
in reply to: #904271

Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid

Great race, you really smoked the course!  And I saw your team sign too, as we headed out of town.  Congrats IRONMAN!! 


2007-07-27 6:31 PM
in reply to: #904271

Online or Offline
Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid

Excellent race Johnny! VERY impressive

I almost tripped on that same board coming into the oval the last time on the run. My husband said he had watched several people trip on it until a volunteer took the time to tell people to watch themselves.....

Am I the only one who thought it was awkward to have to manage a t-shirt and hat around while trying to get some food, a photo, or even visit the med tent? I think even a plastic bag of some kind would have been nice. (Oh, I get it - put the shirt on over your sweaty race clothes and the hat on top of the hat you already have on????)



2007-07-27 7:14 PM
in reply to: #904271

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Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid

Awesome race...congrats on being an Ironman~

I love reading about your race and how it all came together. You trained smart and executed your race plan so well.

I think the hotter than expected weather and all sun made it tough on many folks.

I'm sure we saw you out there but sadly didn't know you were you...we were on the bike course right by the post office before transition and on the run course on the uphill coming into town.

Did you hit your goal NP for the race? About 65% of your FT? 

Congratulations and thanks for sharing your RR with us! 

2007-07-27 7:37 PM
in reply to: #904271

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid
Sweeeet! Congrats JK! What an amazing debut..... I will be reading and re-reading all of these great IMLP race reports as I prepare for my first in July 2008... Thanks!

2007-07-27 8:07 PM
in reply to: #904271

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Middletown, DE
Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid
Great RR!  And an incredible time, especially for your first IM.  WOW.  Great job man! 
2007-07-28 6:07 AM
in reply to: #904271

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Extreme Veteran
Greenwood, SC
Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid
Great job! A 4 hr run is amazing in my book.
2007-07-28 4:26 PM
in reply to: #904271

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Northern VA
Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid

Great job and race report, I like the opening quote. That was just an amazing race.

Congratulations Ironman!

2007-07-29 12:52 PM
in reply to: #904271

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Cycling Guru
Fulton, MD
Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid

Awesome work my friend!!  You stuck pretty well to your plan and finished in an amazing time!  Don't worry about the end of the run.  You did fantastic and nothing else could have been expected after that long and succumbing to dehydrating.

And thanks as well for the favor like birkie said!!

2007-07-29 2:10 PM
in reply to: #904271

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid
You have been a great inspiration over these last months!

Congrats on a terrific race and a fun RR, too.

2007-07-29 7:16 PM
in reply to: #904271

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Extreme Veteran
"the wave", iowa
Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid
way to go ironman! you are my new hero!
2007-07-29 7:35 PM
in reply to: #904271

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Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid
Amazing job - congratulations!
2007-07-30 12:21 PM
in reply to: #904271

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Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid
Nice race out there John. Impressive first IM sub 12 hour race as well. Way to stick with it when it was easy as well as when it got tough. That's what its all about.

Congrats again!
2007-07-30 1:01 PM
in reply to: #904271

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Reston VA
Subject: RE: Ironman USA Lake Placid

What a great race report to cap off a wonderful race and an amazing year of training!

Once again I saw you at your mile 25.5 (my mile 12.5) and you smoked past me. I would have cheered but you looked so much in the zone!

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