My first Triathlon
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Ironman USA Lake Placid - TriathlonFull Ironman
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Lake Placid, New York
Ironman North America
70F / 21C
= 10h 44m 41s
Age Group Rank
My first Ironman!!!! Last year, I convinced Ryan that we should do an Ironman together. Not only that- but in order to get a full support crew, we should get married afterwards so that our entire family would come and watch both events!! So, we both signed up, then got engaged after being together for 8 years. What an exciting year it has been!!! Just getting to the start line was the first Ironman....but now for the main event.....
We got to LP on Thursday and stayed with some awesome folks, including Dan
). Everyone at the house was an IM vet, so I got a lot of great advice, and was keeping myself calm and relaxed all week. We met up with a bunch of BT folks at morning swims and then a bunch more at the pre-race dinner. It was AWESOME to put some names to faces and meet everyone who was sooo excited to be there. The few days leading up to the race were some of the most fun times I've had- my cheeks hurt from so much smiling!
The night before the race, all of the family came into town, so it wasn't as relaxing as it should have been- but I didn't care! I was so happy they were all there!
The morning of, I got up at 3:30 and ate a bagel, ensure, OJ and coffee, then went back to bed for another hour. I fought off waves of nausea and was able to keep all my breakfast down! Hooray! I knew it would be a good day then! My mom, Ryan, Cody
), and I took our stuff down to transition, then made the mile long trek to special needs. Stopped at the port-a-john, then realized- oh crap!- we've only got 15 min till the race starts! We had to swim around the crowds of people there to cheer in order to step across the start timing mat, then had to swim back out to the start line. Ugh, just a bit too stressful for the start of an IM- but at least it kept my mind occupied so I couldn't get too worried about the race!!! We both made it to the start line with a few minutes to spare.
1h 00m 29s
01m 26s / 100 yards
Wow. Nothing like an IM mass start! That water sure was warm at the start ;
I seeded myself right on the front line, about 20-30 yards to the right. Everyone said they were aiming for an hour. Cool. The gun went off and we started swimming. I didn't have to swim over a single person, and had minimal contact to start off. I had a great set of feet almost right away- she was a hard kicker so I could always find her, and she was a touch faster than me. Within about 200 yards, I had my own clear water, and the whole group was heading towards the buoy line, which was exactly my plan. A few people swam on my legs a few times, and I accidentally got kicked in the throat, but this was probably the least amount of contact I've had in almost all of my races.
The first turn buoy was crowded, but after the second one, I was already on the lane line, drafting off a group of 2-3 people and not needing to look up. It was awesome!! I concentrated on my form, and my pull, and the effort level felt easy. If I was constantly tickling the toes of the person in front of me, I would pass them, but I was really good at keeping a draft off of someone just a touch faster than me.
After the first loop, I got out of the water to run on the beach and head back in. The clock said 39 minutes and I almost panicked!! Then I realized it was the pro time- phew! I got back in and immediately swam towards the lane line. I moved to the inside, and stopped sighting all together :
) Ah, it was awesome. I drafted almost the entire swim, had a nice steady effort level, and just enjoyed the moment!
When I got out of the water and saw 1 hour, I nearly screeched for joy. I.am.NOT.a.swimmer!! I have worked my butt off in the swim, and am just thrilled that I could swim an 'easy' 1 hour IM swim. This may be one of the proudest parts of my day!!!
What would you do differently?:
Absolutely nothing. I loved the mass start, and I paced my effort and drafted perfectly.
Long run to T1, but I heard my cheering section chanting my name- it was so awesome!!! I ran all the way to T1, but couldn't find my bag. I got everything as quick as possible, but my time is still ridiculously slow.
5h 57m 37s
What a great day for a race! The roads were a bit slick, but I was happy it wasn't raining crazy hard or anything for the race. I kept my power right in the zones that Jorge and I had talked about. My legs took about 40 miles to warm up, but I just focused on my numbers and nutrition, and knew that my fitness would kick in.
When I started out, there weren't too many people out there, but soon enough, tons and tons of men came powering by, acting like rockstars up those hills. I was so happy to have gotten tons of advice about ignoring those guys, and just letting everyone go. As most of them passed, I just said in my head- I'll see you on the run! And if not, then you deserve it. I just couldn't believe how many people were just tearing up those hills!
My pace and power stayed steady/low until after the Keene descent. I loved the 404 up front because I had complete control of my bike, and just had to avoid other people. Surprisingly, I passed a few people on the descent, and didn't hit my brakes- I only used my body as a sail to slow down when needed. That descent is one crazy rush!!
After all of that downhill, there is a nice flatish section where I focused on keeping my power at around 140 and staying as aero as possible. My legs still felt funky and my stomach was burpy, but I just ignored them both, stuck with my nutrition plan, and was having a good old time. I really, really enjoyed this bike ride.
As I rode into town the first time, there were a ton of people out on the last hill cheering us on like crazy! I felt like I was in first place or something, they were cheering so enthusiastically!! It was nuts! As I got into town, I saw my family screaming for me, and that gave me a huge burst of energy for the second loop.
The rest of the bike was just the same- focus on not spiking my watts, keeping my watts up on the downhills and flats, and just let all of the testosterone-laden boys fly by me. On the second loop, the hills actually felt easier than the first time around! I also figured out how to pee on my bike for the first time. That went OK, but then caused some serious chaffing. The next day, I had the seams of the pad on my tri shorts cut into my butt- almost looked like a zipper on both cheeks- HA!
When I was done biking, I realized that this was the easiest feeling 100+ mile ride I'd had all year. I am so happy I trusted my coach, trusted the plan and guess what? It worked! Now, the real race begins- the marathon!
What would you do differently?:
My power could've been 2 watts higher overall, but I just kept thinking about that marathon, so I was fine with not pushing just a bit harder.
Better T2. Just took a bit to change my socks and get my fuel belt on.
3h 36m 8s
08m 15s min/mile
My goal this whole year was to not walk a single step of the marathon. The plan was to start the run at around 8:15-8:20min/mile and not start 'racing' until the last 6 miles. I started out, and my easy, walking feeling pace was at 7:30s. Whoa there killer- you've been warned about this!! I slowed down more and more until I was finally at an 8min mile. It truly felt easy, but I was still flying by everyone! Everyone was walking or just shuffling along, and this was in the first 3 miles of the run! I can't believe how many people just have no idea about how to pace the IM bike!
The miles just clicked on by, and I kept focusing on going as slow and easy as possible. I took water at every aid station, and had chomps whenever I could. Nothing felt funny- my stomach, legs- all were fine. I was just waiting for something to happen, because it all just felt too easy! Within the first 5 miles, I had caught and passed about 5-10 girls, which felt amazing. The rolling course didn't seem to be a problem to my legs, and I was just so happy that the marathon was feeling so easy!! I was also thrilled that with each step forward, I was that much closer to the finish line, where I could FINALLY stop moving forward!
Each mile was very consistent, staying around 8-8:15. There were lots of signs on the course, and when we were in town, tons of spectators. Each loop through town was amazing- I had so many people out there cheering for me!!! Now I really felt like a rockstar! It gave me a great boost heading out onto the second lap.
Mile by mile, the marathon progressed, and each time, I still felt like my legs didn't just suffer through a 112 mile ride. I kept passing people, especially on the second loop, when others were just getting off the bike. With each person I passed, I was more satisfied with my training, pacing and nutrition, but I still was leery about miles 20-26; could I keep running?
Finally, at mile 20, when the big climbs back into town started, I could feel the pain creep in. My brain turned on overdrive and I stayed as focused as possible on NOT walking. There was only one girl that passed me up till this point, and she kept staying about 200 feet in front of me. I used her to pull me along for the rest of the marathon, when the pain got bad. At mile 22, my legs hurt. It was so much pain, I could hardly stand it. Nothing had hurt this bad in my life, but I was NOT going to walk. I wouldn't run again if I walked, so I just kept picking up my effort level to keep moving forward. My pace was slowing to 9min miles, but I knew I could hold on for the final 4 miles and finish my marathon under 3:40
(BQ time for women
). This hurt like crazy, but my only focus was to not walk a single step of that marathon- not through an aid station, not when I was high-fiving my family, not a single step!
I finally hit mile 26, where my family was positioned, screaming their friggin' heads off at me!! I high-fived them all as I followed the sign that said 'FINISH' to the Oval. I was so happy to be done, and proud of myself for making it to the start line, and executing my exact race plan. Finishing that Ironman was pretty awesome! And I didn't walk a single step of the marathon!
What would you do differently?:
Not much. I may have gone out a bit too fast, but I don't know if the extreme pain I was in was due to pacing, or just due to the fact that it's an Ironman, and it hurts like he!!!.
My catcher asked how I was, and I said 'I feel like crap! I've never been in so much pain!!' He didn't really understand the irony/sarcasm, so I got taken to the med tent, where I continued my sarcastic rant about my legs until they finally realized that I was OK, just a weird-o, and let me go. I really couldn't walk, and if Jorge wasn't there to help me around, I would still be lying in pain in the Oval, talking about how this was the most painful thing I'd ever done.
After that, I ate pizza and finally had to go find Ryan in the med tent. He was charming all of the nurses, and as soon as I came in, they all congratulated me on our upcoming wedding, and the Ironman- Ryan was just the happiest patient they'd had!
I was so incredibly proud of Ryan!! He went from being non-athletic just 2 years ago to loosing 40lbs and completing an Ironman with me! He has been the best training partner and this year has just been one amazing adventure!
I was thrilled to make it to the podium on my first Ironman, and even more excited when I got a Kona slot!! Since Ironman was the theme of the wedding, looks like it will continue and we will celebrate our Honeymoon in Kona this October!!!
What limited your ability to perform faster:
This was my first Ironman, so I was very scared of the distance. I wanted the whole race to feel relatively 'easy' so that I knew I would finish, and wouldn't have to walk. I executed that plan exactly, and never pushed a race-pace for the whole event. There really isn't anything I would change, though, because my time, my place, and my KQ was more than I could've ever imagined!! Thank you again, coach Jorge, for your excellent guidance, training plans, and race execution plan- I couldn't have made it to the start line without you!
There were 3500 volunteers for 2600 athletes. That is why you pay the money. They were amazing!!! Thank you!!! Incredible event, incredible support, incredible scenery. I just loved every minute of it. If you get the chance, ride the course in training- that saved my race. I went out like a rockstar on my first loop of a training ride and realized that this course just shows no mercy to 1 loop wonders- both biking and running. Pacing is key for an IM, and even more important for this challenging course.
Oh, and I love Lake Placid!!!
Last updated: 2009-07-31 12:00 AM
01:00:29 | 4224 yards | 01m 26s / 100yards
De Soto T1
2 laps of mirror lake
74F / 23C
Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
05:57:37 | 112 miles | 18.79 mile/hr
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Shoe and helmet removal
03:36:08 | 26.2 miles | 08m 15s min/mile
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]
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