Ironman Lake Placid - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Lake Placid, New York
United States
World Triathlon Corporation
74F / 23C
Total Time = 12h 23m 22s
Overall Rank = 784/2536
Age Group = F25-29
Age Group Rank = 20/68
Pre-race routine:

Woke up, had my 2-3 bowls of Special K and some gatorade, got dressed and headed over to the start... realized we had forgotten our bike water bottles (and the gatorade we had planned to put in them) and had to call my friend's mother to bring them to us (thank goodness one of us thought to bring a phone because the race water bottles didn't fit on my bike so I would have been in rough shape otherwise). While we waited for her we brought our special needs bags to their respective spots and got body marked. Then once we had our bottles we headed in to transition to pump up our tires and put our bottles on our bikes. Then it was time to hit up the porto-potty and put on the wetsuits and build up some nervous energy.
Event warmup:

A tiny bit of swimming, but by the time I got my wetsuit on there wasn't really any time to do more than a quick goggle check and get some water in the suits before we headed over to our respective swim start time blocks.
  • 1h 13m 52s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 45s / 100 yards

I liked the new swim start they did this year. I swam way on the outside to avoid people, but I'm not sure I really had to. I started in the middle of the 1:10 to 1:20 finishing time block and finished right in that time and I suspect others seeded themselves pretty decently as well. I was passing people a little bit at the beginning, but overall I was traveling at about the same speed as the people around me. As usual I didn't swim as straight as I would have liked (ended up close to a few of the buoys and pretty far out from others), but with the exception of having my goggles elbowed partly off of my face and filling with water twice and a few people grabbing my legs and kicking me a bit it wasn't nearly as bad as I expected. Overall a good swim.

My friend Amy who finished the swim in 54 minutes complained that on the second loop she had a rough time because she was catching the slower people that had just started, so it would be nice if they could arrange some sort of inner/outer loop to avoid that, but for us slower folks it worked out well.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe stay a bit closer to the buoys, but it might have been more rough there too, so overall I'm pretty happy with how it went. I probably could have pushed harder because I didn't feel my upper body at all after the race, but a few minutes here and there probably wouldn't have been worth it.
Transition 1
  • 06m 1s

I got my arms and hips out of my wetsuit right out of the water, pointed at a big/strong looking wetsuit stripper, had my wetsuit stripped off in a FLASH!, jogged in to transition taking my cap and goggles off on the way, grabbed my stuff, got it on, and got out of the tent before any volunteers had a chance to help me. Then yelled my number at some people and someone was starting to get my bike as I got to my rack. I had to wait a little bit for him to bring me my bike, but not too long. Got on to my bike quick and rounded the first bend out of transition but then someone cut me off around the corner just after the mount line, so I swerved in to a wall to avoid hitting him. Oops! Lost some of my Gatorade out of my aero bottle and had to climb back on my bike, but not too bad overall.
What would you do differently?:

Yell at the person turning in front of me so maybe they would have corrected their line and I wouldn't have had to swerve quite so much. Also, I forgot to have someone put sunscreen on me so I got kind of burned (not too bad though thanks to the clouds). I was expecting the sunscreen people to be obvious, but I forgot to ask and didn't see anyone offering. Oh well, next time!
  • 6h 13m 43s
  • 112 miles
  • 18.01 mile/hr

Overall I was happy with the bike. My initial surprise was how crowded the course was having never done a race nearly this big before. I tried my best to stay 4 lengths back from the person in front of me, but sometimes it was impossible. I did see the refs drive by and was definitely not the required amount behind at that point and was a little worried, but it was up a hill and there were a ton of people around all a bit too close together and they didn't hand out any penalties, so they must have realized the inevitability of it.

I took the first downhill segment very cautiously (up out of aero and fluttering the brakes pretty much the whole time unless I saw a bit of an uphill or straightaway coming). It was very wet, a bit rough, and I hadn't ridden the course before (though I did drive it a few days before at least), so it just didn't seem worth it. It wasn't as bad as people had made it sound, but I don't regret taking it easy on the first loop. I took the middle of the first loop pretty easy too knowing how much there was to come. I enjoyed the out and back segment because I got to see my friend Amy and my fiancé, Joe ahead of me and looking strong on the first loop, and Joe on the second loop as well (Amy had gotten enough ahead of me at that point that I missed her on the second loop - she got third in our age group!). There was a lengthy bit of gradual uphills that were pretty rough, but the "bears" were kind of a joke. Mama bear wasn't bad at all, Baby bear I practically coasted over down the back side of Mama and Papa is pretty steep but not very long so it really wasn't bad at all. The bears were over hyped and some of the middle hilly section was under hyped in my opinion, but overall it wasn't nearly as bad as I expected. I stopped at special needs to pick up my gatorade and an extra granola bar and kept going on my way. I ate and drank a bit extra a little before the midway point and I got to the start of the second loop feeling unstoppable! Started the second loop out strong, still took the downhills pretty cautiously, but a little faster than the first time around, the middle section felt a bit tougher than the first loop because I let myself push a little bit harder but I was at mile marker 100 before I knew it. The last 12 miles felt long because on the scheme of 112 miles I was expecting it to be pretty quick but it's mostly uphill so I forgot it would take close to an hour to go that distance. Finished up the bike feeling good, strong, and ready to run.

A note on aid stations: There were lots of them and pretty well spaced. I got water at the beginning of most and had plenty of time to fill my aero bottle and spray water on myself and chuck the bottle by the end of the aid station. The one time I missed the first water bottle I was still able to get it at the second and fill my aero bottle and chuck it in time, but it was a little bit more of a close call. I never tried to get anything else on the course (I had 10 chewy granola bars in my pockets as well as Gatorade at the start and at special needs and that kept me going great). I feel like it might have been tricky to grab multiple things unless you had big pockets so you could stuff things in quickly to eat later and then just grab water to put on our bike for later too. I didn't have any trouble though. I stopped at a porto-poty at one of the aid stations too, and someone grabbed my bike from me and gave it back to me when I was done which was nice.

Oh, also, the turnarounds at the 2 out and backs were pretty tight. At the second one (where there was sand at the edge of the road rather than more pavement) I unclipped my right foot to be safe. On the first loop I didn't need to put my foot down really, but on the second loop I didn't make the turn quite as well and did have to put my right foot down briefly, but put it down in the sand apparently because I had a horrendous time clipping back in. I had to coast down the road digging sand out of my cleat and banging it against my water bottle before I finally got it back in. When I got to the end of the bike it was pretty tough to get back out too.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe go a little less cautiously on the downhills, but overall I was very pleased with how it went. Oh, and not fill my cleat with sand on the second turn around too.
Transition 2
  • 03m 38s

I usually take my feet out of my shoes at the end of the bike and jump off out of my shoes but since I was handing my bike off right at the start of T2 I left the shoes on my feet. I ran in my bike shoes briefly and then decided it would be faster to just stop and take them off and carry them the rest of the way, so I did that then kept running toward my bags, grabbed my T2 bag and stopped at a porto-potty on the way to the change tent. Contrary to my T1 experience I got in to the change tent and there were two volunteers eager to help me. I almost wish they hadn't though because they had me in and out so fast I didn't think to redo my hair (which I have in a low pony tail for the swim/bike so it fits in my helmet but like to put up more before the run so it's off my neck) or stuff my pockets with my granola bars, so I was out and running before I realized I had my hands totally full and had a tricky time running while stuffing things in my pockets (which still had some stuff in them from the bike) and ended up stopping a bit down the road to put my Gatorade bottle down and redo my hair so it wasn't so hot on my neck.
What would you do differently?:

Take a little more time to settle myself before the run, not forget/miss the sunscreen people AGAIN!
  • 4h 46m 8s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 10m 57s  min/mile

The run started out great (after figuring out how to deal with all of the stuff in my hands leaving transition). I got to mile 1 and knew it was going to be a long day because my legs felt about like they did at mile 18 of the standalone marathon I did a year and a half ago. I don't think I pushed too hard on the bike and I don't think more training would have helped either... I think it's just tough! I was going strong the first half and averaging a little under 10 mins per mile but about midway through I started feeling a little nauseous and walked a bit to settle my stomach. Switched from Gatorade to Coke hoping that would help and when it didn't I chucked the rest of my granola bars and Gatorade and switched to water and pretzels and that did the trick (that or the walking, who knows). After several painful miles switching between walking and running I got to mile 20 and was feeling pretty good again. I walked the steep uphill section but otherwise was able to run the last 6 miles (albeit slower than I would have liked)
What would you do differently?:

Start eating pretzels earlier. I think I just needed something more solid and less sweet. Run more even though it hurt because walking really didn't feel much better and takes so much longer!
Post race
Warm down:

Ate some food, chatted with a couple people, found my parents, got a massage, stretched a bit, and waited for my fiancé to cross the finish. Then celebrated a bit with him before walking (slowly) home and cheering people on along the way. Then another massage waiting for me back at home and some more food. With 3 athletes in the house (first Ironman for my fiancé and me, and my friend Amy's 6th) there was lots of talking about race day before heading to sleep.

I was pretty sore Monday, especially the calves and hamstrings, and quads a little too, but no worse than I expected. Tuesday I was expecting to be a little better but was actually worse, especially my left calf. We did a bit of a swim Tuesday and went for a walk and that loosened me up a bit. By Wednesday I was starting to feel much better, but still walking a little funny, by Thursday I was feeling good. No workouts this week though! Next week I'll start in with some light biking and swimming and maybe some yoga.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Training and nutrition maybe to a certain extent, but I was pretty pleased overall for my first Ironman.

Event comments:

Great race! The hills aren't as bad as people make them out to be. I did all my training on Cape Cod, which might be hillier than people think but is still a far cry from the Adirondacks and I had no trouble with the hills. I'm glad I was expecting it to be bad so that I could be pleasantly surprised though!

If you want a finisher jacket get there before 7am to stand in line! They started selling them at 7am and we showed up at about 7:20 and by the time we got in they only had men's smalls and women's larges left. Bummer. Oh well.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2012-08-02 12:00 AM
01:13:52 | 4224 yards | 01m 45s / 100yards
Age Group: 22/68
Overall: 865/2536
Performance: Good
First loop was 36:00, second was 37:52
Suit: Blueseventy Synergie+
Course: 2 loop rectangle with lots of buoys for easy sighting. Counterclockwise with a tiny beach run between the two loops.
Start type: Run Plus:
Water temp: 73F / 23C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Average
Time: 06:01
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
06:13:43 | 112 miles | 18.01 mile/hr
Age Group: 17/68
Overall: 0/2536
Performance: Good
First loop in 3:07:09, second loop in 3:06:34 (happy with a negative split!) I did about 21mph on the downhill segments they gave us lap data for and a bit over 15mph on the uphill segments. Average HR: 149 bpm (I was aiming for 154, so I'm pretty happy with that) Average cadence: 83 rpm, but unfortunately my cadence/speed sensor died about an hour and a half in, so I don't have as much data as I would like from the bike. It said my max speed was 49.6 mph, but I'm not sure I believe it given it died shortly after that. I didn't feel like I was going quite that fast down those hills, but who knows.
Wind: Little
Course: 2 loops. Lots of downhill at the start, a bit of rollers in the middle and a fair amount of uphill at the end of each loop. Overall a gorgeous and enjoyable course to ride. For the most part the roads were pretty smooth, but parts of the downhill segments were pretty rough. I felt like I should have been on a mountain bike the way my head was rattling around on one stretch of the downhill.
Road: Smooth Wet Cadence: 83
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 03:38
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Good
04:46:08 | 26.2 miles | 10m 57s  min/mile
Age Group: 36/68
Overall: 0/2536
Performance: Average
Average HR: 142 bpm (was aiming for more like high 150s, but with the walking it averaged out low) 8:34/mile for the first 3 miles before I started fading to 10s, with 5 miles at 13:38/mile in the middle before getting back into a groove (okay let's be serious, it was more of a shuffle at the end, but it felt pretty good!)
Course: Pretty course with plenty of aid stations and lots of cheering fans. There was 1 long out and back and 1 shorter out and back. The first out and back was brutal: long, straight, a little hilly, and hardly any spectators, the second out and back was much nicer.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %0
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4