Ironman USA Lake Placid - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Lake Placid, New York
United States
Ironman North America
65F / 18C
Total Time = 11h 58m 56s
Overall Rank = 734/2340
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 115/238
Pre-race routine:

I was really surprised how crowded and hectic the transition area was before the race. I think I left myself to much to do when I got there. I really should have made my feed bottles of Gillenade at the cottage. I also forgot to delete some files off my HRM so it stopped recording after about 3 hours.

The highlight of the morning was getting body marked. I had Sarah on my mind and I was just thinking how much she's done for me to help me get ready for this moment. I asked the volunteer to write "I heart Sarah" on my right calf so she could be with me all day.
  • 1h 09m 43s
  • 4224 yards
  • 01m 26s / 100 yards

My first IM mass swim start! I started about 4 rows back about 30 feet or so away from the line. It was definitely pretty violent at the start, but not nearly as bad as I thought. I didn't put my head fully in the water for probably 30 seconds or so, and then once I did it was quite rough. I got kicked in the right eye pretty good one time, but it didn't phase me too much. After 5-10 minutes I tried to work my way to the inside of the buoys. I did this w/o too much difficulty and was soon just on the inside of the line. Perfect position! I was able to maintain this for quite a while.

Rounding the buoys was quite violent, but we all spread out shortly there after.

Exiting the water, I felt like I was having a good swim and was expecting to see around 36 or 37 minutes, but the clock read 43 minutes! I was SOO disappointed. Was I really swimming that slow? As we were running on the beach and getting back in the water I heard some say that the clock was showing the pro time which was 10 minutes more than ours. So, I swam a 33 minutes 1st lap! Man was I excited when I realized that!

2nd lap went well and was pretty uneventful.
What would you do differently?:

Not much! This was pretty much my best swim ever! My last IM swim was 1:36:08! So I took over TWENTY SIX MINUTES off my previous swim time!
Transition 1
  • 09m

Ankle strap w/ chip came off during wetsuit strip. So glad I realized this right away. I quickly put it back on and was off on the long run to T1.

The changing tent was so crowded, steamy, and dark. You could barely see in there. I went about my business w/o too much trouble though.

However, I did lose my sunglasses and this stressed me out quite a bit b/c I never ride w/o them.
What would you do differently?:

Figure out a good way to manage my sunglasses.
  • 6h 10m 59s
  • 112 miles
  • 18.11 mile/hr

The descent into Keane was the 2nd scariest time I've ever had on a bike. The first was the violent shimmy I experienced while training in the Oklahoma mountains about 2 months ago. This violent shaking of the front wheel at 40 mph has really shaken my confidence while descending and ultimately caused me to lose significant time on both descents.

I was feathering my brakes constantly and only hit an embarrassingly low max speed of 37 mph. Dozens and dozens of people were absolutely flying by me as I cowered in fear! This was not fun for me, but I wanted to be safe first and foremost.

The combination of pouring rain, my lack of descending experience (2nd time ever), and my previous shimmy really caused me to be extra careful on both descents. If I hadn't had that bad shimmy 2 months ago, I'd be more courageous, but it's just something I'll have to work on!

At the bottom of the descent, my HR was about 100; my hands/forearms were shaking from the cold, and my teeth were chattering violently. I was so cold and couldn't wait to start pedaling again so I could get my HR up!

The ~8 mile stretch from Keene to Jay was my favorite part of the course as it was a slightly downhill trend and you could really move on it! I also found a way to recoup some of the time I lost of the descent: Peeing myself! I've never done this before in my life. So I made myself chuckle out loud while doing it! Quite fun actually. After warming me up briefly, the pounding rain washed it off nicely. No big deal!

The climb after the left turn onto 86 was the toughest on the course in my opinion. I rode it nice and easy on this first lap and got over it w/o much difficulty however. The out-n-back didn't seem nearly as hard as it looked when I drove it the day before, so that was good.

The 10 mile stretch from Wilmington to LP wasn't that bad either on the first lap but I purposely rode this conservatively just as I planned b/c everyone warned me that if I went to hard on the first lap I'd pay for it on the 2nd one.

The 2nd lap was my favorite part of the day. I wasn't quite as scared on the descent, and I really started to pick up the pace afterwords. I started overtaking all the people who passed me on the descent, and I continued to stay strong on the climbs. I allowed my HR to come up a bit and push into Z3 somewhat. I felt strong and I knew that my early conservative pacing was paying off. I passed a lot of people on the out-n-back and this gave me a nice confidence boost. I didn't even really notice the rain that much at this point. I was in a nice zone.

The climbs back into LP were definitely tougher the 2nd time around, but I was still riding pretty strong. I knew I was probably going to negative split the bike and that made me quite happy.

What would you do differently?:

Learn to descend better, but other than that I had a great bike. I wouldn't have done much differently. I executed my race plan really well.
Transition 2
  • 04m 41s

Changed my socks for some stupid reason as there were just going to get wet instantly again!
  • 4h 24m 33s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 10m 06s  min/mile

Legs were quite stiff at the start and the 1st mile downhill was even tough. However, I settled into a nice rhythm after that initial big downhill. I executed my well-practiced nutrition strategy of 1 (33 cal) shot blok every 10 minutes and taking water at the aid stations. This worked well for the first 6 miles and I was able to maintain a 8:45 pace.

My race took a big turn for the worse at mile 6. I wasn't absorbing any of those shot bloks and they all just sat in the upper part of my stomach. I started to feel like I needed to vomit. This wasn't a sharp pain or cramp, but just a general discomfort of being sick to my stomach. Walking for short bits helped a little, but the vomitting feeling quickly returned when I started running again. This walk-for-15-20-seconds-run-for-awhile continued for well over an hour.

I'm happy that this stomach problem didn't get me down mentally, but rather I just analyzed the situation critically and modified my race plan. I stopped taking shot bloks and started using Gatorade at the aid stations for some calories instead of my planned water. I knew I could no longer follow my planned calorie intake as I wasn't absorbing anything. While part of me wanted to throw up to alleviate the discomfort, I knew I'd lose all my calories if I did and that could spell real trouble. So I just switched my nutrition strategy and slowed my pace down.

Looking back at my splits, I probably went out about :30/mile to fast those 1st 6 miles: 8:45 to 10:15 is a big drop off and certainly not how I planned to finish the run! :(

However, I persevered and just keep moving. I never once felt beaten down and maintained a fairly positive attitude the whole run. I wasn't having the run I wanted or planned on, but I was DOING MY BEST! That's what IM is all about. It's such a long day that the "best laid plans of mice and men" will often go wrong and you must be able to adapt. I did and I'm proud of that.

My positive attitude became even more apparent to me when I overheard some guy yell to his spectating friends that "This sucked" and "There was not a single thing that was fun about this". I kind of had an EPIPHANY at this point b/c I realized that I didn't feel like him. While the rain, my stomach, and lack of visible scenery certainly made for less than optimal conditions, they couldn't keep my Ironman spirit from shining brightly.

For all the external stimulus of race day (thousands of spectators, commercialized logos everywhere, racers themselves), Ironman is journey, first and foremost, inside myself. I wanted to find out what was deep inside me at mile 20 when 134 miles had stripped away all shields of adrenaline, caffeine, and glycogen and I was just left with my inner core, my spirit. Well I found it and I liked what was there! :)

Right at about the 20 mile mark, I talked briefly to a guy who said he was trying to break 12 and he had 1:09 to do it! My watch was messed up all day so I didn't really know the exact time, so this was good news to me. However, I knew that it would be close b/c the last 6 miles have the big hills and are tough.

I was running pretty much full time now except for briefly at the aid stations and some of the hills. I pushed a little harder than before as my stomach seemed to settle a bit. This felt good. I passed daremo somewhere in this stretch and he introduced me to docswim which was cool.

At about the 24 mile mark, a strong,young women was running ahead of me and her father came up to her and said "you have 23 minutes to run 2 miles to break 12." Again, I was excited as I knew this was do-able, but he could be off my a few minutes too, so I picked up the pace a little more.

By mile 25, I could feel no pain, only adrenaline. I felt like was I running 7 min miles, but I was probably only doing 9 or 9:30s. I was passing people though and I felt strong.

I entered the oval and I heard some guy say "Good pace! You're going to break 12!" I got really excited when I heard this and practically sprinted. When I round the turn on the oval, I saw the clock at the finish and it said 11:58! I have never felt so much pride and excitement. I was on cloud 9! I didn't even hear Mike Reilly call my name I was moving so fast! I knew my family and friends were probably watching me online and this definitely felt like my 15 minutes (well seconds) of fame!
Post race
Warm down:

Unlike Redman 2 years ago, I'm proud to say I stayed out of the medical tent and I felt generally OK.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2008-03-30 12:00 AM
01:09:43 | 4224 yards | 01m 26s / 100yards
Age Group: 123/238
Overall: 817/2340
Performance: Good
Start type: Deep Water Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Average
Time: 09:00
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:10:59 | 112 miles | 18.11 mile/hr
Age Group: 115/238
Overall: 722/2340
Performance: Good
1st lap: 3:08:35 (17.82 mph) 2nd lap: 3:02:24 (18.42 mph)
Wind: Little
Road: Smooth Wet Cadence:
Turns: Below average Cornering: Below average
Gear changes: Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 04:41
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:24:33 | 26.2 miles | 10m 06s  min/mile
Age Group: 115/238
Overall: 734/2340
Performance: Average
0 to 6 : 8:45 min/mile 6 to 13.1 : 10:14 min/mile 13.1 to 19: 10:17 min/mile 19 to 26.2: 10:54 min/mile
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]