Ironman Lake Placid Finish

It is an amazing feeling to hear those words and a great feeling to cross the finish line in Lake Placid.  I made it to the finish line in 12 hours 9 minutes, which is a personal best of 36 minutes!

During the last couple of days I have been trying to think about all of the different elements that made this race seem to top the list of pretty much all of the races I have ever done including two previous Ironman Finishes.  It is a lot of things that include all of the support that I have had this year in my training and all of the home loop runs pushing Amelia.  The help that we received from my parents during training and especially all of the efforts made by Angie, Amelia, Mom and Dad during race week and on race day.  I can’t think of one thing that would have been better!

Race morning started-out at about 3:05 a.m. when I woke-up and looked at my phone.  This was one hour earlier than planned but I used the time to drink a quick ensure and go back to sleep.  We woke-up at 4:10 a.m. and I relaxed until 4:30 a.m. when I put on my stuff grabbed my bags and went to grab Grandma who was moving into our room to watch the sleeping Amelia.  I easily caught the bus and made it to transition easily.  Dropped off my run bag and borrowed a pump to put air in my tires and I was good to go.  I met Angie, Dad, Steph and Dan at the Mobile Station and we were ready to race by 5:45 a.m.  About 6:40 a.m. Dan and I made our way to the swim start and into the water.  With the cool morning I was actually warmed-up once started swimming around a little.  The plan was to start wide and stay wide until the first turn and it worked pretty well but I have never had as much contact in an Ironman swim as I did in Lake Placid.  I swam well to the turn and on the way back I had an excellent draft.  I knew I was moving along pretty well so I tested my effort by doing a lot of breathing every two strokes and it wasn’t a problem.  I exited the first loop in under 31 minutes, which I was very happy with considering the effort was what I wanted but the time was faster.  It takes a little bit of time to trot around the shore, reenter the water and swim back to the start of the lap.  I swam well during the 2nd lap and I was able to stay on the buoy line, which is nice when you don’t need to sight very often.  Still the second loop was filled with contact.  I exited the water in 1:04 and I was very happy.  I think that the 2nd lap was slower due to the time going from one loop to the next.

T1:  The first transition was smooth but one of the longest I have ever had.  I took my time jogging from the swim to the transition area.  I found my bag and since it was cool I put on my socks and arm warmers and headed out onto the wet roads.  Heading out of Lake Placid there are some short quick descents and this was the first time in my life that I smelt burning brake pads and tires from bicycles!  I felt like I paced my first lap well and really enjoyed the amazing bike course and probably the most enjoyable cycling I have ever done.  Cruising the long down hills into Keene I kept to a max speed of 41 mph since the roads were wet.  The conditions didn’t keep others from flying past me like I was standing still!  It was exciting for sure and I was amazed that some people were able to keep both wheels under them.  I mostly cruised and felt great heading back into Lake Placid after the first bike loop.  The crowds in Lake Placid were very cool and made it hard not to fly through town.  I rode well out of town and took my time getting down the hills into Keene but when I hit about mile 75 near Upper Jay I could feel my energy levels dipping and my speed slowing.  I started in on the bananas and had good energy toward the end of the bike loop just in time to handle the final climbs back into Lake Placid.  I heard the cheers of my crew and I was feeling as ready as ever for the run.

T2:  The 2nd transition was pretty smooth.  I changed my socks and applied some vaseline to my soggy feet and headed-out into the then sunshiny day.

I headed-out of Lake Placid feeling better than I have ever felt during an Ironman.  I didn’t use a watch all day so I was unsure of my splits but I know that I ran very well all the way through mile 9 then things started to get tough and my stomach started giving me fits.  It is tough when you know that you need calories in order to keep running well but then your stomach seems to fight back keeping you from eating what you need.  After mile nine I spent a lot of the time picking points on the road and running to them and then recovering and doing it all over again.  After mile 18 I was able to drink some chicken broth and that seemed to work wonders.  By mile 20 I was able to run more than I walked and actually drank a few cups of cola to keep my energy levels up.  The up hills back into town were difficult but then I was able to run pretty well for the final mile.  Coming down the finish line shoot Angie and Amelia were waiting for me.  We trotted to the finish and one of the most memorable days and races of my life.  I think that I appreciate these races more and more and Lake Placid had all of the elements of one of my life best adventures.  36 minutes PR for the distance helps too!

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