Ironman Lake Placid

This post has nothing to do with CTF, Technology or hacking… but I need a place to write this down that isn’t owned by some random company.. so this is it.

This past weekend was spent in Lake Placid, NY… for me to do Ironman Lake Placid on Sunday – Moving my body a total of 140.6 miles; 2.4 miles swimming, 112 miles biking and 26.2 miles running.

We (Daniela & I) left home late Wednesday night, stopping at my parents about 4 hours away. We (Parents, Daniela & I) left early Thursday morning for Lake Placid. We were on track to arrive around 6pm, but there was an accident on the road we had chosen to take into town so we had to take an 1.5 hour detour. We got into town around 8, and I went for a short 25 minute swim in the Lake. We then got pizza for dinner and headed to bed.

Friday was a busier day – I had to do an hour workout, so I did that right after I got up, stopping for the athlete briefing after finishing. Then I headed to the hotel to shower and pick up Daniela. We then headed down to athlete check in to get my race swag. Then to the official Ironman store to spend even more money (as if the $700 entry fee wasn’t enough) The rest of the day was spent walking around town or lounging in the hotel room.

Saturday was a down day. I had to drop my bike and bags off.. One thing that is different than most triathlons is that for an Ironman you have a two bags for your bike and run gear (one each) that you pick up after completing the swim or bike respectively. There’s also 2 bags that you can get halfway through the bike and run (one each) called special needs bags. Once again spent the day just resting. Watched a movie before bed, put on some sunscreen, and then slept a semi-restless night of sleep.

Sunday started with my alarm waking me up at 3:30..

  • Got Dressed
  • Breakfast of 4 pieces of french toast
  • Made a protein shake
  • Got nutrition and everything ready to walk out the door.
  • Left w/Daniela to head to body marking and transition which opened at 4:30

Got body marked – number on arms, age on calf. and then went into transition. Put bottles on bike (1 water bottle, 1 nutrition bottle), stood in line and got tires pumped up. Put bike computer on bike and then headed to drop special needs bags off. Dropped the run bag off, then walked over to the bike special needs bag drop off and dropped it off and met parents. By this time it was probably 5:30.. applied more sunscreen, and then hung out with parents and Daniela waiting for closer to 6.. Got my wetsuit on, then when they opened up the practice swim area, I went ahead and walked over and got in the water for a bit to make sure the wetsuit was warm and get a few strokes in. They opened the start area around 6:20 so I headed in there.

The swim start for this Ironman is a self-seeded rolling start (similar to many smaller road running races). I put myself right under the 1:10-1:20 sign expecting I would swim around 1:12..
at 6:20 the male pros were sent off.. and then a few minutes later the female pros. Finally at 6:30 the cannon went off for the age groupers (aka me). As I crossed the arch, I hit start on my watch and just took it easy getting started my swim. Swimming in Mirror lake is much nicer than most lakes. For one you can actually see under water more than 6 inches.. and two they have a permanent buoy line under water… I managed to find the line and just followed it for my swim. There wasn’t much contact until the first turn where it became MMA swimming. Didn’t have the line as much for the back half of the swim (out, turn for ~50 meters, turn back) but still was able to swim fairly straight. Hit the turn into shore and swam till I could stand up.. checked my watch and saw I hit the first lap in 35ish minutes.. and was feeling good. 2nd lap was pretty similar, though a bit more contact. Towards the end of the 2nd lap I started coming up on those still swimming their first lap. Only a handful so it wasn’t an issue to get around them. Hit the beach in 1:11:49 (35:12 first lap, 36:37 2nd lap)

Well one event down.. the shortest… two more to go.. Got out of the water, had a wetsuit peeler volunteer pull my wetsuit off and began the 3/4 mile wlak/run from the swim exit to the bike start.. I took it easy as I knew the bike would be a long part and speeding up here wouldn’t be too much time. Got to transition, grabbed my bike bag and walked into the changing tent. Threw on my bike shoes, helmet and sunglasses and tossed my wetsuit, goggles and swim cap in the bike bag and off I went to get my bike. Ended up having to go almost to my bike to get it (if you’re lucky volunteers will bring your bike to the isle)
It had started raining right before I got out of the water, so it was still raining when I got on my bike. The first part of the bike out of transition is a downhill.. so I rode the brakes the entire time.. The bike course has a few distinct sections..

  • 10 miles of climbing out of town
  • 6 miles of downhill
  • 20ish miles of flat/rolling hills, including a 6 mile out and back
  • a hard 2-3 mile climb
  • a 1 mile out and back (so 2 miles), slightly uphill/downhill
  • 15 more miles of mostly climbing.
    I went as easy as possible on the climbs.. just going slow and steady and on the downhill I rode the brakes almost the entire time as it was raining (and lightning and thundering) and the course was still crowded. Still managed to hit 45 miles an hour with rain hitting my eyes and barely able to see.. I have my bike computer set to auto lap every 5 miles.. I had a 31mph average 5 miles here…
    Since it’s such a long day, you need to eat while riding and running (obviously you can’t while swimming).. during the bike I had a concentrated bottle of Infinit custom nutrition – about 1100 calories in the bottle. I would take a sip of that chased with water every ten minutes. I also had chocolate Gu every hour (with one 20 minutes into the ride). Like I mentioned before, after one lap I picked up my special needs bag when contained another bottle of concentrated nutrition and more Gus. Which was good because I had finished my first bottle and was low on Gus. First lap was 3:46:43. so pretty close to on target (was shooting for 3:30 per lap) Rain had stopped about 3/4 through my first lap so the day was starting to turn out nice. It also meant I was able to take the first downhill a bit faster.. of course then the climb hit.. and I was about the same speed as before.. slow and steady. But then came the fast downhill.. They had just repaved about 2/3 of the road so it was smooth … and fast…. I topped out at 53.8 mph down that hill… I was FLYING. This time I had a 36mph average 5 miles! The flat out and back was pretty close to being on pace – hit the turn around about 1:45 into the lap, which was the same time I hit it the first lap. During the part back into town on the 2nd lap another storm popped up – and I saw/heard a flash of lightning and thunder.. it was CLOSE.. I sped up a bit then.. lol… Of course the climbs began to take their toll.. I slowed a bit and ended up finishing the lap in 3:57:58 for a total bike time of 7:44:41.. about 45 minutes off goal.. But I was ready to be off the bike so I was glad. Getting off the bike I had taken my feet out of the shoes and was just pedaling on top of them.. so I ran barefoot to get my run bag and into the changing tent. One thing I forgot – the beach from the swim was sandy so I had sand in my bike shoes all day :-(

Got into the change tent, threw on my socks, shoes and hat and attempted to run out and put my race number on as I ran, but they made me put it on before i left the tent. (sadness) 2/3rds done… I began the run. Also known as the hardest thing I’ve ever done. EVER. I managed to run the first hour or so .. it’s also mostly downhill.. but then it quickly turned into run the downhills walk everything else… I was getting it done.. but it became a huge mental game.. just trying to keep moving. The course is interesting.. after about 3 miles you’re like in the middle of nowhere.. crowds thin out and there’s not much around but open area.. so it gets real tough mentally. I was tired of gu by this point so I just had whatever sounded good at aid stations (which were every mile). I had Coke, Pretzels, Cookies, Grapes, even tried chicken broth. (I got water/ice every station for my bottle). The 2nd lap was harder than the first.. I started calculating how fast I would need to walk to finish within 17 hours (18min/mile average, 20 min/mile from that point).. Finally on the way back into town, I started to figure out what I would need for 16 hour finish… It was around 15 min/mile at that point.. and finally with 1.1 miles left, I new if I ran the rest of the way I’d come in at just under 15 hours.. so that’s what I did… I was soooo happy to be done.. 15:57:23 total time..

Run Splits

Run 1	3 miles		00:43:08	14:22/mile
Run 2	8.2 miles	01:19:04	15:12/mile
Run 3	12 miles	01:00:28	15:54/mile
Run 4	16.1 miles	01:00:30	14:45/mile
Run 5	21.3 miles	01:27:47	16:52/mile
Run 6	25.1 miles	01:04:46	17:02/mile
Run 7	26.2 miles	00:13:41	12:26/mile
Run	26.2 miles	06:49:24	15:37/mile

So due to the lightning that happened shortly after I got on the bike, the officials decided to end the swim – so they pulled anybody that was still swimming at that point – so those that would roughly have a swim time of 1:20ish plus.. so I barely got done with the swim. This also meant they had to figure out how to time the official results.. they ended up only counting one loop of the swim, and didn’t count t1.. so my “official time” is 15:13:43.. but I like my total time..

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