Sunday, August 8, 2010

Lake Placid Race Report- Part I

Now this race is big enough to blog about! Long story short: race Ironman Lake Placid. Long story long: READ ON!

Everything happens for a reason...right? Just missing a spot to compete in the world championships in Kona at Ironman Wisconsin last year was the best thing that could have happened to me. I didn't think so at the time but that near miss gave me the drive and determination to train and race myself into the best shape possible. I wanted to make sure I toed the starting line at Lake Placid 100% confident in my training and my fitness. I wanted a spot to compete with the world's best in Kona!

Let's fast forward from September 2009 to July 2010. The past year pretty much went like this: My alarm goes off way before the sun even thinks about rising and I catapult myself out of bed to face the first workout of the day. From there I will sprint off to an 8 hour work day (and attempt to function like a normal human being) only to sprint home for the second workout of the day. I took many Fridays off from training so I could recharge for 140 mile bike rides followed by 20 mile tempo runs on the weekends. The past year has been a blur of intensity in the pool, hot and sticky marathon training runs after 120 mile bike rides, snowshoe marathon races, hill repeats on foot and on bikes and with snowshoes on, Mount Kearsarge repeats, black toenails because you have been running too much (and biking too much and swimming too much...repeat!), rainy century rides, bonking, spin class intervals, 5am power lifting (including tire flipping) track workouts followed by bike intervals, followed by track workouts followed by fast and furious ingestion of powerbars and gels and...oh man I have a hard time even typing 'powerbar' and 'gel' without gagging...phew!

Times flies. Before I know it, I am treading water on the starting line of the 2010 Lake Placid Ironman. Gulp! I positioned myself at the very front of the swim start, surrounded by ferocious looking male triathletes. I was more than ready to jockey for position as I was still a bit upset after one guy looks at me at tells me to "get off the front line unless I wanted to get swum over." What!? Apparently he disregarded my gills and dorsal fin. ;)

I let out a little growl...grrrr...and before I know it Mike Reilly, (the voice of Ironman), announces over the loud speaker: Get ready athletes you have 10 seconds...9, 8,7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1....the cannon sounds and I bolt from the starting line. I move my little arms like a pinwheel, trying to free myself from rest of the 2800 athletes. The ironman swim start is one part slug-fest and one part violent washing machine minus the soap suds. Luckily, someone was looking over me because I was able to break free of the chaos and the first time I lifting my head, sighting for position, there was nothing in front of me but open water...wonderful. Ironically, just as I am thinking, 'this is great', someone swims over me. Doh! Adrenaline flows through my body and I kick hard for 30 seconds and once again find open water. I accelerate to the next pack of swimmers like a hungry shark and manage to find some fast feet to hang on to. I cling to this fast swimmer like a barnacle. These feet keep me occupied for quite some time and I begin to zone out. Suddenly I feel the water temperature drop and when I turn my head to breath I notice I can't see as well. It's raining. Perfect! I love the rain! I breath to my right and notice a pink cap. Is that a female pro? Yes it is! I am passing some of the professional field. I get another surge of energy and again accelerate through the remainder of the swim.

Fifty five minutes later I am out of the water and attempting to rip off my wetsuit. Now this proves to be quite the project. I'm stuck! I feel claustrophobic! Did my wetsuit shrink? Fortunatly a kind volunteer notices the panic on my face and commands me to sit on my butt while she gives my wetsuit one giant tug. Her efforts work like magic and I'm freeeeeee from the confines of my wetsuit. I spring up and sprint off eager to begin the 112 mile bike ride.

To ride 112 miles on a bike is hard. To race 112 miles in the aero position on a triathlon bike after swimming 2.4 miles is....CRAZY! I won't drag you through the entire bike course with me but instead reflect on some highlights...and low points. All in all the Lake Placid bike course is phenomenal and a true test of endurance. Like a good final exam Lake Placid tests all facets of triathlon training - brutal hills, fun flats, and 9 mile descents! I felt so lucky to be racing the Ironman that I did take some time to enjoy the scenery, take some deep breaths and smile! The latter was a bit difficult when I realized both of my water bottles needed to be discarded because they tasted like soap. GAG! Live and learn and make sure to only use a dime-sized amount of dishwasher soap. Oops. Overall I felt great on the bike, I pushed hard uphill, down hill and smiled when I passed some more pro girls :) Before I move to the run portion let me remind you that if Ironman were easy everyone would be doing it. Ironman also wouldn't be ironman without a good old BONK at mile 90. Ahhh...abnormally low levels of blood glucose gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. Just kidding. Actually, this BONK left me feeling extremely weak and lethargic, I started sweating profusely and got very light headed. I was ravenously hungry and sick to my stomach at the same time. How can this be? I raided my bike jersey for snacks only to find empty wrappers - bugger! I began to develop tunnel vision and was only aware of the spot on the road directly ahead of me. Oh boy. And then there was light. Am I dying? Did I crash my bike? Wait, what is that just ahead of me? Is that an aid station? It is!!! SNACKS! A wonderful volunteer hands me a banana and 2 GU's. I inhale those babies, lick my lips and before I know it I am back in full force!! 10 miles of biking to go and the marathon begins! An offical yells to me from the side of the rode: "You are the 7th female overall!" Grrrrrrr!!!

To be continued...

1 comment:

  1. To be continued???? NOOOO!! You have me hooked. I want more!!! I tracked you the whole race and was cheering widely.

    I ran a race with your dad and mom last Thursday and they are very proud people.

    Keep it rolling!!!