By Lisa Regan Team Running Free
Race: Ironman USA Lake Placid
Date: Sunday July 22, 2007.
Location: Lake Placid, New York
Description: 3.8 km Swim, 180 km Bike, 42.2 km Run
Well I must say that starting this race report was difficult. This being my first Ironman it was an experience like none other! To start out I left Markham Thursday morning for the drive to Lake Placid. I went with my mom in my car and had a friends bike (Lyndsay Thompson) on my rack. She did the race as well and met us down in Lake Placid. My dad and finace (Brenden) met up with us in Lake Placid on the Friday. I packed the car as if I was going away for a 5 day race. I think I took every piece of training equipment, clothing and gear I owned. I figured better to have too much than not enough. We arrived in Lake Placid around dinner time Thursday and went in to town to check out the event merchandise and have pizza at a local Italian restuarant. Friday morning Lyndsay and I went to the Lake Placid High School to register and pick up our race packages. Like Roger noted in his race report I weighed in at 150lb (5 more than usual). This was probably due to the non stop gatorade and water consumption over the past few days. After registering it started to sink in that we were finally here! We wandered around the town a bit and checked out the vendors in the Olympic Oval. It was pouring rain at this point and people were using the vendors tents for cover. That night we headed to the welcome dinner and athlete meeting. This being my first Ironman welcome dinner I found it to be a real “pump up” night. It really had us feeling ready and eager for the race. It was also nice to hear that there were over 900 first time Ironman athletes registered in the race. The dinner was great, lots of carbs and water/gatorade. Lyndsay and I were mistakenly told we had to pay $25 for the dinner which we found out later was free for athletes and $25 for family. We ended up getting our mony back. After the dinner I went back to my hotel and started packing my tranision bags and special needs bags. I had so much food in my bags I could have survived out on that course for weeks! But that is me….. I would rather have too much just in case…. because, you never know!Saturday morning Lyndsay and I were up at 8am and went to mirror lake to do the gatorade swim. There were stations set up so you could check your towel and bag while you were swimming and they were handing out free samples. We went in for a short 20 minute swim to get used to the water and sighting. This race compared to the last I was feeling a lot more comfortable sighting and being in my wet suit. I think all the open water swims I did at Lake Wilcox had paid off. Once back at the hotel Lyndsay and I took our bikes out for a 20 minute ride just to make sure everything was in working order. I had some work done on my bike recently and wanted to make sure my gears were adjusting well. After our brief bike I went back to the hotel showered and grabbed my bike and transition bags and headed for the check in at the Olympic Oval. First I dropped off my bike and tried to remember the row that I had left it in. Next I found my hooks to hang my tranisition bags. I ran into Roger at this point and got some last minute pointers and advice from the ironman veteran himself. Once all my gear was checked I wandered the downtown strip for a bit with my fiance who had not yet got to see the sites and visited the vendors one last time. The rest of the night I spent vegging in the hotel and thinking about the race to come. Brenden and I had Quiznos subs the night before the race, nice and early at 5pm to allow some digestion time since we were to wake up at 3:45am.Sunday Race morning. I woke up at 3:45 and headed down to the lobby of Econo Lodge with my bagel and peanut butter and banana. I met Lyndsay down there and we nervously ate breakfast and had a coffee before heading back to our rooms to get ready. We left the hotel at 4:40 and walked to the transition area. Our hotel was on the bike and run course and was about a 15-20 minute walk. Once we got to transition I lubed the chain on my bike assembled my aero bottle and other bike water bottles. I body glided my neck to prevent wet suit chaffing and then added my body glide into my bike-run bag. After all the prep and lining up at a washroom it was time to head to the lake. Once at the lake it was time for a final pee break and we waited in a line of about 100 people for a porta pottie. Finally we put on our wetsuits and headed to the start. My mom told me after that at this point she felt as if she was sending her child off to war. I was in the water 15 mintues before the start just getting used to my surroundings and taking in the crowd. There were approximately 15000 fans on the beach and 2500 in the water. I couldn’t believe we were going to be swimming amongst this mass of people. This was the part of the race that I was the most nervous about. I remember hearing the canon blast, sharing on last look at Lyndsay and we were off.
SWIM – My original plan was to start in the center of the pack and gradually work my way to the under water cable. Well I started in the middle more to the left and found myself at the cable immediately. This was not so good because that was were all the punching, grabbing and smacking occurred. I was fully clocked in the head by a fairly large guy and had a bruise to show off for a couple days. Eventually I decided to stay a little wide of the bouys, which added a little distance but was not so crowded. I was impressed when I came out of the water in 36 minutes on my first loop. The second lap was about the same. I had been concerned about my shoulder because it was acting up the week before the race, however, I had taken 2 Tylenol two before the race start and at this point I realized it must have worked because I was not in too much pain. (the pain came on the bike when they wore off and my stomach did not like the pain meds so much which I noticed on the run). I did learn a lesson about the effects of codine on the stomach, which I will remember for future races. Overall my second lap was a bit slower than the first but I came out of the water in 1:16. I used the wet suit strippers and started the run down the green carpet to transition.
SWIM TO BIKE – 10:48. This was a bit slower but I took my time. My original plane was to eat something solid but I was not too hungry at this point and too concerned with getting my bike gear together. I changed my bathing suit bottoms for bike shorts and put my team Running Free tri jersey on top of the sports bra I wore for the swim. The change tent was pretty busy and I ran into Lyndsay and Michelle who I trained with. We all got out of the water around the same time. I had a volunteer lather me with lotion and I was off to get my bike.
BIKE – Once out on the bike I was just thinking “I am so glad the swim is over”. The first loop of the bike I was trying to keep a constant pace and drink a lot. The first 1/3 of the bike loop is downhill and those downhill stretches were amazing. I was feeling pretty strong on all the climbs in the first loop and the last steep ascent into town I didn’t even feel like I was biking uphill due to all the fan support lining the road the whole way up. The second loop was definitely a lot harder. The exciting downhill section was where my Tylenol started to wear off and I was finding it painful to hold myself up on the aero bars. A had some back up Advil in my bento box and I kept on pushing. The last few climbs of the bike I felt as if I really slowed down, however, I shocked myself with my bike time. I was expecting a 7 hour bike minimum and ended up with 3:10 on the first loop and 3:24 on the second loop for a total of 6:34.
BIKE-RUN- 6:15. The change tent was not so busy for this tranistion so I had a volunteer lay out my stuff and help lather me up with lotion. We missed a few spots which I noticed after. I changed from my bike shorts into tri shorts for the run and left my tri top. I also grabbed my Garmin and fuel belt for the run.
RUN- My original goal for the run was to try to make it from aid station to aid station. The first loop I felt pretty good. I had some stomach issues brewing but other than that I was able to maintain a steady pace and run in between each aid station. My first loop of the run was 2:19. The second half of the first loop is when my stomach got really bad and I started making frequent porta pottie stops. They were even more frequent the second loop. I had Tums in my fuel belt which I started eating like candy. The second loop was not quite as impressive. I was doing a lot more walking, walking up anything remotely uphill and at one point I remember convincing myself to do 2 and 1’s. I was suprised to find out that the second loop was 2:35 (16 minutes slower). If I had to guess I would have guessed I slowed down more than that on the second loop. The run was pretty hot and the cold sponges they gave out saved me. I finished the race soaking wet, however, they kept me cool. I also hydrated well on the run. I had 4 extra full fuel bottles in my special needs bag that I switched so ended up drinking 8 bottles, plus 2 cups at each aid station (water and gatorade), coke from 20 miles on and the last 2 stations I had chicken broth. My stomach was so sore the last 2 aid stations I figured the broth could only make it better. Coming down the shute to the finish was one of the most amazing expereinces ever. It was the combined effort of one year of training, along with amazing support of friends and family. It was such a blast and I have been on cloud nine ever since.
POST RACE- I stayed in town for the finishers breakfast and to get pictures and some finishers merchandise. I felt pretty good and the stiffness was gone after a few days. The entire week after, I did feel pretty run down and generally fatigued and tired. So I got lots of sleep and stayed home planning which race I want to do next.
PLANS – My plans for this year are to do the Orillia Sprint August 19, the Ottawa Half Ironman Sept 4 and the Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon Sept 30. And of course get married October 12, 2007 (good thing there is no race that day 🙂 )
As for another Ironman I would love to do one and am just trying to decide if I am ready to devote the time again. I would love to do Ironman Canada. I am going to be in BC this August when I would have to register in Penticton so that is a possiblity, or there is also Florida in November. The timing of Florida I like because you have a bit more free time during the summer. Those are the two races I am deciding between right now! Now I have completed one I have some ideas of how I would change my hydration and fueling in the next one. I think I would not carry so much fluid on me for the bike and run and rely more on the aid stations. This time I wanted to have everything I needed on me just in case but that definitely can weigh you down. Next time I think I would cut back on some of this added weight.
Congrats to Roger, Matt, Angus and Rick from Running Free I saw you guys out on the course and your encouragement helped. Thanks to all the family that came to cheer us on. It was amazing wearing the Running Free jersey because as you ran by people they yelled out your name and “Running Free Markham Ontario”. Also congrats to my training buddies Shawn, Michelle and Lyndsay who all had amazing finishing times! You guys helped make this race possible for me. I couldn’t have done all the long rides and runs with out you guys.
OVERALL STATS –
SWIM – 1:16:12
T1 – 10:48
BIKE – 6:34:57
T2 – 6:15
RUN – 4:55:14
PLACE 1014 overall
26/71 (women 25-29)