August 28, 2007

IM USA Lake Placid Race Report

Ok, it's been more than 1 month since Ironman Lake Placid was over. I have been extremely lazy about writing this report but here goes. The good news is I finished 2nd IM finish. The bad news is that it was a tough race or a tough run rather. Overall, I was 20 mins slower than last year but in IM it's all about the finish.

The Swim

There I was standing on the opposite side of the lake waiting for the gun to go off. The helicopters were sailing overhead and I was hoping that I would get in the DVD they were filming for. A few butterflies in my stomach but not like last year. I was ready to get this going. It was a beautiful sunny day and I was pscyhed to be here again. A few hugs and handshakes to those around me and we were off.

I felt VG coming into this swim. But it was a tough one from the start. I started wide right but suddenly founf myself over the yellow line. Once you are in there, it's tough to get back out. I was kicked under the chin at least three times, my goggles were jarred a few times and I was run over. Around the second turn and heading in, my right calf and then immediately after my left camp cramped. If you never had this happen before, it's like getting shot in the water. You come to a complete stop. I was able to shake it off, made it around the 2nd loop cramp-free and finished at 1:19:14. Just about what I did last year. I was ok with it.

The Bike

I spent less time in T1 this year (12:13 vs 15:45) and that was a moral victory in itself. As I hit the bike, I was shivering uncontrollably again, like last year. I recovered faster as it was a lot warmer out. The first 10 miles of the bike are tough. Once outside of town, there is a nice steady climb and then rolling hills until you get to the Great 6 mile Downhill. I checked my odometer later and I had maxxed out at 46 MPH! I had a very good first loop. I hit 40 miles at 2 hours and was cruising. The hills back into town slowed me a bit but I was happy. However, there was trouble brewing. They were giving out orange Gatorade Endurance at the aid stations. I hate orange. It just doesn't agree with my stomach. And because it was warm, it was gumming everything up. Plus, the Cliff Blox which I trained with, were sitting right either. I just wasn't eating or drinking enough. On the 2nd loop, a wind picked up and the times were slower but I still felt good coming in and pleased with my time of 6:52:53. I heard some stories about a few crashes that occurred including some nasty ones but I didn't witness any. The out & back was a little crazy on the first loop. People need to stay on their side of the double yellow line or someone will get hurt.

The Run

When I sat down to put on my running shoes, my hamstrings started to cramp. The attendant offered me a massage. (I never noticed there was a maseuse in the transition tent before). Thought hard about it for a few seconds but declined. I never would have got back up.

The run started out ok but when you leave town so many people are cheering that it's hard to not feel elated. Outside of town was a different story. The stomach was in distress. I tried eating grapes..wouldn't go down. Tried drinking lemon & lime Gatorade but my stomach felt like I was on the ocean. Coke was ok but it was so early in the run, I abandoned that idea. I could only sip water. At mile 10, I drank a bottle of water someone handed me but immediately got the dry heaves. There I was bent over near the horse grounds thinking my race might be over. Never had I experienced this before. But Coach Chuck, who trains some of my friends, once said that you can get through most stomach issues. Just give yourself time to recover and keep moving forward. When the heaves passed, I started to walk. When I got to town I told my family that it was going to be a late night and they might not see me until 11 PM. I was in trouble. The 2nd half of the run was a horror. Friend after friend passed me. My calfs and hamstrings were getting tight. I still couldn't eat anything. Just sipping water. I saw Coach Chuck, who was on his mountain bike, and he talked me through alot of it. At Mile 21 or so, I stated to sip the coke and that brought me back. I never tried the chicken broth because the thought of it nauseated me. But alot of racers sware by it. I was mostly walking but as I got into town, the noise rejuvenated me. As soon as you start to run, if you've been walking, the crowds go crazy. It's quite a feeling. I ran and walked the last two miles and somehow was able to sprint into the stadium. I found my 3 daughters and we made it to the finish. The clock read 15:01:59. Twenty three minutes slower than last year and 1 1/2 hours slower than my goal. But...I'll take it. Ironman finsh #2. It's all about the finish, isn't it?