Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ironman Lake Placid Race Report

A few days have gone by and I have had plenty of time to ponder over my race on Sunday.
I finished in sixth place,in a competitive field. This was a 22 minute PR on this course and a pay day for me. Nothing to feel bad about at all. I did not crush it as I had hoped, but it was a solid effort on a day where temperatures where unusually warm for LP and the wind was very noticeable.

All said the weather was incredible! The rain from last year still gives me shivers and the image of me racing on Sunday with a long sleeve black shirt on the bike course in 80 degree's made me laugh. I was SO hot and then I saw pro Marie Danais and she too had her long sleeve on. Her and I had both raced a cold rainy Tupperlake 3 weeks prior and Lake Palcid in 2008 and we were both determined not to freeze this year.We both had to stop and strip down 40 miles into

So anyway here goes with the race day report!

The race morning went so smooth. From getting my bike ready, to special needs, to bath room stops...all went perfectly. I had plenty of time to get in the water and do a long warm up and take in all the excitement at the start. I felt so relaxed and ready to bring it on. As we gathered in the starting area the rain came pouring down and I laughed as I couldn't believe it was happening again.
The swim start went well and I found myself staying with the pack alot better than usual. I was however working very hard and somewhere I got my goggles knocked around so I could see very little. But I saw enough to know that I was still hanging with a good group of swimmers by the first turnaround. Unfortunately I made the decision to stop and fix my goggles. There is nothing worse than swimming for an hour not being able to see. I should have waited for the second loop as I lost the draft of the pack. I stayed on the feet of a pro guy that swam by and we pretty much stayed together for the rest of the swim until we started hitting the age groupers. I then lost him as I zig zagged through them. One of my goals for this race was to continue my sub 1 hour swims and that I did.I think this was a 3 minute PR for me on this course.

Out on the bike, I felt amazing. I settled in fast and rode the first set of hills really easy. My legs felt really good today and my Cervelo that had had a tune up a few days before felt like new. I passed a few girls before the long descent and I was encouraged by about that. Out at Hazleton (the out and back) I managed to get an idea of my position. I seemed to be in 7th place. I knew this bike course very well and I knew that I was staying right on pace and having no problems sticking to my SRM watts. Coming into town I had moved into 6th place and I was really pumped up. The crowds were amazing and the energy was very motivating. On the second loop I biked pretty much alone to Hazleton. I just put my head down and focused on staying relaxed and comfortable. It was here you could really feel for the first time how hot it was. I tried to dump water on me to keep me cool. The climb up Whiteface was quite windy and I made a conscious effort to keep things under control and feeling pretty easy. I knew I was on pace for a sub 5.30 bike. This was too a nine minute pr on this course for me. I was quite ecstatic as I felt so under control the whole bike.

I definitely was not getting too excited as Coach Paulo always like to remind me that the race does not even start in Ironman until the last 13 miles on the run. I knew there were plenty of fast runners both in front and behind me and I was going to have to work hard.

Out of T2 I felt great. My running legs came quick and I headed out seeing all my friends out on the course. I am thankful for all the good support I received out there.I was focused but really enjoying the crowds and the race in general. I reminded myself to run with little effort and that is what I did for the first ten miles. Tara who had had an unbelievable bike was up ahead and Tamara Kozulina who is a great runner was 4 minutes up too. I knew I was going to have to pick it up or just hold onto the pace to have a chance at top 5. I could see Caitlin moving in fast and Paulina not too far behind and Kim Loeffler behind her. But I kept on focusing on my race and doing what I needed to do and that was get up the hills into town. It was there that I started to feel my calves tightening up a little. Once again on the down hill my calves seemed to ache and I definitely headed out of town not feeling as chipper as before. I was slowing down but remained positive. The second out and back loop is always tough and the hills back into town painful. I could feel the symptoms of dehydration setting in. I would get a little dizzy and started with coke to give me energy. I had been sure to take salt tablets on the run but looking back I realized my downfall to this race was my nutrition on the bike. I miscalculated the amount of water I was drinking. I managed to get all my calories in as I carried them all in 2 bottles but the small bottles of water they handed out just did not give me enough fluid.
By mile 20 it was a battle for 5th. I had passed Tara but had been passed by Paulina. I got angry at myself and pushed hard to catch her again by the hills. I ran behind her all the way into town with the goal of overtaking her at the one mile mark. That unfortunately did not happen. She surged up the steep hill and I after the big effort to pick up the pace cramped. My calves were so depleted and did not want to run another step. So I ran as hard as I could to the finish but it was not enough. Running through the finishing shoot was a bit of a blur and as my friend Liz caught me at the finish line I took a few steps and passed out. My body was fighting very hard with my resting heart rate of 125 and some low blood pressure. I finally after 3 liters of IV and a few threats of being taken to the hospital started to come around.
My poor family who were so supportive all day were waiting to see me and my daughter who had seen me faint was so upset. These Ironman can be so hard on the body especially if you dont stay on top of your nutrition...but it all worked out well.

I was proud to stand up on stage on Monday with a great group of girls and celebrate my 5th top ten Ironman finish.

Friday, July 24, 2009

2 days to race day!

Its Friday afternoon and I have had a good day. I did a short run this morning and felt really good. After I met up with friend Tom to talk about a potential new sponsor...sounds exciting! I then attended the pro meeting. That always gets the nerves going for me as I know this is the start of the prerace routine. I then got to go meet Liz Perez for a little ART. She is the BEST and I am so grateful to have confidence in knowing she will get any kinks out. My body was feeling pretty relaxed after an awesome 90 minute massage from William Muhlstadt(The Center 4 Muscle Recovery)...who really understands the biomechanics of the body so well.
After a chat with Coach Paulo,who always calms my nerves down, I am now kicking back and spending some quiet time thinking about my race plan. I know how I would like the day to go and I am prepared to handle whatever gets thrown my way. There are alot of good women racing with excellent race results. Last years champion Caitlin Snow is here to defend her title and second and third place finishers Kim Loeffler and Hillary Biscay have their eye set on first place. Samantha McGlone who placed second in Hawaii in 2008 will be ready to race hard along with my friend Tara Norton and old Timex teammate Tamara Kozulina. These are a few of the favorites but all the girls are very talented and it shall be a challenging day that I am really looking forward too!
I feel confident with how my biking and running has gone the last six weeks and I shall draw on that race day. My swim shall be what it shall be...I hope to find a few girls to swim with and I shall look forward to exiting the water and getting on my bike. Sunday they are calling for thunder showers in the morning...we were warned at the pro meeting that there is a slight possibility of a delayed start! They have called for rain all week and we have had very little but now the rain is coming down pretty steady. This is a good thing...lets get it all over with now!

I love this race as this is like a hometown race for me. We have a large NJ group that comes up to race and spectate and I always look forward to feeding off their energy. It's nice to have friendly faces to cheer for you and push you. I shall be looking out for you guys and I wish everyone from NJ who is racing Sunday best of luck. My two biking partners Steve and Ran, Doug Rice,Tom Manzi,Rich,Keith,Jason G,Mike V,Elizabeth W. I know I probably forgot a few..but good luck!
Tomorrow shall be busy with last minute swimming,biking and running...and getting all gear checked in. My family comes in tomorrow so I shall spend some time with them before heading to an early dinner and bed.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A few more pics!

Me Relaxing...this never happens!

A loving moment!

Driving into Lake Placid

This is always one of my favorite views on the course!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Time for taper... relaxation and fun!

A few fun pics!

Well, I got through my hard weeks of Ironman training and now I am enjoying the taper. Just waiting for the body to come around. I am still feeling a little tired but everyday I do feel stronger. I am very excited to race! I feel like I really know this course well and I will be ready to race the best I can. Coach Paulo always seems to get me to the race feeling confident and prepared! He knows me well and despite all my complaints when he was giving me hard workouts that I didn't think I could handle while so fatigued, I always got through them. The womens race will be very competitive with 20 professional girls that are all very talented. It shall make for great spectating and as always I look forward to seeing how the day pans out!
I arrived in Lake Placid last night after spending 5 days with the family in Lake George. It's been a fun week and a good way to relax and take my focus off of the race for a bit. Lake George is a beautiful place to train with rolling hills and good climbs. The lake is calm in the morning and really nice to swim in. I would love to do a race here one day.
Now I am here in Lake Placid getting prepared to race.
I got 2 loops of Mirror Lake in last night. When I arrived there was a mini triathlon going on. For some people this was there got me pumped for Sunday! There is great energy here and I could feel it while I drove in...

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A few pics from training in Lake Placid

Ran and Steve all smiles as I join then for their second loop! They are both doing Ironman Lake Placid for the first time and they are going to do great!

Me..of course!

...the view on the WhitefaceMountain climb!

Can you believe how busy Mirror Lake was?

..then the rain came down..

Tupper Lake Tinman Half Ironman

After missing Eagleman due to being sick I had asked Paulo if I could race another race. But due to the timing of Lake Placid and the build I have been doing I could not afford taking the time to taper for a race. For the longest time I have heard of this Tupperlake race up near Lake Placid. It was perfect..I was going up to go train and I would incorporate it into my training. Always sounds like a great idea until the reality hits a day or two before that you are exhausted and you know you have to race with that tired feeling. But I am ALWAYS up for a challenge and as this was a no pressure race... I felt none.
I had decided to race this race for Autism Awareness and my main goal was to try bring some attention to the cause by hopefully winning the race...but I felt no pressure on me at all.
Race morning I drove from Lake Placid to Tupperlake(40 mile drive) It was a wave start and Marie Danais and I warmed up together. She was the only one I knew doing the race and I looked forward to her and I pushing each other. We were both doing this race as a good warm up for Ironman Lake Placid in 4 weeks. It was drizzling at the start of the swim and it would continue all through the bike. The swim seemed long to me and I zig zagged through the slower age groups. I definitely thought to myself I need some more work in the pool. That will be a big focus for me in the next few weeks.
Onto the bike and I was surprised as my legs felt pretty good. I pushed the downhills hard and rode the hills comfortably hard. It was raining lightly and I was quite chilly but not nearly as cold as Ironman last year. The miles went quick and by mile 10 I had taken the lead which I would keep for the rest of the race. Off the bike and onto the run my legs transitioned quick and I felt great. I ran conservatively the first six miles as their are alot of hills. I then enjoyed the off road running sections and descended each mile back to the finish. My spirits were high and I was really enjoying being able to race and put out a good effort after the big training miles I was putting in. My race result was 1st women and 15th overall in a time of 4hr37min. I swam 29 min biked 2.34 and ran a 1.32.

After the race I got a few newspaper interviews where I was happy to talk about the JT Foundation and Autism Awareness. It felt great to race for such an important cause.
I then headed back to Lake Placid to try recover as Paulo had warned me I had another 112 mile ride in 2 days.