Going into Lake Placid I was not excited at all. My ankle had been bothering me about 6 weeks out from the race and then 2 weeks before the race, at Muncie, my baby finger was almost cut off in the hinge of a porta pottie door. I had to go the ER and get stitches. I did zero swimming for the two weeks leading up to Lake Placid. I got my stitches out on Tues and my finger came back open on Wednesday morning. I was completely freaking out and wasn't sure how I was going to make it through the swim with people bumping into me. Plus I was having issues gripping my bike properly. Needless to say my focus shifted from the actual race to my finger. I stupid baby finger. Who knew you used that thing as much as you do?
We drove up at about noon on Thursday and got to Lake Placid at about 9pm thanks to Jason's speedy driving! We stated at the Courtyard Marriot which is about a mile from town and the transition area. If I were to do this race again I'd stay at the Hampton which is right were you want to me. In the middle of everything. No walking for what seems forever when you don't want to walk!
Ok onto race morning.... We left our hotel at 4:30am and made our way into T1. I put my snax on my bike and dropped off my watch in me run bag. I was ready to go!
The swim - 2.4 miles - 1:15:13
As mentioned, I was super nervous about my finger and worried it would bust back open from all the people bumping into it. I put glue on it, waterproof tape, a finger condom and then blue sponge tape. My finger looked like a light bulb! Thank you to coach T and Rachel for helping me get all this on my finger without hurting me :) Since my focus was on my finger I completely forgot to put sun screen on and chamois cream which would later bit me in the ass. Anyhow, Meaghan and I made our way over to the swim start. Lake Placid is a self seeded rolling started. They have signs up similar to corals in a running race. When we got over there, it was so crowded. Athletes were smushed together like sardines and we could barely squeeze through the crowd to get to our swim start time line. I started behind the 1:10 - 1:20 swim finish time. Before I knew it I was headed under the arch and into the water!
To my surprise I did not panic at all! I usually have a mini heart attack the first few minutes of the swim, but not this time. I think the rolling start really helped with that because it wasn't as crowded. At Lake Placid the buoys are connected via a cable that you can see and use as a lane line if you wanted. I actually avoided doing this and swam outside the buoys as to stay away from the other swimmers. Less people meant less chance for my finger to get bumped. I pretty much had my own space until the red turn buoy. Basically was a washing machine over there. I got dunked aka swam over top of. One the turn around I also got a nice friendly breast stroke kick to the face. I thought I got a bloody lip but at least my goggles didn't come off. As I made my way to the swim exit to start my second loop the water got really crowded. People were being animals at this point and someone tried to grab my leg and pull me. Um...WTF...NOPE! I made it out of water and ran on the sand and back into the water. I hated getting out of the water and doing two loops. My heart rate was all over the place from trying to run fast and get back into the water asap. I also cut my left foot and maybe rocks getting back into the water. I could feel my foot burning. Great. It took a minute to settle back into a good swim stroke, but once I did I felt fine. The rest of the swim was uneventful. My finger held up and even though it was hard to cup my hand with all the junk I had one it, I survived. I was more than happy to be running out of the water and making my way over to T1. The hardest part of the day was over for me! Now I could relax and bit!
T1 - 6 something minutes
It's a long haul over to T1 from the water. I felt like I was one of the only ones running. They have a small carpet to run one, but it's only wide enough to run single file so I basically had to run on the pavement to be able to pass everyone just walking. I made it into T1 and was a hot mess. I turned one of my socks inside out. So during the bike one sock was normal and the other inside out. Oh well. I pulled off most of my finger crap and just left the waterproof tape on as it was also cushiony which would help protect it on the bike. The volunteer helped me get my glove on but both fingers went through the same finger whole. Ugh. Redo. I also had to volunteer suns creen me up but I don't think she did a good job. I felt like I was in the tent forever! One mini snickers down my pie hole, pb&j shoved in my jersey pocket and off I went....
The Bike - 112 miles - 6:06:02
Time to go to work and dig myself out of the hole I created for myself with my slow swim time. The second I got on my bike...squeak, squeak, squeak. Was it my chain or gears??? The thought of "please oh god please don't fall apart on me bike. I need you for the next 6 hours!" went through my head. Ugh. Anyhow, I had not pre-viewed the course prior to the race so everything was going to be new and exciting to me! Weee...I love my bike and new places! It's really a stunning ride with great views. The first 30 miles or so seem to be downhill. There is a very large 5 mile decent. My garmin beeped 9 minutes for 5 miles. Lol. I was jut screaming down the hills and didn't use my brakes much. Going downhill is my favorite. I ended up eating no chews or gels on the bike. I had a total of 3 fun size snickers on me. One I ate in T1 and the other 2 I ate within the first 40 minutes. After that I ate my pb&j sandwich. I had it cut up in fours and ate one piece about every 45 minutes I would guess. I started off with Osmo in my aero bottle. I didn't want to f' around with the single serves so just took gatoraid at the aid stations. I was still feeling pretty good as I made the climb back into town. I was super surprised and excited to see Jason standing on top of one the "3 bear" climbs. He really caught me off guard. Love my M!!
I ended up stopping at special needs, drank half my COKE (omg life saving stuff right there) and grabbed my other pb&j and snickers bar. The volunteers told me to put my bike in the lowest gear to make it easy to get back on and up the hill but I was so out of it I put it in the hardest gear. I couldn't start pedaling, my bike wasn't moving and I was so confused because I thought I had it in the lowest gear. One of the volunteers pushed me like the tour de France which helped. ha. I also thought special needs would have bathrooms, but nope. I guess that's that I get for never reading the athlete guide.
Anyhow, I started the second loop pretty excited thinking I could maybe go sub 6 on the bike. The descents went well but the wind had picked up. We seemed to have a head wind on the second loop. I really was having fun up until maybe mile 90, then death on the bike started to settle in. My feet had gone numb and I had to go pee so bad. I hadn't gone pee yet and I had been holding it forever but I didn't want to make a stop. I tried peeing on myself, but nope couldn't do it. The 30 miles back into town seemed to take forever. I was so ready to get off my bike. I felt like I was barely pedaling. I watched my average speed to go down. F this. Get me off my bike. But on the upnote, my stomach felt good and my nutrition was right on target. Who knew. Snickers and PB&J would get me through 112 miles!
Saw Jason again as I made my way into T2 and onto the "fun" part if the race!!
T2 - 3 something minutes
First things first.....pee! Made a quick stop and a porta pottie and was extra careful with the door. ha. Had the volunteers sun screen me up and I could already feel the terrible sun burn I had on my back. Changed socks and shoes, grabbed my hat and watch and off I went!
The Run - 26.2 miles - 4:08:32
If there was a crown I would be wearing it for the queen of going out to fast! I can't help it though. I am always so excited to get off my bike and my legs just want to go go go. And the thought of why the hell not goes through my head thinking hey maybe I can hold this pace the entire run, can't hurt to try. Yes, this is stupid thinking, I know. My 5k split was 23 minutes something and even I knew I was being crazy. I slowed myself down and just tried to get into a comfy pace. I saw Meaghan around mile 2 and got so excited, I gave her a nice friendly ass slap :) Then I saw Rachel and she ran with me for a little bit. I was smiling and happy at this point. After you go down a big hill you basically make a right hand turn to hell and back. Yes hell. Not a cloud on the sky. Sun shining down bright. No shade. A special tri version of hell. The only saving grace on this section of the run is looking at the Olympic sky jumps around mile 8 or 9? OMG. never would I ever jump off those but they looked so cool! I passed Rachel again around mile 11 and my stomach had started acting up a bit. By the time I saw Jason at mile 12 my legs were still feeling ok, but knew I needed some tums. I had been going down the aid station smorgish (sp?) board and grabbing a water, gatoraid, coke, water along with orange slices and cookies. There is small out and back right by the Olympic Oval which is a killer mentally because it's right by the finish and right by your second loop but basically is a mile out and back. I was a little under 2 hrs for my first loop. OMG. Can I go sub 4 or right at 4 hrs on this run??? I was getting excited.
I started the second loop and I could feel my left hamstring starting to kind of seize up. I was an idiot and had taken no salt up to this point. I fished out a salt tab out of my spy belt and took it but I think it was to late. I was also the only one I had one me. Right at Lisa G's and Meaghan's parents by left leg completely cramped up (around mile 14 I think). I was bend over in pain not even moving. I would try to take a step and would hunch over in pain again. The only thought that was going through my head as I just f'ed up my own race by not taking salt and I'm ruining my time. No 4 hour marathon. No 11:30. I don't even know why my goal had changed because it was originally to go sub 12 hours and now I wanted more. why? I don't know? I guess I always want more. Anyhow, Rachel came running over to my rescue and gave me a tums and pringles. A bunch of pringles! I didn't think I could eat all of them and she told me to just lick the salt off them. But I ended up eating all of them, then the base salt people came to my rescue. I took two licks and my cramps seemed to go away. I could run again! But the cramps were an issue the rest of the run. I somehow lost the little tub of salt I had gotten and was bend over in pain again unable to move. I shouted out to the runners around me. "salt, anybody, salt, please." Someone was nice enough to give a lick of their salt and a swig of their water. Thank you mystery man. After returning for the second out and back of hell I told myself I am never doing this again. Never. I saw Rachel again mid way through the big hill. I walked that sucker. No need to waste energy on what would have just been a shuffle uphill anyhow. 2 miles left! omg! It's finally almost over. I just want to stop moving! And son of a gun my damn leg cramp returned again with less than a mile to go. I was swearing out loud and pissed that I was bent over again. Some guy yelled at me to keep moving. Umm. Yeah I know, I look like an idiot, if I could move I would be! More salt licks and then a ton of salt licks right before I entered the oval. The last thing I wanted to happen was to cramp up in the chute. As I made my way into the chute I could feel the tears start to weld up in my eyes. I put a smile on my face and ran towards the finish line arch! Before I knew it, I was raising my arms and crossing the finish line! It was over, I finished ironman number 3.
Total time: 11:38:57
Crossing the finish line never gets old. No matter how many times you say you hate this or I'm never doing this again, it feels amazing to finish. It's really hard to describe. And as much as I said never again. I'm doing it again. Completely hooked. Overall I am really happy how the day went. I had over an hour PR so I can't complain and placed 11th in my AG. But.... yeah.... I messed up on the run and I know I can go faster. Looks like IM number 4 is in my future. Also thank you to Jason for always been there for me and supporting me. I know I am super needy and high maintenance. Love you so much!