It has been a long time since I have been able to blog! Training the last weeks of training consumed all of my time. Now that I have time I can’t wait to catch up on everyones blogs!
Well I finally met my goal and finished Ironman Lake Placid! 3rd time is a charm!
As some of you may have heard race day brought unforseen events! It goes to show that anything can happen, and as much as we prepare, you just never know! Definately train in any weather, no matter what, because as this day showed, if it’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen out there! You need to have the ability to stay calm and keep moving forward!
So here is my race day report:
The “swim”. The day started with a chance of rain… I seeded myself in the 1 hour 10 minute area for the swim. The first 1/2 of the first loop was a little tough. I found myself next to a man that seemed to be working very hard at punching the water, nearly missing my face many times, and I was having a hard time pulling away from him. But finally I was able to get away safely. It was pretty crowded and the first loop took me longer than planned. The second loop I was able to settle right in and have a great swim-until! I had just made the last turn around the buoy and was headed back when a kayaker was screaming into a bullhorn into my ear. Swim to shore now!!! What?!?! Why??? Then I saw it, lightening zigzagging across the sky. Chaos errupted as thousands of swimmers headed to one shoreline, swimmers were being picked out of the water and put on boats, and the rest were completely panicked and swimming faster than they knew they could! I headed to the closest dock, there are a number of residences on this shoreline fortunately. As I swam up to the dock with lightening flashing, I realized I swam to a metal dock-fabulous! A group of us scurried up the dock safely and up the hill of this persons yard looking to get out onto Mirror Lake Dr. We got close to the road and found the home was fenced in! Lucklily it was a horizontal wooden post fence. There was no room to go under it, so we looked at each other and climbed the fence in our wetsuits. Hmmmm, didn’t train for this scenario! We then had a 3/4 mile walk to transition in one heck of a storm.
T1. Yup you guessed it, insanity! Because most of the athletes got out of the water at the same time, we all got to transition at the same time. There was no room to change your clothes. The ground was saturated, the rain was unreal, the lightening was very close by, and we had no idea if the race was continuing. Finally, we got word, continue on. Really? In this lightening? Yikes!
The bike. OMG! The ride starts with a dangerous decent right out of transition. Now imagine everyone and I do mean everyone, getting on their bikes at the same time and heading out together in torrential rain! The roads were slick as ice and the rain just kept coming hard! I managed to keep my head and get going. There is another long decent roughly 8 miles long in which speeds of 50mph are not uncommon. The road was newly paved and of course with the rain it was like ice. I saw 4 crashes on that road, & it smelled of burning rubber from people trying to squeeze anything they could out of their brakes. It was a scary and COLD decent. I made it down and one piece! Phew! The rest of the first loop was more rain and lightening and strong head winds. I was pretty cold and my hands were numb. I had a hard time opening my nutrition and suffered because I wasn’t able to eat as I trained. I did however, remember to smile and celebrate that I was still moving forward! The second loop the sun was out more often, but the winds stayed, and the rain and lightening still had its moments. I was on the last climb of the day and cutting it close to the 5:30 cut off time, when my asthma kicked in. I thought my day was finished! As I said in past posts, I have been here before. In 2008 IMLP had a “monsoon” I was pulled out for hypothermia on the bike, and in 2011 at the same race, I missed the bike cut off by 2 minutes 13 seconds. This was my last attempt at this race, this can’t happen! I got off my bike, sucked on my inhaler, walked a minute, and luckily I was able to continue. I did it! I made the bike cut off!! Wooohooo, finally, I have made it further than I ever had!
T2. God bless the volunteers! They were amazing!! My boyfriend had stayed nearby me on the bike, and was waiting for me at transition. He is a 7 time ironman, he knew this race meant the world to me and with the days conditions he decided to sacrifice his race to support me, and that he did!
The run. 26.2 miles of Hell on earth. Whoah! Much to my surprise, my gut shut down immediately on the run. This was new, I have never experienced this in any race or training day. I couldn’t keep anything down, not even ice chips. I vomited throughout the run. I had 6 1/2 hours to complete this marathon, and it was going to happen if I had to crawl the whole way! My guy grabbed my hand and held it for 26.2 miles. I would stop throw up, he would ask are you ok now? Yes I’m ok, then keep moving foward, stay off the guardrail. We walked and walked, and walked. Occasionally I jogged. He kept track of time, & encouraged me the whole way. The crowds and again those amazing volunteers motivated me to carry on! I finally made my way to the olympic oval! My boyfriend ran just ahead of me and got the crowds even more riled up. Mike Riley was waiting, and at 11:54 the crowd in the stands gave me one heck of a welcome! Denise you are an Ironman! Everyone screamed it! Wow, it was overwhelming! I cried and and laughed all the way in to the finish line! Steve was waiting on the other side of the chute for me. I remember hugging him and getting my medal. The next thing I remember was him picking me up and calling Medic! Two IVs and some Zofran, a few blankets to get my temp above 93F, and I was headed back to my hotel as an Ironman!!