Packing and Course Preview!

Well, it’s official. I jinxed myself. Tuesday I thought about how well rested I felt and what a good night sleep I had gotten. Now, I sit here typing at 1 am (Wed) after having tossed and turned in bed for the past two hours. I finally figured I might as well use the time…. aka blog update… lucky you!

So this week is obviously not an intense training week as I am tapering, but rather what I would call an annoying training week. The workouts for Monday and Tuesday haven’t been horribly long, but consist of all three components. To swim, bike, and run all in one day requires a lot of stuff, a lot of planning, and a lot of coordination. And then, it kind of feels like a waste because its nearly over immediately. I get it though. The purpose is to keep everything moving without overexerting yourself. It is amazing though how hard it is for me to do less when my body is now used to so much more. Nonetheless, Monday and Tuesday’s workouts are complete and i’m looking forward to just a 30 minute open water swim this afternoon (Wed).

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Monday’s Workout

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Tuesday Workout – With a stop at the sauna after!

The other big challenge that the week has presented is preparation for the trip. It is unreal how much planning and coordination it requires to swim, bike, and run a cumulative 140.6 miles in one day. The crazy checklist maker that lies deep within my soul has come out full bore this week. I have an index card for anything and everything I could possibly need for race day: What to wear race morning, what to bring race morning, swim to bike bag, bike special needs bag, bike to run bag, run special needs bag, post race items, what to pack in my bike bento box, what to pack in my spi belt… I have lists that interconnect to other lists! But, I will say I feel much more prepared after spending the time to put this together. It also helped me make my shopping list (yes, another list) for what I still needed to get as I need multiples of so many things for each of these bags. I headed to Wegmans and Target tonight after my workout to pick up most of the items. I still have a couple to get at the running store before I leave. I could probably wait into the expo, but I don’t want to risk not being able to find something that I need. Ah and to think, I still need to pack stuff for all of the other days I will be in Lake Placid! That task also will be completed Wednesday. Lots to do still, but again, good progress!

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A view of all my crazy lists!

So I thought maybe a more detailed walk through of the course would be a good blog post so you can better understand what Sunday will entail and the venue. So straight from the IMLP website:

IRONMAN Lake Placid is the longest-running American event aside from the IRONMAN World Championship Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Located in the beautiful Adirondack mountains, it’s an accessible event for every athlete’s bucket list.Β 

Having hosted two Olympic Games (1932 and 1980), this charming town knows how to deliver a world-class athletic event. It’s also the home of one of the most challenging IRONMAN courses with its famous Adirondack climbs. Athletes begin with a two-loop swim in clear Mirror Lake, with the famous sight line lining the bottom of the lake. Transitioning in the Olympic Speed Skating Oval to the bike, the rolling mountain views provide a scenic backdrop. Two loops of 56 miles bring competitors back to the Oval once again, where they begin their 26.2-mile run through the town and around the lake.Β 

Lake Placid has the amenities of a large city and the convenience of a small town, offering high-end restaurants, shopping and world-class accommodations. It boasts equal parts history, uniqueness, and on-course personality.Β (Originally from:Β http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/events/americas/ironman/lake-placid.aspx#ixzz2Zw7Jcmg3)

So as it stated, the first part of the day is the swim. It is a two lap course (1.2 miles for each lap, 2.4 miles total). The swim is in Mirror Lake and absolutely gorgeous. The water is very calm and should be wetsuit legal with some cooler nights expected this week. New this year is a rolling start rather than prior years which had a mass start. This change is new this year to try and make the swim safer (which I am totally ok with it). So, starting at 6:30 am it will be almost like the start of a running race with self seeded athletes entering the water through a timing mat in a continuous stream. All athletes are expected to be in the water by 7am. There is a 2:20 minute cutoff for the swim. Also unique to this course is an underwater line that connects all of the buoys which simplifies sighting (love this!). After the first loop, athletes will get out of the water through the swim exit, run across the beach, and re-enter the water for lap two. Personally, I like this approach. I know that I can swim a 1.2 mile open water loop. Mentally I just need to remind myself that it’s the same thing, i’m just doing it twice. People claim it’s a fast swim with a whirlpool like effect created by the clockwise swimming of all of the athletes. I’m excited to experience it for myself. What’s my time expectation? I think somewhere between 1:35 and 1:40. This leaves me a good buffer from the cutoff.

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Swim Course – This year we go clockwise instead

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Mirror Lake

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Whirlpool effect!

So after the swim I head to transition and will get my swim to bike transition bag. I will take off my wetsuit and plan to change my clothes into dry biking clothes. I’m choosing to spend a few extra minutes to be comfortable. After all, it is a long day and i’m really racing to finish, not for a time. I want to enjoy the experience πŸ™‚ I will then throw on my bike helmet and bike shoes and then head out for a ride through the Adirondacks.

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Transition fully loaded!

The bike course is also two loops (56 miles each, 112 miles total). The course is known for some challenging hills later in the course and not only do you get them once, but you get to then do it again. The biggest thing I have been warned here is not to go out hard on the first loop or you will hate your life come the hills on the second loop. It’s easy to hammer on some of the sections but holding back will make for a better overall time. Coming out of transition their is a notable climb past the Olympic ski jumps. After that you head for Keene which is a few miles of downhill riding. Apparently you can hit speeds of 40+ mph. A little scary but also can be fun too! After Keene there is some flat and rolling sections where you can tuck into the aero position and just go. But before you know it starts the climb back into Lake Placid with it’s infinite climbs known as the cherry’s and the bears. First comes mama bear, then baby bear, then poppa bear (this is actually the background photo to my blog)! But, once you make it through there you are at the end of lap one and get access to your bike special needs bag. This is full of any special nutrition, refills, or any other items you may want access to that you packed. Just after this is also when I hope to see my support crew! It’s then off to repeat the course for another lap! As far as bike cutoffs go:Β The first bike cut-off is at the start of the second loop of the bike course at 1:30 p.m. (at Bike Out). Any rider who has not reached the start of the second loop of the bike by 1:30 p.m. will not be permitted to continue. The bike course will close at 5:30 p.m. Athletes arriving at the bike dismount line after 5:30 p.m. will not be permitted to continue. So how long do I think the bike will take me? I’m guessing between seven and seven and a half hours. Again, plenty of buffer here for the unexpected.

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Bike Course

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Bike View

After completing two laps it’s back to transition to get ready for the run. I will gladly hand my bike off to a volunteer that will rack it for me. I then get my bike to run bag. I will ditch my biking clothes in exchange for running shorts and a tank top and throw on my running sneakers. Again, i’m spending a few more minutes here to be comfortable in running clothes for the 26.2 miles that lies ahead.

The run is again a two lap course (13.1 miles each loop, 26.2 miles total, yes, a full marathon!). The run isn’t exactly flat but has a pretty good hill in it (that you get to experience twice). The good news is that it’s later in the first loop so you get your legs back first after the bike, but the bad news is that means you hit it again late in the second loop when you are absolutely exhausted. My plan is to walk the hills if I need to and save some energy. There are also aid stations about every mile and I will walk through them as needed as well. Similar to the bike, after the first loop of the run I will have access to my run special needs bag to restock any nutrition I may need or any other special supplies. I have been told over and over how great the support is throughout the entire course and can’t wait to experience it for myself. The nice thing about the looped course is how many times I will get to see my support crew and I know seeing them will give me that little extra boost I will need. Run cutoffs:Β The first lap of the run course must be completed by 9 p.m. (at Town Hall Outbound). The run course will officially close at midnight.

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Run Course

However, my total time needs to be less than 17 hours to be considered an official Ironman finisher (the exact clock time will differ depending on the time you entered the water). I’m estimating the run will take me somewhere between five and six hours. All of these times added together still leaves me about a two hour buffer. I’m hoping to cross that finish line somewhere between 9 and 10:00pm. God willing.

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Bike & Run Elevation Charts

So there you have it, that is what Ironman Lake Placid will consist of. I keep getting the question this week of “Are you nervous?” The answer: Surprisingly not as bad as I thought. Currently the quantity of excited feelings trumps the quantity of nervous feelings. However, i’m sure in the days ahead it will be a bit of an emotional roller coaster! One that I cannot wait to experience! So close!! Hopefully I fall asleep soon…..

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Trying to get in more fruits and veggies this week… Smoothie with self picked blueberries and greens!

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Homemade stir fry with fresh veggies I got at home from the local Farmers Market

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Boilermaker Weekend Recap, Week in Buffalo, & 1 Week Countdown!

Hello blog followers! Please note, only 2 weekends and one week have gone by since my last post, i’m getting better ;)So after my last post I headed on Saturday morning to Utica, New York for the Boilermaker. Having lived in Syracuse for some time, it was always on my want to race list. The race also frequently appears in Runners World as one of the best races to do. Having now done it, I couldn’t agree more. What an amazing experience!

Upon arrival we headed to the expo to pick up our packets. For being a 15K race, the expo was much bigger than I expected with lots of vendors. With our packets we got a special Boilermaker Pint Glass, pretty cool! I found it a bit odd that you had to purchase your own medal if you wanted one (they only did finisher pins at the finish line), but then again it really was only a 15K. But nonetheless, of course I had to have one to add to the collection! Probably the highlight of the expo for me was getting to meet Danni from the Biggest Loser (last seasons winner). After waiting for a few minutes, we got a picture together and chatted about my upcoming Ironman. She is doing her first one in 2014. She wished me good luck and I was all smiles. Anyone that knows me knows how much I love to watch the show and how inspired I am by all of the participants. It was nice to know she felt inspired by me too πŸ™‚

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Danni from the Biggest Loser!

The rest of the afternoon was spent hitting up the Saranac Brewery. We took the brewery tour and indulged in some beer tasting (I was carb loading!) I had such a great time and was excited to know that the post race party was also hosted by Saranac and promised a great time! After this we headed to the hotel to change quick and grab dinner at a great Italian restaurant at the Turning Stone Casino. My visit to Turning Stone brought me back to my college days and my roommates love for the dollar wheel!

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Saranac Brewery Tour

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Post Tour Sampling

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Dinner Overlooking the Kitchen

Sunday morning we were up early to head to the race. We parked at the finish area and hopped on a bus to the start. We got there early but it worked out for the better as we got a better position within our corral and no waiting for the bathroom. There was so many people, well 14K to be exact. The race attracts some of the fastest international runners from Kenya, Ethiopia, etc. so that was pretty neat to see as well. I had seen the elevation profile for the course and it looked pretty challenging. However, the long climbs also had long downhills so in the end, it would balance out a bit. My plan for the day was to use the race as a training run. I didn’t want to push and risk anything, but rather I just wanted to take in the scenery and enjoy the day. I did just that! I didn’t run with music (good practice for Ironman Lake Placid) and I just listened to the cheers and course bands. The streets were just lined from end to end with locals cheering us all on, it was truly incredible how the community lives for this event. I was so wrapped up in the entertainment that I really barely felt like I was running up hill (an awesome surprise later when we started going downhill). It was a VERY hot and humid day, after all it is the middle of July. However, the race was well prepared with water and ice stations every half mile. Yes, you read that right, every half mile. On the course I also had a first. I consumed by first race popsicle ever! Wow! I need to do that more often, what a great cooling sugar boost πŸ™‚

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At the Start!

About an hour and 23 minutes later and 15K under my belt, I crossed the finish line! I felt great at the end. I could tell that I took it easy early in the race and still had a ton in the tank towards the end as I passed a lot of people, without even trying to. One thing that I found unique about the finish line (and each of the mile markers) was that they are permanent establishments in the community and exist year ’round. Just goes to show how this community really embraces this event. I got my finishers pin and then waited for Jason to finish. when I started standing was when I realized just how hot and sweaty I was. I was dripping sweat and my clothes were absolutely drenched. I was ready for the post race party!

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Finisher!

Jason finished (despite barely training) and we headed to celebrate. Saranac provided their wild hop pilsener for the party. They also had a band and was just a great environment. Since this year was Saranac’s 125th anniversary, after the traditional flyover, they conducted the worlds largest toast. The sun was baking us! After a couple of beers and grabbing some snacks, we headed to the car to cool off and head back to the hotel. It would be a quick stop before heading to Buffalo for the week!

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Finished! XOXO!

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Cheers!

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Awesome flyover!

We got to Buffalo early Sunday evening and were pretty exhausted. We headed to bed early so we could have a better day Monday. Monday was a rest day for me so we decided to do something fun. We headed to Becker Farms to pick blueberries and raspberries! What a blast, even though it was VERY hot out in the fields. We cooled off afterwards in the brewery with some beer and wine tasting. We walked around the farm a bit to check out all that it had to offer. It even provided a possibility of a future event venue πŸ˜‰ We then headed back to my parents house to relax in the pool.

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Monday evening I met a great friend from high school that has also gotten into triathlons. She introduced me to her tri coach and group she trains with. I really enjoyed the experience and got to meet some great people. Her coach has done Ironman Lake Placid before so I picked his brain a bit on what to expect and some of the lingering questions I still had. One part of our convo really stood out to me. He asked me when was the last time that for 17 hours straight, everything went as you planned? Of course my response was, never! He then said, well then why would you expect race day to be any different? Hmm good point. He was highlighting that stuff will go wrong, things you didn’t plan for will happen, and you need to be ready to just move on and put it behind you and focus on the path forward. I thought it was a good perspective and something I will definitely take with me on race day. My friend also let me borrow her pool card so I could swim, awesome!

Tuesday morning I got up and headed for my swim and bike ride to get it out of the way before spending the day with my mom for her birthday πŸ™‚ I swam at the University of Buffalo which has a great facility. The water there was much cooler then what I’m used to but the water was so nice. It didn’t have the heavy chlorination smell that the Y at home as. It was a nice change of pace. My ride was also great as I enjoyed riding out in the country a bit with super wide shoulders and the cars giving plenty of room, also a nice change of pace. The rest of the day was filled with with relaxation and celebration.

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UB Swim Workout

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Dinner with B-day Girl – MOM!

Wednesday I had another ride to do, about 90 minutes with some ladder speed work built in. Again, nothing too eventful here. Wednesday night I met the Buffalo Tri Club for their open water swim at Lake Erie. Oh my goodness. I was so glad that I went as I met so many great people. Some of them have done Ironman Lake Placid before, some are doing it this year, and some are also headed their to volunteer and cheer. It was great to share stories and meet some awesome people to have an eye out for in Lake Placid. I really wish we had a solid group like this where I live to train with. Made me want to move back to Buffalo, well maybe just for the summers πŸ™‚

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OWS with Buffalo Triathlon Club!

Thursday I had a quick 40 minute (HOT) run in the AM before headed to Toronto for the day for some sightseeing with Jason (his first time). We had a blast despite the heat. I finally went up the CN Tower and took in the beautiful views. We also hit up the St Lawrence Market for lunch, the Distillery District, the Steam Whistle Brewery, the Eaton Center, and some leisurely walking around the city. While the day was exhausting, I was glad we did it!

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Upgrade for IMLP?

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Friday was a longer bike ride for me, 3 hours. I got up early to beat the heat and the wind that built up throughout the day. Although the riding in that area is pretty flat, the wind created a challenge for the day. I pushed through though and then spent the rest of the day relaxing with my bestie from home poolside. We caught up and it was just really nice. Reminds me that I just don’t go home to visit often enough. Late Friday afternoon I headed to a special meeting for an hour or two. More on this to come in an upcoming post (stay tuned!)

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Ninja!

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Yum!

Friday night we headed to Duff’s for some Buffalo traditional wings before the storm came. I knew there was a storm coming but never predicted it to be as bad as it was. The rain was insane and the lightening was even more so. Oh my goodness was it scary. Even scarier was the devastation to the area that we viewed the next morning. Our phone rang Saturday morning to let us know that the high school was being used as an American Red Cross disaster center for anyone that needed it. We were lucky that we didn’t lose power and damage was minor. Others were not so lucky 😦

Saturday was another rest day for me and I gladly took it! The weather was still pretty yucky until early in the afternoon. I got up early and hit the Farmers Market to grab some great fruits and vegetables (I’m addicted to smoothies in the ninja lately!) After, I went with my mom to the local craft show, it’s one of our traditions that I love. Again, the weather didn’t really cooperate but we made the best of it, two trips later. Saturday afternoon the entire family hopped in the car to check out a local ice cream place i’d been dying to try. Everyone loved it! We even walked around a bit afterwards and took in some of the Erie Canal history on the lock system.

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Lake Effect Ice Cream – Yum!

Saturday night was a chill at home night with some great pizza from my fav pizza place in the world. I also watched the bike video of the Ironman Lake Placid course so that I could know what to expect. I felt kind of guilty watching it from the couch rather than on my bike trainer, but better than nothing.

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“Experiencing” the Course at IMLP

Today I got up early, well tried to, in order to take advantage of the cooler morning (lower 70’s). I had a solid 90 minute run and felt good. I even kicked it in at the end. I knew I would spend the remainder of the day stuck in the car for the drive home. We stopped in Syracuse for a quick lunch. We got home around dinner time and spent quite a bit of time unpacking the car and dealing with other unexpected tasks (I will spare you the rant). I sit here now blogging and reflecting on such a great trip. It was a great week with family and friends, as well as focusing on my upcoming event and remaining preparation. I realize there is a ALOT to do between now and when I leave for my even first thing Thursday morning. However I look at the clock right now and get goosebumps. At about this time next week, give or take, god willing, I will be crossing the finish line at Ironman Lake Placid and checking off an Ironman from my bucket list as I heard Mike Reilly announce “Jacquelyn Stevenson, you are an Ironman!” (Yes, I’m now in tears!) Wow. Stay tuned, almost there!

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Post Run Smoothie

16 Days and Syracuse 70.3 Recap!

Gotta love that each time I blog, I make this promise that I will update more often. Umm yea, clearly failed on that once since I went from 38 days to 16 days, whoops! Wow, so a lot has happened since we chatted last! Let’s run through week by week some of the critical events.

Week of June 17th (Continued from last post)

So, my vacation day that I took to get my long run in. The plan was 5.5 hours. I hit the road mid morning (probably should have gotten up earlier to beat the heat). I headed out from Kirby Park and felt pretty good but was kind of bummed that I was doing the ride alone. You would think after months of training alone, I would have gotten “used” to it, but no.

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A good reminder of why I was doing this ride….Ironman!!!

Around mile 52 was when disaster hit. I was riding along and suddenly it sounded like an explosion. I panicked and quickly unclipped. In an instant my rear tire was completely deflated. Effff! I hopped off the bike and began to take the tire off, time to put my tire changing skills to work. I convinced myself that I got this under control. So I got the tube out of the tire and started looking at the tire to see if there was glass or what had happened. At that point I see a giant nail right through the side wall of the tire. Great. Now what? I knew at this point that if I put a new tube in, it would just pop again from the pressure. Who can I call now since everyone is at work? Fabulous. I stood there for less than two minutes before spotting cyclists approaching me. Wow, really? What timing! The one pulled over and asked if I was ok, I said yes but I think my ride is done for the day. I told him the tire was shot and he told me he had just the thing for me. He reaches in his bag and pulls out a tire patch! Hmm, will that work you think? He said let’s give it a try. I didn’t have one, nor have I ever seen/used one so I let this awesome cyclist do the work for me as I observed and learned. When we glanced back, it appeared that one of his other riders got a flat also in the exact same spot! Well to make a long story short, once they changed the flat and rolled up to us, I realized it was one of my Team in Training friends and actually her brother who had saved me! Once we got the patch on the tire was still bulging pretty good once inflated. I knew I had about 5 miles to go until I could get to the local bike shop. I thanked them greatly and was on my way! That was probably the most nervous 5 miles I had rode in a long time as I prayed that I made it back to the shop. I did! $70 later I was back on my way (this was one expensive training day)! I ended up with about 88 miles before throwing on my sneakers for a quick brick run. I was feeling it! I was proud of myself though for dealing with what had been thrown at me and not giving up, which I thought about a number of times.

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Ride Summary!

As if this wasn’t bad enough, I was up first thing Friday morning to get in nearly a 3 hr run before headed to Cuse. Obviously my legs were very sore from the bike ride the day before, so it was a good test of running on tired legs. It surely wasn’t pretty, but nonetheless I made it. It was off to Cuse for 70.3 weekend!

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Run Refresh!

Friday when we got in to Syracuse we headed to Jamesville Beach for the expo and mandatory athlete meeting. I picked up my packet and was getting really excited! A long time ago I met a TNT lady via Facebook. She is also training for an Ironman and such an inspiration. She was also doing the event and I FINALLY got to meet her when I ran into her in the merchandise tent! So awesome! Later that night we met up with friends for a mandatory stop at Dinosaur BBQ! Great day!

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My Race Packet

Saturday morning we went and watched my friends son compete in the IronKids race. Oh my goodness, so cute and so much fun! I knew right then that the kids race would be more fun than my own! We squeezed in an afternoon swim in the reservoir where the swim would be. Key take away from that was that there is a TON of weeds in the water and made it challenging for me to swim. I was glad though that I experienced that ahead of time and could plan for it. In addition, I also checked my bike into transition which was mandatory. Later that evening a group of us headed to dinner for some mandatory carb loading once I had all of my race day stuff layed out. I had a great time and dinner as well as many laughs with great friends. Triathlons are so much more than racing, but really the people that make the journey enjoyable. Time for bed.

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Transition – Lots of $$$$$

So Sunday morning was an early wake up as we headed to the race. Upon walking out of the hotel, it was already in the 80’s and mega humid. OMG! This is going to be brutal! I won’t run through my whole race report here but just some key points. Really, the whole day can be summed up in one word, HOT! It was killer.

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Ready to Race!

My swim didn’t go as great as I planned or hoped. I had a minor panic attack when the gun went off from all of the people mixed with the mass amount of weeds at the start. My clostrophobicness really kicked in. Once I calmed myself down and was on my way, my heart rate was still really high but I pushed through the best I could. The swim felt long to me and I later in the day overheard a lot of other triathletes having the same conversation.

Fortunately the bike was pretty uneventful other than hot. I was used to most of the steep climbs so I was able to prepare myself for them. I have never seen so many people with very expensive bike (and aero helmets, aka coneheads) walking up these hills. It was a good ego boost as I powered by. I felt pretty fast on the bike to later on learn that I was faster in 2011. I got kind of depressed thinking about how my times weren’t better, but then needed to remind myself that I didn’t taper. In fact, I rode my longest training ride ever, and ran one of my longest runs just days ago. Well duh, no wonders my body is revolting!

So, it was onto the run. It was well over 90 and the humidity was oppressive. I seriously wanted to just die. It was brutal. You know it’s bad when you look around and not a single person in running up the hills. EVERYONE is walking. Ihad ditched my shirt in transition as the heat trumped not having abs of steel. The purpose of my bra on the run was not for support. It was to hold ice. Aid station after aid station resulted in cups of ice down my bra. As I ran, I sounded like a cocktail shaker (I learned of the chaffing this did later, ouch)! I also remembered how much I loved the ice sponges and suddenly they were stuck all over my entire body. I drank so much fluid on the run course that I could just see it all moving around in my stomach. So gross. I felt like crap, and yet was barely moving, awesome. This race was HOT in 2012 but not quite this bad. I found myself asking over and over again why I put myself through this a second time. In fact, now as I write this weeks later, I could see myself doing it again next year haha. Nonetheless, I made it to the finish line.

I was about ten minutes slower than the year before, but I guess with good reason. I was just happy to finish. I later found out that wouldn’t be the case for everyone (my friend included) as a ridiculous storm rolled in. The rain/thunder/lightening were scary for being out in the middle of a park. Although a tough decision to make, they called the race for everyone’s safety (a good call I believe). Rather than getting to celebrate with friends after the race, I ran (yes more freaking running) to transition to grab my stuff and head to the car in the pouring rain. What a mess. Well nonetheless a good training day for Ironman Lake Placid!

Finished!

Finished!

Race Bling!

Race Bling!

Week of June 24th

Another crazy week of training and back at in the pool on Monday after Cuse 70.3 There was no recovery day for this girl. Although I will say that I’ve grown to enjoy the pool for recovering my legs after running and biking. (Yes, I did just use the words enjoy and pool in the same sentence). My training plan for the week stated “These are the longest sessions you’ll do in prep for the race. Recovery week coming up…” Well, I was happy to see the word recover. But before getting there was a very LONG week. Some key workouts included a long swim followed by a 3 hour run. The next day contained a 6 hour bike ride. I knew I needed to get this bike ride in as the 112 miles of challenging course for Ironman Lake Placid still had me worried. The longest I have ever rode my bike was while training for this event. I’ve run marathons before, and although it won’t be the same, at least I’ve experienced it. Now, 112 miles on the bike is a totally different story.

I capitalized on the local bike shop’s Saturday Morning Ride (SMR) to kick off my 6 hour bike session. We did some serious climbing on the way out. I was happy to have one of my great friends join me. We got back to the bike shop around 2 hours and then he was nice enough to head out with me for another hour. At this point when I came back with him, I was about half way in. Only 3 more hours to go, sigh. I felt “good” though and tried to really keep up with the refueling. I had a granola bar, honey stinger waffles, and honey stinger chews (have I mentioned how much I love the Honey Stinger products)! I headed out and just hoped to have an uneventful second half. That was the case despite the heat and humidity continuing to climb. I made it! I hit 98 miles just about at the 6 hour mark. So why not 100 you may ask? Well the training plan said 6 hours and that’s what I got in six hours. Also, I’ve never done a century ride and felt like that 100 mile milestone should be saved for a special day and place, not circling Wilkes Barre. So, Ironman Lake Placid will be that special time and place!

I then threw my bike in the car and headed out for a 25 minute brick run. My legs felt heavy but I was still moving them. I felt slow but my watch surprisingly told me other wise. I was thrilled! I finished so proud of myself, so glad it was over, and so hungry! I have become so addicted to pizza after long workouts that it’s quite ridiculous really! Successful week and onto recovery!

A view from the bike this week!

A view from the bike this week!

Fun Swim with Friends

Fun Swim with Friends

Went to Brooks Trial Run at SRCO... Love My Free Towel... I LOVE Cupcakes and Running!

Went to Brooks Trial Run at SRCO… Love My Free Towel… I LOVE Cupcakes and Running!

Recovery Drink!

Recovery Drink!

Week of July 1st

Weeks goals: Recovery Week! It also says reduce food intake from last week, ha. I have been a non-stop eating machine. I will say though that I have dropped a few pounds along this journey and I can honestly say I feel better because of it. This week wasn’t really too eventful, especially with the 4th of July holiday. Β We had friends up at the house to celebrate the holiday and had a great relaxing day.

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My Festive Fruit!

We were off from work Friday so we hit up the new trailhead right in Mountain Top for the Black Diamond Trail. It heads out towards White Haven and then you can pick up the Lehigh Gorge Trail. I traded in my road bike for my hybrid bike for the day. What a nice change of pace! It was hot and the slight gradient change made the return a challenge. Love sharing these days with my love XOXO.

New Trail!

New Trail!

Overlooking the railroad

Overlooking the railroad

A group of friends got together Saturday and headed out to Harvey’s Lake to join me for my long open water swim. I ended up swimming 70 continuous minutes (my longest ever in open water) and felt great. I really could tell that my time in the pool was paying off. I was also much more calm then I was at the 70.3. Makes sense, no people, no weeks, happy me. Once we finished we spent the rest of the afternoon floating in the water with some brews and lots of smiles. What a great day! I def need to do that more often!

My Tri Junkies!

My Tri Junkies!

Clearly the Distance is Off ;)

Clearly the Distance is Off πŸ˜‰

Week of July 8th

This officially started the taper/race phase of my training plan. It stated: welcome to tapering! We’ll slowly reduce hours over the next three weeks, while keeping the sword sharp for race day. Well, I quickly learned that my plan and I define the word taper a bit different as I had some challenging workouts this week. I also, spent alot of time on the bike this week and had to do more consecutive days in order to save my rest day for Saturday and use my other rest day for the Boilermaker this Sunday. Yesterday was challenging. I had a 60 min bike at RPE 4-5 then a 2 hour run immediately after. I had debated going to Wilkes Barre to do the workout, but talked myself out of this. I love to bike and run flat terrain. But the reality is, that isn’t what Ironman Lake Placid is. If i want to be prepared for rave day I need to be ready for hills, hills, and more hills. So, I faced my fears and did this workout on the mountain right from my doorstep. It was challenging alright but I felt so accomplished once I finished. I was definitely sore and even found myself questioning the “taper phase.” Ha! But it was done.

Today I once again faced my fears and did my 3 hour long ride on the mountain. Hill after hill, climb after climb. But I fought through and even found myself exploring some new areas and learning how random streets connected. It was cloudy today which also helped a lot. I was able to finish the nearly 50 mile ride feeling pretty good but my legs were definitely sore from yesterday and today’s effort. I then had a short 20 min recovery run which couldn’t end soon enough. But, I knew once it was done that tomorrow is a recovery day! Wooo! I am also excited about the official start of my mini-vacation! A trip to Utica for the Boilermaker run and Buffalo for the week are ahead…. More on that in the days to come!

One of My Swim Sessions this Week

One of My Swim Sessions this Week

Other Items to Note

So as the title of this post states, I am now 16 days away from Ironman Lake Placid. This journey has been so surreal and full of so such a variety of feelings. I can’t wait! I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that I can’t wait to have my life back and start some other things that I have slated. At the same time, I’ve become so used to this lifestyle over the past months that it will be odd to go back to one workout a day, and having greater flexibility in my workouts.

I ordered supporter crew shirts for event day and can’t wait for them to come. I have quite a few people joining me. Jason will be there, mom, dad, my friend Matt, friend Brett, and Jason’s parents. In addition two friends will also be there volunteering who did the race last year. They have been awesome in giving me daily tips from their lessons learned and answering all of my questions in the last 30 days leading up to the event. There is so much to know and understand to be prepared for race day, but each day I am that much closer! I also got my bib number for the race. I am #661… Sounds like an Ironman finisher, right? Chat soon πŸ™‚ XOXO

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Shirts for My Crew

Me Blogging Tonight! Hehe!

Me Blogging Tonight! Hehe!