Thursday, July 28

Ironman Lake Placid Race Report

Summary: First IM (Iron-virgin)
Swim      1:28:55
T1                9:17
Bike        6:38:14
T2                5:49
Run         4:17:51
Finish    12:40:04

Total passed Swim to Finish: 924 Overall; 90 in M50-54

Race Plan: Objectives and Predictions - See prior post

Pre Race - I arrived on Wednesday afternoon with enough time to go grocery shopping and still get a swim in Mirror Lake. That lap was 44 minutes, reassuring me that 1:30 was possible. Thursday began with an early morning 50’ run and race check-in. Friday was an EN group swim at 7 but being so slow, I swam alone and managed a 42’ lap and felt very comfortable. After breakfast I did a 45’ bike up Cascade and down to Keene where Carole picked me up. The day ended with the Team dinner and an early bed. So far everything was easy and relaxed no pressure and no jitters.

My first real nervousness came Saturday when I realized I needed to get my bike and run bags ready. Something I had not thought of for several days. After many futile attempts to get it together, I was reminded that this is the reason I have lists! DUH! Much better with the lists. On my way home from the gear drop, my friend called me and wanted to know if I let the air out of my tires – lest they blow in the heat. Yeah, now I’m real nervous – the transition is closed and I fear that I’ll have a double flat by morning…….yikes! Thanks Mandy…..

The late afternoon meal was grilled tuna steak, stir-fry and pasta. Followed by an evening snack was soft serve ice cream – yum! Bed by 9:40.  

Race morning - Slept solid till about 2, then sporadic till 3:45 when I got up for my PBJ and coffee. Assemble my BSN nutrition bottle – 16 oz water frozen solid plus 24 oz chilled super concentrate (7 scoops Infinit). Got dressed and headed to the Oval to check on my bike (luckily no flats!!) and get my nutrition setup. Carole took my SN bags up to the drop off. RSN only had 3 Gu in it.

Swim      1:28:55 –  Place: 1977 OA, 155 AG
Seeded myself just in front of the beach and slowly moved into the deeper water as the beach filled up. By gun time I was about half way to the backside of the main pack. At first it was effortless without contact – good thing cause I get panicky in blender situations. Seemed to go well for a while following soft spots. About 300 meters out things suddenly got all jammed up. Took an elbow to the goggle and was kicked several times. Eventually I made my way to the outside and got clear of the masses. First lap done in 43:xx. The second lap was much quieter as I fell behind the bulk of the swimmers.

T1           9:17 – After T1 place: 1901 OA, 142 AG (passed 76 OA, 13 AG)
Transition tent was a mad house. Helmet, glasses, shoes, bib and go.

Bike       6:38:14 – After bike place: 1489 OA, 104 AG (passed 412 OA, 38 AG)
Managed to keep my climb to Cascade to 154w (.70). Combined with the descent and flats the first 60’ was 149w, (.651). The entire ride averaged 154w (.698). My peak 60’ began at the 1:50 mark as I turned the corner at the stone church in Jay on lap 1 and resulted in 160w (.732), just below my 3rd gear. My Garmin is set to vibrate every 15 minutes for nutrition and a reminder to reset my interval at 60’. Stopped to pee at Hazleton Rd aid station, 1st lap and again at the Horse Show Grounds beginning lap 2. 

The second lap was much more fun with almost no bikes passing me. Could pick clean lines on the decent and not break at all. Along the River Rd, I was passing everything in site and having a great time. No issues with power as long as I kept my cadence up and had no saddle soreness at all.

Interval details
Time       pNorm    IF            VI            Mi @ mph             rpm/HR
1:01         149          (.677)      1.07         19.8 @ 19.2            82/139
1:00         154          (.702)      1.05         18.0 @ 17.9            86/135
0:56         160          (.726)      1.03         14.8 @ 15.7            84/138
1:00         157          (.712)      1.1           18.0 @ 17.9            83/143
0:55         155          (.706)      1.02         17.9 @ 19.3            88/142
1:00         151          (.687)      1.04         13.9 @ 14.0            81/143
0:39         146          (.664)      1.1           9.7 @ 14.6              83/143

Bike Avg   154          (.698)      1.06         112 @ 17.0             84/140                     TSS 318.9

T2           5:49 – After T2 place: 1457 OA, 94 AG (passed 32 OA, 10 AG)
Not as busy as T1. Socks, Asics (slip-on), dark sunglasses, hat, Gux3 in pocket, guzzle 16 oz Infinit (200 cal), volunteer applied sunscreen, pee in trough and I’m off.

Run        4:17:51 – Final place 1053 OA, 65 AG (passed 404 OA, 29 AG)
                                Total passed Swim to Finish: 924 Overall; 90 in M50-54

Started with a hat on and my shoulders were already feeling burned. Looking for a stupid easy pace of 9:30 to 9:45 but couldn’t get there on the 1 mile downhill. Was able to settle in by mile 2 near 9:20 and made the decision to base my max pace on HR as the limiter, keeping it below 148 thru mile 6 and would walk about 30” per mile or more as needed. I walked all aid stations except the last, power-walk the big hills, and walked 15 to 30” between. I was being flexible with the walks. Sometimes it was 15 seconds at half mile intervals, other times I saved it for an incline or aid station. I never let my pace get below 9:00 (except the first mile by stupidity). I tossed the hat after a few miles – too hot with it on.

From mile 7 to 18 I kept my pace in the 9:15 to 9:45 range, slowing down as needed to keep my HR between 148 and 152. Holding pace after 18 was very hard but HR forced me to slow into the 10:30 to 11:20 range. I spent a lot of time running with my eyes closed, listening to the feet ahead of me or behind me. Part of why I needed to push was I couldn’t do simple math and figure out if I could make my 7:xx deadline, so I had to push. I tried to count bodies after mile 18 but it was too hard. Managed to get to 100 between 18 and 22 then gave up and just ran (eyes closed).

Carnage was everywhere – I saw some sitting or lying on the roadside with cramps and spasms. Several were being addressed by EMT’s. Watching other’s body language deteriorate rapidly, resulting in sudden eruptions of projectile vomit. My GI status was fine most of the run although I did have to be cautious for about 30 minutes. I pounded the water at every aid station, twice tried Coke (tolerable but not good) and once the broth (second sip almost came back). Basically I stuck to my normal Gu plan – 1 every 4 – 6 miles (5, 9, 14, 18, & 22). 

One of the coolest things was having all the EN kits out there. I was waving and high fiving left and right. Dace C, Pete J, Henry S, Bill F, Jim D, Martin J, Grant S, Bill M, Henry C, and a few others I think. While I did see a few with some minor distress, it was nothing compared to the general population out there. It was clear to me that we, as a team, were in much better shape that most of the runners I saw.

Coming into the Oval I was surprised to see some family right at the entrance. It was so awesome to run along the wall, hand out and high fiving all the way around the final turn. Looking up I was amazed at the time – 12:39:xx I was ecstatic! Not only did I make all 3 of my goals, I was going to beat my goal time by over 5 minutes – and I was thinking that goal was a stretch.

Need to fix/change
Add sunscreen in T1, no hat unless it is raining

What worked well – do again
Swim goggles under the cap, Infinit in the Speedfill, separate glasses for bike and run, Infinit performance mix for T1 & T2 for use as needed in transition, normal Gu strategy (marathons), getting off the bike to pee and stretch.

This is definitely something I will do again, likely several more times – it was just that great. I had next to no soreness after the race, or during the ensuing days. I attribute that to the superior training plans developed by RnP that provide a tremendous fitness base. Secondly, the race execution protocols we use help prevent major blunders but are flexible enough to allow a smart athlete to stretch just a little and know that they will be reasonably safe in doing so (provided you have the run fitness to back it up). And thirdly, the collective wisdom of the team that can answer any question about any topic pertinent to long course triathlons.  Notable mention has to go out to the vast knowledge base of the Wiki and to the supportive camaraderie that exist not only online in the forums but extends to race venues and on the course. 

I think had I gone another route and not joined Endurance Nation, I would have suffered tremendously if I was even able to finish in under 17 hours. That is no joke. The peaceful calm I had leading up to the race is something I have never experienced before. I owe it all to Coach Patrick, Coach Rich and the entire EN Team. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Next up, firewood, a short camping trip, some hiking in Baxter State Park, and another Cape Cod wedding. Next year I may look for a few HIMs and Olys to do. Be lots of fun to do a few as doubles or maybe a TTT….. Who knows… For now I need to lay low and find some quiet time.

Tuesday, July 19

Race Plan and Finish Time Predictions

Yes I’m still here.  Been training like mad since Boston.  So much so that I really have not had the time or energy do any blog updates till now.   Over the past 12 weeks my training weeks have consumed anywhere from 10 hours per week to as much as 20 during the LP training camp in June.  For the past several weeks I have been teetering on the edge of fatigue and overtraining.  Fortunately I suffered no injuries and my fatigue level has subsided considerably.  By race day I should be fully rested and at 100%.

The big day is fast approaching and one of the last things I needed to do as part of my race prep was develop a race plan.  That is what this post is about.   My first version was very conservative and overestimated split times.  That was the one I posted to the team last week.  Well since then I reconsidered my plan and decided I should revise it to accurately reflect my true expectations.  Yes they are still reasonable and based on actually training times that I know I can reproduce.  Whether I can reproduce them all in 1 day, the day that matters, is yet to be seen.  The point is, I am confident that the plan below is possible; I just need to be smart about pacing and overall execution.  If I get the execution right, I should be very close to my predictions.  Do the stupid things anywhere and everything after that will suffer – especially me!

So, here it is.  My race plan for Ironman Lake Placid 2011

(1) Finish first IM in daylight
(2) Run the full marathon.
(3) Finish sub 13 hours

Age: 53; height: 5’ 10”; race weight: 153.   
Swim pace (pool) 1:42, long OWS pace 2:12. 
FTP = 220 @ 3.1w/Kg.
vDot = 46; T pace 7:20

Saturday afternoon meal: broiled tuna with stir-fry and pasta.  Bedtime @ 9 PM. 
Morning meal:  PB&J and Infinite Run mix @ 4 AM.  Follow with 16 – 24 oz coffee. 
Drink 20 oz Infinite Run mix en route to swim start.

T0:      EN tri kit, Garmin 310, HRM, Orca Equip wetsuit, AquaSphere Kayenne goggles, ear plugs, cap

Swim: Anticipate 1:25 @ 2:00; (1:30 @ 2:12)

            Stand near the shore in front of the shore crowd and start just before the cannon.
Get into a soft spot behind the blender and deal with it.

T1:      Shimano T31 shoes, no socks; helmet; Tifosi Vogel glasses; bib #; 20 oz Infinite Run mix.

Bike:  Goal is 70% of 220w; Anticipate 6:40 @ 16.8 mph; (7:00 @ 16.0 mph). 

Ride first gear @ 146w thru Keene and half way to Jay. 
Ride second gear @ 154w after that except for long climbs @ 162w. 
Avoid time above 170w.

Nutrition is Infinite in Speedfill on the down tube, refill at BSN. 
Bike mix is 300 cal with 380 mg NA per serving; 3.5 hours per fill. 
Hydration will be in the seat tube cage and replaced at aid stations.

Nutrition: Take 5 sips every 15 minutes (70 cal)
Hydration: 48 oz on the first lap then 64 oz second lap. If temp > 80, more water both laps.
Recently added a Salt Stick as a tool of last resort if things go terribly wrong

T2: Asics 2140, socks, Solar Comfort sunglasses, 6 Gu in bag, 20 oz Infinite Run mix, hat?

Run:   Anticipate 4:00 @ 9:10; (4:30 @ 10:20)

            Target 9:30 to 9:40 for the first 6 miles (EP + 30). 
From mile 6 to 18 plan to hold EP –acceptable range will be 8:50 to 9:10. 
Walk 30 steps at each aid station, take water, supplement with Perform and Coke. 
Gu on 40 minute interval (~4.5 miles)

Rock Star

            Rock Star finish is a ‘Best Possible’ finish and is very much a long shot
            Goal finish is where I believe I can at the end of the day