2014 Lake Placid Race Report Series: Edwin Croucher

Edwin Croucher, Ironman Lake Placid Finisher! Yeah, it was a little wet out there.

 

This was my second full triathlon and my second race at Ironman Lake Placid. 2013 was a totally self-coached effort. I read a lot from Joe Friel and tried to gain training knowledge from anywhere and anyone I could.  For reasons I won’t go into, I didn’t start training for IMLP 2013 until May. I was training for the Tupper Lake Tinman at that time. I never really changed my training to increase the volume or duration of my training runs or rides. Last year, I went to the 4 Keys talk and tried to apply those principals to my race.  I didn’t quite “nail” the execution. So, this year I decided much earlier to do IMLP again and I joined Endurance Nation. I completed the November Out-season and followed the EN training plan each step of the way. The results were that my training was significantly more organized and better focused this year.  This year the race had a totally different and added portion; weather. We started the day in the low 50 degree range. It was only 53 degrees when I started the bike and it was raining hard. By the time I got to Keene, I was shivering and could not feel my fingers. I was squeezing every muscle that I was not already using to pedal just to keep warm. I know that I used an awful lot more energy than I was planning on. It didn’t really warm up until mile 70. That was at the start of the TT section and it really felt hot. The temperature peaked at 79 degrees. I was grabbing water at the aid stations and dumping it on my body.  The weather and my nutrition had some large impacts on my run.

Here are the time results for the two races. I improved a bunch.

2013

Metric

2014

Metric

Swim

1:15:55

1:57/100

1:13:07

1:34

T-1

7:39

6:14

Bike

5:59:28

187W, IF .697

6:03:12

180W, IF .672

T-2

5:34

4:43

Run

4:40:33

10:42/Mile

4:19:50

9:55/Mile

Total

12:09:09

11:47:35

So, the easy calculations show I improved 21 minutes on the total. However, I improved in areas that are not as easy to see on the clock.

Swim – 1:13

My swim was better than last year. I really didn’t put any additional effort into that area. I was just stronger and held my pace. I think the biggest improvement in the swim was that I listened to John Withrow and I just swam the line. I did not try to find cleaner water, I just saw the line nearly the entire two laps.

Bike – 6:03

I definitely had a time goal to speed up my transition. I did that and see where I can still decrease the time that I am just sitting and not racing. My bike was just under 4 minutes slower this year. However, last year I did not have to contend with the Viking gods throwing torrents of rain, cold wind along with Lightning and Thunder.  This year, I could not feel my fingers until mile 71. By mile 75, I was overheating. My plan was to never stop at an aid station, but I needed to grab water to pour on my body. That slowed me down.

As for the 1st Key on the bike leg, my execution this year was far better than 2013. 2013 I averaged 200 watts and took 2hrs 48mns for the first loop and 172 watts and took 3hrs 10mns for the second loop.  This year, I averaged 184 watts and took 2hrs 58mns for the first loop and 176 watts and took 3hrs 04mns for the second loop. That is a far more even effort throughout the entire ride.  My heart rate for the ride showed the even effort. Last year I averaged 139 bpm with a high of 160 bpm & a PwHR of 9.1%. This year I averaged 136 bpm with a high of 148 bpm & a PwHR of 3.63%. I really believe that if I had not spent so much energy regulating my body temperature, I would have had an even or negative split. The only real issue I had was emptying my bladder on the bike. I found that very difficult and it also caused me to slow down and lose power. However, everytime that I did slow down, I remembered my box and the line. I was not at mile 18 so I did not try to make up the lost time by riding outside the plan.

When I got off my bike, my intention was for a 2 minute transition. However, the problems I had emptying my bladder needed to be taken care of. I did that and moved on. That was a 4:43 transition which was still nearly a minute faster than 2013.

Run – 4:19

The final leg was the run. I started out running the first 3 miles exactly as I planned. I had the correct pace and walked 20 steps for each mile. The problems with my run began to manifest themselves when I tried to drink my Infinit Jet Fuel. Each time I took a sip my stomach would cramp up. At the first aid station on River road, I was drinking Coke and grabbing ice. I dumped water on me at every aid station and tried to cool down. My 910XT did not pair with my heart rate strap so I have no idea where my heart rate was.

On River Road I realized I would not have enough energy to hold my goal pace and I turned it back. I had to change my time goal to something different. I ran each mile and walked each aid station until mile 24.5 where I did not stop. I kept moving because running was not walking. There were several things that happened during the race that seriously helped me keep moving. I had the “Four Keys” in my head all day. On both the bike and the run course I saw a friend of mine, Rick Smith. He was a training officer in the academy when I started in the State Police and now he is the Troop Commander in charge of all the Troopers everyone saw working for us during the race. When Rick saw that I was racing, he made sure to find me often. I saw him six times and the last time, he came down to the airport just to make sure he would see me.

All along the run course I saw other EN Team members. The smiles and positive words really help. I saw Brent Pilon inside the changing tent during T-2. He headed out a few seconds before me and when I saw him on the course it gave me a great boost. I caught up to him on River Road and for a long while we ran together. He eventually moved ahead of me, but my pace was good enough that I could still see him until the turn around on Mirror Lake Drive. I also saw Steve Ross and knew he was catching me. That was the final piece that helped to keep me moving.

I crossed the line for the second time. I was faster than the year before and this time, it was not just Mike Reilly say “You are an Ironman!” This year to my surprise,   Coach Patrick was there. I want to say the personal attention that Patrick gives is what makes this more than another “social media” group. I know Coach Rich does the same thing at the western races.

Go here to listen to Ed’s interview with Coach Rich

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