To start off my family did not want to go to Lake Placid and reminded me of that fact every day of the trip except race day. My kids prefer warm weather and beaches. The cold 45 degree evenings in Lake Placid were not what their idea of fun.
We flew into Albany on Wedensday, 4 Days Pre-Race, and went grocery shopping at a supermarket on the way up to Lake Placid. We arrived in Lake Placid with in plenty of time for me to assemble my bike and figure out what what missing according to the EN Rx. The first thing I noticed was a crack in my Wheelbuilder cover. Not a show stopper but it seems these covers crack every time I ship my bike. It still took me 2 days to figure out my pedals were squeaking and that the left pedal was missing it’s outer bearings and dust cap. Luckily, Planet Bicycle, the local bike shop was prepared the a fix in only 15 minutes. Those guys were impressive.
Saturday before the race I had a breakfast at the Crowne Plaza hotel with a pancake which I have not had in years. I felt stuffed from breakfast. After bike and bag turn in it was SAU time. We also drove to the Bobsled site in town and we all had fun. We then went walking downtown for shopping. I kept worrying about getting my feet up and sought out every chair on Main St while my wife and kids shopped. I also took pictures as they jumped from the 20 foot crane on Main St. I elected not to jump with the race in 24 hours. For lunch I had spinach salad on the lake. Early dinner (4 pm) at the. Black Bear Restruant. I had the Trout with Veggies and got a togo entree Salmon with veggies. Salmon was better than the trout, especially with the hummus I bought at the grocery store. Hummus has become a staple in my diet and my wife kids me about it all the time because she introduced it me when we met. I had never heard of hummus growing up.
Pre Race Nutrition: 0330 2x naked juice, 2 x tbls hummus, 8 oz water, 2 x pkg Gatorade chomps. Due to Garmin button problems I don’t have transition times, just the official reported time.
This was the first time trial start for IMLP. I have been in a few TT start sprint triathlons. My experience there is that people do not accurately seed themselves and this race was no exception. I expected to finish in the low 1 hr so I seeded myself in the 1:01-1:10 coral. 15′ before start 1x pack Sport Beans for nutrition. No time for the long porta-potty lines so wee wee in the wetsuit time. Most of the contact during the swim was around the bouys as Patrick expected. I also had some contact around slower swimmers seeding themselves in the front and on the 2nd loop. Nothing close to recreational water polo from high school so it was no big deal. I did notice that everyone seemed to run faster than me on the beach between lap 1 and 2.
Wet suit strippers were on their job exiting the swim. I had a mild left hamstring cramp exiting the water that went away with mild stretching.
This was slower than I had hoped but hoped to make up some time on the run. Goal TSS: 270w, actual TSS: 279, Goal VI: 1.04, actual VI: 1.06 – for some reason my left plantar fasciitis reoccurred from the first pedal on the bike to the end. This pain was a bit of a distraction but I decided that I would just have to work through it and maybe it would go away. So, I focused on the power meter and nutrition. Keeping my watts down on climbs was not difficult although some competitors commented on how impressed they were with my discipline. It rained early in the 1st loop and slowed descents because I was scared of crashing. Several riders were familiar with the EN riding style but were not wearing EN singlets. For nutrition the ability to chew on Cliff Shots was way more satisfying the gels, but I think the high sugar load or perhaps not enough pre race salt kept me peeing a bit too frequently. I must have peed 6 times during the first half. It seemed as though I had to pee 5 minutes after every swallow of water or sports drink. My legs started to ache 2/10 through most of the bike which I put out of my mind by again focusing on my power meter. I stopped to get more Cliff Shots and Sport Beans at the special needs station. I had a bottle of Scratch but elected to stick with PowerBar Performance and use race course nutrition. The rain stopped on the second loop. About half way through the second half of the bike saddle discomfort saddle set in. At the time I thought the discomfort might be from me peeing so much. But, in retrospect I had saddle during big bike week and big tri weeks without excessive voiding. I also thought about how I would get my new shoes cleaned and that the rust on my pedals was lack of routine cleaning after races. Someone wrote Baby Bear, Mama Bear and Papa Bear on the last climbs of the course which was nice to see – I finally really understood what Patrick was talking about. Rich was also on the course during this section to cheer us on – nice.
Extra time to tape both feet. Changed shorts, socks and took a Cliff Shot pack. In team chatter before the race I recall someone mentioning how nice if felt to run in fresh shorts after the bike. I tried it and completely agree that it is well worth the 45 seconds or so to have fresh smelling shorts. Unfortunately, fresh shorts did not help with left foot arch discomfort, now 6/10, even with tape.
Left foot pain persisted for the first 6 miles which gave me another reason to go slow. By mile 7 the foot pain was gone and I settled into a comfortable race pace. Focusing on technique seemed to help me maintain goal pace (8:20). I walked all aid stations (30 steps as planned) and alternated pretzels – coke and PowerBar Performance – water. Also, I took aTUMS half way through the Marathon from for prevention of GI upset. I took a couple of Sport Beans from my special needs bag. Felt comfortable during most of the second loop but noticed my HR exceeded 170 on a short hill so I walked at the top like Patrick recommended. I also had minor hot spots that will probably be much worse on a hot day. At mile 18 I felt sore but the pain was manageable. In the last 6 miles of the run I had a minor GI twinge so I slowed down for a few steps that helped. I think it may have been on too many bananas that caused the twinge. I was able to run the last hill and have a strong finish.
Post Race Recovery
Patrick and Rich were there at the finish line. They made me feel like a VIP when they took me from the volunteers, helped me find a seat, and brought me pizza and chocolate milk. That was sooo cooool. These guys showed real concern and came through from start to finish.
What Went Well
- My nutrition plan was almost perfect for me. For IM Louisville in 4 weeks I might try add some of the CORE diet recommendations and limit the bananas. I am not so sure about the full strength PBP and will probably dilute it.
- The Run was an outright PR for me and felt like a solid effort, especially for a hilly course. So, I’ll keep doing weekly power hill strides in my training plan.
- The race overall was a 2 hr. PR for hilly course (IM France which had a flat run).
- Changing shorts in T2 was a wonderful idea.
And Not So Well
- My bike FTP sucks. 6:30 for the bike will only get to Kona after 12.
- Foot hot spots on the run.
- Tape both feet before the swim.
- Sorry Lake Placid, but the family wants a warmer venue.