Monday, 22 July 2019
Saturday, 30 September 2017
I stayed in the village of Willmington, about 20 minutes drive North of Lake Placid. Hence my worst fear was having car trouble. Friday and Saturday have required activities, so if i'm stuck outside of town, i'm screwed. The motel was a typical room, but cost over $200. For what it cost, a few years ago I got a condo with room for 8 and a full kitchen in Mont Tremblant, so Lake Placid was definitely pricey. Both Madison and Chattanooga had cheap hotels nearby, so for the overall cost, Lake Placid has a problem that way.
My trip last year helped tremendously with navigating the city. I parked every day at the big field on WesValley Road, which is just a 10-minute walk over the hill to the race site at the Olympic oval. Sign-in on Friday was quick. They were concerned that I didn't have a companion to provide race support. This shouldn't be done alone. The drive in from Wilmington was fine on race morning. I even picked up a racer hitch-hiking after his ride dropped him way too far from the start line.
I needed shoes. I brought my typical 4 sets of footwear, but gave one to a hobo whom I picked up on the highway out of Toronto. I sometimes pick up a hitchhiker, who's usually a local without a car, needing a ride to the city. This guy was a professional drifter, making his way to the East coast, with plans on going out west later in the year. I found him on the on-ramp just east of Toronto, and brought him for the 3 hours to Cornwall where I cross the border. Noticing he was just wearing socks, I gave him the shoes off my feet. They were the burner shoes that I meant to wear down to swim start and abandon. when I unpacked, my training runners were missing. The hobo was admiring them, and we might have left them in the parking lot at the gas station, or perhaps he took them too. I don't know. That left me with my race runners, and my slippers. I tried wearing the slippers for the day, but they weren't good for walking, and my plantar fascitis began bothering me. I went to the local Marshalls and bought some cheap sneakers as walk-around shoes. I left them in my morning clothes bag and went barefoot like most everyone else, to swim start.
What Worked Well
- The motel in Wilmington. I considered staying at the cheap Motel in Malone where i stayed last year, an hour away. That's too far. Wilmington at 20 minutes was just far enough. I drove it quickly enough race morning, with no traffic issues when i got to the city. I was able to drive home that night without being too tired. I could even have eaten at McDonalds first, on the way out of town.
- Nutrition. I ate all 4 Clif Bars and all 4 Rice Krispies while on the bike. It was great having them open and ready to go. Fumbling to rip open the on-course food was no good in Wisconsin.
- Riding easy. I should have pushed harder, instead of cutting it so close to bike cut-off. I loved having so much energy coming out of the gate to the run.
- Lots of run training. Nothing like running to improve endurance and power. I should have taken a refresher swim, but overall I wasn't hurt by my lack of swim training. If anything, I could have done more strength training to get my shoulders and back ready for the swim and bike.
- Lists. I packed Wednesday night using a trip list and the triathlon list. Did i miss anything? I meant to bring my bottle belt, but went for a run Wednesday, and it didn't make it into the packed set of stuff. That's about it for the entire event. I loaded my bags Friday night using the triathlon list, and everything that i needed was there when i opened the bag.
- The hitch mounted bike carrier. A year ago I bought a SportRack carrier from a second-hand store. I had to refit the hitch adapter for my 2-inch hitch instead of the 1.5 inch that it came with, but overall has worked great. It is much easier to mount that the octopus rack which i used to use.
- Parking. The field on WesValley road was easy to get to, always had a spot for me, and was really close to the event area.
What didn't work
- No bike computer. My super-easy pace made it risky to make the cut-offs, so it was important to have the computer to measure my distance and figure out my estimated finish.
- My feet. Not sure it it was my shoe choice, or short taper. I could have gone with my customary Asics. Perhaps a set of new Nimbus 2000's, my favourites. I could have eased up further during the week or two before the race. Who knows if either would have helped.
- No breakfast. The McDonalds was closed at 5:30 in the morning. I didn't know where to go for my customary coffee and egg sandwich. All I ate was a granola bar. I drank a Mountain Dew, but that just helped give me that bloated feeling during the swim. With that little food, i had plenty of energy for the swim, but overall missed the coffee and eggs.
- Sleep. I had trouble sleeping the week before, including the evening of the race. I should have gone to the movies. That's worked well to calm my mind. Going to the mountain Saturday to meditate on the race just got me worked up.
- Mountain Dew. It was good to have in Chattanooga, but failed in Lake Placid. When I dumped out the Run Bag, it split the can open and pissed Mountain Dew all over my stuff. Half the can went down okay. At run special needs pickup, i was starting to feel nauceus already, and the fizzy pop was no good for that, so I poured out most of the can.
- Running. I probably could have gone back to my loping run after resting the ankle for a couple blocks. After an hour of walking, I just couldn't pick up the pace to run steady again.
Tuesday, 25 July 2017
|The clock shows time of day at 11:25|
|I'm just going through the gate here. About 2300 in the water already.|
|Me at left, in shirt with white and red swoosh pattern|
|He's got my bike. In five minutes they start taking timing chips|
The weather was perfect. Cool around 20 C in the morning, with the water about the same temperature as the air. Mostly cloudy at first, with more and more sun coming out as the day went on, but still comfortable. Cool again after sunset. Monday it rained all morning. That would have sucked going down those long hills.
Sunday, 5 February 2017
|And we're off|
|On your marks|
|Long kilt over long legs|
|On your marks|
|Thousands came to run|
|Chafing set in about here|
Monday, 3 October 2016
|Blue bike, carrying my blue drink|
How hot was it? I was stopping my bike to pick up other peoples' discarded water bottles to pour it over myself. It's race day in Chattanooga. About 2200 people jumped into the water in the morning. Of that, 26% would not make it to the finish within the time limit. I would manage with just 15 minutes to go before my time ran out.
|Dean and me, on Lookout Mountain high above Chattanooga|
We got to Chattanooga on Thursday and hit the usual tourist locations. We visited Lookout Mountain and Rock City. For my afternoon run on Thursday, I went out around 5 PM. It was ferociously hot in the sun at that time of day. Not a good sign, since I should be freshly off my bike on Sunday at that hour.
Let me put this into perspective. In 2007, the Chicago marathon shut down during the race when temperatures hit the high 80’s. Some of the aid stations were out of water, and medical support was overloaded, so they radioed across the course to get everyone to stop running. In 2012, with projected highs in the high 80’s, the Boston marathon offered participants to forgo running, and come back the next year instead. The Kona Hawaii triathlon, known for its heat, on average is 84 degrees . There, everyone gets 17 hours. Chattanooga on Sunday topped out at 97 degrees, with 80% humidity.
This was more than unusually hot, it was past what other races considered safe. This is Ironman. We were good to go. The forecast was in the nineties. Water temperature was measured at 83, making it just one degrees below the safety limit where wetsuits are forbidden. I’ve trained in warm water with my wetsuit, and ended up overheated and tired. It’s a poor way to start the day. I thought it would make an interesting change to race in just my swimsuit, so I was looking forward to leaving the wetsuit at home.
|Behind me is the second / fourth bridge of the race|
Dean was there, handing out water. He was smiling and happy. I could tell he was having a good time with the other volunteers. Volunteering is more fun than racing, with the camaraderie you get from working together.
|Done it! Dean in the red shirt.|
Thursday, 28 July 2016
|Run Aid Station #3, on River Road|
|Looks better in 3D|
|Me on Mount Marcy. Fitbit says it's 400 floors for the hike.|
|Danger, No swimming|
|Last swimmer gets his own flotilla|
|Sunscreen is spray-on this year|
|Kids building sand castles behind the wetsuit strippers|
|Me at the aid station|
I make it back to town for the last hour of finishers coming in. There's a large set of bleachers, so the crowd is wild. I hear that the race doesn't sell out anymore, with this being one of the more difficult Ironman courses available, but I come back Monday morning anyway, to buy my race entry. I will be back again as a racer in 2017.