I was really happy to be back in Lake Placid. You can’t help but feel like a real athlete with all the Olympic surroundings here. This town is also special because it was the first out of town trip I took with my wife when we were dating. It was also where I completed my first Ironman in 2011.
I trained for this one harder than prior Ironman events. I cant say enough about my coach Ray Campeau and CX2 Coaching. I followed his instruction as much as I could but only got in about 70-80% over 6 months of preparation. Thank you Ray Ray, you rock!
The crew at TMB Racing (also run by Ray) is unreal. I can’t thank them enough for their motivation and camaraderie. These guys are super fast. It’s an honor to train and race with them. You guys made Ironman #5 special and unique for me.
Ironman changed the swim start to self seeded waves instead of the chaotic 2,500 person mass start. This resulted in much less traffic and I only got slapped in the face once. I felt awesome coming out of the water in 1:21 without the usual dizziness (should have gone harder). T1 took too long as usual at 9 minutes. I don’t know why I can’t seam to cut this down. A minute less would have proven priceless.
The bike leg was killer (for me). During the 1st of two 56 mile loops I hit 45 MPH on the decent into Keene. I’ve never been at that speed and had to apply the breaks a bit because it felt a bit scary. Got passed by 2 guys who must have doing 55. Insane. The 10 minute climb at approximately mile 35 and 90 is intense. Simply a grueling granny gear torture fest which you have to tackle before the 11 mile uphill back into town. I finished the bike in 6:37 averaging just under 18 MPH which is almost an hour faster from my IMLP ’11 bike time.
I did feel depleted and a bit loopy coming into T2. Seeing Matt from TMB who was volunteering was very welcome. Getting personal concierge service out of bike gear and into run gear was awesome. Thanks Matt!! I was out of T2 in just under 5 and after a very quick high five with Larisa and Steph it was off to the marathon.
My goal was to keep the run just under 9 minute miles and shoot for a sub 4 hour marathon. The plan worked perfectly for the first 5k. I slowed down a bit after that and that’s when the last Cliff bar I had on the bike seamed to have come up and lodge itself against my lungs. It got really hard to breath and the most I could muster was a jog / walk resulting in 13 minute miles retuning into town to complete the first 13 mile loop.
I was pretty down because the chance of a sub 4 marathon and a 1 hour PR was out the window and the thought of walking / jogging another 13 miles in the heat was depressing. The energy of the crowd and the support of the TMB crew at the turn around gave me a second wind. By then the food settled a bit. My legs felt pretty good and I could breath again so I started running again.
It’s documented that basic math is very tough during extreme physical exertion. This proved correct because my math said that all I needed was to run 11 minute miles to break 13 hours. Wrong. I crossed the finish line to my cheering family in 13:01 besting my personal best by 37 minutes and placing 124th of 305 in my age group. Dealing with this legendary tough course in the heat and humidity that the day brought added to the sense of accomplishment.
This could not have been accomplished without the support of my wife who put up with endless weekend and weeknight workouts. There are not enough words to thank her. My kids, family and friends have been an endless source of encouragement. I love you all! Ray, Eve and my TMB team mates deserve an encore plug here. You guys are awesome!
Looking forward to a speedy recovery, to the sunburn to subside and to not waking up for a 100 mile ride on Saturday.
PS: On a sad note there was a pretty intense fire on Saturday night right in the middle of Main Street. Our hearts go out to several families living in apartments above the restaurant where the fire started that lost everything. Thank god no one was hurt. We made donations before leaving on Monday. I’m sure you can google other fund raising sites that have been established. Firefighters that were scheduled to race but couldn’t have been granted free access to next year’s race.