Now that Ironman is over, I’m ready to recap it so that I can write about the amazing experiences I had and share the story with all of you. I am not sure how to put everything that happened into words, but I am surely going to give it a try. So, I am going to break the report up into different parts so it’s not such a long read.
Let’s start from the beginning and first cover the days leading up to the race.
Little Boy Blue and I were lucky to be heading up to Lake Placid on Wednesday to get some relaxing in before the race. My Dad, Step Mom & Brother were camping at The North Pole in Wilmington, so we planned to head up and spend Wednesday afternoon with them having lunch and relaxing. We ate some clams (thanks Dad!), told stories and I began the process of trying to clue them in to what they were in for on Sunday in spectating an Ironman. While we sat at the campsite it rained on and off… We briefly discussed that the weather forecast for Sunday wasn’t good. I decided to maintain a positive attitude that the weather would pass and just not talk about it. Don’t worry, we’ll talk more weather later… Wednesday night the rest of the folks that I was staying with in Placid arrived, so we headed in to unpack the car and meet everyone out for dinner. It was a great dinner with lots of love, laughter and smiles. We headed home, put kiddos to bed and eventually tucked ourselves in as well knowing that we needed to do a number of things on Thursday to get race ready.
My hometown support crew!
Thursday morning started with a short one hour bike ride to spin out the legs and make and final adjustments on our bikes. Within a few hundred yards it was clear that my brakes would need some adjusting, especially with the potential for rainy weather and the need to break on the downhill. I rode with my good friend Lonnie and it was a beautiful morning. We took it easy and just enjoyed the morning and all of the energy out on the race course.
Smiling the day away!
We found this beauty at the run turn around when we were riding!
After finishing the ride, we all showered up and got ourselves together to head into town to check out the expo and go about checking ourselves in for the race. Also known as packet pick up, etc. We went through the process off getting our bib numbers, signing all of the medical waivers and reassigning an emergency contact. We were then weighed and given all of our stickers, bibs, gear bags, etc.
Oh the paperwork!
After that we did wander around the expo a bit before heading back to the townhouse to once again relax. The beauty of having rented a house was that we were able to cook real food and were not forced to go out to eat for every meal. So, we gathered together as a group, ate some ziti that Lonnie had made in advance for us all and spent another night relaxing off our feet.
Friday morning we headed down to Mirror Lake to get our last practice swim in. Again, just keeping the body moving prior to race day. When we woke up it was a balmy 41 degrees in Lake Placid. Fortunately the water temperature was much warmer than that. Brrr! I hopped in the water with several of my training partners and supporters to swim a little 1.2 mile lap around mirror lake. I was reminded how long the swim seems as we essentially swim the entire length of the lake and back again in a lap. I also thought a bit too much about how calm the lake was that morning and how calm it would not be with 2800 athletes on Sunday morning. Ack… Swimming and panicking and lots of arms, legs, etc in my face is certainly not my favorite. So, I tried my best to get out of my own head and just swim.
Just Keep Swimming
Overall it was uneventful and the chilly morning made the coffee afterwards all the better! We ate some food, hung out at the Capital District Triathlon Club tent and chatted about what race day might have in store for us. At this point, my nerves were relatively calm and I will still managing to deny that I would be going 140.6 on Sunday. We continued on with the day ate an early dinner of grilled pizzas with all of our friends and family and headed to bed early. Friday night was an important night for sleep as it’s probably the last good night of sleep most of us would get. I slept like a baby from 9 PM until about 6:30 AM. That’s money in the bank for me because I knew that I would get little to no sleep on Saturday night. Before heading to bed on Friday we also found a local bike mechanic that was able to adjust my bike brakes a bit to eliminate the squealing. Score!
As soon as I got up on Saturday morning I headed to the coffee pot and got ready to pack my gear bags. There’s a lot of organizing and reorganizing that have to happen to get gear for an Ironman ready. On top of that, the weather forecast was still calling for a 75% chance of rain so I had to take that into consideration. I laid out all of my bags on the large dinning room table and went to work.
After organizing and reorganizing each of my bags (swim to bike, bike to run) I put everything inside of a garbage bag, tied it shut and then put it inside of the gear bag. If those bags were going to be sitting out in the rain all day waiting for me to grab them, I wanted to try to make sure that the stuff inside would stay dry until I got there.
Once everything was ready and all marked up with the right numbers we headed down to check in both our gear bags and our bikes. They all have to go in before 3:00 on Saturday and remain there for the night.
Raven racked for the night… ready for her first IM!
Gear Bags All Hung Up
And the kids made some race signs!
After getting everything in for the night, we headed home for yet another early dinner and to rest up for the big dance on Sunday… Oh if only could have rested. Saturday is when the nerves really started to kick in for me as there was no longer any more days between and Ironman Lake Placid. Regardless, I kissed my kiddo and my parents and said goodnight. I was in bed by 8:30 PM with my eyes closed in an attempt to be ready to face the day when the 3:30 AM alarm clock would go off on Sunday.
I went to bed feeling grateful for the journey I’d had thus far. I was overwhelmed by how much love and support I was already feeling in the days leading up to the race. Now to try to calm myself enough to sleep…