Thursday, August 21, 2014

Ironman Lake Placid Part 2: Mother Nature Kicked Ass!

So the Wednesday before the race we were fully settled in and thought some exercise would be in order to loosen up. The day was warm and sunny but quite windy. Our homestead above on Haselton Road.

View of Whiteface from the cottage. The bike goes right by here on the short out n' back in Wilmington.

Sara heading out on her ride. She did one loop of the IM bike course.

I recruited Gramps to take me to the top of the Keene descent so I could try the hill with the new Trek machine.

Just as I was about to leave our friends Mark and Diane Trafford came driving by in their motorhome. They were going to hang with us a couple of days before going to Placid to volunteer for the race. We've known them since 2000 when we met at the Peterborough Triathlon just prior to Ironman Lake Placid 2000 (or IM USA as it was called then). That year we all stayed at the Whiteface KOA - the Traffords with their sons Jordan and Tyler and our crew with kids Jesse and Emily (Logan would not arrive on the scene til late 2003). We've been friends ever since - the nicest people you'd ever meet. We always have a good time with them and we've been through the usual ups and downs with this Ironman Journey. Just last year Mark, Diane and Tyler did IM Lake Placid. Diane crashed out due to an outside rider interefering with the race (see my race report from last year) and I can't wait til she toes the line again to see it through - she will do it!! Mark had a great race and Tyler, in his first IM at 22 (?), killed it with a time of 11:22. How'd you like that?!!!!

Mark - how do you get Diane to stay at attention like that?! After this pic I descended although that's really not the word I'd use. I started down the hill and it was WINDY! I had never ridden there where it was this gusty and it was all I could do to stay upright. Needless to say I was not instilled with confidence. I made it down safely but with white knuckles.

Mark and Diane also did the loop. They confirmed that the wind was brutal so I felt better knowing that I wasn't just anxious.

Gramps goin aero!

Gran and some dork doin the Hang Loose sign.

Ready to swim

Swim start. The swim went well. I stayed out of trouble for the first lap and decided to swim over the cable for the second. That's when the rain started and, boy did it rain! A couple of times I choked from ingesting rain while trying to breathe. When I finished the swim and headed up the beach I heard thunder and saw lightning for the first time. As it turned out this would be the start of Mother Nature's arse-kicking. It was so bad that people who were still swimming were pulled from the water. These athletes had to swim to the closest side of the lake and walk to transition. The race organizers ended up not recording the second lap of the swim and T1 and allowing these athletes to continue. I got to finish my swim no problem which was fortunate. Also I got my bike delivered to me by Mark in transition! Pretty cool. Both Diane and Mark were handing off bikes to the athletes and they were soaked!!

I found this pic online and it was the best one to capture the weather on the first lap of the bike. It rained so hard that it felt like needles hitting. The other part was the wind and the cold. I was layered up but was shivering from the cold. As I started the descent I hydroplaned and the back end of my bike shifted suddenly. I managed to stay upright but the rest of the way down was SLOW! By the time I reached the bottom I was stiff as can be and shivering. I even pee'd on myself (not proud - haha) but this didn't warm me up any.

Check out the sky in the background - gnarly!

Coming into Wilmington on Lap 1 - rigor mortis had already set in

Spectating at its best!

Total inspiration!

Lap 2. The sun came out and it warmed up. Unfortunately my body never responded. I don't do well in the cold, never have. I hoped I would warm up and loosen up - it was not to be.

Gran taking a break. Notice the dark sky in the upper left corner. Storm #2 hit us between Wilmingon and Placid with more hard rain. Hard to believe given the sunshine in the pic above.

Mark and Diane post shower, I mean rain, after volunteering

Here comes Bubba

It's a wonder I can move at all with those tree stumps!

Support crew!

Diane and Logan. Diane, bless her heart, entertained Logan for a couple of hours. He loved it. If you've ever been around someone with Aspergers you'd know that they experience sensory overload. With an Ironman it's sensory overload on steroids. Logan does really well considering but it's still a challenge for him. Diane made his day!

Second lap with roughly 2.5k to go. Logan is showing off his stuffed tiger he got a Critters, his favourite store in the world! We had a good laugh. Even though I was having a tough day I always realize it's just a race and family and friends will always trump that.

Here comes Bubba down the chute.

Happy to be done!! 13:45. I did this race in 11:09 in 2011. Disappointed yes but relieved to have gotten through it safe. I have done Placid 6 times and will not go back for a while, if ever. The weather is iffy at best and I also just need something new. New is generally exciting. I want to be excited about a venue and Placid is just not doing it at this point. Maybe with time away I will start to miss it - who knows. For now it is farewell Placid, perhaps we will meet again.

Next day it was our usual post-race celebration. Lobsters and steak!
We were also celebrating Gran's birthday!! Got enough beer Gran?!

Gramps in heaven! Of course it rained all day.

We woke up the Tuesday to clearer skies. We packed up and headed 1.5 hours south to Lake George where we would be camping the rest of the week (or as Sara calls it "glamping" for glamorous camping). This place was immaculate!

Lake George.

Lots of campfires - love it!

Post race recovery

Prepping the fire

Basking in the glory of a job well done.

Your fire awaits, me Lady!!

Finally here's a shot of the massive pool at the campground. Heated to 82F it was outstanding. Logan and I would ride our bikes the 1k to the pool, swim for 30-40min then ride back everyday. Great post-race exercise and a lot of fun with Logan! Anyway #9 Ironman is in the books. Next up is #10 in Florida this November. Thanks for reading - stay healthy.

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