Well, I did it – I am an IRONMAN! It was an incredible experience at Ironman Lake Placid – not just the race itself, but the whole entire week. There’s too much to pack into one race recap, so today I’m going to talk a bit about the pre-race lead up. Because it was pure awesomeness each day!
If you want a spoiler alert, I had a fantastic race and had a blast – my finish time was 14:49:07. Even though each leg was slower than I had hoped, I felt strong the whole time, ran the whole run without walking, and felt amazing when I finished.
So back to the Ironman Lake Placid pre-race recap…
I arrived on Wednesday of race week, after a nice long car trip with my daughter and parents. It was fun to sit in the back of the minivan with my daughter and watch movies the whole ride, rather than drive myself (thanks, Dad!). Can you spot the bikes in the back?
We had a room at the Golden Arrow, right on Mirror Lake, and it is truly an awesome place to stay. But I didn’t stay there, despite paying a fortune for the room. My family stayed there and enjoyed a lakeside vacation of beach, kayaking, and convenience to everything, while I escaped and stayed at a house nearby to have a full kitchen, space, and to not share a bed with a tween who is the size of a grownup. I knew I needed rest and time to myself, and they needed to have fun without my pre-race craziness getting in their heads. It was a great decision – the best of both worlds!
We were trained by the American Red Cross to train others to perform Hands-Only CPR (no mouth-to-mouth). It was really cool to empower people to help others in an emergency. Even my 11-year-old daughter was able to not only do the CPR, but to train tons of other people to do it! She’s a “leader” now.
Check out my dad training Mike Reilly, the Voice of IRONMAN, with my daughter standing by:
I had a great experience participating, along with my family and my South Shore Tri Coach friends and highly recommend spending some time at a race to give back and pay it forward.
After the volunteer shift, I went up to the conference center and checked in for the race. There wasn’t a line at the check in at that time, but I used the All World Athlete desk anyhow! Later that would have really come in handy when the check in was busier. I’m “All World Athlete Bronze” this year – top 10% of my age group last year in Ironman events – and may not get that again next year, so I’ll use it the benefits while I have it!
I signed my life away…
It was very well organized and a smooth process.
This year, IRONMAN had a new initiative to encourage people to “Become One”. I even got a special wristband since it was my first full IRONMAN.
After check-in, you have to head to the merch tent at IRONMAN Village to get your backpack/bag. I walked around the expo a bit – I ran into friends at every turn, like my good friend Wiebke!
I stopped by the BASE Performance tent and my daughter made me an inspirational sign for me that BASE put out on the run course. Loved that!
Later, my dad and I rode the run course with our bikes and had a blast!
That evening, we had a BASE Performance team dinner.
It was so fun to socialize with old friends and meet new ones!
On Friday, I had a pretty exciting day. I had been asked to participate in the Pro Panel – a panel discussion with Mike Reilly moderating. Since it was only a male pro race this year, there were 4 male professional triathletes on the panel, along with Shawn Booth from the Bachelorette, and inspirational athlete (and awesome guy) Derek Fitzgerald. And me. I was thinking “one of these things does not belong…!” but proud to have a chance to participate.
I was pretty honored to be sitting on a panel with Andy Potts, someone I’ve admired for a long time. And with the other three pros – amazing athletes, one of whom went on to not only win but set an IRONMAN Lake Placid course record. I was honored to represent the “age group juggler” athletes, as Mike Reilly called me, as well as to be the lone female athlete on the panel.
The pro panel was on Facebook live. If you want to see the whole stream, you can find it here or hopefully this embedded video works:
After the panel, I got my first Andy Potts selfie.
And my daughter wanted a picture with him too!
Actually, before the panel there were a couple of activities – it was a busy day! There was a Women For Tri meetup and I took my daughter. She doesn’t ride a bike, but she is a huge fan of triathlon and loves being a part of the Women For Tri movement. Moira Horan from Women For Tri appointed her the sticker/tattoo distributor, so she went around greeting all the women who showed up and gave them the goodies.
I love connecting with other women doing the race!
And Mike Reilly came to chat with us!
My daughter did the IRONKIDS run, and got to experience the thrill of the finish line!
She did a great job!
Later that evening there was a nice Welcome Ceremony, and then I went to dinner with friends.
Saturday was supposed to be low-key. Stay off your feet, they said… don’t do too much, they said… Do I ever listen?
Well, I tried!
We had an IRONMAN Foundation breakfast, and then went to a team swim at Mirror Lake with the South Shore Tri Coach team.
They’re like a huge family – it was fantastic to have the SSTC support system at Lake Placid!
I truly took it easy in the afternoon – packed up my T1, T2, and Special Needs bags, and tried to stay off my feet.
Dan Giblin, who is a Team IMF Ambassador and was staying at the house, snapped this pic and joked that the ceiling fan above could have taken me out of the race! I’m super klutzy so its a good thing I didn’t fall off the table I was standing on!
Dan and I went up to rack our bikes and check in our transition bags.. That was an exciting moment!
Note to self: don’t voice text your dad that you just “racked” your bike. It comes out as “wrecked” your bike, and your dad might panic!
Dan walked me through transition completely, including pointing out: DON’T TRIP HERE TOMORROW MORNING!
That evening, I had a pre-race meeting with my awesome coach Bob. He gave me fantastic advice, and we talked through race day. I felt pretty good about going into race day after that chat!
So that’s it – a LOT was packed into the pre-race days. And I can’t wait to tell you about IRONMAN Lake Placid race day itself!