Stay patient. Stay smart. Stay Strong. You WILL be an Ironman.
That’s the mantra I’m going to have taped to my bike and written on my hand during Lake Placid. All of these things are going to get me through my 140.6 mile journey. It’s going to be a long day and anything can happen during those 11+ hours of racing. With just 5 weeks of training left the ultimate goal of crossing that finish line, which began more than a year ago, is starting to come to fruition.
The signs in training say I can do this. I’ve completed a 5K swim, a marathon, 3 half marathons, and 2 century rides in preparation. I’ve gotten my ass kicked by my trainers on a weekly basis at the gym. I’ve surpassed all my goals at the Columbia Olympic Triathlon and Rev3 Quassy 70.3, placing first in my AG and setting PRs at each race. In the long run, all these accomplishments are merely training checkpoints to get me through arguably the toughest endurance race out there – Ironman.
They say patience is a virtue. In racing, patience is more than a virtue. It’s the difference between a PR and walking the marathon. It’s the difference between crossing that finish line and DNF’ing. The Ironman Lake Placid course consists of three legs, with each leg being two loops. Swim two 1.2-mile loops in Mirror Lake, bike two 56-mile loops through the Adirondack Mountains, and run two 13.1 mile loops through the town of Lake Placid. My goal is to be consistent, ensuring each loop is roughly the same split. On the swim, I should finish within 1:15, with each loop taking roughly 35-40 minutes. I plan to complete the bike in 6:30. I could finish in 6 hours, but I should be patient and conserve my energy for the run. After all, there’s no point in having a sexy bike split followed by an awful run. My run goal is roughly 3:45, 45 minutes longer than my best open marathon split and very dependent on my bike.
Racing smart involves staying patient. It also involves sticking to your race and nutrition plan and not worrying about those around you. This can be tough, with race day adrenaline and the competitive nature of the sport. The most important thing to stay smart about is pace. Spin up the hills, and work the downhills. Easy on the first loop, push the second loop. I will be wearing my Garmin heart rate monitor, pairing it up with my Forerunner 610. I’ll be watching my HR closely, keeping it under 165 throughout the day. Nutrition, often considered the fourth discipline of triathlon, is vital. At Quassy, I was pretty successful with 800 calories on the bike and 400 on the run. At placid, I plan on taking in 1500 calories on the bike, mainly through semi-solid and solid foods (2 power bars, 3 cliff shot blocks, and 5 gels should do the trick). I also have some Hammer Endurolytes and HEED to keep replenish my electrolytes throughout the day. On the run, I plan to take in 600-800 calories, mainly through Hammer Gels (particularly chocolate and mocha). Each gel = 100 calories, 2 per hour = 800 calories.
Physically strong, yes, but more importantly, mentally and emotionally strong. The past year has been focused on building up my physical strength. The ups and downs throughout the process have helped developed my mental and emotional strength. Mental strength will allow me to achieve anything when my physical strength is gone.
I’m so excited for race day. It’s really just like a really long training day. I’ve been thinking about it all year, and crossing that finish line will be the best feeling ever. It’s a masochist’s dream race. And if you’re not doing anything on July 28th, plop your ass in front of your computer for 17 hours and track me throughout the day at ironmanlive.com.