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Home » Endurance » Triathlons » Ironman » Lake Placid 2011 » The Run

Ironman Lake Placid — The Run

The Run

Loop 1

I eventually got back to town for the very long run. I realized this would not be my BT race, so rather than save 30 seconds in T2, I walked the whole thing while trying to get myself under control. As soon as I reached the end of transition I started jogging. I felt okay — not great but at least I was running. My watch indicated my pace was a hair over eight minutes per mile, which was respectable. I naively thought I might even be able to keep it up.

Myself on the run

I ran the entire way to the turn around on River Road, but on the approach I began to develop a headache. I walked for a stretch after the turn around, since there was no reason to push myself to near passing out with how my race was going. After the next aid station I jogged again but was not feeling great. I intentionally walked the long hill into town but ran again at the top. I developed a headache again and walked the large hill through town. After that incline I could not get started again, and things became really bad. I spit up sports drink, even though I gave that up several hours prior with ten miles left on the bike. My legs were also dead, and I had to take several rests on roadside near turnaround past Mirror Lake. I kept moving forward when I could, but the large crowds could not even help me much.

Loop 2

I struggled ahead, throwing up a couple more times and having to take more breaks from even walking. I could not even jog the large downhill going out of town. The stretch along River Road was the closest I have come to DNFing in a triathlon. I felt horrible, did not care about the race or some finisher’s medal, and just wanted it to be over. “You are in Ironman” be damned. The only thing that kept me going was I did not want to explain a DNF to people back home. If no one else knew about my race or would ask me about it afterwards, I very well may have quit. But not wanting to have to admit defeat kept me going. In the back on my mind was also Ironman Canada, where I also completely blew up on the run (albeit four miles earlier), but regained a second wind and was able to jog again at the end.

My second wind was not forthcoming though as I continued walking. I was reluctant to drink much Ironman Perform, as I had expelled enough of that on the side of the road already. I knew I needed something though, and convinced myself to consume it. I swiped an entire bottle and chugged it between aid stations.

Myself crossing the finish line

A sense of humor was returning, and I could talk with other competitors as well, which seemed like a good omen. Around mile twenty I try jogging again — it was not pretty but I kept it up. My legs found their groove as I solidly jogged. I was still not fast, but it was much better than walking. I again intentionally walked the hill into town, not wanting to push my luck, but was able to start running again at its apex. My pace was relatively quick for my position in the field, and I felt slightly guilty strongly passing people after my very long walk earlier. You need to makeup time whenever you can in a race though.

Checking my watch I knew I would be very close to my Ironman Canada time, but I wanted to break it. This “Goal C” was incentive to keep pushing through the discomfort. I intended to walk up the big hill in town, but upon getting there I kept jogging to see how far I could go, and actually scaled the entire thing. I passed near the oval for the final out and back, and I could taste the finish.


I made the last trek along Mirror Lake back to the oval, giving some high fives and trying to enjoy the finish experience before crossing the line in 13:13. I was tired but did not feel horrible in the finish chute. I got food, a massage, and rest before retrieving my gear and transforming from athlete to spectator. I planted myself around mile twenty-four at the top of the hill in town, to cheer the Ironmans at the back. I stayed there ringing my cow bell until the last runner passed, and I went to the oval to watch them finish. The speed skating oval was packed, with the people cramming the bleachers and filling the hillside. It was quite the midnight party to end a very long day.


The finish line at midnight

The finish line at midnight

Just like Ironman Canada, the wheels started falling off with 10-15 miles left on the bike, and I blew up in marathon, although four miles later this time. I experienced the same puking (even with a different sports drink), same breaks on the side of the road, same headaches, and even took train ride day before. My training volume was less before this Ironman, but it was not lacking. Can I not execute an Ironman race well, or do I just suck at the distance? Ironman Louisville in six weeks might shed some light on the issue.

Swim2.4 miles1:11:25
T1 5:02
Bike112 miles6:05:05
T2 4:02
Run26.2 miles5:48:14
Total140.6 miles13:13:48