I just completed my third full Ironman in Lake Placid. It was by far the hardest course I have done and I am very pleased with the result. I was not sure a few weeks ago if I would even be able to do the race due to intense pain in both my legs that made cycling and running almost unbearable. Going into the event I had decided to try it but would pull out if the pain was too bad. My expectations were very low and just being able to finish was my goal.My race day nutrition was very different this time and I believe it paid off. Breakfast was Two scoops of UCAN mixed with water and hot rice cereal with banana and maple syrup.
The temperature on Race morning was cool, and there was fog on mirror lake making visibility of theOrange and yellow buoys very poor. I was calm and I stayed a good distance from the start line relaxing and stretching until my husband advised me to get into line. Too late…By the time I went down to the beach I could not get into the correct corral for my start, so I had to wait with the 1:30-2:00 hour swimmers. This was a mistake, by the time I entered the water there were arms and legs and shoving that was non-stop for almost the entire swim! I couldn’t wait to get out of the fray, that maybe why my time was quite good: 1:06 and second in my age group.
I ate a UCAN bar and took my time changing into the bike clothes. Then the fun began. This course is either climbing hills or climbing bigger hills. Then there is the Huge descent that scared the daylights out of me. When I hit 60km/hr downhill the brakes went on.
NO GELS, NO Gatorade.
It was hot and hilly, but I felt great. My energy was constant and thank goodness there was almost no pain in the legs. By the time I reached the final three big hills of the second loop I actually was more energized than I have ever been after a long bike ride.
Transition to the run was slow, I felt stiffness in the legs and a bit of pain. I took two bottles of UCAN and salt on my run belt. I was able to run but it was slow. It was painful to bend the legs so I shuffled along for awhile hoping the stiffness would ease, I did just sit for over 6.5 hours on a bike, who wouldn’t be stiff? By 10 km a new pain along my ITB began. I decided that as long as I was moving forward I would be fine. I managed to complete the first loop in almost 2.5 hours. Seeing David at this point was comforting, I stopped to talk and stretch and off I went for another 21km. The pain in the ITB subsided and I slowly made it through the final leg of the ironman. My energy was fine, I stuck with drinking my UCAN, water, salt, bananas and a piece of a cliff bar. I finished feeling strong and energetic.I feel that my nutrition this race made all the difference in my performance and recovery.
It is two days post race and I swam 2.5 km today without any problems.
I would also like to thank my husband who supported me before, during and after the race (even when he had to withdraw due to health issues). Also, My awesome coach Paolina, training partners Erica, Erika and Doug, and the Aurora Second cup group.