I had a blast!!! It was a great trip.
Day 1: We left on Wed a.m. at 8:00. I was very sad to leave my family. I have left my kids for a few days before but never without my husband by my side. I was told by many that it was "healthy" but I was still sad to go.
Upon arriving in Lake Placid 6 hrs later, we quickly got settled and headed UP (key word) the road to Mirror Lake. This was our easy day. However, mentally it was tough. We drove on part of the bike route to get to the lake. It was ALL UP HILL!! Several in our group had been there before. But Mike and I were new to the whole thing and we were getting a bit nervous. Was the entire 112 mile course Up hill???
We hit Mirror lake and I was in heaven. It is so clean and clear but that's not the best part! There is a wire buoy line to follow!! You don't have to sight! If you can position yourself well in the race, you can just swim like you swim in a pool and follow the line! I was a happy little fish out there that afternoon. I was still fresh from the easy day we'd had (just driving so far) and I was so excited to be able to swim my regular stroke. After the swim, we did a quick 3 mile run around the lake. That was day 1. Piece of cake. I was having fun with my new friends and feeling just fine.
Day 2: The epic ride. I would be lying if I didn't say I was scared. I had only ever ridden 75.5 miles, once. It was 4 days earlier. I have done some 50 milers this summer but that's a LOT different than 112 miles. Half our group has been training for IM Lake placid This summer. This was their 12th century ride!! It was Nothing for them.
After lots and lots of advice on fueling, I had my bottle all ready with 700 calories for the first 56 miles. That still seems like a Lot. I had Sustained Energy, Carbo pro and HEED mixed together. The weather was iffy. Thunderstorms were in the forecast. We just headed off and hoped for the best.
When we started I could Not wipe the smile off my face. What fun to ride with other people!! I have Always been alone on my rides. Never with one single soul. I was so happy . Our pace was very doable. I was feeling confident.
About 5 miles into the ride the sky opened up. It POURED!!!!!!!!!!! It poured hard and it poured long. We were freezing. The tires from my friends in front of me were spraying in my face. Ok, so that part of riding with others isn't so great.
Then, our coach got a flat. A Staple! Apparently some locals aren't happy with the triathletes that take over their town each year and they sabotage the course with glass and staples! How lame is that!! Ten minutes later, it was my turn! My first flat. I was bummed. Luckily, some of my group stopped and helped me out.
We hammered on. We were wet and cold and had about 80 miles to go! Oh man.
Meanwhile, the hills!! They weren't So bad. We climbed a lot but it wasn't too scary. There were sections that were quite nice to ride too.
After Papa Bear, (one of the big hills) our awesome supporter Nat, appeared with the car. He had piles of jackets, fuel, spare tubes, you name it. He was there and ready. He was on the ride with us at first but turned back during the storm b/c he knew we'd need someone around. He was everywhere out on that course! Thanks Nat. We owe you.
Mile 54.3....oh so close. We had a planned stop at 56 to get new bottles of fuel. But wait Ange. Not so fast! I had another flat! How depressing. We got it fixed and headed on to catch up. I was stuck at 54.3 forever....my computer died. That was a downer. I really wanted to watch my record miles tick away.
The rain stopped and we stopped to refuel. We headed off on lap 2 still soggy but refreshed at the same time. I was in the lead group with 2 men. I wasn't sure if that would last but I just rode on. It was a great lap. If you can call 56 miles a lap that is. We only stopped once. The rain subsided and the sun even popped out a bit. I felt awesome!! Mile 76...new record. Mile 99...100!!! Those poor men I was wiht had to deal with a yelping girl when I hit my first century! We started to discuss how to handle the last few miles of an Ironman Bike leg...that must mean we were near the end. Well let me tell you...we finished after 116.5 miles and I was so so ready! The last few miles were up HUGE hills and my legs were shaking at one point. My knee had started to bother me and I prayed it would be ok. Rolling into Whiteface Chalet after that was sheer bliss. I was SO Proud of myself. But wait, we're not done yet.
Into our running clothes and out for a quick 5 mile run. I actually felt just fine. I was certainly fatigued at the end but I was hanging on with the 2 men and felt strong.
From there, we headed back to Mirror Lake for a 30 minutes swim. I'll admit I was not as zippy as the night before! My arms apparently got used out there in aero for all those hours!
Day 3: My knee was Not good. It was stiff. If I bent down, I couldn't get back up. I wasn't sore othewise but I was concerned about my knee.
We headed out for an easy 20 mile ride to loosen up our legs before our run. I had to really use my left leg to compensate for my knee pain. I wasn't happy about this.
The run started shortly after this. I felt great on the run. The course isn't too bad but there is one loooong hills at mile 12-13 and therefore, at the end. Brutal. I pushed hard for our 13.1 mi run that day and was absolutely friend when I finished. Again, we dove in the lake for a 1.2 mile swim. That was it. All I had left.
I was starving and quite depleted until I got some lunch a while later. After that, I was great. I have not been sore or overly tired since any of it. I am so so excited to conquer Ironman 2009.
I learned so much from my experienced friends. They were all so giving with their knowledge. I loved it.
I was home by 12:00 on SAturday and that felt awesome. My boys were so loving and sweet and it's always wonderful to be in my husbands arms.
Speaking of husband, he just drove in. I completely lost track of time!!! Time to start dinner. Back to reality!!!