This race re-cap is going to start with the night before Ironman Lake Placid. I went out to dinner with Mark, my mom and dad, and my friend Derk. I know that some people get whacky about what they eat the night before a race but I’ve discovered that a good old burger and fries works well for me. We ate at the Dancing Bears restaurant in Lake Placid. We made sure to get there around 5:30 so that I had plenty of time for my dinner to settle and digest before the race in the morning. Dinner was great! Our waitress told me that she was the wetsuit stripper volunteer group leader. She told us how sometimes racers give her team cash tips because after all, they are “strippers!” I thought that was hilarious and such a good idea.
Once we finished dinner we planned to go home so I could rest. As soon as we walked outside we saw smoke. It looked like it was on the edge of Mirror Lake. We quickly got in the car to go check out what was happening. Once we made it to the other side of Mirror Lake we saw how bad the fire was. It was positioned behind a building with difficult access. Firefighters started to show up to battle the fire. It was so sad to watch the building become engulfed in flames. Eventually I was brought back home because I needed to rest. If you want to read more about the fire, click here.
I got into bed at 7:30 and tried to relax. I felt terrible about the fire and felt even worse for worrying about my race when there were people watching their homes and businesses burn. I eventually drifted off to sleep. I remember briefly wondering if the race was going to be altered because of the fire but then I was asleep. I was in a deep sleep for a solid 4-5 hours and then I woke up around 1:30 a.m. to the sound of rain. I tried to fall back asleep but I couldn’t. I was anxious about race day. I checked my phone to see if there was any information about the fire and the race. Ironman’s Facebook stated that the race would go on but a news article stated that the water had to be tested to make sure it was safe for the 2.4 mile swim. I didn’t let that get to me too much but I did wonder if I was going to complete 138.2 miles instead of 140.6.
My alarm officially went off at 4:00 a.m. and I hit snooze until 4:15 a.m. I tried to focus on not being nervous and just focused on getting ready for the day. I got dressed, brushed my teeth and washed my face and somehow choked down a banana and some bagel. I am usually such a wreck before a race that I can’t eat. I was pumped that I conquered that bad habit and got some calories in my body! I had two friends in our house that were racing as well, Elyssa and Cid. Once we were all ready, we headed into town with Mark and some friends.
It was dark out but the rain had stopped which was a huge positive. The house that we rented was on Mirror Lake Drive so we were less than a mile to the start. Once we arrived in town we made our first stop at the run special needs station and then we headed over to the bike special needs station. After our bags were dropped off we made our way to transition.
I gave my swim to bike and bike to run bags one last check to make sure I had everything I needed. Once I checked my bags I headed to my bike. Everything was soaked but I was just happy it wasn’t raining out. I cleaned my chain and applied some chain lube. I filled up the fuselage hydration system on my bike with water. Besides the fuselage hydration system I have two bottles on my bike. One bottle filled with water and one bottle filled with Power Gel. I added my Power Gels, Bonk Breakers, and salt tablets to my fuel storage bag. My last “to do” was to check my tires and to pump them up. Both were still inflated which is always a good thing. I pumped my front and back tired up to 95 PSI per Mark’s instruction. A few other athletes asked to use my pump and I happily let them! Elyssa pumped her tires and we made our way out of transition. On the way out we saw two friends that worked for Ironman and they said they swim was on!
Once we exited transition I realized that I needed my space. I headed towards Matt’s tent and just wanted to zone out. We forgot chairs so Derk gave me his jacket to sit on. I ended up laying down and closing my eyes so I wouldn’t get anxious watching everyone walk by. I decided that it was a good time to read the cards that I received from some special people. The first note came from my husband Mark. The next two notes came from two amazing women, Rachael and Ginger, who I met through Instagram. It was so calming to read everyone’s words of encouragement. I am so glad I had those notes to read! I’m truly blessed to have such amazing people in my life!
The start of the race was inching closer and closer so I decided it was time to put on my wetsuit.I had a few other teammates that were also racing. Once we were all together, Matt pulled us into a huddle and gave us a nice pep talk. I might have become a little emotional at that time. The past 9 months of training came flying into my mind and I was overwhelmed at how far I’d come! Once our huddle was over I rubbed my trusty baby shampoo into my goggles (prevents fogging), put on my swim cap and headed towards the swim start with Elyssa.
Once we got to the swim start area I said my good-byes to my husband, coach, teammates, and friends. Elyssa and I quickly got our goggles wet and started making our way to the front of the swim line.