Thursday, August 6, 2015

Ironman Lake Placid - Pre-Race Days

Pre-Race Wednesday and Thursday
By race week I had gotten over my nerves and was starting to feel better after a week of being sick. I was at this point strangely calm leading up to IMLP. All the work was done and I knew I was well prepared. There was nothing left to do but race my race. Picked up Cid from the airport, grabbed some last minute goodies from the store and had lunch with Kelly. It was so nice to sit and get some last minute tips from her – although the only question I could think to ask was what does it feel like after you finish?!? For some reason that, and not the race itself, was my biggest fear.

Thursday morning came and I could not wait to pack up the car and hit the road for my favorite vacation spot in NY. Lake Placid has always been a special place but over the last few years it has definitely occupied a bigger space in my heart as we watched friends become Ironmen there and made some really special memories in a house full of like minded people. After an uneventful drive (except for nearly running into Mark and Emily and then missing them completely!) we finally arrived at the place we would call home for the next 7 days. It was no Taj Mahal (our LP house from the years prior) but the price was right and it had plenty of bathrooms!

Cid and I getting ready to hit the road
We quickly unpacked the car and walked into town to officially check-in and get our race swag! The process was pretty quick and easy, signed our lives away to the WTC, got weighed, race bands on (the guy who did mine said it mace us engaged and meant I had to race!) and picked up our gear bags. We then headed down to the merch tent to get our backpacks (nice work, WTC) where of course I had to buy the name t-shirt. Unfortunately by then it had started to rain so we grabbed some food for Cid and headed back to the house. Back at the house we unpacked some more and made a quick dinner. I went for a quick shakeout run around the lake and spent some time at the beach with Emily. It was just a small core group of us for the first night and it was so nice!

Friday morning we relaxed before heading out for a quick ride to make sure the bikes were working.  With everything in order (after having Mark double check it for me!), we headed down to check out the expo. I got to meet Mike Reilly and tell him it was all his fault that I was racing and get a quick picture with him.
With the voice of Ironman!
After that the expo quickly went downhill for me. Too much nervous energy and people selling things I didn’t want to think I needed for the race! I grabbed a bagel and headed down to the beach to sit in the shade and relax by looking out over beautiful Mirror Lake. Eventually Emily met me down there and we donned our wetsuits for a final swim. We swam stroke for stroke for a loop of the swim course. Then it was time to relax and pack all the bags! Our house had started to fill up and my parents were on their way to town, so after a dinner of lasagna, I joined my parents and sister for a walk into town to get a breather from the craziness. Friday night it was early to bed after my dad and sister played a quick game of flip cup with my friends!

Post swim with Emily
Saturday – T-1 Day!
Saturday morning I was up without an alarm a little earlier than I would have liked, but oh well. At this point Rachel and Michael had arrived so I met my mom and sisters in town for a big breakfast at the Creperie of eggs, toast and a crepe (plus the pancake that Eric had made me in the am!).

Biting the head off of the M-dot pancake! 
I quickly made my way to the Oval and dropped my bags and bike off, and was able to get a tour of transition from an awesome volunteer. After everything was set, I sat in on an athlete meeting before heading back to the house to get out of the sun and away from all the nervous energy down at the oval. I spent the rest of the day parked on the couch in the living room with my feet up reading a book!
Heading to bike check in!
Before I knew it it was time to get ready for dinner. I figured I would want to eat at home but when I realized my whole family was finally going to be together for the first time since Thanksgiving I threw pre-race superstition to the wind and decided a nice family dinner was the best way to spend the night before the race. Plus, I figured that since I’d eaten out the night before plenty of successful races that this one would be no different. We managed to get a table at the Boathouse, and had the whole bottom deck to ourselves! We felt like we were sitting right on top of the water, and had a perfect view of the swim start!

Unfortunately, while we were waiting for our food, my brother noticed a small fire starting in one of the apartments above main street across the lake. We couldn’t take out eyes off of it as the fire quickly spread to the entire top floor and started to threaten the building next door. At that point, I was no longer thinking about my race at all, and pretty much lost my appetite thinking about someone losing their home/business and all of their possessions. It was terrible, but it also served as a really good reminder to put things into perspective.

Our view of the fire from dinner
After we finished up dinner and snapped a few family pics, we met up with my aunt and cousin who had also come up to LP to volunteer and cheer. (Did I mention my family is the best?). We headed back to the house and I quickly said goodnight to everyone and was in bed by 9, with my alarm set for 3:30! 

Race Day...Continue reading here!


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