Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ironman Lake Placid - the hanging out report

I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I left Caratunk Friday after work.  I was heading out alone to a place where I really didn't know anyone, to check out something I was thinking about maybe trying to do one day. 

I had to cross Lake Champlain to get to Lake Placid.  Once off the ferry, it didn't take me too long to figure out I was getting close because I saw droves of bikers heading in every direction. The closer I got to town, the more people I saw, and I started to see folks out running, along with a seemingly endless stream of bikers.

I cruised through town and checked out Mirror Lake and could see people out there swimming.  There were literally active people everywhere - I was so excited.  I couldn't wait to get out of my truck and onto my bike.  I parked at the ski jump, got changed and hopped on my bike.   
That tall thing is the ski jump. 

It was an awesome 50 mile ride despite the flat I got on the way back.  I talked to a whole lot of people and it was fun to be on the road with so many other bikers.  I did an out and back on the course instead of the race loop because I had decided I DEFINITELY wasn't going to sign up for IMLP 2011, so I really didn't need to preview the course. 
(Random thought #1).  Every time I passed or was passed by a woman, she smelled really good (this happened more than once).  It was like passing by a puff of perfume or something.  After 50 miles, I don't smell good.  I smell like a pigs armpit.  These chicks smell like gardenias. What gives?  
(Random thought #2) I am not against bib shorts, but I am against wearing bibs with no shirt.  That is just wrong.
After the ride, I headed over to my campsite and took a shower (to get the pigs armpit smell off), then headed back to town.
My campsite was pretty cool. 

I was pretty psyched to meet up with Jon from SwiCycloRun and Wally from Beginner Triathlete at the Lake Placid Brewery.  Two super duper awesome guys, I am so happy I got to hang out with them.  We grabbed dinner, beers, and ice cream, then we were all pretty wiped out so we all went our separate ways.

Wally and Jon at the Brew Pub

Before I went to bed I decided that I probably was going to sign up for next year.

Race Day
Since the roads were going to be closed most of the day, I rode my bike into town.  The excitement was palpable.  It got so crowded as I got to the race start area that I eventually had to walk my bike and park it (ehem...stash it in the woods behind some tri-club's tent until I bought a lock.  We don't need locks in Caratunk, there are 60 of us.  If someone steals my bike I am going to see them riding it.)

Before the start of the swim, I watched the divers going into the water.  I knew they were there for safety, especially at the turn buoys where things could start to...pile up.

Huh.  What are those guys for?

I talked to a bunch of folks who were also going to Timberman, which was pretty neat.  For once, my lifestyle was the norm, not the exception.

The swim start was probably one of the most exciting things I have ever seen.   The hair on my arms was standing on end, I was so excited.  The gun went off and all of a sudden Mirror Lake became one churning mass of bodies.
The blender.
I decided right then and there that I definitely wasn't going to sign up for next year.

To be honest, the rest of the day was kind of a blur.  I watched a good part of the swim, ran over to watch the pro's bike out (saw pro Charisa Wernick bike out), and spent time running back and forth between the age groupers coming out of the water and hopping on the bike.
The bike out looked scary to me. 

I was lucky enough to meet Joe from Rock Star Tri in my running too and fro.  He and his wife are wesome people, I am so happy we got to talk.  I told him that I was on the fence about signing up for next year.  As I look back on it now, I think he was pretty sure I was going to sign up.   

I found Jon again and we decided to find Alexa from Just Keep Swimming.  I had seen her at the bike out and Jon had seen her on the first loop of the bike.  It was fun looking for her, and we saw her come in on the bike from the second loop and hollered our heads off.  We got to the run out as fast as we could and caught her again, hollering our heads off for her again.  

I think we freaked her out a little.  

Alexa if you are still reading my blog, I am not a weirdo stalker. It was just cool to have someone I recognized kicking butt at IMLP.  

I headed off for my volunteer shift, and on the way took a seat to watch some of the runners go by.  I saw Bryan from Training Payne finishing out of his first run loop around 3:00-3:30 and hollered and cheered for him.  I thought to myself, if he keeps this pace up, he is going to Kona.

Volunteering was a blast - I don't have much to say about it except it was an awesome experience and it was great fun helping folks out.  I worked with some awesome people and met some more Timberman folks.  I had ridden my bike there and was about mid-way between my campsite and town.  I decided to head to the campsite even though I felt the pull of going the finish line to cheer people on one more time. 

The Morning After
I got up and decided I was heading home, not signing up for next year.

I drove out of the campsite and got here:
Taking a right meant heading home.  Taking a left meant I was signing up.  I sat there for 10 minutes.  Then I realized, I want this.  I have wanted this for years.  I have this in me, without question.  Why put it off another year just because you are scared or intimidated or whatever.  Scared isn't a reason not to so something, that is what I have always said - and I have to live by that.

I (as you know) took a left....and took the plunge....I stood in a mile long line for 4 hours with a bunch of awesome folks...And am psyched to say I will be jumping into Mirror Lake at IMLP 2011 with 2999 of my closest friends!

And I don't want to forget to congratulate the people I stalked! 


Emz said...

okay the best total report ever.

Did you take that top photo?!?!? It is AMAZING!! I must see an ironman in person one day!

DRog said...

Great report, great story, great pics! I love the T in the road decision time! Really excited for you! I loved your rationalization to sign up and overcome any fear...and that you "have this in you"

You do, without question.


Lucas R. Tucker said...

Love the report, glad you are going for it! "I decided right then and there that I definitely wasn't going to sign up for next year" I actualy laughed out loud. volunteering is fun, before I ever ever thought about training for a tri I was a volunteer on the water for a swim section (I am a swift water technician and diver)

Response to random thought 1- there was one woman on my ride monday and noticed that too...smelled way too good to be exercising, even after we were done.

Jon said...

You never mentioned the T in the road! I thought you were committed the entire time! haha!

Glad you took a left!

I am still high! Are you?

Patrick Mahoney said...

That's a great post. Glad you took the left...

KC (my 140 point 6 mile journey) said...

I just love this post! It made me smile. You sure as hell can do an IM, no doubt about it. You have that winning attitude in you. I'm so jealous of Jon b/c he got to meet you. I will too one day!
Your random 1 thought made me laugh b/c when j-man and i were riding on sunday, out of the blue, he says, you smell really good. He's never said that before so i wonder if i smell like a pigs armpit all the other times?

RockStarTri said...

It was great to meet you. I thought it was 50/50 on you signing up though. Looking forward to following your iron adventure!

Regina said...

I have never had the pleasure of smelling a pig's armpit, huh. And you are right, bib shorts with no shirt, blech, so wrong. Makes me think of that awful Borat image in the neon bib short thingy. I think I am brain damaged now.

Glad you took the left! (and that you knew which way was left..he he.). Sounds like it was a great time. Makes me want to WATCH an IM.

Alexa said...

I do follow your blog and Jon's blog as well and I SAW YOU GUYS! and I heard you yell (I think when I was running) but in the moment I just thought you were 2 random people that were reading my name off of my bib, but then I heard you tell Jon that I looked like I had no idea who you were, and then like 20 mins later I figured it out :) seriously it's nuts out there as an athlete with 20 million people yelling and I was SOOOO out of it. but thank you guys so much for cheering for me!!!

AM! said...

Love this volunteer race re-cap.
And Heck! ya can holler/'stalk' me all ya want if you're ever at a race where I'm racing!

nice job to all the peeps racing out there. and i really do want to volunteer for a big race too.

Kat said...

YES!! ALWAYS turn left!!

I'm excited for you - great read, too!

The Green Girl said...

Awesome, volunteering rules! I'm glad you had such a good time, girl.

Matty O said...

What an awesomely well written post. Seriously, I was captivated and want to sign up now HAHA!

You should have joined B for those beers he has been promising for weeks now!

Not going to lie, I have been on farms before and have smelled pigs... not necessarily their armpits, but girl, that smell is a visual I never need to see/smell HAHA!

Agree though, I have this weird thing, I hate smelling people when I run or bike. So every time I pass someone I hold my breath... dead serious, it drives me nuts to smell perfume on the trails, I want to vomit!

Loved the post... you tell a mean story :)

Maria said...

I love stories with happy endings!!
I'm so excited for you, it sounds like you had an awesome time!
Congrats again for signing up!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Your such a triathlete, yes, no, yes, NOO!!, yes, we would have been more surprised if you didnt sign up for it. I am glad you had a great time.

Though I am curious to know how you know what pigs armpits smell like.

Unknown said...

Great post Mandy - your words were jumping off the screen!

So glad you signed up because not only can you do this you can do it well!

KovasP said...

What a great post! Now you have me wanting to sign up, but I am definitely not ready and my family is not ready for the training. One day I'll take that left turn.

GetBackJoJo said...

Yahoo! I was in that line too! What stop were you at on the run? I was at mile 4/17volunteering. You are going to have a great time with this--both the training and race day. Congrats on taking the plunge!


Looks like a nice race. Charisa finished in 10hr 13 min. Sick, isn't it?

Aimee said...

Loved this post! It must have been such an amazing experience! Wow..you signed up! Yay! Congrats! That's so exciting!

RunToTheFinish said...

wow wow wow! I can only imagine the inspiration of seeing and experiencing it all first hand

Velma said...

I am not sure why this made me choke up but it did. I so want to take the turn to an IM! I volunteered at Louisville last year and loved it!

Unknown said...

I loved the race report, and the will she, won't she saga. I knew you'd sign up :)

Why do they smell of Gardenias? I smell like seawater when sweaty, maybe it is the sugar gels they are eating? Weird...

Molly said...

Ha!! You crack me up, so happy for you that you signed up!

I LOVE Lake Placid, like you said, it has such a healthy atmosphere, and being active is the norm.

Glenn Jones said...

Nice way to avoid the "would've could've should've" club!

Bryan Payne said...

M, just catching up on your blog. Great report. I felt like I was there with you. I actually have bib shorts and don't wear them riding. I usually put them on with no shirt on to wrestle with Reid. I look like one of those old school wrestlers. haha

I'm so happy for you and are crazy enough to sign up and suffer at next IMLP. Too bad we didn't hook up. Next year for sure, or I'll hunt you down. haha

Good luck at Timberman, it looks like a great race, maybe I'll be able to get in Next Year.

Oh, and it's not just women that smell like perfume, I wear Channel number 5, it's my first choice for long rides. haha

Click. And thanks for the beer. and the .01 for the matches.


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