Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ironman Lake Placid 2011

Ironman Lake Placid 2011

My Ironman journey began 13 years ago when I was a Team in Training run/walker in 1998. I remember thinking to myself, "I would love to do that race some day." The day finally arrived on July 24, 2011.

The Swim-2.4 mile

I know people have written about how awesome Lake Mirror is, but seriously it is the best place I've ever swam in open water. You might be wondering, "were you in the blender mix of people during the swim?" Uh....Cough.....HELL NO! I was worried about having a panic attack during the swim portion, all the touching, pulling, tugging, etc. I stayed in the back and when the gun went off I waited a couple of minutes to watch the fray leave and let the crowd of swimmers go ahead. I remember some older gentlemen say to me, "stay with us-you'll have a great swim if you just wait." Thanks guys, I did!

When I stayed out of the fray and swam wide away from the buoys I was able to get a nice stride and was barely touched. I remember at one point finding a guy that had the same stride as mine and stayed right behind him. If I felt his kicking bubbles right in front of my face and my finger tips barely at the back of this feet I knew I was on the right path and kept my face down. The first loop was a little tricky to navigate and I didn't entirely feel comfortable but I felt so much better and swam faster on the second loop and was even able to hug the buoy line so I could keep my face down the entire time.


Bike-112 miles

When training for Ironman my bike suffered the most. Unfortunately I missed several key rides and I didn't have the miles on my legs like I should have. So going into the hills of Lake Placid I was intimidated. My coach wanted me to go slow...slow...slow and if I felt good, to slow down even more. This was to save me for the run and NOT make it a miserable experience. When I was training, a group of us went to Mountains of Misery. The course is insanity and I only did 62 miles of this ride but it totally taught me a valuable lesson about climbing and helped me mentally when tackling the logistics of Lake Placid.

The bike course is two loops and when going into it I was prepared to go slow and suffer a little. Other than normal aches and pains, I felt the first loop went well and wanted to get the second loop over with. I started to feel a little tired during the second loop and the mental monster had to be talked out of my head. I remember a IM veteran saying to me earlier in the week, "you're gonna love to get rid of that bike at the end of the 112...." ELATED! Love my Red Rover Fuji but I was ready to throw that bike to anyone that would take it.



The Run-26.2 miles

-The run consists of two loops and when I got off that bike and transitioned in the run (3:37), my game plan was to run at a comfortable pace and walk the aid stations. I was so relieved to get off that bike that the 26.2 miles seemed like a welcome relief. I started out slow and felt really good, I even talked and cheered people on at the first loop of the marathon. When I hit the 13.1 mark my body started to feel like I was coming down with the flu. I felt achy from my neck to my feet, my stomach felt fine but every part of my body started feeling like I was coming down with a serious infection. I started to not feel my feet anymore and started walking more and more and more......I started to walk the hills and the aid stations, when I start back into town on the second loop I knew my IRONMAN journey was about to be over.......

Remember when......

~You couldn't wait to wake up on Christmas morning...
~You actually caught the icecream man when you thought there was no chance...
~The boy that you liked in school actually smiled back...
~You climbed the highest tree when no other girl in the neighborhood could...
~Picking the cutest puppy in the litter..
~Getting THAT bike on your birthday you begged for for 6 months..
~Giving birth to your children..

Yeah, it felt like that!

Run Time -5:17:36

Thanks to the following people

  • My Children-Emily and Jay
Long training days....nights. Thank you for being patient when Mom had to "go for a run," "I have a long bike ride," or "I need to swim this morning." Seriously, my children were a rock solid support system for me. I appreciate their love, support, and patience with their IronMom. Thanks to Jaybird for riding behind me on all those long runs, I loved looking over and seeing your smiling face or hearing you say, "Mom drink!"

  • Keith Alston
I didn't start out my journey with a training partner but slowly acclimated myself to training with a partner. I found the best! Swimming, Running, Biking. Thank you for leading me in the direction of Red Hammer Racing and Stroke Focus. Thank you for standing by my side and pushing me when I was lacking and encouraging me when I felt I didn't know if I had enough....your support means the world to me.

1:25:38....nuff said...

WE did it Coach!


All my dear friends, family, and clients....thanks for putting up with me this long year! I appreciate all your comments, hugs, and words of encouragement.

Here is the sappy video link:


Travis Owney said...

Shannon, you rock. You are truly an inspiration and a hero!

JayRo said...

How satisfied you must feel to have reached such a nearly life-long goal! I'm so very proud of you and your kiddos for all you've worked through and accomplished together! You never cease to amaze me with your fitness, dedication, and humor!
love you much,

teacherwoman said...

Congratulations on a such a wonderful accomplishment that many people will never experience! You are a rockstar, girl!

MarkW said...

I've done Mts of Misery 6 times. Believe me, even if you did only 62 miles of it, you got exposure to climbing. I've done Assault on Mt. Mitchell (4x), Mountain Mama (3X) and Blue Ridge Brutal and Mts of Misery is the hardest of them all.


Welcome to the club, Ironman..
You have been such a stranger in blogland, I didn't realize you had done it...

rockfox4 said...

Even though I am far away, just know that I am truly proud of you and what you set your mind to do, and did it! I am inspired by you everyday! I wish I was there this year to cheer you on in person! I am on your hip ALWAYS!!!! so in a way I was kinda with you!

Keith said...

Congratulations! It's a very tough day, but it sounds like you were very smart about pacing. That is totally the secret to getting through an IM in one piece. Enjoy how it feels.

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Congrats, Ironman

Carolina John said...

Congratulations on completing your first Ironman! It's a very serious accomplishment. IMFL will be my first - only a few months away.

Wes said...

hello stranger :-) Congratulations on finishing Ironman! That's a huge accomplishment. I haven't been brave enough to try a course like Placid, but you went and did it on your first IM. Booyah!

Congratulations, and welcome to the club. Only 0.01% of 0.01% is worth of the title Ironman!


RockStarTri said...

Just lost my comment.....

Congrats. I was there and it was an epic day for many including, I'm guessing, you.

Well done.

Lisa said...

Very cool. Good job, lady!

pay per head bookmaking said...

Congratulation for your Ironman. There are a lot of people that they can do it. I am one of those. I think that I can't complete even the swimming part.

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