IM Lake Placid had been on my mind for a while. Although I had tried to not freak myself out too much about it I could not help having it pop into my head every once in a while in the weeks leading into it. Daydreaming, about what it would be like to one day win that race. Well, I still can’t believe that day came and went, and I actually won. Here is a little recap of how it unfolded. Thanks to my friend Jim for the race pictures.
Race morning was a bit cloudy and rainy, although the day would turn out pretty perfectly, some cloud cover, a bit of sun, warm but never cold or hot.
The swim start was smooth, too smooth almost and soon I found myself in the lead, with nobody tapping on my feet to go faster. So I just put my head down and swam, not really sure what was going on behind me.
I ended up exiting the water first, even beating the boys out of transition. It was pretty fun to be leading a race this big overall for a few moments.
Onto the bike, and although the roads were wet the sky was looking fine. It took a few kilometers to get into a rhythm, the hills came and went, and soon I felt like I was flying along the flat stretches. A couple of the pro men went by, and then more empty, long stretches of road, just for me and Scarto (the name of my Cervelo P4). Then a small group of pro men came by, and passed me pretty slowly, so now I had a something to focus on, keeping them in sight. That made the rest of the first loop, and half of the second loop fly by, before I found myself completely solo again, but this time the wind picked up, and made the last uphill 15 km stretch into transition a bit more of a battle. I had seen some of the other girls at the two bike turnarounds, and it looked like I had a fairly good gap, not sure exactly how much, but since things can change by heaps and bounds in an ironman I did not spend too much time thinking about it. I just focused on getting to the end of that bike ride, with some fluid and food in my system, and hopefully a good run in my legs.
Onto the run, not really sure who is in second or third, or how far behind. But at that moment it did not really matter, all I could do was put one foot in front of the other and run, as long and as fast as I could. First 10 km, feeling good, second 10 km, feeling fine, third 10 km ok, it was starting to hurt. Last 10 km-doing crazy math in my head- how many seconds in a minute again? And how long does it take to run a mile and if so how long will the next 3 miles take- wow that sounds like a long time- better not think about that. How about I just look at all the pretty colours of outfits on people running opposite me. How many more aid stations am I going to run trough? If I have Coke at this aid station what should I have at the next one? Wow, my legs hurt, I wonder if they will hurt even more a few kilometers from now?
The last few kilometers the spectators were spectacular, so much energy and cheering, it was amazing. It caught me off guard when as I passed one of the runners he said “congratulations”- it was too good and too early to believe it, so I didn’t, not until I rounded the bend on the speed skating oval where the finish line is, and finally saw the finish line. Unreal!
Wow, I still can’t believe it.
A huge thanks to Team TBB, Brett, Alex, all my super speedy team mates, Avia, Blue Seventy, Cervelo and to anyone and everyone out there cheering, racing or just following along on the web. And to my mom, brother and husband for all the support, before, during and after the race of course.