Irongirl to Ironman… Volunteering & Cheering!

Due to lack of internet connection in our house in Lake Placid, and the fact that I spent most of my time swimming, biking, running and cheering – I opted out of last Monday’s post. So THIS week, I’m posting double the fun!!

Yes, last week I finally went to go watch (and volunteer at) my first ever full Ironman event. As promised, just being around the event was so inspiring and moving – and even more so due to the crazy weather that hit Lake Placid on Sunday morning! Lake Placid Ironman has been running for 16 consecutive years, and this was the first year that lightning interfered with the race!

The day started out well enough, there was a beautiful sunrise over Mirror Lake, and the athletes were assembling on the beach – it was so great to hang at the T2 team tent for a bit and wish everyone good luck, emotions were running high! The race started with the pro men, pro female and then the rolling start for the age groupers! After watching all the athletes get in the water and the pros start their second loop of the course, we moved down to watch the athletes run to T1. That’s about when all the fun started. We heard the thunder rolling in and shortly after, there was some serious lightning! Being away from the beach, we couldn’t see what was happening but figured there must be a halt to the swim based on the order the athletes were running through. As the storm kept growing in strength and the lightning became more severe, my friends and I went for a bit of cover. There was rumor the race was being stopped, we were soaked, and since the storm didn’t seem to be letting up we headed toward our house.

The house we rented was located 2 blocks off from where the bike course leaves the oval circle and heads down hill to exit Lake Placid and head to Keene. At this point, we realized the race was still going as bikes were heading out midst all the thunder, lightning and POURING rain – however since their was so much chaos and the athletes had a few hours until they would be back we decided to go grab breakfast and dry clothes.

Fast forward to about 10:30 am – I was back out on the course with my T2 group just in time to cheer on my teammates as they finished loop 1 of the bike! Luckily the rain had passed through and the sun was back out. Athletes were smiling and excited to have Loop #1 behind them. After cheering for a while, it was time to head to transition to volunteer! I was in the gear bag area where athletes grab their gear for running, head to the changing tent, and then we rehang their bags with the bike gear while the athletes start their run. This ended up being a great volunteer spot as I was able to see, cheer and encourage all the various Syracuse athletes that I knew before they headed out for their marathon!

My shift ended around 4 – it was back to the house to change to dry clothes again (it rained on and off during the early afternoon) and grab a little dinner – then my friend and I headed back out to cheer for everyone as they finished the marathon. Luckily I got back to the course just in time to see the T2 crew each rock their finishes! After watching everyone finish, my friend C and I decided to head out to the pub to watch and cheer the athletes that were still working on their run segments (and grab a quick drink in the process!). To me, these people that are out there, trying to beat the midnight deadline are the most inspiring – as the last hour approached, we headed back to the finish line for the party as all the spectators cheer in the final athletes. I swear, as an athlete, it would almost be more fun to be one of the final finishers as SO MANY people are cheering them on (although, running out on the course in the dark with limited lighting would not be so fun… I can’t imagine the mind games you must have to play as the sun sets and you know it’s time to just keep pushing to finish!)!

All in all, it was completely inspiring to be at the event (as expected), and I completed my mission for the weekend. I went, I trained, I cheered, I volunteered, and yes… I signed up for next year! I am pumped even though I know this is crazy to give up my next year to prepare for this. Luckily the true training won’t start until January, but I know I just signed up for a huge challenge that will be SO rewarding to finish and yet SO overwhelming to tackle. Luckily, I have built a great support network over the course of these last 6-8 months in Syracuse. Having a coach that I work well with, a team to train with, and other friends and family behind me, rooting me on, means the world! I finally have my bike set, a gym and a schedule I am used to, and I’m ready to go to work!

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Ok, now fast forward through the week, I returned to Syracuse and worked to continue with the training (despite having a bit of a workout hang-over from Lake Placid) and worked to settle back into reality of going to work every day (as compared to my life of just working out and doing whatever I wanted for the past week… I wish life could be like this all the time!!).

Saturday I had a brick on the Caz Tri course – I signed up for the Olympic Triathlon next weekend through the urging of some of my T2 teammates. Saturday was my first time on the Caz course, and this course is hilly! Chard Rd and a few of the other hills really are challenging on the course. Sunday should be interesting to say the least. I’m not really sure how I am going to do since I’m definitely feeling a little burned out, but hopefully I can recover a bit with my mini taper this week!

Finally, on Sunday, the Irongirl event ran in Syracuse for the 6th year straight. This was the event that brought me into the world of triathlon in 2009. So while I have never returned to the IG course to compete, it holds a special place in my heart. I love the fact that the venue gives women a chance to  tackle something that most didn’t know they were capable of! Every year I have had the chance to go back and watch friends take on, and complete their first ever triathlon. It’s amazing to watch the pure joy, cheer, and smiles on everyone’s faces throughout the day.

Volunteering this year as kayak support was especially fun as the swim is the part of triathlon that tends to scare people away from the sport. It was just amazing to see so many women overcoming the fear that they couldn’t complete the swim and making their way to the bike and run! I think that everyone managed to complete the swim, despite a few people being seriously scared and panicked during it! I am just so proud of each and every person that takes on the challenge, overcomes their fears, and accomplishes more than they thought possible!

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It was a great couple of weeks – I’ve really been living triathlon every day – and I feel like my post above barely scratches the surface of everything that happened! I didn’t even get a chance to talk about paddle boarding, blueberry picking, and a whole host of other random happenings – but I guess I’ll have to let the photos below try to fill in some of the things I didn’t talk about above!

 

Week 1

Weekly Workouts//

  • Monday – Yoga – 60 Minutes
  • Tuesday – Endurance Run – 2 hour, 25 minutes – 16 miles
  • Wednesday – 2,000 yard Swim – 400’s
  • Thursday – AM – Bike 1 Hour – 2×10’s – 21 Miles
  • Thursday – PM – Paddle boarding on Saratoga Lake!
  • Friday – AM – 40 minute Base Run – 4.6 Miles
  • Friday – PM – Swim in Mirror Lake – 1.35 Miles
  • Saturday – AM – Bike 1 Loop of the Ironman LP Course – 56 Miles
  • Saturday – PM – Swim in Mirror Lake – 1.2 Miles
  • Sunday – Volunteer & Spectate at Ironman Lake Placid!

Weekly Totals//

  • Swim – 6,000 yards – 1 Hour, 50 Minutes
  • Bike – 76.5 Miles – 4 Hours, 30 Minutes
  • Run – 20.5 Miles – 3 Hours, 10 Minutes
  • Total Time –  9 hours, 30 minutes (plus 3 Hours of Paddle Boarding, and 18 Hours of Spectating and Cheering at IMLP!!)

Week 2

Weekly Workouts// (Recovery Week)

  • Monday – 60 Minute Run – 7 miles in the POURING Rain (so therefore it counts as a swim too?? I skipped my OWS in Mirror Lake)
  • Tuesday –  Bike to Wilmington & Back – 30 Miles – (this is the back climbing section that brings you back into Lake Placid on the IMLP Course!)
  • Wednesday – 50 Minute Base Run – 5.7 Miles
  • Thursday – REST DAY
  • Friday – Power Test – This was just as awful as everyone said it would be….
  • Saturday – Caz Course Brick 2 Hours, 20 Minutes – 30 mile bike, 3.5 mile run
  • Sunday – AM – Kayak volunteer for Irongirl!
  • Sunday – 45 minute trainer ride with intervals

Weekly Totals//

  • Swim – None! (I missed my Mirror Lake Swim)
  • Bike – 46.5 Miles (plus 2 Trainer Rides) – 3 Hours
  • Run – 12.7 Miles – 1 Hour, 50 Minutes
  • Brick – 33.5 Miles – 2 Hours, 20 Minutes
  • Total Time –  7 hours, 10 minutes (plus 4 Hours of Irongirl volunteering action!

Weekly Photo Recap//

My post 16 mile run treat from Rochella! (Bacon maple cupcake – YUM!!!)

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Um, I’m still not very good at packing. Especially when I will be swimming, biking and running… 20140731-103839-38319775.jpg

My baby has new shoes!! First set of race wheels ready to roll! 20140731-103838-38318925.jpg

Finally, finally, finally got to go paddle boarding! Sister Fun-day part 1… (For anyone in the Saratoga area, hit up the Fish Creek Marina!)20140731-103755-38275394.jpg

Paddling back down the creek after hitting up Saratoga Lake! 20140731-103756-38276347.jpg

Blueberry picking! (Sister fun day part 2) 20140731-103711-38231375.jpgFresh blueberries – getting ready to be frozen for future use! 20140731-103709-38229577.jpg

Never tire of this view! I was so lucky to grow up here…

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Country roads, can’t beat them for a run! 20140731-103708-38228701.jpg

Ahh! Mirror Lake, I’ve missed you! 20140731-103523-38123691.jpg

Friday night sunset swim in Mirror Lake (not the best photo, I think the camera lens was fogged up!) 20140731-103523-38123880.jpg

Saturday morning in LP – heading out for a loop of the course! 20140731-103326-38006376.jpg

The porch of the rental house – I’ve rented the same house for next year – just 3/4th a mile off from the Olympic circle, close, convenient and SUPER nice! 20140731-103524-38124965.jpg

The view behind our rental house in LP. 20140731-103324-38004410.jpg

The calm before the storm… transition the night before the race. All the bikes are racked and ready! 20140731-103522-38122640.jpg

A few beverages with a few people from the CNY crew at the Lake Placid Pub the night prior to the race!

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Our awesome house! Beers and s’mores the night before Ironman (next year, my night prior will definitely NOT be this much fun…)

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Tanya rocking her first loop – and a crazy exposure on my picture! 20140731-103521-38121855.jpg

A view from near the Olympic Circle… so beautiful!! 20140731-103433-38073032.jpg

Gear Bags… so MANY gear bags! (Glad I volunteered here to see the chaos and so I know what to expect next year – transition is SO different than a “normal” triathlon…) 20140731-103432-38072179.jpg

Heather getting ready to enter the Olympic oval to finish! 20140731-103430-38070419.jpg

Ice cream while spectating…. another thing I won’t be enjoying next year! 20140731-103431-38071286.jpg

Tanya finishing up!! 20140731-103429-38069545.jpg

The finish line in LP – nearing the midnight hour! 20140731-103326-38006180.jpg

Eek! Here we go….! 20140731-103325-38005225.jpg

In the convention center… love this giant mobile! 20140731-103323-38003507.jpg

As seen on my ride Tuesday morning when I biked the back half of the course. I have a whole year of believing ahead!

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Yeah…. so the race calendar just got more interesting. Nothing like signing up for a Full and a Half in the same week!

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Nuun Energy, please work some magic! 20140805-203140-73900635.jpg

Bro, do you even workout? … Just hanging at Middle Ages Brewing.

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My view at Irongirl Sunday morning from the kayak.

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Post-race, finally was able to plant my garden… since the garage was finally painted last week – not too optimistic that I’ll actually get much from these plants, but I did have 3 tomatoes and there are a handful of cucumbers and peppers growing!

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