30 July 2009

Ironman Lake Placid - DNF Report.

It still pains me to type those three letters.

Lessons learned:
-Don't leave your Garmin on the cradle after it is done charging - it WILL drain the battery once unplugged.
- Don't ride the brakes without pulsing to give the rims a chance to cool down.

I had a GREAT swim - I've been beat up more in Oly starts than Ironman. I started a little to the right of center, 4 rows back. In hindsight, I should have started closer to the buoy line, as I got caught up behind a group of slower people. Came out of the water in 1:14, much slower than I should have, but alas, unscathed. Quick transition, and it was off to the bike.

First loop of the bike was uneventful. After turning my Garmin on in transition only to find the battery had almost died from sitting on the contacts, I decided to leave it off for the first loop. Kat loaned me her Polar, since she thought I was nuts for doing ironman without an HRM. I realized I took the first loop extra slow at 4 hours when I rolled through town, and planned to make up serious time on the second half.

Turned on my Garmin and planned to run it until it died. I went down the first half of the Keene descent barely tapping my brakes. As I began the second part of the descent (shown between the 55-70 mile marks), I was riding about 45mph, which was a bit out of my comfort zone. I hit the very steep section and rode my brakes hard. The brakes started to feel like the wheel was out of true. Suddenly I heard a crazy noise, looked down and saw my tube and about 5 inches of rim tape coming out of my front wheel. After pulling a Fred Flinstone to stop as I skidded down the hill, I had a sigh of relief that the road didn't claim my skin or teeth, and began to pull my front tire off. I burned my hand taking my wheel off, so I let it cool while I pulled my tubes out of my saddle bag. As I took the damaged tube out, I accidentally dropped my wheel on my spare tubes, which melted under the heat from the rim. I was able to flag down the SAG vehicle, who had no 650 stuff to help me out. So, I sat on the side of the road as they pulled away, balling my eyes out because my day was over at 1:15pm. Watched a few other teammates head down the hill, including Kai who seems to only see me in ditches on the side of the road. An ambulance picked myself and my bike up, and dropped me off at a run aid station, where after a few hours spent volunteering at said aid station and running barefoot with my teammates, I finally got a ride back to town.

Bluntly put, it sucks to train so hard for a single day, and for it to end badly. I've been through worse, so it isn't going to break my spirit (though, it was close on Sunday). I've signed up to do Florida this year since many teammates are doing the race - yay charity slots. I'm coming back with a vengeance on the MDot races. Plans are to either hire a trainer or work with one for a few run and bike sessions to see where I can improve and really blast the course. I'll need to get more comfortable in the aero position, as I'll likely be in it for about 6 hours.

IMUSA in Red, IMFL in Orange. Safe to say, I won't need my brakes.

So, following the rest of this week off, I begin training for the second Ironman in a year. I'll still do Nation's Tri and the Army 10 miler, but I will be scrapping Marine Corp, which falls two weeks before Ironman Florida.

10 comments:

Maggs said...

Florida is easy. But BORING! I'm sorry you didn't finish. Next one you'll rock.

MaineSport said...

Really sorry to hear about that. It's amazing how many things can derail an event. Good luck with your new IMFL focus. A very different course!

Eric said...

Bad luck but you will be back for more and in better shape

Sarah said...

I'm SO sorry - that's heartbreaking. I'm glad you still have a chance to take a shot at IMF, though!

Lesser is More said...

I was following you online and hoping everything was ok. Glad to know you will still race another day. Just remember that there is no coasting on flat roads so get used to that aero position!

D said...

Still don't understand why SAG never has 650 stuff. I've heard this story multiple times. Just another reason I fucking hate the Mdot. Fuck them.

Rainmaker said...

That's astounding the SAG vehicle didn't have 650's. It's not like there's a ton of varieties, it's really just two.

Well, now you've got some time to fine tune things and really go out and kick but at IMFL. I know there's some great flat training areas out in Maryland a bit, which is where my coach sends his IMFL folks.

21stCenturyMom said...

I got here via AJ' blog (Little Miss Runner Pants) where someone posted a link to your accident pictures. Anyhow - how awful. It galls me that you can pay over $500 for a race and they don't have decent SAG support. That just sucks. So I'm really sorry that happened to you. I know we are all supposed to be responsible for ourselves in a race but still - having some 650 tubes is pretty basic.

Good for you for just signing up for the next thing and getting on with it.

Steve Stenzel said...

Oh, that sucks! I'm glad you didn't crash or get hurt coming down that hill though!

I hope you're doing OK. I had my first DNF at my first marathon (and only) marathon last year, and I DID learn a lot from it...

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