Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ironman Lake Placid Swim

3am my alarm goes off and I snooze it for about 10min before waking up to the biggest day of my life. Ironman Lake Placid. I chose to wake up early so that I could eat my breakfast and give a normal insulin dose without having any insulin on board by race start. Upon waking my BS was 144. Perfect. It goes great with my small breakfast of Banana, 1 slice of bread with PB and 1 1/2c of coffee with cream. Total bolus was 4.50units (.50 for BS correction). I was feeling rested despite only getting 5hrs of sleep; I knew all week I had made my 8hr per night sleeps so I WAS rested. I felt very emotional and was starting to get nervous when we were all getting ready to leave. I couldn’t relax and my heart rate was at 100bpm, I felt like I couldn’t catch a deep breath. Yes, I was FREAKING out. I couldn’t quite grasp that this day had finally come after 2 years of planning. After a hug and a short cry with my dear friend Danni we were off to the race!
First thing was to drop our special needs bags off at their designated spots, then double checking everything was in my bike/run bags before continuing on to where our bikes were racked. It was very early so we didn’t have to worry about the crowds just yet. After pumping my tires, putting some lube on Starlite’s chain and wiping her down (it had poured the night before) I was good to go get body marked. I felt a little off with my BS so I checked and I was 75. That’s a very low number and I felt like I was still dropping. I was grateful I remembered to pack an extra GU just in case. As we were leaving the bike area the line of athletes entering the arena was very long. Again I was happy I got there early to alleviate the stress. I was happy to see my two teammates Miriam and Len and wish them luck as they were entering the arena. I felt so cool getting body marked. It’s a really nice feeling and it was simply COOL to have my race number written on my arms and legs and my age on the back of my calves. Off to the swim start!

heading over to change into wetsuit IMLP
 As Danni and I were heading to the swim start and looking for our other friends I wasn’t feeling good so I checked again and I was now 65 at 6am. I had to eat that GU. I didn’t understand why I was low when I gave the correct amount of insulin for my small meal a few hours earlier. It was frustrating to say the least; I just needed to bring it up. We were able to talk to a TT1 (Team Type 1) athlete for a few minutes and then go hang out with my other group of friends who were racing. I was very happy to be able to see my old bike coach and good friend Danny as he was walking with his athletes. He gave me a hug and told me how proud he was of me. It’s a comforting feeling to have your coach give you a hug even if he’s no longer coaching you. When you think about it, any of your coaches throughout your life will ALWAYS be your coach. Doesn’t matter where you are or who your current coach is. I was ok mentally at this point. I mean THIS WAS IT! Put on our wetsuit, check my BS one more time, set pump to 50% temp basal and head to the water at 6:45am. My final BS before getting in the water was 145. Perfect! I had another GU before I got in the water. This was my original plan, 1 GU before I start and 1 at the 1.2-mile mark. I’ve raced this way before and trained this way. It should work.
All smiles
Water temp was 77 degrees and wetsuit optional, of course I was wearing mine, I needed any help I could get! There were about 2500 athletes in the water. My friends and I gave each other one final group hug and kiss in the water before we swam to the middle of the start. It was game time and I was focused. I was here in the water, about to embark on the hardest physical challenge of my life. I was ready.

Gun goes off and it’s pure chaos. Swimmers were swimming over your legs, arms were getting tangled, you were getting elbowed, kicked, I just tried to keep going forward, stroke, kick, sight, repeat. A couple of times I thought I’d be at the bottom of the lake because I was getting sucked under. My goggles got knocked off my face and one of my earplugs got loose but I corrected it all. All I could think was “geez are ALL IM swims like this?!” I decided I wanted to get to the line. I knew if I got to the yellow cable that runs across the lake I’d be ok. It’s a security blanket. So I started swimming to my extreme left, it was crazy but I made it to the cable about halfway before the turn point. There were a lot of swimmers on the line but I could keep my own and I didn’t feel as though it were so bad. I felt comfortable in the water, and could definitely feel the draft. As you get closer to shore you could hear the cheers and Mike Reilly announcing us coming out of the water. It was awesome, I felt good coming out of the water but decided to check my BS. As soon as I came out of the water I sucked down a GU and checked my BS. Making this stop cost me time, almost 2min. I had gotten out of the water at about 40min and by the time I got back in it was 42min. BS was high. I was 240. Shit. WHY didn’t I wait to have that GU??!! Run back in the water and I go straight for the line. I did not pick my head back up until I was coming out of the water again. I was hoping my BS had come down. I was also hoping I had a negative split but wasn’t sure. Best of all I was done with the 1st leg of the race. WHOOOOOHOOOO! Yes these were things that were running through my head. I got to see my friends and teammates cheering for me on the sidelines as I was running to T1. I felt great. The crowds were amazing!

Final swim time: 2.4 miles 1:25:07 2:14/100m


3:30am BS 144
Breakfast: banana, 1 slice of bread with PB, coffee with cream
4.50units of insulin (.50 for BS correction)

3 GU’s
1 @ 6am for low BS of 65
1 right before start at 6:45am I also started my temp basal of 50% reduction at 6:30am
1 @ 1.2mi mark

1 comment:

  1. I'm soooo proud of you! I get all choked up as I watch you over and over cross that finish line. YOU. ARE. AN. IRONMAN!!!! I love you so much! You are amazing!