Live from Lake Placid: Two Days Remaining…

Thanks in advance to my new sponsor, the hotel next door, who I’d like to thank for this Internet access. Onward…

This morning I went down to Mirror Lake, site of the Swim, for the Gatorade Swim. Course is all set up and looking very sharp. Yellow buoys lining the out .55 miles, orange coming back. And if you get close to the buoy line, you can use the under water line holding the buoys in place to guide you. I don’t think I’ll be able to get that close on raceday, but it’s a neat feature.

Swam one full loop at easy pace in 37:40. I expect the same on raceday, since there will be time lost to the thrash and splash, but time gained due to the draft of 2000+ others. Mirror Lake is among the nicest lakes I’ve ever swam. The water tastes like the stuff that comes out of your fawcet.

Had the extreme pleasure of meeting Tithers, Tithers’ dad, and the step-mother baby-sitter. Tithers’ hair is very pink. She claims she doesn’t like it anymore. Tithers seemed a bit nervous (but don’t tell her I said so, because she might kill me, or hold me under water for more than a minute). Because I am someone who can talk. But within the first 20 minutes of meeting her, I said all of two words. And so I chatted up her dad. Very nice guy. Tithers and I hung before the swim, coming out of the water, and again as we got our bags from the Gatorade Swim people. She is exactly what I thought she would be. Very nice. Extremely energetic. And very passionate. And her dad and step mom simply adore her. All nice people. I will see them again tonight for the Welcome Dinner, not to mention at other events.

After that I took off for a run just as the skies open up with a down pour accompanied by several loud lightening strikes. I couldn’t even count Mississippi’s they were so close. I contemplated hidding for cover and doing the run once the rain passed, but well, I was already wet. And I was in non-chaffing tri-geek wear, so I set off.

Next up was a relaxing breakfast at a nearby bagel shop, where I lingered a bit, and now I’m watching the skies, that have since closed to rain but still have darkness of the threat of rain, to go for a final bike ride to check that all is well. I will do that right after I kick this post off.

Tonight is the Welcome Dinner. Tomorrow is bag check.

As for registration, I arrived in town yesterday at 3 pm after a 6.5 hour drive (caught in construction traffic). That was just early enough to register. I was pleased to see an efficient moving along of the whole process such that the lines were short and moving fast. Nice job, volunteers. I picked up my stuff, saw a club mate who is also racing, and hit up the Ironman store. And I’m proud to say that I spent a total of zero dollars. Zero. Although I have to admit that there were sparse few branded products baring the IMLP logo, mainly because shipments have not arrived in town just yet (according to a sign), and I do want to eventually pick up either a polo, which I do for every big race, and/or a tech shirt, which I also do for all big races.

Ironman events are curious. You have some very fit people prancing the town around, many of whom are down to earth and very good people, and then you have a handleful, by no means a majority, who carry an ego the size of Whiteface Mountain.

I love talking to first timers, who tend to be in awe of the whole experience. Many of the vets have really great stories, especially the fast ones, of battle wounds and even victory laps. Fun stuff. Here, today, is Ironman all the time. That is what Ironman does to a town. It takes it over. Completely. And entirely.

The coach in me has been working very hard on getting me ready for the race. He has instilled in me the notion that I must approach the bike course exactly as I had in my first two Ironman — that is, I must go easy, I must set as a goal to run the entire marathon rather than a fast bike split. If I can do that, I will have a decent race. But on a course where the Pro’s will only avg 21-22 mph on the bike, where in others they go 25-27, a decent race will be on the slower side. And that is what I’ve been trying to wrap my head around so that I don’t push the pace just because I see a low number on my bike computer. I think I’m there. But I’m still coaching. Either way, I’m ready.

Anyway, Tithers has a few photos.

Hopefully I’ll get a chance to post again tomorrow.


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