Celebrating 5 years of Ironman participation

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IMLP 2009

Congrats to all my friends who completed the Lake Placid Ironman this past Sunday: Angela, Julie, AJ, Kimberly, Joe, Kevin, Kip, Matt F, Matt C, and Chris!  It was a great day for a race – a little rain during the swim, then sunshine and a good breeze through the night.  Frankly, I was a little jealous given last year’s nonstop rain. 

Here’s a quick recap of my Training/Cheering  Weekend at Lake Placid:

  • Friday: Biked 85 miles with my IM Moo training buddies, then cooked a pre-race feast for the house and their families!
  • Saturday: 10 mile run (no right quad issues – yay!), 2.4 mile swim, dinner with Julie’s family, and enough beer and ice cream with the guys – along with some poster making
  • Sunday: RACE DAY!  While I didn’t race, I definitely wore myself out!  Here’s how:
    • 4:45 am Wake Up Call – Headed down to body marking and swim start with the girls. 
    • 7:00 am: Swim Start!  Cheered from everyone as they exited the water and ran to get their bikes
    • 8:35 am: Bike Course – Everyone out on their first 56 mile loop and my chance for a little b-fast and rest
    • 11:30 am-4:30 pm: VOLUNTEER – I helped set up the last water stop on the run course.  It was a lot of work, but a great spot to be!  I saw most of my friends finish their last loop on the bike course AND I got to hand out water to all the pros!
    • 4:30 pm – Midnight: CHEER! CHEER!  CHEER!  I kept meaning to go back to the house, but I always saw another friend runing.  I made it home to grab some warmer clothes, but then I was back on the course with signs for DC, Boston, and anyone in the Hurt Locker.   
    • Midnight: Totally amazing to watch Matt Long, the Everyday Hero of the race, come across the finish line with less than a minute to spare before the race cutoff.  The entire olympic oval was screaming, jumping, and applauding as the race announcer said, “Matt Long of NYC, you are an IRONMAN!” 
AJ, Angela, Kevin, Julie, Kip, and Joe post race

AJ, Angela, Kevin, Julie, Kip, and Joe post race



My Ironman Lake Placid Pledge

At the 2009 Ford Ironman Lake Placid, I pledge to:

  • Cook a great pre-race meals for my housemates
  • Cheer as loudly as possible for my friends from DC: Kimberly, Angela, AJ, Julie, Matt and Joe…AND for my new Boston friends: Matt and Chris
  • Be a great volunteer at the last water station on the run course
  • Stay at the Finish Line until midnight
  • Live up to my IM nickname of IM Maple and only eat at restaurants serving REAL maple syrup
  • Train for IM Wisconsin

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Ironman: A Devoted Spectator’s View

From Mona – Number 1 Fan:

A year ago today (July 20th), I stood with Sara’s family, friends, and thousands of other spectators anxiously awaiting a glimpse of their own personal Ironmen and women at the 2008 Ironman Lake Placid.

I followed Sara’s training schedule since she first flirted with the idea of signing up for the Ironman. I admit, like many people she first told, my first reaction was “Wow. That’s crazy.” However, my very next words were “but I know you can do it. You can, and you will.”

I decided I’d make the trip up to Placid from NYC, but I really didn’t know what to expect from such an event. My past experience as a spectator at any event like this was limited. In fact, the closest thing was the few years I was fortunate enough to cheer the marathoners in Boston. That was exciting, but this was different. There would be a marathon, but not until the end. There was still a swim and bike course to contend with… AND Sara was competing in this. This was, in fact, my first triathlon I’d be watching. I knew I’d be excited, I knew I’d be proud, but I really had no idea how intoxicating the whole experience would be.

Months later, as I stood near the swim start while thousands of athletes filed into the water, it happened. Suddenly, a swimstartwave of emotion engulfed me. The best explanation for how I felt was my heart swelled with pride each time I spotted Sara along the course. Truly, there was this big, happy thing bursting with joy in my chest. Everyone’s hard work over the past 6-12 months all came down to this, and I felt the enormity of the moment for each and every one of them. As the first group took off, hundreds of arms splashing, I teared up. U2’s “Beautiful Day” was blaring in the background as the swimmers set off, definitely adding to the emotions of the day. The weather that day was anything but beautiful – it was cloudy, cool, and started pouring rain shortly into the swim. It didn’t matter though, my spirit couldn’t be dampened.

The excitement was contagious. Thanks to Sara, we had the most exclusive spot to watch the triathletes. The house where we stayed was in an area that was restricted to everyone but those living on the street. We had no problems tracking her online, and calculating when she’d loop back through town. Every time she passed us, it was our job to re-fuel her reserves with our cheering. So I cheered loudly. I jumped, I pumped my fists in the air, I screamed myself hoarse. So did the rest of the her family and friends, all the while with Sara smiling as she biked or ran by us.

My first experience as a triathlon spectator, at an Ironman no less, was amazing. It was so inspiring to watch everyone powering their way through hours and hours of swimming, biking, and running. All you triathletes should know that you bring as much to us, as your supporters, as we hope to bring to you. The triathletes in our lives remind us that we are capable of doing anything!

Team Stropedogg at the Finish Line

Team Stropedogg at the Finish Line

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I Scream, You Scream

Brownie Sundae from JP Licks

Brownie Sundae from JP Licks

This was my dinner last night. 

Brownie, two scoops of ice cream, rasberries, chocolate sauce.  I was sure to ask they add nuts – needed some protein after my run to pick up CK at Quad Multisport (just in for a little check up) and my bike from Arlington Heights to Jamaica Plain (with a few wrong turns for extra mileage). 

I wish I could tell you this was my only silly nutrition choice lately…but I’ve been trying to pack in the training and time with friends a little too much.  Other recent indulgences: Chicken fingers, fries and beer post Walden swim and 30 mile ride.  Oh, and after the “No Sleep Till P’Town Ride,” I may have consumed a Lobster Roll and Meatball Sub, followed by Walnut-crusted French Toast AND Eggs Benedict at Sound Bites.