Thanks Coach AJ for the kind words!
Wow, what a great weekend! I really can’t say enough good things about the Lake Placid venue-it is a well oiled machine and you can tell they’ve been doing this for nearly 20 years. The organization, volunteers, and the spectators all come together to create this incredible energy that was almost overwhelming at times. The crowds got bigger and bigger as the night went on! It also didn’t hurt that the weather cooperated too this year, nearly perfect temps with no rain and very little wind. As far as feedback goes, here are a couple things:
Training plan: Not much that I would change from a planning perspective-I thought the workouts correctly followed the different training phases. I liked the training peaks format and used it along with the Garmin Connect app to auto upload my completed workouts-it was nice to keep a running tally on workouts I completed vs missed. I did miss a couple of the longer bike and run workouts due to my job (travel a lot) so I was a little concerned about how that would impact my race-especially the bike course. One thing I did to help mitigate this was to get my bike re-geared for the mountains-I found a bike shop that swapped out both my front crankset and rear cassette to give me a couple of lower gears, which made a difference!
Highlights: I liked my swim, although I probably could have self-seeded a little further forward (I ended up in the 1:31-45 group and passed a bunch of people on the course)-I found the cable that everyone talks about so didn’t have to sight too much. I also thought my run was ok once I worked thru some GI issues early on (too many bananas during the bike course!) I had a pace about like I wanted and tried to keep with the run 9 walk 1 strategy but ended up walking a fair amount towards the end (pretty much every hill). Also forgot about nutrition a couple times so had to play catch up. I thought the aid stations and volunteers at every step were awesome. I’ve seen other races where there’s either not enough manning or they run out of stuff-especially late in the run but not this time, fully stocked with everything until the end.
Lowlights: Probably the biggest one for me was the bike. Not so much from a time cutoff perspective (although they were always in the back of my mind) but from what I expected of myself. Even with the above mentioned items (missed workouts and regearing), I was still hoping for a little better time. But I also realize that it is a very challenging course and am happy to have made it through. I was unable to ride it ahead of time which might have helped, but I at least got to drive it the day prior in order to visualize what it looked like. There’s feedback on other forums which describe the course better than I can but I will say that the Keene descents were probably the most fun I had all day-45 mph in the aero position, what’s not to love?! But the climbs are no joke, the last 15 miles or so seemed to take forever. Don’t know if I should call this a lowlight or not but the Gatorade they had was different this year and was kinda weird tasting-not a huge deal but takeaway is to plan accordingly if you want to keep using your tried and true stuff vs what they have on the course.
So to sum up, swim was good, run was ok, and bike needed some work-but I will readily admit that was on me. Thanks again to the coaches for running a solid training plan. I think I’m going to stick with volunteering at IMLP next year but my wife and I are already talking about doing the IMLP 70.3 next Sep and this race again in 2019!