by Jenny Redding
Where do I begin? I want to start from the beginning, my first ever Ironman but that would make for a long blog. I will however look back to two years ago when I sat with my coach Jon Metz discussed my goals.
There were many questions and unknowns:
I had already signed up for IM Texas 2014 when we developed the plan so I entered IMLP through a foundation slot in 2014. 2014 brought me to 5th in AG in Texas and 6th in AG in Placid. Both races I was 2 spots short of qualifying and no roll downs occurred. These races gave me the confidence that the goal was more than a pipe dream. I couldn’t believe I made the podium at an Ironman!
I signed up for IMLP 2015 the day before the race in 2014. I had not planned to race Texas again until it was identified as the North American Championship with 75 slots for Kona. Once again, I was signed up for IMTX and IMLP. However Texas this year brought much different racing conditions than I had in 2014 where I had a finishing time of 10:53 and change. This year was WINDY and HOT. I had computer glitches, stomach issues and an all-around not so great race.
I set my sights on making IMLP a great race I had learned from 2014 what to change in my training. The most important change was getting to Lake Placid for the TriVault Training camp. I had not had the chance to train in Lake placid in 2014 and I felt that I was at a disadvantage because if it (I am familiar with the course but there is nothing that compares to getting there and riding the course in advance).
I was able to get 4 loops of the course in during the camp. That was HUGE to develop my strength and confidence. I absolutely love training in Lake Placid regardless of the race I am doing.
Going into the race I was ready and I knew it. I felt stronger than ever on the bike. My running was consistent and injury free and I had the chance to get several long OWS in before the race.
We arrived in Lake placid late Wednesday (I had to fly from Michigan to Buffalo, get my daughter and bike and drive to Lake Placid) it was exactly what I had done last year too! Thursday morning I planned an hour and half ride which consisted of loops of River road and up the bears. It is about 10 miles each loop and provides the opportunity to get some flat high cadence riding on River Rd and hills up the 3 bears. There was also a swim and run.
The swim that day was crowded and I was glad to do it as it helped me work out some of the race day anxiety of swimming in a group of people.
Friday was another swim and Saturday was a short swim bike run to keep everything loose. Everything was in place, bags packed, bike charged and working well. I checked in my stuff Saturday and headed back to the hotel to relax. We decided to grab dinner at the brew pub. For some reason people kept running to the window but at that time we weren’t sure why. Soon we found out that there was a large apartment fire about 4 buildings down from our hotel.
Since the fire was blocking the path to Ben and Jerry’s, we had to resort to “Plan B” and go to Stewart's for ice cream. Judging from the line for ice cream, this was a popular idea! After about a half an hour we had our ice cream and headed back to the hotel to get ready to go to bed. The fire was still burning in the apartment building and the smell of smoke was nauseating.
We closed the balcony door to keep as much smoke out of the room as possible. Fortunately the wind was in our favor and the smoke was mostly blowing away from our hotel. There were rumors that the water quality could be impacted by the run off from the fire hoses and that the water would be tested race morning. It was crazy to think IMLP could be a Dualthlon!