Monday, July 26, 2010

Ironman Lake Placid Race Report

Going into Lake Placid I had several goals, the main being sub-10. I knew this was a hard course, but I also believe on a day when everything falls into place, sub-10 is there. My other goal was to race hard, especially on the bike. I wanted to cross that finish line and know I had left 110% on the course.

The water was 74 degrees, so the swim was non-wetsuit for pros and was not the highlight of my day. I found feet, realized they were slow feet, passed them, chased the next group to no avail and ran into multiple large triangle buoys. 

There is a line beneath the water that you can follow. Awesome - like swimming in a pool. Except on race day these big triangle buoys stuck way out from the line. So following the line I would get into a nice rhythm, then smack right into the buoy.

Seven Ironmans later and my illusive 1:06 swim barrier remains. If anything this motivates me to work harder on figuring out how to swim, so it might not be a bad thing in the end.

Seeing the clock for the first time - a little mad here.

Onto the bike and I wasn't giving up my sub-10 goal. I knew I would have to bike around a 5:25 and it would hurt, but I also believed I could do this. I came through the half right on schedule. And then I hit mile 80 and imploded. I'm not sure exactly what went wrong, I'd been eating every 20-30 minutes, drinking, etc. but all of a sudden I knew calories were not getting into my blood stream. 

I switched from racing to crisis-management. Multiple girls I had passed re-passed me while I slammed about 5 gels and a banana in the course of an hour. At this point I watched sub-10 slip away and wasn't sure if I'd be walking the marathon.  I was also worried that throwing down that many calories over an hour would make my stomach extremely unhappy on the run, but I figured it was the only way to possibly salvage my race.

I felt semi-recovered from my implosion by about mile 100 and got off the bike in 5:38. I may not have been fully recovered though, as I tried to hand off my bike to the TV video man at the dismount line.

The fans on course were awesome. I have to say a huge thank you to everyone who cheered for me by name or "go Zoot girl". There was not a lot of smiling going on during my run, but I heard and appreciated it all.

Climbing the steep little evil hill here. It took me until about mile 6 to figure out that I had recovered from my bike implosion and would be able to run hard. At the end of the day I would run myself from 10th into 7th.

The first time I saw Ian he had this bike escort. Probably one of my favorite moments of the race, I was beyond excited and it completely motivated me to push on.

The run hurt. But 3:22 is an Ironman run PR for me and coming into the finish I knew I left nothing on that course. My time of 10:13 put me in 7th place and is also a PR. I'm more proud of the fact that I raced hard and did not give up.

A huge thank you to Steven, Kevin, Catherine and Ian's mom for being the best support crew ever. And to MicroscopeWorld.com, Zoot, Profile Design, QR, TriSports.com, Sable WaterOptics, GU, Rudy Project, SCAPE, Zipp and Smack! Media. The support you provide has allowed me to chase my dreams. And finally coach Dirk, thank you for teaching me how to race hard, make it hurt, and chase my goals. I'm excited to tackle another one.

47 comments:

ADC said...

Great race Charisa. Huuuge well done!

Leah said...

Congrats! Inspiring story. Love the pictures of you swimming into the buoy. ;)

the Wongstar said...

was so cool meeting you DURING the race. or I guess after, officially. You were running strong! I shouldn't have ducked into the potty and kept running with you :)

solarpowered said...

Swimming a 1:06 and running into the buoys, imploding on the bike and riding a 5:38, running a 3:22 and getting an IM PR = You ARE a pro! Congrats on a top 10 finish and an awesome race! So impressive!

And those pics are outstanding! Good recovering to you!

Kathrin said...

Great job! Way to push through the rough spots!

I hope I'll remember your race report during my next race when the going gets tough!

Have a good recovery and a safe trip home!

Denise said...

Way to run em down! Fantastic job Charisa. You are awesome and a huge inspiration. I'm registering for IMLP today! Curious which Zoot shoes you were wearing for the run. I have an IM in a few wks. Unsure which Zoot shoes I should purchase. Any advice?
D

FLATOUT JIM said...

Those are the first race pics I have ever seen of you where you weren't smiling.

I can't imagine how tough of a day it was.

13 minutes off a 10 hour ironman goal is pretty darn awesome. Good job.

martin briars said...

you have nothing but admiration from this side of France !! That is a good marathon run in itself, let alone for an ironman... .. well done.
I'm sure you'll figure the swim out - sounds a very minor technical thing.... i'm looking forward to seeing you overcome this !
How you manage to overcome the doubts and continue is amazing. I've only done a Half-iron, with a bad achilles tendon i hasten to add, so your exploit here really is a motivation. My first Ironman is set for next year... some time !
all the best
Well done, and enjoy the rest now

Snakebite said...

Holy crap, what a come back from your implosion! Way to think fast, and clearly, and know what to do in crisis situations. An outstanding effort. Way to go!

Kathleen @ ForgingAhead said...

Charisa, words fail me. How you pull yourself back from the brink is awe inspiring. And then push yourself further. You keep making up amazing time on the runs in these races. You are one super speedy girl! I am SO proud of you. I hope your feet are up and you have a nice coffee within reach while you read this :-)

Running and living said...

Charissa, you never cease to amaze me. How do you turn everything around and make it positive? My day job is to teach people how to think that way:)
Amazing job being flexible, and not giving up particularly when you realized the sub 10 is no longer an option. That must have been super hard. I tracked you and kept checking the gals in front of you coz I knew you'd get them on the run!
When you recover, I would love a post from you about HIM and IM nutrition as I am doing my first HIM in a month! Thanks!

Lisa T said...

Congrats! Great pics! Maybe steven should go pro too!

Kim said...

Wow Charisa, What a race! Once again, you never gave up and you did what was necessary out there. You are truly an exceptional competitor and an even better person with a big heart!! I LOVE it! Thanks for sharing your journey with us..

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Wow, congrats on the PR

Meg said...

I loved hearing how you recovered from the nutrition issue, it was risky and you pulled it off, it actually saved you by taking that risk. Amazing. I'm so happy for you and your PR run, great time.
Relax, have fun, rest up and we'll see you soon!

Elizabeth A. Rich said...

CONGRATS Charisa!!! 5 gels and 1 banana in an hour - WOW! :)

Honer said...

Awesome report and awesome job! Way to pull through and stay positive even through the hard times out there.

Lisa G said...

Awesome - way to hang in there on a tough day and completely turn things around!

cheryl said...

congrats on a great race!

Kiki said...

Inspiring as always! I have a feeling I will be slamming a few gus in an attempt to come back from the edge in a few weeks and I will remember your courage and spirit!!
Get some rest now pro!!

Angela and David said...

Awesome job! And amazing run!

D said...

Watching you finish with that enormous smile on your face made all the stress from tracking you for 10 hours worth it! (Seriously... I sent Lisa a few stressed messages haha)

CONGRATS!!!!!

SCAPE Athlete said...

Congrats on your PR and a great recap on how you achieved that.

GoBigGreen said...

Nice race! Especially on not giving in when things got rough. And what a GI you have, way to go GI handling all that Gu at once:) I have run into the buoys too:) At least you were on course:)
Recover well!

t-odd said...

Sweet race! Way to race it like a pro.

Ian better keep that photo. Very impressive!

"Excited to tackle another one" - IMoo?

Runner Leana said...

Wow Charisa, congratulations on a terrific race! My coach told us this weekend that IM is a day of problem solving and that is why she loves IMs so much. You did great out there. IMC???? :)

jameson said...

RAD!!! way to battle back. reading this report seriously gets me so stoked to race my first IM next year!!!

Eli Carlson said...

Charisa - you are such a tough cookie. Way to dig in, gut it out and still come out with an incredible finish and a PR. The quick turnaround on pics and a report is also very impressive. Nice job girl!

Eli Carlson said...

Charisa - you are such a tough cookie. Way to dig in, gut it out and still come out with an incredible finish and a PR. The quick turnaround on pics and a report is also very impressive. Nice job girl!

Nicole said...

Congrats on the PR Charisa! You are an inspiration for us newbies! Way to go on turning your race around and ending on a high note.

SSB said...

Nice job! And awesome about the PR. When I swim right into buoys I tend to think "Sweet, I'm swimming straight" underwater cable or not, I would have been stoked! Hope you are enjoying some down time.

SSB said...

BTW, I think you need a week long swim focus training camp in Hawaii. We can certainly get faster swimming against each other.

Marit C-L said...

Incredible!! Great job Charisa - you ARE AMAZING!!! Can't wait for a noodles date and hear all about it... :) xoxo

Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete said...

Charisa,

You are so motivating. I love reading your blog b/c you always push through, and get 'er done in the end. Thank you!!

Michelle Simmons said...

Congrats, Charisa! Way to hang in there through the tough parts and throw down a great run!!

ONEHOURIRONMAN said...

Given the bike issues, not bad!
Non wetsuit swim accounted for 3 to 5 minutes, so dialed in nutrition on the bike would have gotten you there. Great info for the next one!!
Good job!

Libby said...

Nice race report!! I love the pics of you and the bouys, too funny. That 57 swim is in there, just gotta catch the right feet! Way to still pr and overcome a tough situation, those are the experiences thatmake ironman champions :) sub 10 is in you for sure, just patiencefor the rightrace.we all know its coming!!

rocketpants said...

Amazing job out there! Way to trouble shoot your way out of a bonk and come back to run such a fast marathon! That takes a lot of fortitude and focus. You have shown between LP and your last HIM that you are able to shake off any hiccups and keep pushing until the end. The pieces will come together with time. Sub 10 will be in your future. You work so hard, I know you will get there.

m said...

Congrats on pushing on and recovering to have a run PR and PR! You'll get that sub 10 and your swim time will come down soon. Great race photos!

Matt said...

congrats on the PR. It takes alot to push thru those hard moments, most people crack there, but you showed you are not one of those athletes, you are one tough cookie! That was a smoking fast marathon!

AM-GoalsfortheWeek! said...

Great Race report! a 3:22 for your run?? holy christ! nice job

i know you didn't get your sub 10, but you're my hero;-)

Black Knight said...

Great report with wonderful pictures, you always look fast, strong and concentrated. Congrats on the race and the PR. 3.22: fast, very fast!

Kendra said...

Congrats on the PR and great run- hoping to take some of your inspiration with me this weekend.

Luke said...

Great job with lake placid! found your blog from a link on mandy's (caratunk). look forward to following your future endeavors!

Sue said...

Wow! You are inspirational Charisa! What a great tri! 7th! Congratulations to you! I enjoyed reading your Lake Placid Race Report. I was cheering for you as I read each stage! Woot woot! :D You were AWESOME!

Nitsirk said...

Awesome job! You had a problem and overcame it and pulled off a PR on a hard course. Sounds like a pro to me :) Congrats!

Jennifer Yake Neuschwander said...

Congrats. Way to hang in there and not give up. That is awesome.