As you know from reading Part 1 of my Ironman Lake Placid experience, Laura and I welcomed Matthew Robert, our second son, into the world on July 13th, just 15 days before the race. As you would expect with any newborn, they eat, sleep, and poop along with the occasional cry. Unfortunately, they do these things 24/7. That means the hours from 9 pm to 6 am are no longer yours. You're up at best every two hours changing diapers, feeding, burping, and rocking the little one back to sleep. And know this, you're not reading the blog of some dead-beat dad that has his wife do all those things. Of course, the feeding is up to Laura because us guys come with a different set of plumbing, but as for the other responsibilities, I can do it all!
Luckily, two weeks prior to an Ironman is the perfect time to start a taper. I geared things way back from the training I had been doing and was now focused on letting my body rest while trying to stay sharp with some shorter, quicker workouts along with a few days off. Fortunately, I was able to supplement my sleepless nights with some solid mid-day naps while Luke and Matthew slept too. The taper also made it easier to spend time hanging out with Luke so that Laura could focus on Matthew's feedings. Activities like riding the tricycle, hitting tee-ball in the yard, going to the playground, and a trip to the zoo highlighted our days.
|With cousin Tyler.|
|We got to hear the lions roar.|
|And see the elephants swimming.|
That brings us to race weekend. All racers had to check-in by 5 pm on Friday or else no racing. Therefore, my parents and I left Friday morning at 3 am to make the nine hour drive to Lake Placid. You're probably thinking 3 am was a little early, but when you spend the money and put the training into the preparation for an Ironman, you're not going to leave anything to chance. Aided by some great conversations that probably solved the world's problems (you were wondering why you had such a good week), we arrived in Lake Placid around 12:30 with plenty of time to spare before the 5 o'clock deadline. The rest of Friday included getting familiar with the town of Lake Placid as well as a cookout at the house Billy (Hughes) and Bruce (Jenkins) rented for the week. The cookout was awesome! Many of the Pittsburghers that had come to do the race were there with their families and friends. I got to meet Kenny, Jeff, and Sarge of Reaction Nutrition as well as many other great people! Unfortunately, we had such a good time at the cookout that we didn't think to take any pictures.
|Main Street in Lake Placid.|
Saturday, as usual, is a day of preparation. Like many of the athletes, I wanted to make sure my body and my bike were ready for Sunday's race. I made a couple final adjustments to my bike and went for a 30 minute ride Saturday morning. It was a refreshingly cool morning with temps in the low 50's, and the scenery of the Adirondack Mountains was calming but exciting. After rev-ing the engine a little on the bike, I loosened the legs with a 15 minute run trying to transport my mind to tomorrow's marathon. Overall, I felt good and was really looking forward to racing. After enjoying a hearty breakfast at the Comfort Inn consisting of scrambled eggs, sausage, and a waffle, I prepared my bike with race numbers, tire changing supplies, and my race nutrition. All bikes needed to be checked-in before 3 pm.
|Breakfast with Mom.|
|Checking-in my bike and transition bags.|
Next, I went over to Mirror Lake to get accustomed to the water and try out my new Helix Blueseventy wetsuit compliments of Ballou Skies. My old wetsuit was sleeveless so I wanted to be sure I was comfortable in the long sleeves. In short, the water was great (I could actually see the water was so clear) and the wetsuit was perfect.
|Last one in is a ...|
|Just one of many scenic river views along the bike course.|
|White Face Mountain Ski Resort.|
|Rapids ... Well, kinda.|
|Many triathletes come to ride the course and volunteer for the race.|
Saturday evening I joined Billy, Bruce and his girlfriend Becky, and Eric (Johnson) and his wife Natalie for a pasta buffet dinner at Generations, where you got to pick from a variety of fillers such as mini scallops, artichoke hearts, chicken, roasted peppers, etc., to put in your pasta and then have them cook it right in front of you with your choice of sauce. I think we all overate, but that's certainly allowed when you're going 140.6 miles the next day. :) After dinner, I casually walked the mile back to the Comfort Inn taking in the scenes of Lake Placid while enjoying a small vanilla ice cream cone with chocolate sprinkles. I know you want the details. :)
|A Catholic Church where Saturday evening Mass had just ended.|
|Lake Placid Movie Theatre|
|Racers and spectators enjoying a roof-top dinner.|
After checking-in with my parents to make sure they were enjoying their own dinner, and talking to Laura one last time to see how she and the boys were doing, I called it a day knowing that I was ready to race.