Race Swimming

2019 Boston Light “unofficially”

So it seemed like we were going to swim when we started out. As you can see from the photo below, it was pretty clear as we loaded the boat and set out for the lighthouse.

Boston Light “Loading the boats”

By the time we got out to the lighthouse things had changed quite a bit. The photo below was taken about 30 minutes after we all set out.

So as Erin, Jan, Karen, Mike and I sit on the boat waiting for the start of the swim we hear over the radio “Boston Light Swim has been cancelled, please return to the dock to unload”. As all the kids say today, “Wait, What?”. Did they just say that the swim was cancelled? Yup, that is what they said, the swim was cancelled. Several of the other boat captains asked for confirmation. One even asked can they go ahead and swim anyway, which was met with silence.

After realizing that the race director could not broadcast over the radio that we could swim on our own Mike called her up. We asked if it would be ok to just take our time and swim in and in response we were asked to remove all signs of the race information from the boat and just check in every hour.

And with that, I jumped into the 59 degree water and started swimming. Below is a short clip on relive of our day.

Race Swimming

Misery Challenge 2019

Leading up to this years race there were reports of a shark sighting. Race directory Josh Crosby even sent out an email offering a partial refund for those that were too nervous to swim. My friend Mike and I were not deterred and I picked him up and off we went to do the swim.

Unfortunately we did not make the first bus from the offsite parking lot. You might think, no big deal. However, it seems that if you are not one of the first people there you don’t get a shirt. Even though you are supposed to get one when you sign up. We were both told that the shirt would be mailed to us at a later date, I’m not sure when that date will be but it is now August 31, 2019 and I still have not received my shirt. This is the second year in a row that I did not get a shirt after pre registering.

Anyway, on to the race. It was was perfect weather day and the water was between 67-70 degrees for the swim. Mike, Karen and Dave did the swim without a wetsuit. I prefer to be as fast as I can be and used the wetsuit. I started out with Mike and swam pretty much along side of him for the first half of the race. Once we got to the turn buoy I started to pick up the pace and ran into a pack of swimmers. It took me a while but I managed to get around them. I felt pretty good the whole race and the water was perfect with no waves or chop really.

I ended up being first in my age group. Probably won’t get anything for that either, a lot of races would mail it to you if you are unable to stay around for the awards ceremony.

As much as I enjoy the swim, I’m not sure what I’m paying for. For the second year in a row I didn’t get a shirt because they ran out before I got there. This is probably the fifth or sixth year of the race, by now these issues should be ironed out and if you signed up ahead of time you should get a shirt. By the time I walked over after the swim all of the pizza was gone. There were no oranges/bananas like in years past. As far a race amenities it was pretty poor.

Bottom line is that it is a nice swim, but not worth the money. You are essentially paying $75.00 to swim 3 miles, that’s what you get. Mike has a boat in the marina next door so we might just show up and swim on our own.

Cycling Ironman Mont Tremblant Race Running Swimming Triathlon

Ironman Mont-Tremblant 2016 – Race Report

This was my third Ironman and I think the first thought that will come to my mind or anyone else that did Ironman on this day is the weather. All week long the weather was predicted to be rain/thunderstorms. I was just hoping for no Thunderstorms early because I didn’t want the swim to be cancelled. The rest of the day I would just adjust to weather and have to accept whatever came. Well, rain and more rain is what came and lots of it!

The Swim

The swim is a wave start at Tremblant. They have the Pro Men and Women and then they had the age groups go out, the men and then the women. I think I was probably the 5th wave to go. I didn’t really like this start at all, it meant that I would have to swim through all of the waves in front of me. I would have much preferred the rolling start or mass start that I have experienced at Lake Placid. At least with those starts you can seed yourself or get out in front of all the novice swimmers.

The swim itself for me was nice. My plan was to relax and enjoy the swim and be ready for the bike. The beginning of the swim was probably the worst part of it with trying to navigate around the large pack in front of me. By the time I was about halfway down I had already passed probably every color cap but the pros. The water itself was about 72 degrees and with the wind there was some chop and swells. Nothing really all that bad though. Total time for the swim was 1:10:04, so about 5 minutes slower than my IMLP times. I think most of that time was wasted navigating around the other swimmers.


I came out of the water and jogged up to the wetsuit strippers. They had me lay down, quickly pulled the wetsuit off and had me back on my feet in a few seconds. As always the volunteers are awesome at Ironman. The transition took me 7:21, exactly the same time it took me at IMLP 2013. Heading out of T1 Kelly and the kids and my father-in-law were cheering me on as I headed out onto the bike.

The Bike

This time around on the bike it wasn’t raining when I started it and after all the predictions of rain I thought we might get lucky. Well, that luck rain out about 20 miles into the ride. Actually probably a little sooner but because the wind was at my back and didn’t realize just how hard it was raining until I turned around out on 117. At that turn around is when the weather turned around as well. The rains came and the wind and it was just a miserable ride after that. There were times when it was raining so hard that it hurt.

I’ve done plenty of riding in the rain and I don’t enjoy it. It just comes with training for Ironman, if you have a ride scheduled and it is raining, you just head out and ride. However, I’m a lot more cautious rider when it is raining. On the downhills I did a lot of breaking, I just don’t feel the need to end my day early. I did ok in the beginning of the rain, but by the time I got to the short turnaround on 117 before coming back on Monte Ryan was I getting cold. I had to sit up out of aero position and work harder to generate some heat. At the time I was getting worried about having to do another entire loop in the pouring rain.

By the time I got to the end of Duplessis I was warmer and feeling a little better. I started to eat the Cliff bars they had on the bike course because I just couldn’t drink enough because I was cold. I knew I needed the calories so I started eating the bars through each of the support stations along the bike course. I had planned on taking in 6 bottles of nutrition and ended up only drinking 4 of them.

The second loop of the bike was just rain, rain and more rain. I saw my family again at the short turn around on 117. They all had on rain gear and cheered me on. It lifts your spirits momentarily, then it rains a little harder to ruin the moment.

My total bike time was 6:13:55, this was a little faster than IMLP 2013, but considerably slower than what I had trained and planned for. I just wasn’t willing to push the envelope on the downhills in the rain and I paid for it in time. I’m ok with that, considering that there were some pretty nasty crashes on course and people didn’t get to finish because of it.


The transition to the run was pretty easy, the awesome volunteers grab your bike and rack it and you just head off to change. For me I changed everything. I just wanted to start out the run feeling a little dry. I ran out of T2, stopped to pee and then headed out for 26.2 Transition was 6:31.

The Run

When I got off the bike my legs felt cold and tight. I figured they would loosen up a bit once I started running. The other thing that I was a little surprised about was that my lower back was really tight. I started out jogging a long and felt ok at around a 9 minute pace. Just before I got to the trail out and back Kelly and her Mom were on the side of the road and they cheered me on. I think I remember telling Kelly this just sucks. It was still raining and would rain even harder.

Around mile 4 I felt better and was averaging around 8:30 pace, that had been my target. I manage to run and not walk for the first half of the race. At that point my legs hurt too much and I would walk through each of the aid stations. I was still taking in plenty of calories and water and of course the rain was keeping my cool. I made sure to have a gel every 30 minutes or so and I had water and Gatorade at each of the aid stations. The back half of the marathon was just very disappointing. Total time for the run was 4:20:16. Over an hour slower than my standalone marathon time.

The sun did finally come out for the last 3 miles of the run.

I want to thank my family for all of their support. Kelly, who has put up with all of my long training rides on the weekends. Mackenzie and JP have been great throughout the training, of course they just figure Dad must be out on his bike somewhere if I’m not in the house. I keep asking Mackenzie when she is going to do an Ironman with me. She says she will, but I think she is just humoring her Dad. This time around my in-laws made the trip to see the Ironman. I’m not sure they realized what they were getting into with all of the walking around, but I appreciated the support.

Thank you to Julie Valenti, Melinda Vaturro and Mike Yako for training with me. A big part of the journey that is Ironman is having some good people to train with. Congratulations to Mike on having a killer first Ironman, next time around try not to get hit by a car in the middle of training! Congratulations to Julie and Melinda on finishing what I think is their 3rd Ironman.

The other group I would like to thank is Breakthrough Performance Coaching. I had decided to write my own plan this time around, but I have to give them credit for being able to do that since I learned so much from them when they worked with me while training for my last Ironman. They were and are always super supportive at the races and it was great to see and hear them cheering out on the course. I did ok on my own, self evaluation is tough. If I do another and I’m hiring a coach, Dave Sek and BPC would be my first choice. Thank you again for all your support Dave Sek, Jeff Capobianco, Jonathan Steeves and all the rest of the BPC athletes. Also Congrats to Dave on his 1st place AG, awesome!

Race Triathlon

Race Report – Patriot Half-Ironman

This is my fifth time doing the Patriot Half. Like last year, my goal again this year was to break 5 hours in a half-ironman. I wasn’t really sure that I would be able to get there. After last year when I pushed, or at least I thought I pushed pretty hard on the bike and barely dropped anytime from previous years I wasn’t as hopeful that the bike would be there for me this year either. I was thinking that I would have to do it all on the run. So the plan was to cruise the swim, not push too hard and do the same on the bike and then try to run 7:30s for the half marathon.

The Swim

The swim was the rolling start that they have had the last couple of years. I moved up the front of my wave so I wouldn’t have to swim around them. Although I was in the 7th wave I think so there were already plenty of people out in the water when I started. I almost forgot to start my watch and did it just as I was wading out into the water. I stayed a little to the right and just swam at a relaxed pace, bi-lateral breathing, sighting every 10 or so strokes. The water was a bit choppy on the way out and going across to come back in. I did the swim in 32:52, about a 1:20 slower than last year. I was fine with that considering the little bit choppy water on the way out.

SWIM NOTE: My friend Jan did NOT beat me this year in the swim. I got her by 8 seconds. I will remind her of that every time we swim at the pond now 🙂

The Bike

I made one change to the bike from last year. I put on tires that were a little bit wider. I went from 23mm to 25mm. I feel like it makes the bike more stable and comfortable. Realistically the thinner tires should be faster.

For the most part the bike was a very comfortable for me. I just stayed aero and took what the road would give me. Tried to keep a steady effort the entire ride. At about the half way point I took a look at the miles per hour and saw that it was 21.3. I was thinking I feel pretty good and as long as the wind doesn’t pickup I should be able to equal that effort on the second loop.

Well, the second loop I actually went a little faster than the first and ended up finishing the bike in 2:36:30 for 21.5 mph. By far the best ride I have ever had on that course. I knew I had just made up about 7 minutes from last year on the bike. Now I’m thinking if I can just stay under 8s on the run I have a shot at sub 5 hours.

The Run

I felt pretty good starting out the run, I looked down at my watch half way into the first mile and it said 7:30 so I backed off a little bit. I didn’t want to blow up early and then not be able to finish. Just keep it under 8s and keep my breathing and heart rate in check. From there I just clicking off the miles, all sub 8s until mile 10. Mile 10 there is a hill just before you take a left to come back on the main road to Camp Cathedral. That mile was 8:05. I just kept telling myself to get back down under 8 and I managed to do it for the last couple of miles. The run was 1:41:34 for 7:42 pace. That was probably my fastest half-marathon in a half-ironman.


The overall total time was 4:57:43. That was cutting it pretty close. I was really happy to be able to finally put a solid half together. Now if I can just do it again at Ironman Mont-Tremblant. I think all the long rides I have been doing for Ironman really helped with the bike this year. When you do a century 4 of the previous 5 weeks before the race, riding 56 feels like nothing.


Cycling Training

First Century of the Season

I’m sure there are quite a few cyclists out there that have already done their first century of the season. For me it was yesterday, and it was a great day for it. I decided to take the day off and go for the long ride when I saw the weather forecast. After riding in the rain for 4+ hours last weekend I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity.

Instead of making up my own route I decided to search up some of the local century rides and see which ones go by or close the house. Turns out the Ride for Shelter goes right by, so I downloaded the GPS from their website and off I went.

The ride goes along the Merrimac River and then up the seacoast along Hampton Beach. The views are great and the roads for the most part were in pretty good condition. Although in Amesbury the roads along the Merrimac were horrible and my water bottle was ejected and I had to turn back and get it. From Hampton the ride heads over to Exeter and then back down to Mass and goes along the Merrimac once more.

The second loop goes south through Newbury, Byfield, Georgetown, Topsfield, Rowley, Ipswich and Boxford. Not necessarily in that order, but I’m pretty sure I was in each of those towns at one point yesterday. Most of these roads are back roads and very rural. Unfortunately some of them do not seem to get much paving or it is the fill the pot hole paving method. This made for some very rough riding for some parts of the ride.

I think if I do this ride again I would probably change up the second loop to roads that I know and that are in better condition.

Cycle For Shelter 100

Cycle for Shelter Century Route

Cycling Training

The Trainer Road 20 Minute Test

This morning the 20 Minute Test was sitting in my schedule. The last time I did this test was about two months ago. It did not go well to say the least. I made it about ten minutes into the test and I was cooked. I knew that it was going to be tough, it always is, but it was really ugly. I think it recommended that I drop my FTP to 235, it had been 260. I decided to drop it to 250 and start focusing on some VO2 workouts.

At least once a week I scheduled a VO2 ride. Usually one that is 120% of FTP for 3 minutes. The first one of those did not go well. I made it through the first 3 of the 5 intervals, then about 2 minutes into the next one I had to stop and start. On the last one it was about half way in. After a couple of weeks of this workout I finally can make it through all of them. So no I will look for one that has 6 intervals instead of 5.

Back to today. I knew the test was going to go better since the VO2 workouts were going better. Fitness had to be improving right? I started out and felt pretty good through the first 5 minutes. I felt pretty confident that I was going to be going be making it the full 20 minutes. I was even considering shifting to a harder gear for the last 5 minutes. I decided to not go crazy and waited for the last minute to shift. Next time I will try a few minutes earlier.

At the end of the ride Trainer Road suggested I set my FTP to 251. I decided to just leave it at 250. I will keep the VO2 workouts going and see where I stand in another couple of months.

One thing I did realize is that it felt like I was in between gears riding. The gear I was in was tough, but I think I had a little more. When I shifted though, the next gear was just too hard. At the same cadence that gear was at least 20 watts more. I was looking for maybe 5-10. Something I will have to figure out.


Cycling Race Running Swimming Triathlon

Race Report – Mass State Triathlon

This was a first for me. I have never done the Mass State Triathlon even though it is one of the more popular races in the area. Having done the race I can see why it is popular, it has a lot to offer. The swim is in Lake Dennison and the water temps are usually low to mid 70s for the race. The bike is a pretty fast and flat course, a few rollers in it, but nothing that you can really call a climb. The run course is pretty flat as well, it does rise as you go out so on the way back you have that slight downhill and much of it is shaded. Finally there is the fact that my employer Neighborhood Health Plan is sponsoring the Max Performance triathlon series this year. Oh and lets not forget all the really cool swag!

The Swim

For the swim I had decided I was going to push a just a little more than usual because my friend Kristin Murray was also racing as part of a team. We had been talking some trash before the race. I knew she was probably going to beat me, but I just didn’t want her to beat me too badly. I started in the third wave of the day and moved up to the front of the group. The annoying thing with the swim is all of the triathletes that think they can swim and try to get up front. As usual the swim starts and all these guys start sprinting around me, within the first 400 yards they are pretty much all behind me. I end up coming out of the water 6th in the group and managed to pass quite a few of the  people in the first two groups. Kristin, did beat me, but only by a minute.

The Bike

I had a plan for the bike of holding 90% of FTP for the hour. I figured that would get me done in over 22 mph. Since I was never on the course and I heard it was flat I thought it would be a reasonable goal. I wasn’t able to hold the watts, at least not for average. The problem for me was the downhills. I think that I need to put different tires on my rims, the 21mm tires make me feel unstable. In the end I was able to finish at 22.2 mph. The bike remains a work in progress.

The Run

I didn’t have a plan for the run. Just go out and do the best I could given the conditions. Even though the run is mostly in the shade, it kind of felt like an oven with no breeze. I felt pretty good on the run, heading out it is slightly up hill so my pace was a little slower than I wanted. On the way back I managed to get down to a 7:15 pace and ended with an average of 7:33.


Felt pretty good with the overall result. The race is convenient so I would definitely consider doing it again. The race starts at 8 am and by 10:30 you are done. Unless you are staying around for awards you could get out of there pretty quickly. Even if you hang around it is still not an all day event. The race is well organized with lots of volunteers and lots of support on the course. Thank you Neighborhood Health Plan for sponsoring the race series!

Race Triathlon

Race Report – Patriot Half-Ironman

I think this is my fourth time doing this race. Coming into the race I was feeling pretty good about my level of fitness and my shot at breaking 5 hours. That was my goal. Sub 5 at a half-ironman distance event. I knew I could cruise the swim and still have a decent time of around 31 to 32 minutes. The bike was going to be the question mark though. In years past I was never really able to hold the Watts I wanted to and feel good coming off the bike. This would usually lead to me averaging around just over 20 mph. Anyway, here is my story of the race.

The Swim

This year was the first year I would experience the new swim start they implemented. It is a rolling start, where 3 athletes start every 10 seconds. It is still broken up into age groups, but it does help space out the swim start. I felt pretty comfortable the entire swim and kept my breathing under control. Nothing exciting happened and I ended up going 31:30. A pretty good start to the day. I was happy with that.

SWIM NOTE : My friend Jan beat me in the swim again.

The Bike

This is where the race became frustrating for me. The last time I did this race my goal was to hold 200 watts. I couldn’t do it, barely held 185 average in 2013.

To compare 2013 and 2015

Weight:      157        158
Avg Watts: 185        215
Max Watts: 397       502
NP:               195        222
Avg HR:       141        142
VI:                1.07        1.04
Time:          2:45:39   2:43:53

All this on the same exact bike. I barely picked up 2 minutes for pushing 30 Watts more. Obviously I really need to look at my bike setup and my position on the bike. That was just a huge disappointment to me. I knew after the first loop there was a problem when I only averaged 20.3 mph. I managed to finish at 20.5 mph, but at that point my goal of breaking 5 hours was pretty much shot.

The Run

The run was just a long run for me. My head wasn’t into it and I was thinking about what went wrong on the bike. My total time was 1:46:16 for average pace of 8:07. Not that great.


Overall I actually ended up with a PR by 14 seconds. 5:07:39. I’m happy that I was able to get a PR, but I was looking for about 10 minutes faster. Especially on the bike. I will do some testing with different positions over the next few weeks to see if I can figure out how to get the extra speed while maintaining the watts. I’m happy with the fact that I’m able to hold the power numbers, but I need to find out why I’m not getting the speed out of it.

Race Triathlon

Planning for 2015

I’ve started planning my 2015 season. So far the only race I have been able to sign up for is the Patriot Half. I like this race a lot, because it is a fast flat course. If the sun is out, the run get get a little hot, but other than that it is a great place to have a PR. Oh, and there is a lot of cool swag too!

The Patriot Half is going to be the A race of the season for me. No Ironman this year, but hopefully one in 2016. I’ve been looking at other races to fill out the season. I will probably do a half in April, The Great Bay Half, that I usually do with my friend Ray. I’m not sure if this will be a training run or an attempt at a PR.

Another race I would like to do is S.O.S. Survival of the Shawangunks in New Platz, NY. I forgot about the signup on Halloween night so I am in the lottery as of right now. This is an 8 stage triathlon, starting out on the bike and you transition to run to swim to run to swim to run to swim to run…. you get the idea.

If I’m not able to get into that race, then I will probably attempt Pumpkinman for the first time. It’s a race a lot of my friends have done and everyone seems to love it. Like Patriot it is a pretty flat course and it is likely you will have a cool day since it is in early September.

Then there is the Bermuda Around the Sound swim. This year the pond scummers went down and Tropical Storm Fay came along and cancelled the race on us. I know at least Mark wants to head back and I would like to go back and do the race. I’m not sure how many others will go though.

I should have a more solid outline at the end of the month when I find out if I’m in S.O.S.

Ironman Lake Placid Triathlon

Ironman Lake Placid 2013 – Race Report

The end of the journey to my second Ironman started early. I had set the alarm for 4:30am, but ended up not needing it. Breakfast consisted of a couple of bagels with cream cheese. I also drank a bottle of my custom drink mix to make sure I was hydrated and ready to go. My Dad drove me over to the Crown Plaza parking lot so I could walk down the hill with my morning gear and get going.

First thing I did was get marked, because they don’t let you into the transition area unless you have been marked. After finding a short line and quickly getting marked I walked into the transition area and the first person I see is Heidi and Jan pumping up their tires. Julie shows up a few minutes later after getting her bike all set. I borrow Jan’s pump and head down to my bike and fill the tires, put the water bottles on and calibrate my power meter. The bikes are all set so we head out of transition.

Outside we wait for Roger to come and get Jan’s pump and backpack and while waiting I take a quick walk around to try and find my Dad. He was wearing a bright orange shirt so he would be easy to find. The problem is that he isn’t the only one that thought of that and I’m not able to find him. Roger makes it down to the Mobil station where we are all waiting and takes a couple of pictures and a quick video before we head over to Team BPC for the group photo.

We get over to Dave (my coach) and Michelle’s condo and I put on my wetsuit and leave my morning clothes in a bag there. I was going to leave the bag on the transition rack for later, but it was looking like rain and I didn’t want everything to get wet if I was going to wear it after the race. I’m pretty much ready to go at this point. I have my cap, goggles, a Gu and I’m wearing my wetsuit. Let’s get this rolling! But first we have to get the team photo. We all walk over to get the team photo for BPC (Breakthrough Performance Coaching) and from there we can see the swim start. It’s just before 6am and they are not letting anyone in the water to warm up just yet. Jan is getting anxious at this point and wants to get started, as we all are really.

The pros are going off at 6:25 and the rest of us are going off at 6:30. We can see people warming up in the water now and starting to line up for the rolling wave start. Jan is getting really antsy now. “Can we hurry up and take this picture?”, “Shouldn’t we be over there right now?” Finally we get the picture done and head over, to Jan’s relief!

The Swim

This is the first year they had a rolling wave start. This is similar to a road race where all the athletes seed themselves accordingly so that we don’t all swim over the top of each other. Coach Dave is up front in the 60 minutes or under. Jan and Michelle Roy are in the middle of that wave somewhere. Michelle Sek and myself are at the back of the 60 minutes or under wave. I’m not sure where everyone else is at this point. I turn and look up into the crowd and I spot my Dad up on the hill and he sees me and waves. Glad I saw him before the start. The gun fires and we are off. Michelle and I make our way down into the water and start out. The beginning of the swim is better than last time and I can feel the draft as I’m just being pulled along. That feeling lasts for about half way down the first loop. Then it just turns into a mess as people start swimming back and forth across in front of me and I have to get out wide to avoid them. The problem with being out wide is that you don’t get any draft and you have to swim a longer distance. Once I make the turn and start to head back I stayed about 10 yards wide of the line and just cruised in for a 31:05 first split. Not bad and I figured it would open up a little more on the second loop. Second loop went well until about halfway down on the way back. That is when I ran into the back of the slowest people and started to have to swim around and do a lot more sighting than I wanted to. The second loop was almost two and a half minutes slower. Total time for the swim was 1:04:37, almost the same 2 years ago.


I came out of the water and quickly took off my watch and got my wetsuit down to my waist so that the wetsuit strippers could pull it off for me. As always the volunteers are awesome and the guy quickly pulled the wetsuit off my legs, pulled me up and had me on my way. On my way over to transition I hear Jan’s family yelling my name, quick turn and wave and I’m on my way to get my transition bag. I get into the tent and try to hurry, but I’m also trying not to forget anything. I forget to put the heart rate monitor on, so I try to hurry up and get it on. T1 is slow at 7:21. Kelly comments to me afterwards that she though something happened to me because I took so long. I mean it was long, but it wasn’t that long!

The Bike

I didn’t realize it during the swim, but it had started to rain. I just kind of laughed to myself because I had done so many training rides in the rain, I just figured it was going to be one of those days. Turns out that by the time I got to the bottom of the descent into Keene it had already stopped and it didn’t rain again.

My goal on the bike was to stay at the power numbers my coach had set out. This was particularly important at the beginning of the bike course when everyone is racing up the climb out of town full of adrenaline. It’s a hard thing to do, watch everyone pass you going up the hill. Some of the people were standing and grinding away and I just though I’ll be seeing them on the run. I felt pretty good after the climb up and the descent and I remembered thinking to myself this is where I let the ride get away from me last time. On the long flat out to Ausable I just rode way to easy the last time and didn’t pay attention to the power numbers. This time I was prepared and held the Watts all the way out and made it to the turn or just over 30 miles out in about one hour and thirty minutes. That’s pretty much the half way point time wise for the bike course. The way back goes slower because you are climbing back up to Lake Placid.

On the way out to the Ausable passed Jan at around mile 22 or so. She was looking pretty strong and was feeling good. After chatting with her for a little bit I headed out to the turn around. Just as I got to the beginning of the stretch of road where you can see the riders coming back I saw Coach Dave. I started looking for everyone else after I made the turn to come back from Ausable. First I saw Jan again, she was not far behind me and was still looking strong. Then I saw Heidi, not very far behind Jan. Michelle was next with a big smile. All three of them were doing their first Ironman.

When you return from the out and back you take a right and head toward Jay. I just took my time and spun up the hills keeping my power numbers in check. At around mile 40 or so Heidi finally caught up to me. She was riding well and having a good day. We rode up into the short out and back and saw Jan as we were heading back out. I remember telling Heidi that Jan was killing the bike. Heidi started pulling further ahead and I think I finally lost sight of her around mile 50.

The final hills up into town are probably the easiest on the course. Everyone is yelling and screaming on Papa Bear. It is a lot of fun to ride up that hill with everyone cheering you on. The first loop of the bike took me 3:03:36. I was pretty happy with that. I was thinking I might be able to come in off the bike in around 6 hours and I wasn’t far off on that first loop. However, I knew the second loop would be a little slower. The question would be, how much slower?

Starting the second loop I was still feeling pretty good and again watched the power numbers on the climb out of town and stayed in control. This time around there were not too many people passing me and I was actually starting to pass a few back that I tried to crush the course on the first loop. I made it out to the turn in 1:28:28, that was only 2 minutes slower than the first time around and now I’m 86 miles into the ride.

The last 26 miles were not as kind though and I ended up losing more time over the first loop. My time this time around for the last 26 miles back to Lake Placid was 1:42:44, the first loop it was 1:37:06. So lost almost 6 minutes on the last part of the second loop.

Total time for the bike course was 6:14:38, that is over 35 minutes faster than 2 years ago. While I wanted to go under 6 hours I also wanted to stay with the power numbers and see where it got me. I figured if I had something left after the bike I’d push the run.


The transition from the bike to the run was pretty uneventful. They grabbed my bike and I went and got my run gear and headed to the changing tent. Changed into my running gear and headed out. The nice thing about this year was that I didn’t need sunscreen because it was so overcast.

The Run

The goal on the run was to maintain E pace or E pace + 30 for the first 20 miles and then see what I have left. For me that means 8:30 to 9:00 minute miles. I did ok with that through the first half of the marathon. Actually, I did that ok all the way through mile 16. At that point the wheels kind of fell off and I just did what I could to hang on. I think part of my problem is that I may not have taken in enough nutrition late in the marathon. Thinking back on it now I don’t remember taking any Gel in the second half of the marathon. I made sure to drink at each water stop. I would have Ironman Perform and ice at each one and made sure to drink it down because I didn’t want to cramp. The marathon ended in 4:05:10. Not exactly what I wanted to run, I think I blew it by not having enough Gel, I remember taking it early on, just not in the second half. That was about a 9 minute improvement over my first Ironman Lake Placid marathon.

Total time for the Ironman was 11:36:29, a 50 minute improvement from the first time I did Ironman Lake Placid in 2011.

I want to thank my family for all of their support. Kelly, Mackenzie and JP have been great through all of the training and it always lifts you up when you know you are going to be seeing them on race day as you come in on the bike or the run.

I would also like to thank my coach, Dave Sek, from Breakthrough Performance Coaching for preparing me for Ironman. I thought he did an outstanding job of training me and getting me ready for Ironman. I felt like I showed up to the race injury free and ready to go.

Congratulations to all of the other Ironman finishers that I trained with at one point or another as well:
Janet Barnes (Kona qualified – awesome Janet!)
Pat Canonica
Jan Dik
Heidi Moulison
Michelle Roy
Dave Sek (Kona qualfied – 2nd time!)
Michelle Sek
Brigid Sullivan
Julie Valenti
Melinda Vaturro