Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lake Placid, Day 2

If you can't tell, I had been really busy up there in Lake Placid and I haven't forgotten about all of you fellow rockstar bloggers! I plan on catching up with each and every one of you. So please be patient! I wanna know who PR'ed this past weekend! Your successes inspire me to try harder!

So Sunday was my 2nd full day in Lake Placid, AND it was race day. Talk about C-R-A-Z-Y.

Volunteer Walkthrough
Up @ 5:30AM, scarfed down some food, but it was hard to eat because I was so nervous for all of the athletes! ha!

Got my volunteer T-Shirt and security wristband and went to the Men's Transition Tent. The volunteer captain there got us all oriented with what we were to do and that was it. I had just enough time to get to the swim start to see it go off.

WOW! 3000 athletes all at once taking off. Talk about inspiring. The swim start area went from a bunch of folks treading water to a sudden washing machine. Water was flying everywhere! I couldn't wait around too long because the pro's had a 10 min head start on the masses so I had to get back and get ready for the onslaught.

When the first pro came in, we didn't know what to do cuz he ran in, stopped, dropped his transition bag and wetsuit, picked up his helmet and went for it. So someone put his dropped stuff in his bag and that was that. I was like, "Hey! This will be easy!" WRONG

People slowly filtered in and it was manageable. Quickly it became overwhelming and you just could do what you could do to help folks get stuff out of their bag and get stuff into their bag for them.

I discovered there were a few different "types" of transitioners.
The pros: STAY OUT OF THEIR WAY! They know what they are doing, so let them. Just clean up after them.
The top age groupers: They were just like the pros, but some were a bit demanding asking you to do everything for them. Some just wanted to be left be, but clean up after them.
The self sufficienters: They have everything in order, and just let them be.
The I-Need-Helpers: They need their hands held! Seriously!
The Take-My-Timers: They don't need help, they just want to be left be, but they take their take. They say that "transition won't make or break my race".
The Spreaders: They spread all of their stuff across 5 different chairs with everything in order. Stay out of their way!

Nobody was rude and everybody was grateful in the tent for our help. We mostly just either bagged and tossed their bag into "the pile" or waited for them to bag and then we tossed.

Some folks came in around the 2+ hour mark and we were looking @ our watches getting worried cuz they looked like they were going to need all the time they could get!!! We later learned that only two folks missed the bike cutoff @ 5:30PM.

We were done sticking the bags back in everyone's spots by 9:45 and I was done, so I got a bite to eat and waiting for the pros to start coming through on the bike. I staked out a nice spot right at the 56 mile marker.

The pros are FAST! and make it look like they are just starting the bike. Actually, everybody looked that way! I thought to myself, "Usually this is when you get off your bike and run a half marathon......they are going for another loop......BADASS!!!"

It is amazing how after only 3 seasons of triathlon you recognize a LOT of people, whether it be from other races or from the blog world. I seem to have races with the same random people over and over again, and I saw them again at this one. I have NO IDEA who these people are, I just keep seeing them!

I did see Alexa @ Just Keep Swimming finish her first loop and she looked to be in perfect condition ready to rock another loop.

My battery was starting to wear down after most of the field finished the first loop and things quieted down in town. But I hung in there! Mandy and I started to stake out different run locations to get the best view of the runners coming out.

Eventually the pro men started and they came out like bullets! Geebbus did they just bike 112 hilly miles? Didn't look like it!

After this I was dying. I went back to my hotel and crashed for a solid 2 hours. How lame is that?!?! I mean, folks are out there going full steam for 12 hours and I can't volunteer for 3 and spectate and eat ice cream for 3 and last a whole day. haha!

Coach Meetup
Around 6 I met up with my prospective coach for next year. Its a GO! January 1st will be my start date so I am still on my own through Timberman and the Marathon, which was the plan all along.

Basically the coach said, "I have 15 athletes out there today and they range from 20 hours a week down to 8 hours a week, and I make sure that I maximize their limited time to get into Ironman shape."

In other words, its gonna be simple training load (intensity x volume = load). I could do the same amount of hours that I am doing now and do an Ironman. Its just that 12 hours a week will be a LOT more intense than if I do 20 hours a week where that will be more volume than intensity.

The other groundbreaking thing that he mentioned was that physiologically your body between the 6 and 9 hour mark throws a switch and things "change." Your body starts acting differently due to the stress. I had NO idea about this because I have only been out in the trenches for 5:55:xx. So some long 6 or 7 hour bike rides will be in order next year followed by a *gasp* brick run of 30-45 mins meant to see if my nutrition was appropriate on the bike.

Met up with some friends for some pizza while it started to get dark. They are athletic trainers and physical therapists and they know I have never seen an Ironman in person before so they said, "Jon, notice a difference between the men and women now at the 14 hour mark? Notice that the women are looking a LOT better than the men?"

I was like ooooookaaaayyyyyy, but sure enough, they were right! The women looked SO much stronger than the men! They said it was due to the fact that women have more fat reserves than men but also the hormone estrogen masks the fatigue and pain allows women to go longer albeit not as fast. They also said that if a man and woman have the same 10K time, that the woman will spank the man on a longer distance, such as the marathon due to the above mentioned.

Interesting stuff!

I again was fading and called it a night. Congrats to all of you finishers!


  1. It sounds like you had a great time volunteering. What a fantastic way to get a feel for next year:)

    Funny about the different groups of transitioners:) have a good one Jon!

  2. Ha, love the description of transitioners. Is that a word???

    Yeah, women rock. :)

  3. I'm telling ya, women have a higher pain tolerance and that explanatory is why! Although on the flip side if I'm feeling tired and in pain, that must mean I'm really in pain!

    Interesting to learn about the transitioners, I think I'd be the self-sufficient one.

  4. Sounds like you had a great weekend and really good experience for next year!

  5. Wow..what an amazing experience! That transition area must have just been crazy!
    I agree with Caratunk Girl: Women rock! :)

  6. I love your recaps! They're getting me SO excited! PS I am PUMPED you signed up! I've been MIA from blogland but I definitely saw the announcement and can't wait to trade virtual training stories with you for the next 12 months!

    IMLP 2011 woot woot!

  7. Thats just cool!!! Thanks for volunteering, I love to hear when people give back to the sport.

    The first IMAZ ever, I didnt know it was happening, I was at work and I saw it was busy down by the lake, so I walked down to check out what was happening, this was WAY before I decided to become a triathlete. After learning the distance from a bystander, I asked to volunteer, I was a bike catcher, it was cool, I did drop some bikes that now I know were in the thousands of dollars, but its something I will never forget.

  8. First, I think it's great that you volunteered for the Ironman. And having done an Ironman, the people in the change tent are by far some of the best volunteers out there (although all of the volunteers are what make the day possible). I'm glad that you liked the coach. Sounds like their philosophy will definitely have you prepared! And as for the women that look so much better... it's probably because they didn't kill themselves in the bike and swim, knowing that they had a long run ahead. :) We're not only fat storers, we're also smarter! just kidding!


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