Monday, August 1, 2011

Part 3: T2 and The Run: Lake Placid Race Report

If you are doing your first Ironman later this season, please, if anything, read my experience on this run. I made some rookie mistakes, and I hope you can learn from them! I don't want you to relive what I lived during the last 8.2 miles of that run! And the fix is just oh so simple!

If you missed my swim report, go HERE
If you missed my bike report, go HERE

T2: 4:25
This was easy. They take your bike. You take off your shoes and you run. A volunteer immediately opened my bag for me and helped me get sunscreen on, my shoes out, what I needed, what I needed back in the bag. It was great! I can't remember who my volunteer was, but he was AWESOME! So thank you mystery volunteer member!

The Run: 4:34:49
Oh the unknown of the Marathon. I have never ran a marathon before. In fact my longest run leading up to this race was 19.07 miles in 2:45:00. This didn't really mean much, but this distance was an unknown to me, let alone after a 2.4 mile swim and 112 mile bike.

But I started running and saw my family immediately as I exited. I just shouted to them, "Just gonna run a Marathon now. Cya in a short while!".....I was totally loopy at this point.

During the first two miles I was already questioning life. This run SUCKED. It was hot and my legs were NOT responding. If this is the beginning, is it only going to get worse now? Because I don't want any part of this! But a guy who knows me from came up behind me and said, "Are you Jon?"

We ran for a mile or so just chatting. That distraction tricked my legs into going smooth and suddenly I felt a LOT better.

And I went onto autopilot. As the miles crept by I felt myself getting stronger and stronger and stronger. Saw Peter at my mile 2, he was at mile 9-ish already and killing it. I saw Jill @ Mile 9. She looked great! Annie wasn't too far behind. At mile 10 I felt just AWESOME. Even the spectators were noticing it. I was getting a LOT of "#918. Looking super strong!"

I knew it. I felt it. My ego was ever expanding.

I even ran up Mill Hill. It hurt, but I kept chugging. I even saw Alexa at the top by the Sunoco station. She came out and high fived me. I told her she had a cupcake with her name on it. That was enough of a mental boost to get me past the diner to the main intersection.

Saw the family at the intersection. And apparently I was a salty beast at this point!

Somewhere between miles 10 and 13 things started to feel different. But I was still trucking. Just the normal fatigue of crossing over the halfway mark, right?

Up to this point I was carrying a handheld bottle and would fill it with ice and water at every aid station. This kept my hydrated (or so I thought) and also allowed me to squirt cold water on my head and down my back (this was WONDERFUL!).

But my innards were a ticking time bomb. I was drinking when I felt thirsty, but the entire time I could only get down so much before my stomach was just too full. It couldn't process any more liquid! If my stomach got too full, I would get a sharp cramp under my rib cage and that would slow me down.

So I was getting water logged, meaning I had enough liquid in me, but that doesn't translate to having the right balance of electrolytes.

And this is where the bathroom breaks started :(

I saw Mandy coming towards me between miles 18 and 19. I said to her, "Keep moving! I will catch up!" Brilliant, right?

My legs were hurting, but I was still running. At the turnaround on River Road all of a sudden I had to stop......or else. Crap! (literally!)

So much for catching Mandy as that would have been the final mental break I needed to get me to the finish line.

I could physically run, slow at this point, but my innards wouldn't allow it. Bummer...

So I would run until I couldn't, then find a portopotty, go, then run until I couldn't, portopotty and repeated that until I basically finished the race.

I did eventually catch up to Mandy around my mile 20 but she was so strong that I let her go and finish her race. Thank you Mandy for sticking with me for those couple of miles! Meant the world to me!

Again, I saw Jill and Annie near the River Road intersection.

The Finish:
The final 2 miles were the worst. I got to the bottom of Mill Hill and basically walked it from there to the finish, where I saved just enough energy (and innards will power) to run the length of the Oval or the last 200 yards.

When I entered the Oval, there were two people right in front of me. I let them go so they could have the finisher's shoot to themselves. I was constantly looking behind me to make sure no one was there. No one was!!!

I had the finisher's shoot to myself. It was pure bliss at this moment.

Then I heard the words from Mike Reilly:

Jon Campbell...

28 Years Old...

White Plains, New York...

For the First time in your life.



There is a reason why there are finish line catchers. As soon as you finish, your body just releases itself and you turn into a noodle. Its so strange! I was just walking/running feeling totally human not 2 minutes earlier and then BAM! Your body goes, "Thanks for playing! Its been fun! Aaaaaaaannnnnnd I'm out!"

The guy who caught me asked me how I was doing. As soon as I heard those words I blew up.

I. Freaking. Lost. It.

I saw he was a medical guy and I knew I was in rough shape having been to every portopotty from mile 18 to the finish. I tried to explain to him that I had severe diarrhea and it came out as something like this as my lips were quivering:

"I....hup hup hup......have....hup hup hup......gone to every....hup hup hup...bath....hup hup hup hup.....since mile.....hup hup hup.......18."

He understood and asked me if I wanted to go the medical tent. I said yes. But first! I wanted my dang finisher's photo! So with all of the strength I had, I stood there, put on one last smile and held myself up as best as I could.

Funky tan lines and all!
Then the space blanket went back onto me. Fortunately a family member was right there and I told them where I was going.

The medical people were just amazing. They took me in to weigh me, and as soon as they took me off the scale, suddenly things got even worse! The world started spinning, I wanted to hurl SO bad and everything was going black. I said, "Uh oh. UH OH! I AM GOING DOWN!" And my legs gave out.

They caught me with a, "I don't think so!" and hoisted me back up and to a bed.

The nurse got an IV into me, took some blood, then started pumping fluids into me.

25 minutes later I was brand new! The legs hurt, but I felt human again. Everything checked out except I was low on calcium, which is an electrolyte. (more on this in a bit)

We grabbed all of my stuff and tossed it into the back of my Uncle's truck with 4 pies of Pizza and I was on my way home.

But first I ran into DROG again! Fitting I guess?  Saw him at the swim start and now at the end.

(He dropped a 10:46 on his first Ironman!!!)
When I got home we all tore through the Pizza. My family was hungry too from spectating all day. They even got me a trophy with candy in it! My family is AWESOME!

What I did right for this run:
I believe I paced this as best as I could. I never ran faster than an 8:30 mile and eventually my miles evened out around a 9 min pace. I held this for the most part until the halfway mark. I hit mile 13.1 in 2:07:xx.

Carrying a hand held bottle was a smart move. At every aid station, I would fill it up with water and ice. This gave me liquid when I needed it and also allowed me to squirt cold cold water over my head and down my back. It was bliss! I HIGHLY recommend doing this!

What I should have done better for this run:
I should have taken Endurolytes (which were in my bento box!) on the bike. Then I should have continued to taken the Endurolytes, as well as Tums during the run. I should have used the liquid that I could get into me to get the pills into me.

Remember how I mentioned I was low on calcium? My coach later told me to bring Tums. That would have not only settled my stomach, but it also would have gotten the calcium into me, since Tums contains a lot of calcium, which is another electrolyte. Also, there is a reason why they serve bananas on the bike and run courses. Duh! Ding Ding! Easy calories and calcium!

So lessons learned! Liquid electrolytes can only get you so far. Taking in pills would be something to test during training. I think if I took the pills and tums and bananas on the bike and run, things would have turned out a lot different. I would rather be walking because my legs gave out, rather than my innards forcing me to walk.

What got me through this run:
Well, running the first 18 miles sure knocked off a ton of time! Walking the last 8.2 kinda sucked.....ok, well, it REALLY sucked! Knowing the course and how far I had left really helped. I knew I had plenty of time and I was VERY satisfied with running the first 18 miles of my first Marathon, ESPECIALLY since it was during a frigging Ironman! This is a small victory for me.

Stay tuned for one final post about the next day!


  1. You're the man, with the runs or not, because you did an IRONMAN! That's awesome. I'm glad you made it through the marathon even though it was tough! Congratulations, Jon!

  2. "Just gonna run a Marathon now. Cya in a short while!" - you crack me up!

  3. You looked so good on the run when I saw you!! I'm proud of you for toughing it out those last 8 miles.... you are the perfect example of a true Ironman! Does your next post have anything to do with TOMAHAWK?? :)

  4. I totally approve of your priorities. Race photos are WAY more important than medical tent. You can get an IV any day of the week. Finish photos are a once in a life time opportunity :)

  5. oooh this is such good advice! I need to practice this in training starting, like, now!

  6. You are amazing!!! first ironman, first marathon, stomach issues, bike issues...I guess that is what ironman is about! You put up some amazing splits on top of that! Congrats Jon and great to see you and your family out there!

  7. Great Job Jon! You really sucked it up for the finish line because you looked great as you crossed.

  8. Great post again Jon. I love this, but can you condense it all down into a book for me? Maybe I'll get Jeff to give me his Do's and Don'ts in book format as well, then Kevin and MattyO and I will be all set for next May.

    I will say that in the videos you look very very strong and then you did the bravest thing anybody could do and sucked it up in those 200 yards and came across looking strong and not beaten.

    Congratulations you F*(@&*NG IRONMAN!!!!!

  9. agree w/ Jeff ... you look solid at the end! Huge congrats again on the IM Finish. You did great! Can't believe we saw each other at the swim start....then again at very end of day!! that was so cool! especially after following you and your progress since last year. Way to find a way in the final 8mi you Got It Done!


  10. Holy freaking mental toughness!!!! And the tums are a good tip - I haven't heard that one before...

  11. You did awesome JON!!!! I would be proud to knocj down a 12 hour IM finish time!! Im glad you are ok!! Its the lessons learned that make you better and better!!

  12. Your are a freaking rockstar!!! Congrats again!!

    Is this your first Pukie? Wanting to or almost still counts.

  13. Really well done!!!

    And thanks for the very interesting / good advice!

  14. Catching up on your recaps now that I'm back from vaca, man oh man Jon, what a rough run but look at you, doing it and doing it well! So glad you are ok and what an epic saga of events! Congrats again!!!

  15. interesting - i take all my electrolytes through liquid, currently, but it sounds as if this was a big fat fail. i've taken salt pills/endurolytes before on long rides, but i've never run a marathon off of those rides so i didn't see any great affects. good to know.

    and hell. CONGRATS. running 18 miles off the bike is bomb, my friend.

  16. Congrats on fighting through those stomach issues and getting to the finish (and getting some great photos)!

    I've had good luck with Endurolytes and running though I've never done the biking first! That's interesting about the Tums, I'll have to remember that for future marathons.

  17. Way to push through when the going got tough! I've enjoyed every single of these reports. They are all so fantastic and inspiring.

    Just curious, what made you go with water only on the run and not Perform?

    I carried a bottle for the first time in a race at my last HIM and am glad I did. It is making the trip to WI for me.

    PS: I thought about saying something like "Great job on a shitty run", but that's just too easy. Besides, I no longer going to give you shit because now your are a F@#%@#%ing IRONMAN! (OK, maybe still a short joke here and there)

  18. You are amazing!!!! I can only imagine how much those last 8 miles must have sucked, but you did it!! You finished!!!
    I think I'm definitely going to be training with endurolytes from now on!

  19. You are such a ROCK STAR!!! It was so awesome to see you during the race!! GREAT RR!!

  20. Holy schmee. Never in my life have I been so into reading a race review. That is seriously awesome and you are fabulous! Lake Placid is only like 2 hours from where I go to college in Potsdam!

  21. Sorry to hear that the marathon didn't go how you hoped it would. Your coach sounds like a genius to me, I never heard of tums being good during runs, but I might have to try those out sometime.

    That moment in the finishing chute must have been amazing. Not sure if you want to put up a blog header picture, but your finishing chute pic might be a good choice, haha

    Overall sounds like it went great, the videos were awesome to check out too.

  22. Congrats! You look great in the finish photo. I'd never suspect! Tons of great videos and memories ..... You are a F@#&ING IRONMAN!

    P.S. Keep an eye out for a post I've been working on regarding pH balance of sports drinks. One of the key things I discovered was the relationship of calcium and magnesium. A bunch of calcium (like in Tums) won't be fully absorbed if not balanced with magnesium.

  23. what?!? you've never done a marathon!?!?!? oh no biggie, let me just swim 2.4 miles and bike 100+ and then go run my first marathon. makes perfect sense.... :)

    it sounds like your stomach issues - sloshing water and unbalanced electrolytes - are like what i've had in marathons in the past. guess i need to experiment with taking in electrolytes during runs. tums are a good tip, thanks.

    congrats once again, ironman!!! i won't lie... i want to be told that i'm an ironman...

  24. Alright I read it all and watched every video. LOVED that you stopped to see your family each time, that had to be an AWESOME mental boost.

    Lessons taken here... good stuff. Going to send this to Heather to read as well. I see us facing the same potential stomach issues on the run.

    Way to SIU (Suck It Up) buddy. Even though you were in turmoil, you looked a million bucks!!!

  25. Still amazing to me.

  26. Awesome job getting through a tough run. I've found I need tons more electrolytes than I originally thought and it has made a huge difference for me. You should check out Saltstick. You won't need to take nearly as many.

    It's interesting that you were low on calcium because one of the latest theories on fatigue is that it's caused by calcium leakage in your cells.

  27. Ugh! I cant imagine what those last two mikes must have been like. You really tougher it out. I still think that's a pretty great marathon time in an ironman. I know I won't even touch that and I won't havevto swim or run beforehand!

    Great job, Jon!

  28. I just got the chills reading this! So cool that you got the finish shoot to yourself! That's awesome! You had the cards stacked against you and did amazing! :) Congrats... again, and again, and again!

  29. Awesome report...I dont think anyone "gets it perfect" for an Ironman...way too long of a day. You really rocked it out, especially for a first IM!!


Don't be shy! Leave me a comment!