Friday is almost over, another beautiful 85 degree, sunny day in Lake Placid. Andy and I took a short drive on part of the bike course today so he could show me the infamous “descent into Keene” which is very steep and scary when you think about going down it on a bike. They can reach speeds of 55-60 mph and there are some really rough patches of road! I’m going to try not to think about that on race day so I don’t get nervous.
We spent a good portion of the day with Andy’s parents and brother at the little beach at our hotel. The water was perfect and I took the kayak out again today. I paddled pretty much the whole lake, making sure to do a section that included the Ironman swim course — and it seemed SO far to me. 2.4 miles is a long way to swim!
After the beach, Andy and I headed over to the Official Athlete’s Dinner at the Lake Placid Horse Show Grounds. For a mere $30, I got a plate full of carbs, including ravioli, mac n’ cheese, bread and a stray piece of roast beef and some green beans. I hope my nutritionist isn’t reading this! Thankfully, the meal was free for athletes.
Our dinner was emceed by Mike Reilly, who is the official Ironman USA announcer — he’s the one who announces at the finish line and says those famous four words…. “YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!” Mike gave us some statistics about this year’s race, which is 75% male and 25% female and he brought up the youngest (18) and oldest (75) competitors which was really cool. Hearing from the 75-year-old made me feel a little ashamed of myself though! But, knowing that he and the oldest woman (65) didn’t do their first Ironman until they were 50 was encouraging!
We also listened to some motivational words from Matt Long, who is the NYC firefighter I mentioned in one of my older posts here. After dinner was the mandatory athlete’s meeting where they went over all the rules (which the racers should already know, since they’re in the athlete guide, but you know how that stuff goes). The swim race director informed the athletes that the World Triathlon Corp water temperature cutoff for allowing wetsuits is 76.1 degrees. The water in Mirror Lake has been between 76 and 77 degrees for the past few days. At first we were a little nervous when we heard that because Andy needs to wear his wetsuit — swimming isn’t his strongest leg of the race and the wetsuit adds much needed buoyancy. However, they said that if the water is too warm, they will still allow people to wear wetsuits — however, if you opt to do that then you cannot qualify for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, HI. Since they only take like top 1% of each age group for Kona, Andy’s not really worried about qualifying, so he will wear his wetsuit regardless. I personally would like him to get to Kona one day! 🙂
On our way out we ran into Alex and Anh, a couple that we met here in LP last year while standing in line to sign up for Ironman. We were all happy to see each other and realized that we’re all staying in the same hotel! We exchanged numbers and talked for about half an hour before the mosquitos got to be too much. We’ll hopefully see them on race day and maybe get together for drinks early next week.
On the agenda for tomorrow is a whole lot of the same. Andy will do a short bike and run, just 10-15 minutes of each to keep his muscles limber. At some point he has to say goodbye to his bike for the night and put it in the transition area to be ready for race morning. I signed up to volunteer in the bike area from 5-9 pm, so I will do that while Andy rests up for his big day…. more to come tomorrow!