This is my first race report so a quick background might be in order.
A friend of mine Joel, in July of 2006, told me that it was really
difficult to get into the Ironman Lake Placid race as it gets sold out
right away. I took it as a challenge and got up early in the morning on
July 24, 2006 and was lucky enough to signup for it. I didn’t have a
background in triathlons. I didn’t even know what they were. After
signing up for the race I went for my first outdoor run (I used to run
on a treadmill). I bought my first bike in August of 2006. Joel took
be on a hill and showed me how to use my gears. On September 19 2006 I
participated in my first triathlon. It was the Mighty Hampton. Two
weeks latter I participated in my second tri, which was a half-ironman
distance race, the Epic and rainy mighty Montauk of 2006. After this
race Cliff took over and started coaching me. My goal was to finish my
first Ironman distance race and get the medal. I finished my first IM
LP in 12:13:31.
Lake Placid race day: Small rain, big rain, thick rain, sideways rain.
It was still dark when I woke
up at 4:30 AM on Sunday July 20, 2008. I woke up Cliff even though I
was trying to be as quiet as possible .
He was amazing enough to be there for me and the other tristar
athletes. I ate my two cliff bars. I wanted to eat the beef Jerky
sitting on the side table but I remembered the wise words of Cliff, "no
food with fiber before the race”. That sucks I told myself – anyway –
went to the rest room (very important), stretched (equally important),
and got ready for the race. I don’t know why but I was in an amazingly
happy mood this morning. I wasn’t scared or tensed about the race,
which is very unusual. I kept on telling myself that it’s going to be
an adventures day. Dam I couldn’t believe it, I was actually looking
forward to the race.
Well we got to the swim start
(Joel, Janine, and me. Thanks Bobby for driving and Cliff for dropping
off the special needs bags). The sky was cloudy and I could feel some
rain drops. Athletes were getting in the water. I waited until fifteen
minutes before the start to get in the water and warm up. The warm up
was nothing more than running into people, after every few strokes, and
stopping and turning around and starting again. Before the start I got
myself close to the front and waited for the cannon to go off.
Baaaaaaaaaaaang! We were off. Well the first thing I remember is a
girl climbing on my back. I thought, what the hell is going on. We are
seconds into the race and someone is already taking advantage of me.
Good my girlfriend wasn’t there or she might suspect something. In all
seriousness it was a painful swim. Last year I was hit a few times,
during the swim, but this year was the worst. I think I was raped at
least 5 to 6 times (As a lawyer I take these things seriously and I will
be pressing charges against these violators). I was hit on my goggles a
couple of times. Hit on my head and chest more than what I would like
to remember. My goal for the next year is to be the fastest swimmer at
the IM (or take a taser gun in the water as a backup). During the swim I
felt I had a lot to give but it was hard to pass people. Most of them
were in groups and crowed around the magic yellow line (which I was also
trying to follow). Came out of the water with a lot of energy. Had a
cramp in my left calf (when a volunteer was yanking off my wetsuit).
This is the second year I had a cramp after the swim, but this year I
know why. While getting my suit taken off I point my toes too much,
which overstretches my calf.
Bike ride was fun. I loved the
weather. It was nice and rainy. The Keene Valley down hill was
probably the scariest thing I have done in a while (well not as scary as
when I went off the cliff in Lake Tahoe while skiing). I have hit 54
MPH on this downhill but with today’s wet conditions I was taking it a
bit slower – 47 MPH. I nearly crashed twice but I guess someone up
there doesn’t want me yet. During the second loop of the bike course I
was screaming with the spectators. I lost my voice by the time I got to
the run. But it was a lot of FUN. Got off the bike with a lot of
energy and felt fresh (Thanks cliff again – great training). I lost my
gel flasks and my electrolyte pills during the bike ride but I was able
to eat the gels from the aid stations and get my nutrition in.
Run was fun and comfortable (I
know I can’t believe it myself). I ran within my training limits.
Cliff told me to take it easy and that’s what I did. Ate on the course
said hello to other runners and spectators (my throat is still
recovering). Last year I remember having to walk through all the aid
stations and the hills. This year I was able to run the whole course
and even pass a few people. When I got to the oval stadium I sprinted
the last 200 meters. Cliff was on the other side of the line. The
first thing I told him was, I can do more. AND that is what I hope I
can do in the future. Do more of these amazing races. Other
triathletes have told me that they compete in ironman to push their
limits or to test themselves. For me it’s a daylong adventure where
anything can happen. You can feel good or you can feel crappy. You can
have the fastest and the best race of your life or the slowest and
still the best race of your life. You can meet people who help motivate
you or some real a—holes. But who cares at the end. YOU. OR maybe
another Ironman. It’s all about creating a few memories for when we
won’t be able to do this anymore (Right?).
Thanks for putting up with my race report. Time to recover and look forward to the next adventure.
At the end of the day I know that I have managed to live more in one day than most people do in a lifetime, honestly
Going down a steep hill with tight turns in your underwear – as they
described it on the Tour de France – at over 47 MPH with pouring rain.
Whoooow! Final race time 10:39:51.
Quick thanks to some important people in my life -
Thanks a loooot Cliff for the
incredible coaching. You coached me amazingly well and most importantly
got me to the start line healthy. Thanks Cliff and Maha for motivating
me during the tough training schedule (while I was working full time,
attending college full time to complete my LLM, and attending weekly
French cooking classes). Thanks mom for helping me gain 20 1bs this
Thanks Maha for making sure that I ate healthy and lost those 20 lbs in
two months. Thanks Nadim for pushing me to continue with my Ironman
dreams, as I wouldn’t be able to continue without his help. Thanks to
Joel for being a great workout partner.
PS. Didn’t need to "relieve"
myself while on the bike or while running. I stopped and took my time
to enjoy the scenery and take care of business. My humble advice
respect your bike and shorts