It is always a nice feeling coming back to Lake Placid, this being the 6th time back in 7 years. Everyone in the town has adopted me as their hometown favorite, which makes it awesome out on the course.
This year I had a motto in my head, the “drive for 5 in 2005”. I was trying to win my 5th title here in Lake Placid and what a better year than 2005. Being a huge Nascar fan, my favorite driver Jeff Gordon (#24) also entered the 2005 season hoping to win his 5th Nextel Cup Series Championship. With Gordon’s season not going as well as hoped, it was all on my shoulders to keep the drive alive. My motto for the race, was something that I never mentioned to anyone prior to finishing the race – you never want to jinx anything. Having said this, while it was my desire to try and win the race, I really would have been fine with whatever the outcome was. In a way, this takes all the pressure off.
This year the professional women were put in the spotlight. A first for Ironman racing, the women started 35 minutes before the main field. The reason was to highlight the women’s race, attract a stronger than normal field, and create a fair/ clean race. The race was a great success.
My day started with a slower than normal swim. One benefit to starting with the masses is that there are more people to draft off of. This was not the case for me, so I came out of the water about 4 minutes slower than in the past. The only good part was that all of the other women were slower as well. I have learned to never get discouraged when I see the clock exiting the water – just file it away, and move on to the bike portion of the race. This year I was riding my “speedy set-up” of my great K2 T-Nine bike with a ZIPP disk in the back and deep dish 808 on the front. This is definitely a fast set-up but one that requires perfect conditions. It was perfect conditions so the set-up was awesome. Throughout the bike, I continued to move up through the field. This is something that doesn’t normally happen, so I was very encouraged. I got off the bike in single digit-deficit territory – this is a first for the race here.
Now it was out on to the run – which is usually the best part of the race for me. From the start, I could tell that the legs were a little more tired than normal from the bike ride. I also was feeling the effects of the heat – and was very light-headed heading out on the run. I stopped at the first aid station I hit and walked through getting in lots of fluids and also some extra sodium. I was then able to get into my stride. One of the girls in front was the fleet feeted Kim Loeffler. I knew that it was not going to be an easy task to catch Kim, even though I was only a couple of minutes behind. At about mile 5, I finally caught up to Kim and made the pass. Kim kept the pressure on from behind, so from that point on, I was running scared. The crowds were amazing and this was definitely what kept me going. Only once I made the last turn-around with ¾ of a mile to go was I able to enjoy the fact that win #5 was going to happen.
It has been 2 years since I have won an Ironman race so this one was extremely special. I have erased any doubts that I may have had as to whether I would ever win another Ironman. Now it is time for some R&R before the build-up for Hawaii!!!!
Another great thing about my win in Lake Placid is that this year I was able to give a little something back to the community. As a part of the TriDubai triathlon team (www.tridubai.com), not only was I racing for myself, but also to help raise money for the Lake Placid Child Care Committee. The committee provides affordable after school care for children of working parents – which is a great concept. Hopefully some of these children can be introduced to sports through this program. By winning the race, I was able to raise $5000 for the charity, and presented them with a check at the awards ceremony.
I want to take the chance to thank all of my sponsors who have been so supportive year after year. Without this support I would not be able to do what I do. Please take a look at my SPONSORS page and check out all of my great sponsors.