Friday, July 30, 2010

IMLP Race Report - The Bike

I made it through transition and got on my bike for the 2 x 56 mile loops that included screaming fast descents and climbs that felt like they wouldn't go away. My hope was for a safe ride and to keep my power down to save my legs for the run. Overall the bike was uneventful except for the screaming fast descents... at one point I hit 46 miles an hour! At that point life was more important so I sat up and just made it down safely.

My main concerns were safety, power and mechanical issues. You never want a mechanical and, as a bike shop owner, that is the LAST thing you want for a customer. Thankfully my bike was flawless. My mechanics Geoff and Mark kept the bike in great shape and Mark went through our bikes with a fine tooth the week of the race. If anything had happened to the bike then it was meant to be. The bike was beautiful!

I headed out of Lake Placid pretty quickly and started the first climb. I kept my power very steady as a stream of riders passed me. I didn't care... let them go. Stay in your bubble. That was the plan. Stay in your bubble.

There are a few points on the bike where you have to go out and back, so you can see where other athletes are and it's where I would hopefully see the other guys I trained with. I'd also see other customers, my coach and most importantly my brother. I needed the piece of mind knowing that he was ok and he was killing it! We'd ask each how we were feeling or shout words of encouragement.

As the ride progressed I started to think about when I'd see my family. I couldn't wait! As I headed into the the final climb of the first loop, a nice climb called Papa Beer, I was just minutes away from seeing them. I started getting a little emotional. I knew my entire family was waiting.

As I came down the flat stretch many athletes stayed in their aero position, but I didn't care. I wanted to make sure they saw me and I saw them. As I passed I raised my fist in the air, pumped away and yelled FORTE!!!! which means strong in Italian. It's a little family saying we have. I could see my family screaming, jumping up and down, and cheering me on. I'm certain they did the same thing for Vin just a few minutes before me.

As I rounded the corner to pass the Olympic Oval I heard over the loud speaker, here comes 849, Marty Miserandino. I thought that was sooo cool.

I made the turn and heard my name being yelled and I saw my friend Kelley, her mom and her kids cheering us on. I had no idea they were there! They drove up that morning to cheer us on and it provided such a needed push. Did I mention she drove up THAT morning and left after the race... 5.5 hours each way... thank you!

The second loop is where I thought I'd make a little move, and I did, but then brought myself back to Earth. I knew if I pushed it too hard I'd pay for it dearly on the run. I saw Vince again on the out back and he looked strong. I was hoping I'd see him again, but I didn't. He was having a heck of a race.

Although there were 2,700+ people racing, an Ironman is very lonely. The last 11-12 miles on the bike course, especially the second time around, is really unforgiving. It's basically a continuous climb back into Lake Placid with few breaks. At that point I wanted to see my family again and get on with the run.

As I passed the fam the second time around I was a little less enthusiastic as my energy was starting to fade, but I managed to blow kisses and smile. I knew I was just about done with the bike. As I pulled into T2 I was a little wobbly off the bike. Unexpectedly my cousin Elena and her boyfriend Kevin were there waiting at the transition and it was a needed boost. After the race she told me that she was really nervous for me because I was as white as a ghost when I got off the bike. I made my way back to my transition bag and headed into the changing tent. Even though I didn't feel that I went to hard on the bike, and my power data confirmed this, I was losing energy. I had that lethargic feeling and my legs didn't want to move. I was nervous.

I entered the changing tent and a volunteer came over to me immediately and asked what he could do to help. The volunteers really make this race. The guy emptied my bags, helped make sure I was ok, etc. I took a little time to pull myself together, took in a Gu Roctane, went to the bathroom, sipped some water and then I was off. I was about to enter the great unknown...I was attempting my first marathon ever and that after a 2.4 mile swim and 112 mile bike ride.

Up next: The Run...

1 comment:

  1. Marty, you are making me cry reading this. Though I don't know how it feels to be as fast as you, I know these thoughts and emotions, particularly those of the crowd -- esp your friends and family -- cheering you on. I tell people they have no idea how much it helps. It does keep you going. Thanks for sharing this with them and us. We love it!




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