We arrived in Lake Placid the Friday before race day at about Noon. It was great to be in town again. This was my fifth year being at the race and 2nd year racing. There is something about the Lake Placid community and the energy of Ironman that is magnetic.
The plan for the day was to get registration out of the way and get a 45 minute ride in to loosen up after the 5 1/2 hour drive. We hit registration first and breezed right through - quicker than I expected. So quick that I didn't have time to experience the nervous anticipation I had in 2006 while waiting in line. That "Oh s$*t" feeling of what have I gotten myself into. Instead, I found myself surprisingly calm.
Ironman has their act together. There are four stations to go through during registration, it's all volunteers and is a very smooth process considering there are 2,400 athletes to process.
First stop is to sign waivers and verify emergency contact information is correct. One different thing I remember signing this time over my last Ironman was a HIPPA form in which you could give Ironman permission to share my medical status should I end up in the medical tent. If you read my last post you'll know that it was a good thing that I checked "yes" on this question.
Next stop is weigh in. I weighed in at 200 pounds even, which is about what I expected. My home scale was at 194 without clothes and I had been taking Liquid Edurance to help with my hydration. A result from this supplement is small weight gains just prior to race day in the form of water weight.
Next stop is getting race day gear. This includes:
- Swag bag, which is considerably weak considering it's by far the most expensive race to sign up for and they seem to have more sponsors than they know what to do with
- Swim cap marked with race number
- Timing chip
- Race numbers for the helmet, bike and race belt
- Five gear bags each with a number sticker and instructions on which bag goes with which sticker. The gear bags are for morning dry clothes, swim to bike transition, bike special needs, bike to run transition and run special needs. I remember this being completely overwhelming in 2006 but normal and expected for my return race.
- Number bracelet which identifies me as a participant and will get me into transition areas, swim start, post race awards, etc.
After a quick check-in at the hotel I connected up with my GSTC teammates for a spin. We were out for about 40 minutes and did a short portion of the bike course. I felt very relaxed and strong, especially on the hills we did - I remember hoping race day would bring the same feeling.
The rest of the day was pretty relaxed. After a quick shower I decided to worry about packing my gear bags on Saturday morning and just relaxed for a while until dinner. We were sharing a 2-room suite with some friends and were able to catch up with them before heading over to The Dancing Bear for dinner at the High Peaks Resort, both the hotel and restaurant are highly recommended if you are ever in Lake Placid!