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Race Result

Racer: Alice Spriesterbach
Race: Ironman Lake Placid
Date: Sunday, July 22, 2012
Location: Lake Placid, NY
Race Type: Triathlon - Ironman
Time: 12:57:45
Overall Place: 918
Age Group Place: 7 / 80
Comment: I started off this Ironman chasing demons from my poor swim in 2011 but ended up God giving me a miracle and helping me Love my sport and the Ironman even more.

Race Report:

Ironman Lake Placid 2012

My report on Ironman Lake Placid 2012 starts off on my performance in Lake Placid 2011. During 2011 I went without the wetsuit because of it being optional and then completely placing myself wrong with the swim, which affected my whole day. I worked hard this year, using Coach Mike Matney and he helped me improve all areas especially my swim. My strength appears to be the bike which I adore. I spent for a new bike for me this year; I got a speed concept 9 from a great bike fit suggestion with Crofton Bike Dr who eventually ended up sponsoring me. I am grateful to them for their support. For the majority of the year, training had been going great! I even had a great weekend in Deep Creek with the Grand Fondo century ride staying in a house with the best MMTC people. The two races I did prior to IM Placid (Rumpass in Bumpass and Rev 3 Quassy) I placed 3rd in my age group.
On July 4th, as many know I put my pictures up on Facebook, during a simple training ride I was on Ilchester Road doing hill repeats and crashed. It was after my 1st hill repeat going back down the bottom steep part of the hill my front tire caught something and slowed suddenly propelling me over my handlebars and onto my left side of my helmet and face. The impact was so hard, that as an experienced ICU RN with trauma experience I thought I was in for a craniotomy to relieve the pressure on my brain from the impact. It all happened so fast and was scary. God so blessed me with it being a holiday (4th of July) and with many people around since I crashed just outside the state park. After the impact, all I remember is pushing myself up (had asphalt in my finger tips) with someone shouting, “Are you alright?”. My first thought was, “Ouch that hurt bad and My Bike My Bike!” The bystanders that were right there actually pinned me down, got my bike and reassured me that my bike was okay. One couple, who I can’t say enough good things about, even took my bike home for me I am grateful to those bystanders. Someone called 911, since my gash went down to the bone and was pretty bloody. My helmet took the brunt of the impact and did save me from that craniotomy. My sunglasses saved my face they were shattered and cleanly cut into my forehead (that is why there was so much blood) and fractured my nose but would have been worse if my face had been exposed. The paramedics were so good and I was lucky that I never lost consciousness so they took me to Howard County Hospital instead of the Trauma Center at Maryland. The ER staff was so good to me at Howard. I wound up with 17 stitches which healed beautifully and I did not have a concussion and can you believe that and no other broken bones, other than my nose, or torn ligaments just some very angry muscles. I feel I am a miracle for as bad as that impact was, I was even determined even more to do the Lake Placid Ironman – only 2 and half weeks away. I remembered that Chrissy Wellington raced at Kona injured.

Coach Matney was great he lent me equipment to train with, The Bike Dr checked out my bike which survived great even though it flipped over me. On day 3 after the accident when my eye swelling went down and my eye opened up I was back on my bike. On the next day, I did a 52 mile ride and felt as good as someone could after crashing just a few days ago. I have to give my husband credit he was very supportive and my friends were amazed at the pace of my recovery.

Race Week:
I went up to Lake Placid on Wednesday and did what my coach assigned for workout. I was lucky with having Lisa Farias giving me such great massages, since she was up at Lake Placid also training. She is a very talented lady that I am so appreciative to have her as a friend also. I also spent time at Mark Yost’s place where I really enjoyed MMTC members and everyone was so positive and encouraging to me. Two of my grown children came up in support we rented a house 1 block away from the bike start it was so nice to have the extra encouragement they brought.

Race AM:
Up at 0330, ate 2 hard boiled eggs, bagel, and 1 banana and headed up to drop my special needs bags off, while getting body marked along the way. I then fixed my bike up then went to MMTC tent where Lisa worked out my left shoulder. After visiting the MMTC tent I headed for the swim start and kissed my husband of 28 plus years who is my strength.

Swim: (1:15.20)
Drank one serving of infinite then went through the timing mat and placed myself in the middle right behind the middle fast crowd. I felt this placement would prevent the problems I had last year with getting pushed under by the hundreds of people starting with you. This spot appeared to have less people than right next to the dock –where I started last year.

I don’t know if I was completely ready but the gun went off and I found myself once again in a wrestle fest. I even wound up passing a guy who 3 others were helping, he was freaking out and I heard he got pulled out of the water. The crowd never let up but I got good at throwing grabbing hands off of me and fending others off to keep them from climbing on me. The end of the first lap came before I knew it! Just as suddenly, I was done the 2nd lap! I came out of the water got my wetsuit stripped and ran.

T 1: (9:04)
I was long in all my T times due to my upper back (a lingering result of the crash). I saw Kathi Cover my original Ironman buddy forever (IBF) helping someone else. So Loretta graciously helped me put some heat patches on my back before I got ready for the bike and I was off.

Bike: (6:17.42 only 3 minutes away from the fastest bike time in my age group. I was 3rd fastest there)
It was crowded at the start. Coach Matney was having me go a little aggressive on the bike and push myself right from the start for the whole first loop, he was right on and I loved it. I do have to admit even though my splits did not show it the last 3 miles of the screaming downhill to Keene I had some bad memories of my accident. I did wind up feathering the brake it but ended up passing most of those who passed me as soon as I got into Keene and on the flats. I was having so much fun on the bike, I hydrated well and kept up with my nutrition (infinite, power bar, 1 stinger waffle and sodium tablets). The wind picked up the second half but slowed everyone down so it was difficult on everyone.
T 2: (10:03)
Oh my goodness, I got off my bike and was bent over my back froze up, I guess the muscles in my back and shoulders were still experiencing the effects of the crash. My wonderful 25 year old daughter was volunteering in T 2 and got the Active Release Therapist over quickly and they worked on me. They told my daughter after I left that they could not believe I was not in more pain than I was and were surprised on how well I was doing for being hurt.

Run: (5:05.36) This was my worst marathon ever!!!
I started off fine; I had taken a gel in T 2 and was able to keep about a 9:30 pace at the start. I started slowing down as my back was stiffening up and my nutrition started to go off plan. By mile 8 I could not stomach another gel and was so sick to my stomach. At this point I know I needed an alternate plan for nutrition and I started trying grapes, oranges, bananas but I my stomach couldn’t tolerate them and I spit them right out. I could tolerate about a 1/3rd cup of cola during a water stop and for two miles cola was all I could tolerate. I saw Bram at a water stop near the Lake, who mentally helped me more than he knows; he asked me what he could get me, I cried I did not know what to do I could not tolerate anything he just smiled and listened. After the next mile I started tolerating a whole cup of cola so I did my marathon on cola and a little water. I now was starting to notice another problem, I had kept my tri shorts on but it was what 85 /90 degrees out and my sweat started to pool up in the padding of the short and started really irritating me. I had used glide in T2 but it did not help. I found out later when I was done I was so raw and bleeding from the irritation. I will change to no padding next IM.

I started realizing that I could not meet my original goal for the IM so I made a new one to keep my spirits up and keep me running, I was determined finish in less than 13 hours. I saw so many people walking and looking sick, to me it looked like a death march. I finally was a couple miles from the finish and saw Bram again at the water stop. He said again, “what can I get you,” I replied with “the Finish line,” he laughed and that made me laugh then I said I guess cola. That boosted my spirits a little bit of laughing along the way. PS: I did walk through all the aide stations and the steep uphill’s but ran everything else. I saw Bram as I was headed to the oval and he handed me two ice cold sponges, I so appreciative of that. When I saw the oval and was finally in the chute for that last stretch, I dug down deep for that last push and booked it as fast I could. My daughter got a picture of me that looks like I was running on air, maybe I was at that point. Saw my daughter and Kathi Cover who said the nicest things to me and hugged my smelly body. PS: I finished on the heels of Chip W. and Robert V. Great race to all who finished it was a tough day.
Post race:
My son just about carried me back home. I screamed in the shower, now I realized that irritation was pretty bad that I had from the tri shorts. All I could do from there was to collapse in bed. I wanted to go up and cheer for everyone else but hurt too bad.

I realize even more now how much I love this sport especially the Ironman and can’t wait to sign up for IM Wisconsin next year. I praise God daily for being there for me and my husband who I so deeply love. Too many to thank you know who you are with all the encouraging Facebook messages and Abby Glassberg from my CMYM swim team for bringing me cookies and Fat Tire beer as gift of encouragement from my masters swim team. Also, Marge Burley age 65 -69 world champion, my friend and inspiration who talked to me often and brought me flowers after my accident. I really really appreciate my coach (Matney) and where he has taken me. Things do not always go as planned but you can overcome them. Two and half weeks after a major accident I became a 2 time Ironman.