Wednesday, July 28, 2010

IMLP Race Report

(Pic: Mirror Lake on race morning)

"Soak in every moment. There is no feeling that compares to your first IM" - A DM I got before the race from @HarveyDanger, a man who I have been following and has been an inspiration to me. I made this my main goal of the day.

When I started writing this race report I was sitting in a cafe, wearing my finisher's shirt with an IMLP finisher sticker displayed on the back of my laptop. A man walked over to my table and asked "Did you just run the ironman?" I beamed "YUP". Then he's all "You're my hero". Awesome...

Race morning - Having so much of the CREW with me the morning and day of the race was incredible. IronmanBobby asked John and I what time we would have our alarm set for race morning. He set his for 15 minutes earlier so that our coffee would be ready. John left to walk to the race start early, I followed along with Anna soon after. Anna is amazing. She's done this (IM) 13 times so I just followed her around, imitating everything she did to get ready. I felt relaxed.

Swim - The water was perfect and I couldn't wait to get started. I lined up in the back and danced and rocked out to the music until the cannon went off. I had a pretty bad injury on my hand from the week before and I had to be careful not to reinjure it by getting beat up in the swim. This was nearly impossible in the battle zone that is the swim start at IMLP. So my strategy... I waited a few minutes until everyone swam away and then I swam over to the inside of the buoys and took a super chill pace so that I wouldn't catch the big crowd. Eventually it thinned out more and I passed a bunch of people (swimming wide for plenty of room) and was able to swim the second lap closer to my normal pace. The added benefit of this strategy was that I started a really long and potentially anxiety filled day feeling completely in control of my experience and not overwhelmed by fists to the face. Time: 1:29:36

(Pic: Me and Anna, after she put on her wetsuit and I copied her and did the same)

T1 - With the cut on my hand still delicate from the swim, this had to be done one-handed. The worst part was taking off my wetsuit, it took a long time. A volunteer offered to help but I was doing fine on my own and felt more comfortable doing it myself. Time: 9:36

Bike - As I was mounting my bike, a spectator standing about a foot away said to me "Go out there and enjoy every minute, soak it all in"... coincidence? Thanks for the reminder! Anyway, I hadn't gotten to ride the course since the previous year. I was super excited to ride because I was much stronger and had a faster bike. I focused on "the Strategy" which I had been following thanks to my best bud Phil. I took it really easy on the climbs and still passed a lot of people because I'm a strong climber. Then I allowed myself to push a bit on the descents and flats. In February, at Strong Like Bull, I learned some bike handling tricks that made me much faster (and less nervous) on descents. The first loop came easily and pretty fast for me. At the end of the first loop I started to think "YES! I get to do this again". I was told that the hills get bigger for the second loop of the bike and I found this to be true. Add the wind and I started to find the whole thing a bit tiring. I slowed down a bit, but was no less happy. The second ride over "the bears" was awesome with a gazillion spectators screaming "nice pace" as I passed people with ease, sitting up on my saddle. And then a highlight of my day... I take the right to start my parade through town and I hear "GO GURU" and see Kate and Phil! YAY!!! That filled my energy tank more than any calories ever could. I was fully recharged to kick ass on the run. Time: 7:02:13

T2 - This transition was much faster and unimpeded by my hand injury. Most importantly, I grabbed my lucky Rev3 visor because Phil wore that exact one last year for IMLP and he had a spectacular race. I couldn't wait to get out there and run. Time: 3:45

Run - My legs never felt like jello. They never do anymore. I love running off the bike. The first few miles were mostly downhill and filled with my loved ones, which explains my 8:45 pace over the first 10k. Before I got to the turn onto the out-and-back I got to see John, with only 2 miles left. A perfect start to a marathon. My focus at this point was to chill out and not go out too fast. The songs stopped playing in my head and my thoughts were replaced with numbers and equations, trying to guess at my finishing time. Coming back through town, I got news from my tri-family that John had finished 12th. I was stoked, as this was a huge pro field and he must have had a great race. Moving forward, my body felt surprisingly awesome until about mile 18. At that point I felt the fatigue setting in. This was what people are talking about when they say that your legs keep going because they know what to do, while your brain has checked out. I knew that, no matter what, I was finishing close to 13 hours, and of course played with the idea of breaking 13. Then I thought of the climbing I had ahead of me over the last few miles and decided a more approriate goal would be not to walk. Not even one step. Not at an aid station and not on a hill. Just keep running... and I did. People were screaming at me on the hills because so few people were still running up them. I saw my amazing support team again at the start of the last climb, blew kisses and trudged on. Just before the last little leg out-and-back I heard someone yell "I LOVE YOU CHRISTINE LYNCH" and thought, that could be any one of my fans... but I looked and saw John! He looked so happy, which made me tear up (in the eyes) and then tear up the rest of the run. Coming into the oval I picked up the pace a teensie bit more, which was all I could muster, while I listened for "Christine Lynch of New York, NY... You are an IRONMAN!!!" Time: 4:21:54

Here's the thing... I fully expected to have a day filled with ups and downs. I didn't expect to have a day that was ALL ups. I honestly LOVED every second and never once thought of pulling out or stopping. Even when I stared up a giant hill, about to run it with exhausted and screaming legs, all I could see were my friends, my support, my dedication, the fantastic year of training and racing... and that this was simply my celebration.

And in case this report isn't enough, here are some helpful links to interviews, videos and more pics of ME!!!

Pics from TheyTri.

Video of me finishing.

And the best interview ever from Ironman Bobby.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ironman Morning

Here I go...
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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Good Luck John!

I just want to give you a giant THANK YOU. You have been by my side through the year as I've gotten myself ready for ironman. I could have done it without you... but not like this. You made this experience so much richer. I've also loved every second of supporting you as you prepared for your IM. I'm honored to share so much with you. I'm proud to be your girlfriend and I'm VERY proud OF you and all the work you've done this year.

Sometimes I think I must be in a dream. Like if I pinch myself I'll wake up. Most importantly, I never thought I would meet a man who would love me so completely and treat me like a princess. You're my best friend. Somehow, we spend a ridiculous amount of time together and we only grow closer and closer (even when we drive each other crazy). In the past year we've travelled so many miles together... West Virginia, Lou, Texas, Spain, Block Island, VT, MA, RI... I'm sure I'm forgetting some. And now we've come full circle in Lake Placid. I remember signing up for IMLP 2010 then getting in the car to drive to VT to have lunch with a new guy I was crushing on.

Now we're here together, surrounded by our new life. We've combined our people, inside jokes and our traditions together to build something new. I look around me in awe. I love my life, OUR life.

When we leave on Tuesday I'll have finished my first ironman, you'll have had one of your best races because your heart is deep in this one. I'll want nothing more than to go back home to our Coraline and continue this dream. I'm looking forward to more.

Good luck tomorrow. You'll be amazing. Your dedicated (and insane) training this year will see you through, along with all of your heart, soul and might.

"I'll eat you up, I love you so"...

IMLP #i8this - Saturday and Sunday

(J made the whole CREW his famous satan-cakes for breakfast)

Here's a backlog of my food log for IMLP #i8this. John warned me that I wouldn't have time for a project like this and he was right. I did jot notes though, so here it is (with less detail of the when/ how):

Saturday: Day before IMLP

breakfast - gf pancakes with maple syrup and 2 scrambled eggs

snack - hemp shake

lunch - organic turkey on gf bagel with spinach and jalapeno mustard

snack - 3 gf cookies, lemonade

dinner - gf baked ziti and spinach

dessert - 1 more gf cookie


And finally, Sunday: Race day!!!

breakfast - 32 oz water, 2 cups coffee, gf bagel with peanut butter and banana

pre swim - more water

bike - 2 bottles heed, 2 bottles perpetuem, 2 bottles water, 2 Nature Valley granola bars (I like them because they're not too sweet), 1 turkey sandwich on gf bread with mustard (the sandwich was key for me because I get soooo hungry), 1 espresso hammer gel

run - 3 gels, 1 Nature Valley granola bar, alternating powerade (course drink) and water at aid stations

post race - water, gf pasta mac and cheese


Stay tuned for a complete post on how to eat in the days after IM to replace calories and promote speedy recovery. It's not as bad as it sounds. I had plenty of treats and "crap" food. I even called the day after IM "melted cheese day".

IMLP #i8this - Friday

(Me in the middle of a John Hirsch sandwich at the pasta dinner)

I woke up early to a quiet house and got to sit for an hour and get caught up with emails of good luck while I sipped some plain hot water (don't knock it till you try it). For breakfast #1 I made a hemp shake with banana, peanut butter and maca. Everyone else was up early for an easy spin to the first big descent on the course. We wanted to ride the descent once to get pumped. We even had our sag wagon meet us at the bottom to escort us back to the house! We came home just as Bill arrived with bagels and I was glad I brought my own gluten free ones.

The rest of the day was pretty chill. John came with me to check in, which was a big deal. It's my first ironman! I even got to sit in on the pro meeting after check in. Lunch back at the house was leftover cobb salad from dinner the night before and then a quick power nap.

We considered cooking a big group dinner but going to check in made me want to soak in more of the IM energy so I wanted to go to the pasta dinner. I went prepared with my own gluten free pasta. The dinner got us completely geeked (John loves it). After dinner we went home and watched Lord of the Rings and ate fruit for dessert.

Overall, it was a nice and relaxing day. Of course I had a couple of unexpected panics but the excitement brewing in this town is completely infectious and overtook any scary feelings.

#i8this Friday:

breakfast - hemp shake, gf bagel with veggie and lox cream cheese

lunch - cobb salad

dinner - gf pasta with sauteed garlic and peas, salad

dessert - cherries and a peach

Friday, July 23, 2010

IMLP #i8this - Travel Day

(Pic: an accidental one taken at Mirror Lake)

This morning began our official IMLP adventure. John has his cheerleader face on, making me feel like every step we take is a giant party. Waking up to start packing the car on travel day came with a party. We played slipknot and jumped around while singing made up songs about ironman. We had a breakfast of herbal tea and hempshakes with banana, peanut butter, and maca. Then we were off to pick up our friend Conner for the drive up.

I did the driving so I brought lunchie road foods that were healthy and I could eat without a mess. At 11 we stopped and I had sliced organic turkey, spinach salad mix (no dressing for less mess), gluten free pretzels and jalapeno hummus. Later in the ride we also snacked on peaches and cherries. You're gonna think this is totally crazy but I got this spinach lettuce mix that tastes amazing. I've been eating it plain. It has all of the small lettuce type greens like mache and arugula which have a nice kick to them. Its something that we never really slow down and taste on its own but I've been snacking on it like its popcorn. I was very happy with my high protein, high fruit/veggie, and low carb lunch for my taper road food.

When we finally arrived in Lake Placid I couldn't wait to get to the house. I've been really excited to have everyone so close to the lake and the center of town. We pulled up, were greeted by Anna, Grant and Kristoph. There was more jumping up and down, and then we suited up for a swimmy in Mirror Lake. I made a quick sandwich of hummus and spinach on gluten free bread to hold me over until dinner and until we could make our grocery store trip. The swim was incredible. I loved being in that lake again. Right before leaving the lake a guy stopped us saying "I recognize you two. You're John and you're the girl from that podcast". It was Charlie, a man behind Rev3. It turns out he watched the Ironmanbobby Podcast round table discussion from post Rev3 Quassy. I seriously can't go anywhere without being recognized these days. I'm gonna start swimming in a floppy hat and sunglasses ;)

After our swim we decided to go into town for dinner because it had gotten so late. I prefer cooking over going out, but I prefer being flexible over all other choices. At dinner I had some nachos that our table shared (salsa, roasted veggies, guacamole and cheese) and I had 1/2 of a cobb salad. Oh and a guinness. I love me a guinness.

This town is buzzing with excitement which makes it hard for me to sleep! I can't wait to get to tomorrow... 2 more days till MY FIRST IRONMAN!!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

IMLP #i8this

(A healthy taper meal: veggie omelet and baked sweet potato)

I've decided to bring back #i8this for my pre-IMLP, race day and post race eating. Any time that I want to be especially diligent about my diet (like during a taper or recovery or if I'm fighting off a cold) I find it helpful to keep a food journal to keep me honest and inspired. With the added challenge of having my food journal kept public, there's no way I'll ruin my race with bad nutrition beforehand. I'm going to show up to the swim start on Sunday with my body feeling 100% ready, inside and out. Also, there may be some fun group cooking and meals at our CREW IMLP house so I'm sure I'll have some yummy meal ideas and photos to post.

If you want to join in with this #i8this challenge, I would be excited to have the company! Seeing others jumping in will make me feel like its a group effort. How fun is that?

Also, John wrote an AWESOME post about his taper diet. He even included tips and meal ideas for you. He's very smart in the brain about nutrition... you'll think so too:

And lastly,

3 days 21 hours 29 minutes and 24 seconds!!!!!!!!!!!


(July 4th sunset on Block Island)

I wrote this post, but never got to upload it, on July 4th. I decided to do a "thank you" post that day because I already felt so accomplished. It was the last day of my IMLP training. The actual race will be a celebration of the training commitment I made to myself a year ago. Also, I'll probably be too tired after IM to even think straight!

July 4th, 2010

Yesterday I did my last long run of the final push for IMLP. Normally I train with music but I somehow forgot to bring my ipod to Block Island so I went without. I didn't mind because I'm not going to be racing with music so it seemed like a great time to get comfortable with it. So, I was out there with my thoughts. I was stoked to finally have arrived at my last day of training, feeling like I did everything I needed to do... feeling completely prepared. That brought me to a blissful place of gratitude and I ended up passing the time by listing all of the people who contributed in my IM training journey. I'm going to try to remember as much as possible now...

John - for being my partner through all of this and for encouraging me, coaching me, and inviting me into his triathlon world.

Phil and Kate - for being my best training buddies and support for the past couple of years. I could never thank them enough.

Diana - for supporting me and for getting excited about my training and racing with me (and even joining me in some workouts).

The CREW (Grant, Anna, PJ, etc) - for the many training hours, racing days and inside jokes.

Brett - for being a business partner, training partner (in TX), and dear friend.

Javier and Coach Adam - for the beginnings.

And everyone else who has helped me along the way... I'm grateful.


To get myself pumped for IMLP I have been listening to a song that I'll be singing at my spectators when I see them along the course.

Thunder by Matisyahu (click here to listen)

I had to cross the line to leave you behind
With hopes to find some peace of mind
Now I'm looking for your voice through the chitter-chatter
that doesn't matter that's torn and tattered these angels on a ladder
This laughter
Strip away the extra plaster
I'm crashing fast
It's the morning after
Through the hum and the buzz
The thickness and the fuzz
I jump over puddles to stomp through the sludge

Look for me through the wind and rain
Sunshine remember my name
I'll be coming yes I'm running oh I'm on my way
Just stay and I'll be there by the break of day

Look for me through the wind and rain
Thunder remember my name
I'll be coming yes I'm running oh I'm on my way
Just stay and I'll be there by the break of day

I had to evacuate the premises
You're your own nemesis
The premises you're born and blood and leave the world penniless
I had to remember that there's darkness before the exodus
Split the sea
We'll flee to the next
Come and vent with us
I had to send and blend out
Spent it all on sentences fend off the members of relentless pessimists
I had to miss the world
Looking for the core
Cure my heart so I can live more

Look for me through the wind and rain
Sunshine remember my name
I'll be coming yes I'm running oh I'm on my way
Just stay and I'll be there by the break of day

Look for me through the wind and rain
Thunder remember my name
I'll be coming yes I'm running oh I'm on my way
Just stay and I'll be there by the break of day

Remember my name
Remember my name

City lights shine and I'm on my way
This time tomorrow I'll be on my way
At the break of day I look for you at sunrise
When the tide comes in I lose my disguise

Look for me through the wind and rain
Sunshine remember my name
I'll be coming yes I'm running oh I'm on my way
Just stay and I'll be there by the break of day

Look for me through the wind and rain
Thunder remember my name
I'll be coming yes I'm running oh I'm on my way
Just stay and I'll be there by the break of day

You feel it in your chest

You feel it in your chest

Friday, July 2, 2010

Practicing For My Taper

I had a rest day yesterday and decided to log some "triangle bikini" hours. My taper starts on Monday. Starting that day I'll be training less and resting more (but also working more). Actually, J pointed out that its 6 weeks of "resting" with an IM in the middle. Yay!

I actually don't care about being tan as much as I care about what the "triangle tan" represents. It means I've been sitting on a beach, in a park, or by a pool reading a novel and sipping a homemade lemonade. My weekend long training days will become triangle bikini days. I gotta log those hours. They're important! I plan to rope the HFWT mama (aka Mrs. Theytri) into joining me for lots of it.

After I'm recovered from IM its back to training for Rev3 Sandusky/ Ohio/ Cedarpoint. That race will be clutch because CREW is rolling DEEP. After that race I'm hoping to try some cross racing. According to our dear friend Michael Seiler (@bikezen), "cross is boss \mm/". I can't wait to find out!
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Thursday, July 1, 2010

My Last Long Day

(J taking a pic of us riding with Brookey)

Yesterday I completed my last "Death Brick". This one could have been the easiest because I had completed the distance plenty of times before, but the fact that it brought me to 300 bike miles in 6 days made me see stars (and spiders) by the end. I had been looking forward to this workout as a celebration and I had originally planned to do it with the company of 2 CREWmates, PJ and Phil next Saturday. Alas, travel plans change and John and I ended up staying on Block Island through next weekend. I was sad to have to cancel plans with my friends (and especially my sister) so John offered to cheer me up by doing my last ride with me at my pace. The best day for this was Wednesday. Less than a week after my 120 mile ride. The way to prep for the ride was with one word... "DigDeep".

My plan called for a 100 mile ride then an hour run. John planned to add mileage for himself and ended up riding 132 miles (can you say psycho?). There were blustery winds and rolling hills here and there, but not too tough of a ride. Our pace was fun and relaxed and at one point we were joined by our friend Brooke (badass 14 year old Ortel athlete) and we barely noticed the 20 miles we rode with her. Brooke is the coolest and she's my bff on BI. It wasn't until about mile 70 that I started to feel the physical exhaustion seep into my brain. I started to feel that slow decline of cognitive processing and I felt worse than I had on any training ride thus far. To me, this was a goal. If I trained until I couldn't keep going I would know I did all I could. It was awesome because I was feeling a cumulative effect of 2.5 heavy weeks. I was tired and proud.

John noticed me starting to fade mentally and he immediately turned into the Coach/Comedian version of himself. He decided that would be a perfect moment to study for my final exam for my SLB and CREW Coach Certification. He threw me a bunch of multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank questions and I got them all right! It was hysterical. Keep an eye on his blog ( for a summary of the study session.

Before I knew it I had finished my 100 miles. I LOVE brick runs and normally can't wait to get started. Yesterday was the first time I wasn't sure I could do it. I asked John if an 11 min/mile pace was acceptable for me for that run and he said, no. He said I didn't have to run the full hour but I had to run 15 mins away and then decide whether to turn around or keep going. That seemed reasonable. So I headed out, ready to stumble along. But I wasn't stumbling! I felt amazing and light. I barely noticed the rolling hills and I was loving what I was feeling. First, I thought I had officially gone crazy. Then, I looked down at my watch and saw that I was running the first 3 miles at a sub 7:30 pace. I thought my watch had to be broken. But I pulled back, just in case. I ended the hour run with 7.95 miles. Then I checked on the distance. My watch measured it correctly. I'm a fricking animal.

I feel more than ready for IMLP. Tick, tock, tick, tock...
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