I had a good trip.
I am sad the trip is over.
And I am astounded that IMLP is only 25 days away! HOLY MOLY that seems impossible.
My kids got out of school on Monday, and as soon as they were off the bus I piled them in the car to make the journey to New York. They slept. I tried to stay awake. We stopped at Friendly's outside of Albany for dinner.
Andy met us up there. He had left straight from work, and still beat us there. (This could be because of my Granny driving, or it could be the Friendly's adventure.) Anyway, we squished into a little hotel room and hunkered down for the night.
The first day I got up early to run on the course, and then went back to get the kids so we could some chillaxin'. (A dumb word. I definitely have been hanging with my 10-year-old excessively lately!) We ate ice cream, played in the lake, and I forced them to watch TV in the hotel room for a bit while I worked on athlete schedules. This is just before getting ice cream--cruising along Main Street.
Meanwhile, Andy rode the course and did some swimming. I also squeezed in an hour swim in the serene Mirror Lake. No one was there (on the swim course). It was truly bizarre to swim the course without even a few athletes about. It was quite warm on Tuesday, but I didn't think much of it. I generally like warm temps, and I wasn't about to complain about a purely sunny day when spending time in the fickle climate of Lake Placid!
This is Lara hanging on the beach by Mirror Lake.
The next morning I got up and prepared for my 112 solo ride on the course. I thought it quite interesting that when the hotel doors opened I was blasted with very warm air--at 7:30 a.m.
By 8:00 a.m. I was on the course and already regretting my choice to wear calf compression socks and a dark shirt. It was H.O.T. I wasn't sure how hot... which is probably better--since little did I know it was already in the upper 80s... at 8:00 a.m.
I finished the first loop in good shape, but knew I would need a great deal more liquid to make it through the second loop in one piece. I stopped at the hotel room and stood for several minutes dripping in front of the AC. I chugged water and then restocked my bike and headed out again.
I checked the temperature at the front desk.
96 degrees. 11:00 a.m.
Oh boy. This second loop was going to be FUN.
I decided to try to embrace the heat. It could be hot on race day, right? So I kept on the dark compression socks and the dark jersey, and I tried not to focus on the fact that every blast of wind felt like air coming straight out of an oven. 20 miles to go I literally think my brain started to melt. I could not focus at all. All I could think about was getting into the lake or a cold shower... or even just dumping cold water over my head. There was NO ONE out biking. I saw a total of 3 bikers the whole day! In Lake Placid--on the course--in late June. 3 bikers total.
I finally crested Papa Bear and circled around to my hotel. When I got inside I just stood in front of the air conditioner and tried to breathe. My lungs hurt and I couldn't get a deep breath. I felt asthmatic. I changed into my run clothes and after responding to a text from my coach telling me to get off my ass and run, and after returning said text to tell him I would rather eat shit than go run in that heat, and further that I hated him and he could screw etc and so on, I managed to get out the door for ..... 2 miles. Then the lure of the lake become too much. I ran straight into the lake--stopping only to yank off my running shoes before I did so.
Later I checked my Garmin file and noted that the average temperature during my second loop was 97. The max temp was 102.2.
That is just freaking hot.
The next day I was supposed to run long.
I got up earlyish, headed out the door, and then turned around and went back inside. Too hot. I would run later in the day. This was a really brilliant idea, by the way. Can't you see the logic? Too hot at 7:30 a.m. I should go at noon instead. Very very smart.
At noon I tried again. I lasted 31 minutes. My average pace was 9:20.
It was a really successful long run. I was proud to fill in my Training Peaks log. Fucking awesome.
My family took off for home on Thursday afternoon, and the IM "campers" begin to show up. I had rented a house out on 50 acres of land, 2 miles out of town. The house itself was just awesome. Here it is from the outside:
Unfortunately, it was only able to be reached after ascending many very long, steep hills. oops.
But it was still a cool house.
Campers showed up gradually, and then Kurt arrived, too. (co-captain of camp). I tried hard to shift from Mom in Training mode to Camp Director mode.
Honestly, I really just enjoyed the coolness of the water on my body for this swim. I love feeling hot and then swimming in cool water. Nothing better. I did a lot of backstroke and looked at the sun and clouds and just felt relief and peace. I feel really fortunate to love the open water as much as I do. I know so many people struggle with panic and fear in the water. I'm lucky enough that swimming backstroke in the open water--looking at the sky-- is one of my absolute favorite things in life to do.
After our swim we got dinner (which took way too long--I don't care if Mr. Mike's has big tables, I'm not going there again!) And then went back to bunk down and get ready for the big ride the next day.
Luckily, I did not have to do the big ride. I had already ridden the 112+ in Wednesday's oven-like conditions. But these girls hadn't!
Pictured are Katelyn, Linda, Patti and Pam.
Saturday I played the role of halfway point saint... with open trunk filled with cold bottles of drink and fuel etc and so on. I sat atop Papa Bear and waited for my people to cycle through. Except I missed Marc because he was so fast that he got there before I arrived! I say it's his fault for being so fast, though. The guy only stopped to pee like once for 30 seconds and he was focused and fast!
The day was in the mid 70s and cloudy--perfect riding weather. (Okay, I may have been a little jealous of that!) Everyone made it back to the house in one piece after those 114+ arduous miles and each athlete only cursed me for a few minutes straight about the monster hills they were forced to climb after leaving the course and heading back to the house.
Kurt ignored their complaints, and hustled them out the door for their T-runs. (I'm not so good at the forcing to hustle part...) Everyone seemed relatively chipper and ran quite well off the bike! I was impressed.
That night we went out to a local pub and relaxed over a few pints of good beer. I'm pretty sure the laughing over a few pints of beer was my favorite part of the weekend. (But wait, should I admit that??)
I think this was taken Saturday night... and yes I stole this picture from Mel C's FB page! I think this was taken from the deck at The Dancing Bears. I love that restaurant....
I totally regret not taking pictures this weekend... so if you are one of the campers reading this will you send some to me? I am especially sad about not getting a good shot of Marc, Kurt and Angela as they "self" massaged with Kurt's massage cream/oil. That would be great blackmail material!
Pictured are Kelly, Mel B, Katelyn, Linda, and Mel C.
When we got home from the pub on Friday night, Marisa, Tammy and Angela surprised me with chocolate cake and three kinds of chocolate ice cream--because Friday was my 42nd birthday. Of course, there is not much to celebrate when turning 42-- but I was still very very touched and even more excited to eat the chocolate cake! (I'm not sure Kurt was thrilled about this, however...)
On Saturday we had a timed swim in Mirror Lake. I swam out about 1100 yards and then floated there --so I could be the turn buoy. I found I quite like being a turn buoy. It was fun to be right there in the water cheering people on! I also just liked bobbing there in the bright sun as everyone swam on by.
When everyone had come through I swam back to shore, peeled off my wetsuit, and swam another lap of the course at IM race pace. That was fun. I felt strong, and I absolutely LOVE swimming in open water without the damn wetsuit. Swimming was absolutely the highlight of the weekend for me- (aside from the cake and the beer and the really good company, of course...). I feel strong in the water right now after a hard winter of pool swimming. I figure open water swimming is the reward I get after a year of being inside in a pool!
Later we rode the course again--except we were hit by thunder and lightning half way through the ride. This is not unusual for Lake Placid. One minute the sun is shining and the next you are being hailed on. Some of the campers who had started the ride early (or earlier than the group I was with) came back to hunt down the stragglers on the course and drive them back to the house, out of the storm. I admit I was a tad grateful for the ride! I don't mind rain--or, I should say, I really dislike rain but I ride in it, but climbing big hills in the gorge with lightning and thunder crashing about wasn't my idea of a good time.
Sunday we ran long. There were three camps out on the course at the same time for this--ours, a Qt2 camp and a Spinervals camp (I think that's what they were...) so the course was packed! It actually sort of felt like race day! Unfortunately, it was race day without the aid stations. We did put a cooler out with bottles and fuel at about mile 4 on the course, so our people could grab what they needed as they went out and back along the course. Unfortunately, some disgruntled townie stole the cooler and chucked our bottles everywhere. NICE! Not sure that all the townsfolk of Lake Placid like people training in their town. This baffles me since IM is a huge source of revenue for the town--and also Lake Placid is a vacation spot. Aren't they used to out-of-staters coming in and trampling their roads? And even if it is annoying, aren't they moved by the fact that the town would not be well-off at all without the out-of-towners skiing in the winter and the IMers training in the summer? Am I missing something here?
I should probably acknowledge that I am positive not ALL townies want us out of there....
But I digress.
It was really sad to pack up and leave our big-ass house.
I have already decided that if we run a camp again next year I am making it such that the workouts end in the afternoon, and people are then forced to stay the night and leave the next morning. I wanted to celebrate the hard work of the weekend, and everyone had to take off! It was such a bummer!
Big hugs and thanks to all the TriMoxie and PBM athletes who came to camp, and thanks to Kurt for being my co-pilot. Now starts the planning for next year! Training Camp 2013!
Or wait.. I guess I should plan for the 2012 race next?