June 11, 2009

How it Should Be

I had to jump through hoops to get a car, fight my way through terrible traffic and drive nearly six hours to finally have a chance to train in a place where training is actually a pleasure. Today was Day 1 of the Lake Placid training camp and I got off to a good start with a bike and run. I met up with friends - Jenn, my roommate for the weekend, and Jorge, one of the coaches for the camp - for our first ride on the course. We were planning to do one loop but had to cut it to 51 miles due to lightning.

Lake Placid is stunning. After 11 years living in New York, this is my first trip to the Adirondacks and I can't believe what I've been missing. Early in the ride I looked around and realized this is how training should be. It shouldn't be potholes, bridges, runaway skateboards and angry homeless people like I'm used to dealing with. If I lived closer to a place like this I'd never have to force myself to go out for a ride.

I really enjoyed the course aside from a couple stretches of really bad roads and a super long downhill, about eight or nine miles, that to most cyclists would be heaven but for me was hell. Even when I used the brake a little I was going 35mph at times. If my crash weren't still a recent memory I might have been able to stay in aero and really enjoy it but instead I just wanted it to be over. If I had a choice, I'd rather ride up it than down it. After that stretch it was pretty much smooth sailing. It started to rain about 30 miles in and then the lightning and thunder followed so we cut the course a bit short and headed back.

We were in the final stretch, a long gradual climb that goes on for a few miles, when suddenly the rain picked up to a level I have never experienced on the bike. At first it felt like hail and then it was a like a solid wall of water. The wind got strong as well and we were on a road with no shoulder. I had a hard time keeping my eyes open so I pulled over to put my glasses back on. Jenn rode up while I was stopped and we started laughing hysterically the moment we saw each other. The weather literally could not have been worse. We were only about five miles from the end so we kept going. Between the century and this, I am gaining so much experience riding in the rain. I should be all set for whatever race day serves up.

The thunder and lightning continued so we decided to skip the swim. I called my coach for some quick advice and he told me to do tomorrow's run and bike again tomorrow. We ran around Mirror Lake so I got my first glimpse of the swim course. The water was smooth like glass and I found myself wishing I were swimming instead of running. I can't wait for tomorrow.

Distance - 51 miles
Time - 3:04:16

Distance - 5 miles
Time - 42:10


  1. We're lucky out here in Chicago to have the suburbs - where people sleep in late and the pavement is smooth - pretty close by, so I feel for you in NYC. You deserve to see how great country folk have it!

  2. WHAT!!! You didn't like the downhill section? I remember when I was there training last year and I hit 48mph and this car was next to me with a little kid in the back seat just staring at me with his face pressed up on the window...priceless. Keeping up with a car going nearly 50 for over a mile is awesome!

  3. You could have the nice easy training space if you lived in DC! That's the beauty of Rock Creek Park!!

  4. NICE!!! Sounds like LP is a very nice place to look at and train. Happy Birthday too ;)



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