Since Ironman Wisconsin, I've only ridden my bike outside three times. I did a 14-mile ride in Prospect Park, a 25-mile ride a few days later also in the park, and a 45-mile ride on Long Island. I have done a handful of rides on the trainer in between but it's been slim. But yesterday I broke through the no training barrier with a one-loop ride on the Ironman Lake Placid bike course. This ride was incredibly fun but also incredibly challenging. I'm operating on minimal fitness and it's a very difficult course. I climbed more than 3,000 feet over the course of 56 miles and was swiftly reminded of how much making up I have to do after this two-month hiatus.
I rode solo and can't believe how quickly the time flew by. This is a magical place to ride, I think I could do the course over and over again and never get bored. The roads have been largely repaved and it was dry so I was able to ride rather comfortably. After the famous Keene descent and my favorite part of the course, a relatively flat and super fast stretch on 9N, my average was 18mph. At the halfway point I was on track to do the ride in 3:15, which would have been my best yet on this course. But the punishing climbs on 86 coming off 9, the Hazleton out-and-back and the final long climb back to town made my average plumet to 15.7. I finished the ride in just over 3.5 hours. Not bad when you consider where I was coming from. And most importantly, I really enjoyed it.
The rest of the day was fantastic. I love being here and wish it weren't such a long drive. I'm really looking forward to racing here next summer and having an excuse to make a few training trips this spring.