The trials, tribulations and nonsensical babbling of a triathlete training for her first Ironman.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Lake Placid Training Camp

So the hubby and I went to Lake Placid last weekend to participate in a training camp with our coach. We left Thursday morning at 6:30 and got in to LP at around 12:30 pm to overcast skies. It rained all the way there. That didn't bode well for our weekend to say the least. We bummed around on Thursday--did a bit of shopping and hung out. Friday morning we met up with the group for a stretching session, followed by a 1 hour ride on the Ironman run course. It was sunny and warm--we couldn't have asked for a nicer day. After our ride we went out for a half hour run near the hotel. We had a 4 hour break and then had to meet down at the Ironman swim start for a group swim session. By the time we got down there clouds had rolled in. Oh joy. It didn't rain though. Thank GOD. It was bad enough I had to face my fear--rain would have made it worse I think. I got in the water and it was actually quite nice--we didn't need our little neoprene bonnets. One of the coaches was a swim coach so he made us do a 300 m warm up and then we had to do a bunch of drills. We practiced starting in a group so people could get used to having others around them. Of course, I hung out at the back, which is exactly what I'll do on race day as well. We then had to swim one loop of the course. I started out with a few people, and promptly passed them. I was swimming on my own for a while, thinking positive thoughts and counting strokes between buoys to pass the time. I came up on another pair of feet and passed them. I felt like I was swimming really well--I was moving through the water easily; "like a knife through buttah" is what I kept repeating to myself as I went along. There was one instance where I could feel the panic start to well up inside me and I fought it back. I made it around the first loop in 37:46. I thought I'd be a little bit faster but still not bad for the first open water swim. We scurried back to the hotel to change and go for dinner. I had a glass of wine with dinner and then we went to Ben & Jerry's for ice cream afterwards--I had a waffle cone with chocolate and sprinkles on it. BIG MISTAKE. I had a HORRIBLE sleep that night. I woke up Saturday morning feeling very tired. I looked out the window and saw overcast skies and rain. Lots of it. And wind. Oh great. I was supposed to ride 180 km (both loops of the Ironman course). Oh well, guess it's going to be a wet ride. 8:10 am and I was off with group 2. Wet was an understatment. It was HORRIBLE. The WORST conditions I've ridden in so far. The rain was beating on my face and at some points it was streaming behind my glasses so I couldn't see (that would mostly happen on the descents of course). I did one full loop of the course and had a complete emotional meltdown. My legs were sore and tired and I was cold and wet. I got to the aid station and I told this girl Tracy that was there that I couldn't go on. I turned around and rode back to the hotel, crying all the way. It had taken me 4 hours to ride 98km. I couldn't face another 4 hours on the course. There was no way. I mentally couldn't fathom that. I got back to the hotel, got in the shower and cried some more. I was upset with myself for not having the mental fortitude to soldier on. What if it's like this on race day? I can't quit then. I found out later on that a lot of other people bailed that afternoon. Gary was a trooper though--he went out and did both loops--it took him 7 hours. And then he went for a run afterwards! Put me to shame. Apparently the weather got even worse on the second loop. A couple of the guys said the winds were so bad on the descents that they were scared! And the temperature dropped. So, in retrospect, I"m really glad I went back when I did. I did what I could on that day. I'm going back on the July long weekend so I'll do the 2 loops then. No excuses. I didn't take any pics unfortunately but I think Richard took a group photo the morning of our long run so if I can get my hands on it, I'll post it here.


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