Saturday, July 25, 2009

Ironman Lake Placid- Something New

I talked to Eric last night about what my workout should be while at Jeff Molson's pre-race party. I'd swum a loop of the swim course and there'd been that funny smell I associate with bacteria in the water- which is unusual for Mirror Lake - so I was focused on getting in a 'big' bike ride, meaning two loops of the course, and didn't plan on another swim today.

Eric was riding today with a friend, so I assumed I'd be going solo. He suggested two loops without the out and back, the first one backwards, the second one forward, and a brick run. I'm a big boy, so riding alone doesn't bother me, it's what I usually do and last year I did two loops on my own.

But I wanted to make sure Margit and Steve also got out and rode and we couldn't agree on a plan before bed, so although I was up at 6:30, I just started assembling food, fixing a few things, and because I knew there was a small chance Dave Greenfield would see me, cleaning my bike.

Complicating everything was the final real stage of the Tour. While instinct had me ready to bolt at 7AM, I thought that would be bogus and selfish. Also, I'd only gotten about 3 hours of sleep- the lake had done a great job of stuffing me up and I'd spent most of the night with a headache and and a stoppered nose. So maybe I wasn't looking to start a somewhat technical ride all fuzzy-headed, although I'd have followed whatever marching orders came my way.

Finally around 9 AM, someone had to make a call. I was a lot shorter on time- my own fault- so I decided to do one loop- with the out and back- backwards, then run.

This was great. I got to watch the start of the Tour stage, and then I got in a great ride.

I can't recommend finding a time to do this ride strongly enough. You learn a lot- I mean a lot- about the course- tackling it in reverse. There are a lot of false flats and even some false uphills and downhills that I've wondered about for years. I've raced the course 4 times now and done numerous rides on it. There's always been the wind- you don't race here and not run up against any headwinds.

It's also simply a harder course the other way. You get hit with the hills on the backside either way, but after averaging 24 mph the first hour (and I was taking it easy), things start to get challenging from you as soon as you get about half-way out on the out and back.

The funny thing is the ride went by really quickly, even though it was one of the slowest loops I've ever ridden- nearly three hours to ride what ended up being 57 miles.

The big hills back into Lake Placid ? I honestly believe that if they reversed the course there would be a significant spike in attrition. Eric wanted me to stay aero and climb for a strength-workout, which I would say I did about 90% of the time, with 5% standing and 5% sitting up.

The hills were tough, but totally manageable. I mean, I thought I was gassed when I got to the top- and I knew exactly when I was there, and I gave a big fist-pump, which isn't like me, but then I was able to settle right back and I was flying downhill again.

I finished the loop, then ran for 15 minutes.

Thanks, EH. Going backwards was the way to go, and so what ? I only got one loop in ? My ironman is in November, I have a sprint Monday, a ten mile road race next Sunday, and another sprint after that, and my training has me perfectly positioned to do an half-ironman. Did I get 112 miles or two loops in ? Who cares.

I got a great workout, Steve and Margit got to ride a loop, I took Ian to see Dave Greenfield. It's all good.

Good luck tomorrow, everyone.

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