IMLP Training Recap: Week 31 -- ETA Lake Placid Training Camp! [Lake Placid trip #2 - June 2014]

Sit back.  Grab another cup of coffee and a treat -- strike that.  Grab two treats.  This is going to be a long training recap because last week was finally time to hit my training camp up in Lake Placid!  My coach, Jason Kilderry of ETA Coach Endurance Training, leads a great training camp at the Ironman Lake Placid race site.  Naturally, Amy, Bill and I signed up.  I couldn't wait to get up there: the last time we went back in April, it was literally freezing and it snowed.  Plus, the bike course shook my confidence quite a bit ... I walked away feeling a bit down and more intimidated than I liked about the race itself.  Anyone who knows me knows that this would only strengthen my resolve to get better and stronger, and it definitely did.  I channeled those feelings into my training.  It is paying off.

And this sexy animal of a triathlete was ready for camp. R-E-A-D-Y.

Training Camp was Thursday through Sunday, but we had a handful of workouts to do before we got up there.  Here's the down low, low down, no doubt.  You can keep scrolling up to see the picture of me in my wetsuit.  I know ... it's distractingly amazing.

Week 31: 16:03:37 hours <-- dude.

Swam: 3:10:26 hours (9,314 yards -- 5+ miles) [2:24:38 hours at camp (7,314 yards -- 4.25 miles)]
Biked:  8:43:23 hours [7:03:21 hours at camp; 107 miles at camp; rest on trainer]
Ran:  4:05:30 hours (25.63 miles) [3:38:16 hours at camp (22.62 miles)]

So yeah.  Kind of a busy week.  


Monday:  Easy brick
Tuesday:  Recovery swim
Wednesday:  Easy bike
CAMP: Thursday:  two loops of IMLP swim course & 50 minute run
CAMP: Friday:  one loop of IMLP swim course & two loops of IMLP bike course
CAMP: Saturday:  30 minutes of IMLP swim course & easy brick
CAMP: Sunday: 15 mile run of IMLP run course

Honestly, I barely remember the Monday brick.  It was 50 minutes on the bike and a 3 mile run. I think the only memorable part of it was I wore my one piece tri suit because I was packing all of my tri kits for camp.

Tuesday's swim was supposed to be in the 50 meter pool at the Y, but the swim team was using it. So I had to use the indoor pool.  I was not happy, but I had the lane all to myself.  It was an easy 2,000 yard swim at endurance pace.  Easy.

Wednesday was an easy 50 minutes at endurance pace on the trainer.  No big deal.  What is a big deal?  Oh, only the massive amount of luggage I brought to camp -- the four day camp:

With Lake Placid being about 6-7 hours away, we decided to drive half way on Wednesday night.  Which is to say, Bill drove while Amy and I talked.  Until I fell asleep.  We stayed in Newburgh, New York, and our hotel was literally right next door to the store for Orange County Choppers, which I guess was a TV show.  I kind of remember it.  It is so random, so I include a picture here:

CAMP DAY 1:  Thursday: we woke up, were on the road at 8:30 am and were up in Lake Placid around noon.  We stopped for lunch in town at a Mexican restaurant, which was pretty good.  I knew I had a swim and a run that day, so food was a must.  We finished lunch and headed to the camp house, got all set up and then had a meeting with our coach and our fellow campers.  That day we had two loops of the IMLP swim course and a 50 minute run right after ... essentially a swim-run brick, which I've never done.  It was a little tough to dress for this because there wasn't a place to change at the lake.  I wore a black Under Armor compression sports bra and a bikini bottom under my wetsuit on the swim, and then after the swim, I pulled a tank and pair of shorts on over those.  It worked out just fine.   Here we are getting ready and suited up.  You can see me in the middle with my sleeveless wetsuit and long blonde ponytail.  Sidebar: my hair was shockingly blonde on this trip.   Also: I like the way my shoulders look in this picture.  Rar.

The swim: the IMLP swim course always has buoys right in the middle, which is set up for kayaks and canoes.  The best part? The buoys are tied down with an underwater cable that is visible to swimmers, and the IMLP course tracks that line.  So essentially, you have a line like the black line in the pool on which to swim.  Of course on race day, 2500 of your fellow athletes will be jockeying for a position on that line ... but it was sure nice to swim on it this week!  Our coach placed a swim cap on what he thought was the turnaround point on the course, but unfortunately, our course was about 1/4 mile short.  So when we did the two loops, we did 2 miles, and not the 2.4 we will swim on race day.  Coach gave us some lessons on dolphin diving, sighting and drafting and then we were off.  I took about 10 strokes and remembered why I love this lake - it is just gorgeous. And that yellow underwater cable sure doesn't hurt!  I settled into a really good pace, hugged the yellow line and just swam.  About 1/2 way through the first loop, Amy hopped on my feet and we swam like that for the rest of the swim.  Every once in awhile I'd feel her touch my foot very gently and not aggressively at all, and I'd always jump a bit and then remember it was Amy and not some lake creature.  I really liked having Amy behind me and she liked swimming there.  Win win. I did not like burping up my Mexican lunch about 1/2 way through the swim.  Gross.

We finished the swim and got on our run stuff and ran the beginning of the IMLP run course.  We got to River Road and turned around pretty soon in.  It was really neat at the turn around because when you turn, you get a stunning view of the Olympic ski jumps. I had seen them before and they still got my heart to pitter patter. But there were a ton of people who had not been on the course, so we could hear them all say "whoa!" or "cool!" or "wow!" when people turned around and saw this sight in front of them:

Chills.  We ran back to the house and had a delicious dinner at a pizza place - Mr. Mike's Pizza right on Main Street.   The pasta and pizza were very good and Amy was super pleased with the gluten free pizza.  They took good care of us there.

CAMP DAY 2:  Friday:  This was our heaviest load day: one loop of the IMLP swim course and then two loops of the IMLP bike course.  Our coach didn't want us to do the full 112 miles, so we dropped the Hasleton Road out and back portion (cutting 2 miles off the 112) and only did the Jay-Ausable Forks out and back once (cutting 11 miles off of the 112).  We also didn't wind around town, so our ride was 97 miles.

First, the swim.  It was just one loop of the IMLP swim course.  It was another beautiful day in Lake Placid. Amy took this picture from the Crowne Plaza hotel, which sits on top of a hill overlooking the town of Lake Placid and Mirror Lake.  You can see Mirror Lake below, as well as the beautiful mountains in the background.  This picture shows why I chose Lake Placid for my Ironman.  It's just so gorgeous.

This was a fast swim day.  Amy and I swam together again with her on my feet.  With only one loop to go (ha ha ha ... "only" 1.2 miles) I knew I could go a little faster, so we did.  It was a good swim, and for some inexplicable reason, I was singing the theme song from "Gilligan's Island" in my head.  Sorry if you are doing it now too.  just sit right back and you'll hear a tale ...

After the swim, we went back to the house and got ready for the bike.  We had a big brunch and then packed up the bikes and headed out for our two loops of the course around 12:30 pm.  This was a little too late for my taste - not just because I love to do my workouts early, but because I knew, with 97 miles to get done, that we'd be finishing up around dusk, which is exactly what happened.  It wasn't *dark* when we finished, but it wasn't terribly light either.  The great news is Route 73, which had previously been riddled with potholes and bumps and just awful road surface, was (and is) being repaved!  As of our weekend there, the new paving started at the bridge near River Road and ended about 1/2 mile from the first "trucks use low gear" sign at the first Keene descent.  It looked like they were going to continue paving down the entire descent though ... here's hoping!  Bill snapped this picture of the beautiful brand new blacktop.  

Amy and I rode together, and it was a great ride.  The descents to Keene were not yet paved, but it was fine.  In fact, it was better than fine.  I had ridden the IMLP course three times prior to this training day and always white-knuckled that 6 mile long descent.  This time? No.  I took those hills like a boss and for the first time, I felt in control, stable and had fun.  The difference was incorporating training routes that had descents but also putting into practice some really great tips that Bill gave me for how to handle downhills.  Life changing.  Truly.  So life changing that I almost burst into tears when I hit the bottom of the long descent because I realized I had finally conquered that fear.  Thank you Bill!

On the first loop we hit some pretty nasty wind on Route 9N, which is the flat part of the course.  I had to shift into some easier gears to account for the wind.  I was in aero for most of this ride, which felt great.  I took advantage of the flats and ate a bunch on this stretch.  We did the out and back on 9N to see the roads - they were fine and the wind died down a bit at this point, which was a nice break.

We turned onto Route 86, which is a pretty nasty climb.  We got that out of the way and then continued the slow long climb back to Lake Placid from the town of Jay.  I was feeling good - really good.  I have my landmarks, so I ticked them off one by one.  When I hit Owen Pond, I know I'm almost at River Road, and the five famous climbs and therefore almost done.  When we got to the three bears, I was happily surprised that they were completely manageable -- and dare I say it, really not bad at all -- compared to the climbs we've done up in the Lake Wallenpaupack area.  We turned onto Northwoods Drive at the top of Papa Bear (Northwoods, in my opinion, is a total killer of a hill and which no one talks about!!) and then onto Mirror Lake Drive, where our coach and crew were waiting with some support.  We stopped for a moment, filled up our water bottles and got some new food and headed back out on the ride for the second loop. This one was faster because we cut the 11 mile total out and back on 9N.  The wind died down quite a bit on the second loop, which enabled us to go faster with less power.  By about Mile 85, my butt was done with the ride.  I mean that literally: my butt hurt!  There just isn't much you can do about that, so I did my best to manage the discomfort.  We made it back to the house ... and had one or a bunch of well-earned beers:

CAMP DAY 3:  Saturday:  This was our easiest day, and I liked that.  We had just 30 minutes in Mirror Lake and then later that afternoon, an easy brick: 10 miles or so on the bike and a 2 mile run.  Thank you.

This swim was another good one - we did it a little slower than the day before, partly because that pace was not quite sustainable and partly because hello, we were tired from the days prior.  Still ... it was a great swim.  Something happens to me in Mirror Lake and I turn into a swim boss.  Amy and Bill are swim bosses too.  I mean ... look at us.

I have the same orca wetsuit. I should have worn it so we could have been total dorks.  :/
After the swim, I asked Amy to snap my picture near the Ironman rock at the start of the swim course.  I didn't exactly plan my outfit, and did not intend to be in what appears to be a white track suit.  Between this photo and the wetsuit-goggle-swim cap photo, I know you are thinking "wow, this Ironman training has made her super hot" and you are absolutely correct.  I can rock a white tracksuit like no one's business.

Mirror Lake.  So lovely.  

We had quite a bit of downtime in between the morning swim and afternoon brick, so Amy and I took advantage and went into town and shopped and got a pedicure.  A pedicure!  My feet are completely gross - callused and rough and I am missing a toenail, but a pedicure seemed like heaven, so that's what we did.  Of course, as soon as she got out her little buffer thing I went Chris Farley LAY OFF ME I'M STARVING on her ...

and was like DO NOT TOUCH MY CALLUSES I NEED THEM, to which she meekly and tactfully replied, "well ... how about I just ... smooth them?"  And I agreed.  She somehow even managed to turn my not-toenail into a toenail.  Yay.  Success.  

The brick was easy.  We met up at Mirror Lake and our coach had a tent set up for transition.  We biked from town to River Road (the run course), all the way on River Road to 86 and then up the five famous climbs (Little Cherry, Big Cherry and Mama, Baby and Papa Bears) and then back to the tent on Mirror Lake Drive. Then the run was just 2 miles around Mirror Lake Drive.  It was totally fine and pretty easy.  Back to the house for a BBQ and bed.  

CAMP DAY 4:  Sunday:  Sunday was long run day.  Amy and I had a 15 mile run, which, of course, we would do together.  There were two groups: the 6:30 am group and the 8:30 am group.  We took the early shift.  The run was from the house up by the Crowne Plaza and then onto the run course and back.  We did our 9 minute run/1 minute walk repeat and walked down the hill out of town, and walked up the ski jump hill and the hill into town.  Walking these hills was key: while we probably lost a tiny bit of time by not running, we more than made up for it in energy saved.  On race day, I will totally walk these same hills.

The run felt shockingly good.  It was a beautiful morning.  And while the first couple of miles I felt a little tired, once we were into it, my body got back to work and it felt great.  Our coach supported us via sag wagon and had water, food, etc. on the course if we needed it.  It was a great run.  Amy and I celebrated a successful camp and run with Sprites!

After the run, we cleaned up, packed up, ate up and hit the road.

It was a great week in every way.  We lucked out with tremendous weather - like picture perfect everything every single day.  But the workouts were all very confidence-boosting and empowering.  Physically, I think I am ready for this race.  Mentally, I'm almost there.  It's going to be a challenge to get back to the grind of training here at home after such a spectacular and high energy week at camp.  But I guess that is all part of the game!

This week is another big one: 100 mile ride, long run, 2.5 mile swim ... here we go!

See you swoon,


  1. Great post! I was cracking up the whole time! You are rocking those wetsuits and tracksuits! LOL! You should have gotten little Ironman's painted on your toenails! Thanks for all the updates. Sounds like somebody is ready to become an Ironman!! :)

  2. Ha! Now that you mention it, little m- dots on the toes is brilliant!

  3. How I envy that you could be there, I would like to go to there too.

  4. You look strong and determined and gorgeous, I love it!