Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mount Defiance: Day #2 of Lake George

I was able to start day #2 up in Lake George off with not one, but two kayakers to escort me on a short .6 mile OWS in the cove where I was staying. Thanks to my sister and cousin!

My thing about open water swimming is that I like to swim in water where I CANNOT see the bottom. Or rather, ANYTHING other than the person in front of me whom I am drafting. Got it?

Lake George is a clear lake, especially in the morning, and even with two kayakers near me, I still get freaked out when I see a fish, or a GIGANTIC boulder underneath you.

But do you really want to know what freaks me out the most? When I hit a gigantic DEAD fish out in the middle of the lake. GAAAAAAHHHH!!!!!!! hahahahahahaa! I came up and was all panicked with, "What was that! What was that!" My little almost 12 year old cousin was laughing with, "Haha! Haha! You hit a dead fish!"

Ok, I got a chuckle out of it after I realized what it was. But man! Talk about freakout! What are the chances that out of the ENTIRE lake that I hit the one dead fish in the cove!?!?!? I could actually smell it before I came near it. So gross! I even cut my finger on its fin. Blah!

So after the swim, I laced up the shoes and went for a run with my super runner aunt. I said I needed to do 9 miles and she responded with, "Oh! We can go up Mt. Defiance."

Special thanks to Jeff @ Dangle The Carrot for shooting me a great of definition of what "defiance" means:
intentionally contemptuous behavior or attitude. OR a hostile challenge.

Does this look like a "hostile challenge" to you?
Says the average pitch is 9.36% ....I'd say the max is ~16%. Get your climbing gear out!

So my aunt gets us to mile 4 and we start going up a pitch and she says, "By the way, this isn't the hill yet." WHAAAAT!!!! We get to the top of the pitch and she then says, "Here is the turn to head up." We make the turn and I see this wall in front of me. GULP!

I collected myself and we started the ascent. It went wall to short plateau to wall to short plateau and my breathing got heavier and heavier and my pace was crawling to that of a slug. Finally we come to a flat section and I can see a clearing. I am convinced that the end is right there. WRONG! I turn another corner and again look up to even STEEPER sections that are even LONGER. OH MAN GET THIS OVER WITH!!!

Now my brain has switched into full on Mt. Ventoux climbing mode. The SUCKAGE is at its greatest and the top will come and this hill climb will pay off dividends in two weeks @ Timberman.

Well, at least the rewarding view at the top was literally breathtaking! Hahaha! Get it? I was out of breath when I got to the top? Oh man....I will be here all week folks, try the duck!
View to the north into Vermont. This is the bottom of Lake Champlain.

That fort is Fort Ticonderoga. The Brits hauled two canon up to this view and shot artillery shells down upon the fort during the Revolutionary war. Can you imagine hauling canon up this road?!?!?

View to the south into Vermont. The very bottom of Lake Champlain is down there even further.

We took it easy on the way down so as to not get blisters on the feet. It took us 12:30 to run the 1 mile up, and 11 mins to run the 1 mile down. I can't risk blisters at this point. Gonna save em for two more weeks. We rounded out the run @ 10.2 miles for the morning, rounding out a solid weekend of training.

I then fell asleep in a hammock on the shore with the wind rocking me side to side. That was a great and well deserved nap!


  1. Hi little bro,
    Oh my gosh, Vermont is beautiful! You are so funny! I was laughing so hard at your little story about the fish! See, it is stuff like that in addition to the fact that I swim like crap...that I will most likely never do an open water swim Tri! I would of been totally freaked out touching a smelly dead fish! When I was a little girl I saw snakes swimming in lakes a few times too! Yuck! Great post Jon! Falling asleep on the hammock sounds fabulous...you did deserve it!

  2. OH my god! A dead fish??? That is crazy! UGH.

    I like to see the bottom.

    Holy crap, that is a crazy run!

  3. The fish would have totally freaked me out! The run sounds interesting, to say the least, but that view from the top is great!

  4. Okay, the fish sorry is hilarious and I would have totally freaked as well! The view from the top of the hills is gorgeous. I don't know if I would have made it to the top though!

    A nap on a hammock sounds like bliss.

  5. I would have squealed like a 9-yr old girl at that dead fish!

    Hey isn't Lake Champlain home of the mystical Lake Monster "Champ"? I remember seeing something years ago about this on TV?

  6. That "hill" does look hostile - I think it is the perfect way to describe it! Sometimes the wind pisses me off on a ride and I think hostile would be a good way to describe that too!

  7. Great climb and fantastic pictures! beautiful...and nice work nailing the dead fish!

  8. Wow...that climb is crazy!!! The pictures are so beautiful !
    I'm with you on the open water swimming. I don't get freaked out by not being able to see what's in the water, but with what I DO see in the water! Eeekk..that dead fish would have done me in!

  9. I try to remain totally oblivious to what's in the water when I'm doing an OWS. A dead fish would have totally freaked me out. But that hill might have freaked me out more.

  10. that nap sounds like a great reward after all that training!

    No matter what kind of water I'm in, lake, ocean, I can't help wondering what's floating in there with me!

  11. Ha ha ha! I totally would have freaked out at the dead fish. You, Mandy and I seem to have some irrational fear of lake swims....I think I have seen too many bad movies. Seriously, lake monsters? not likely!

    You had a nice torture fest this weekend, should pay off in dividends come Timberman!!!

  12. The duck is great! Good thing the fish was dead, because a fish that attacked would have been SO much worse.

  13. Those pictures are breathtaking! And I don't do any body of water that has fish in it...I had a run in with a dead fish years ago and it still haunts me! That's why I chickened out of the Tri earlier this year!

  14. Ok, sooooooooo I was wrong, that hill did suck

    Your the third person this month that was blogged about water monsters and being worried about them, I find this fascinating.

  15. fish are disgusting dead or alive!

  16. Yep, a dead fish would have completely freaked me out too. I did an open water swim up in Petoskey over the weekend. I was going to do a second one, but a kayaker went missing near the beach I swam at and was yet to be found. There was absolutely no way I was going near that water until they found him.

    Awesome run up the hill. Next time, I expect you to push one of those canons up for some additional strength training!

  17. Ugh...I fear running into a dead fish...or a dead body when I OWS. You are going to be an expert climber by the end of the season, France, watch out!


Don't be shy! Leave me a comment!