Monday, May 23, 2011

Lake Placid Training Camp. I think I get it now.

And WHAT is it that I get? That Ironman training is F-ing HARD!!!!

And I gotta ride a LOT more!

And a Half Ironman is basically a totally different animal than an Ironman. Its actually closer to an Olympic distance in distance and intensity.

And that it is totally possible to mentally checkout on the bike. (Somehow my legs still turned over?)

And training with a cold and hacking up green stuff really sucks!

So I spent the weekend up in Lake Placid at a Fireman Ironman Training Camp. Great camp; lots of support and laughs and good company. Jill @ Simply Tri came up for the camp as well. So meeting another fellow blogger is always a delight as well as meeting other random people who happen to live far away and yet swim in the same pool as me. Small world!

It feels like it has been raining all spring. And it has been on the colder side. As soon as I pulled into Lake Placid it was pretty decent out, and then this....

It was forecast to rain all weekend. Great. Well, if I am training in rain, then at least I will get to experience it before I might need to race in it. Afterall, last year for Mooseman 70.3 I did the preview ride in 47 degrees and pouring rain (and got bit by a dog) and the race turned out to be 60 degrees and pouring rain. Both experiences sucked big time, but at least I was prepared for it (I did NOT get bit on race day).

So Saturday morning we are all huddled together at the Olympic Oval and it is super foggy and dark and cold out. I am wearing arm and knee warmers. I actually made a joke to a guy asking him if he had any sun screen I could borrow. Jill rode up and I knew it was her by her bike. She rides a pink camo Quintan Roo. Awesome looking ride!

So we ride. Within an hour it is pouring on us. I didn't want to ride with a group because why the heck should I draft off others when I am going to going alone anyways on race day? So I let the group go. I eventually passed them when they stopped and from there out I was alone for the rest of the ride. The rain totally sucked but at least it keeps you cool!

I went SO conservatively on the flats. Normally I am pushing 200-210 watts on the flats, if I am doing a HIM or training for a HIM. I was pushing 160 on the flats. That is how conservative I took it! And boy did I find out later that I made the right choice.

My Noble Steed

By the time I hit 2 hours, the sun was starting to pop out. WTF? It was just pouring on me not 30 mins ago! By the time I finished the first loop, the sun was totally out and I stripped the arm warmers.

UH OH!!!!!

I have no sun screen and the clouds are all gone and it is bright and sunny out.

UH OH!!!!

Yep, folks, I got burnt. Fortunately just on my arms!

Will I ever learn?!?!?!?

So at 56 miles I got my special needs bag and I put down an Ensure and put a little tiny packet of sun screen on my face and one two spots on the back of my arms. Totally not enough on the arms. The Ensure made me feel human again.

So at this point my brain is hardwired to run, since that is what my triathlon life for the past two seasons has been like: Bike 56, run Half Marathon, eat, sleep, train, stretch, ice bath, yadda yadda yadda. Me NOT going for a run and instead hopping back on the bike for another 56 miles was like switching from a life long addiction from Coke to Pepsi. The brain didn't know how to handle it!

So after some punching of the brain, I was off for loop #2. Wow did my body suddenly feel strange. The hills coming out of town suddenly felt a LOT steeper. When I made it onto the flats from Keene to Jay, staying in the aero position was a LOT harder. I was restless. My body hurt. My butt hurt. I was getting my nutrition down and drinking regularly and was full of energy, I was just starting to feel the fatigue in the legs and my brain was wandering.

At exactly 5 hours I hit the intersection of Jay to Wilmington, aka, the climbing of the last 17 miles was about to being.

I mentally checked out. My brain was no longer attached. Fortunately there was a camp aid station there and a guy who has done the race was manning it and he gave me a pep talk that really set me straight. It was enough to attach the brain back to the head so I could mentally comprehend what was ahead of me. I found climbing to be easier on the body than riding the flats since I no longer needed to stay in the aero position.

By the time I hit the last turn from Wilmington heading up the last 11 miles to Lake Placid, I reentered that fog again. I was struggling and just forced myself to turn the pedals. I was somewhere else and I honestly do remember most of it, but it felt like a dream. I also choked down Gu #11 at this point and practically gagged. Time to find an alternative fueling choice to mix it up. Gu is cool, but not 11 on one ride! Blech! Gonna try more Clif Bar Products.

Then the STRANGEST thing happened! I woke up! My body literally woke up when I saw the River Road intersection and I knew I had 15 mins to the top of Papa Bear (the peak of the climbing on the course). I started hammering it. I buzzed by some guy who said, "Take it easy!"......he said it as in, "Hey you young turd! Get off my lawn! You are going too hard!" Sorry man, because you are having a bad day doesn't mean you gotta piss on mine.

I finished the ride, strapped on the shoes and ran. Knocked off 3.88 miles @ an 8:16 pace after riding for 6 hours, 16 mins and 112.75 miles.


Remember how I said I was going so conservatively on the first loop of the bike? It paid off by allowing me to run that fast with such ease after riding that long. I have heard stories after stories of people saying, "GO EASY!!!! Like a notch easier than you what you think easy is."

And I positive split the 2nd loop by less than 2 mins. Pacing SUCCESS!!!

I immediately hopped into Mirror Lake up to my waist and iced my knees. OMG this cured my knees and legs. And it was absolutely beautiful by this point. Just look at these pictures!


Now for Sunday was the long run. My legs felt good, but I wouldn't know how they truly felt until I started running. I only needed to run 13.1, but Jill needed to run 2.5 hours. I said why not. I can go longer. I just did 2:15:00 last Tuesday, what's another 15 mins? We started running together, found that we are the same pace and just kept going. OMG that was not only my longest run ever physically, but it was one of the shortest runs mentally for me. Running with someone makes time go by SO fast! Thanks Jill! We are trying to formulate a plan to run the marathon together. Talk about PR city!

So the run started off HOT. Like magnifying glass on the ant type of hot and at 3 miles in we are sweating more than all of yesterday. Oh crap. So we stop at every aid station and chug 2-3 glasses of water/perform, etc. It helped. By the time we turned around on River Road, it was starting to cloud up and it continued to cloud up further and further throughout the run. This basically saved us and took the heat/sun element out of the equation. Now it was just a mental/physical thing. Mentally, it was a super easy run. Physically, not too bad either. What's another 10 miles? Haha!

I just finished icing the legs. Jill was about to hit the road. But look at our arms!

It was a VERY rewarding weekend. I learned that the mental hurdles are just as though as the physical. I learned that Gu is cool, but no more than 6 on the bike. Infinit freaking rocks! Going too easy on the first loop is not a bad thing. My compact crank was the best decision to have installed on the bike. Spinning with a 34x25 is so smooth and effortless. Burning off literally 3500 calories on the bike is crazy! Yes folks, I produced 3,500 KJ of work through my power meter. That equates to calories. Crazy!

This was also a HUGE mental confidence booster. Here I am, 8-9 weeks out from race day, and I already knocked off my first 112 miler and a 16 mile run the next day and the legs feel good. Either the ice baths are working miracles (I do think Mirror Lake has healing qualities) or all of the hard work I have been putting in so far this season is paying off.

Don't get me wrong,that bike yesterday was F-ing TOUGH! This is NO walk in the park! I feel good now, but I know I will be dreading the next 100+ miler.

I totally recommend burying yourself like this 8 weeks out from your first Ironman. You still have plenty of time to recover and this is the time to make every mistake you can possibly make. Because then you have 8 weeks to fix!

Hope you had a great weekend of racing and or training and HUGE congrats to Jeff Irvin @ Dangle the Carrot and Shannon @ Iron Texas Mommy. They are now Ironmen! They just completed the inaugural Ironman Texas on Saturday and both had incredible days. Rest up you two! You deserve it and eat as many Brownie Sundaes as you can!!!


  1. yes! go STUPID EASY on that first loop! if you don't you will regret it!

  2. Way to go, Jon! That ride sounds intense. I did 104 yesterday, and it was all new to me. But to hear that you cranked out 3.88 and such a quick pace means you did a good job pacing. Nice work. Good luck with the last 8 weeks!

  3. amazing weekend! Sounds like you will do great!

  4. Great weekend recap! It was awesome to meet you in person and who knew 16 miles after 112 bike could be so fun?!?

  5. Thanks for the rundown of your weekend. You are really helping me in my decision of when I sure do my IM.

    I love the farmers tan. I have the same thing going on!

  6. Nice job! Keep it up! It looks like in the future, part of building your base should be getting that base tan! ;-)

  7. awesome weekend! I also mentally checked out on the bike this weekend and I was surprised I didnt fall over with how much I fall off my bike :)

    sweet tan lines.

  8. i am so scared to ride the course on saturday. I have done NO hill training and my longest ride to date is 60 miles. 112 is going to kill me.

    i will have no trouble going out stupid easy (or finishing stupid slow)

    love the pics. hopefully the weather will be good this weekend for my trip!

  9. Awesome job! Sounds like an amazing weekend. Hopefully my weekend in Madison is half as good.

    How was the Perform? I have to order some of it to try it out ahead of time.

  10. Sounds like an amazing weekend! YOu rock! Seriously...

  11. great post. I am terrified now though. Thanks...

  12. awesome!!!! I am doing my lake placid camp Memorial day weekend and hoping for some confidence afterward as well. How was the long run in terms of grade and things like that?

  13. I have checked out on the bike before

    Riding long is more about mental toughness then physical ability. around 75-80 miles, you hit that mental wall and life just sucks for awhile.

  14. That sounds like an awesome weekend! Way to go!!

  15. This is awesome. I really wish I could go to a WI training camp before the race. It sounds like you'll be really well prepared both mentally and physically for Placid!

  16. Good for you Jon! You are in a perfect place with your training right now and are only going to get strong and strong with Peak right around the corner. Remind me to tell you about Patrick's bike on Saturday - went out too hard and paid for it on the run.

  17. That camp looks so cool! Nice job on the ride this weekend!

  18. great bike
    amazing run after the long ride!!!
    ur doing flippin great

    love the pics:)

    but I have to agree with Im terrified thanks



  19. Your description of your ride was identical to what I went through on my century. The mental toughness is killer. My legs could have used a hand too. Sounds like you had a great weekend though!


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