2020 has brought us numerous challenges in the world of Sports and Endurance events. Triathlons, cycling races, running races, etc…canceled throughout the US and the world. However, we, as very focused individuals find ways to persevere. We are often SOLO in the training that we do.
This year has brought a business challenge to Start-tri with races canceled, athletes were less likely to want a training plan with no goal at the end. This was a particular challenge to me as a coach, particularly with the near future challenge to go more “full-time” into the coaching business. What to do now? I thank some of my faithful clients for sticking with me, for planning “virtual races/events”, small “socially-distant” gatherings, etc. Personally, I continued to train, as every coach should. Training was low in intensity and low in volume as I had no particular race in mind.
We traveled to Lake Placid at the end of July as we do every year to race, support athletes and volunteer for the annual Ironman Lake Placid. This year, no race, no nervous athletes pacing around town, but plenty of athletes that probably could not/did not want to get out of their rentals. On Saturday evening, we went to Lisa G’s (one of the best local spots in LP) for some wings (take-out due to large crowd) and awesome Big Slide IPAs. After devouring quite a few wings and downing my share of IPAs, I casually informed my beautiful bride that I would like to do the Ironman on the traditional Sunday. She rarely questions my stupidity/far-fetched ideas. After all, she knows I am all in if I commit. I had run six miles last week after all. I can probably finish an IM.
So, we got up the next morning and my favorite Sherpa drove me to the lake where I made up my own course, the perimeter of Mirror Lake stopping at the docks to see who was enjoying their AM coffee. I had pretty much the whole lake to myself other than a pair of beautiful loons. Water was a balmy 78 degrees…no wetsuit. I swam much slower than I expected, but I was delighted to take my time and say my hellos to early AM coffee lovers.
As I transitioned in front of the LP Brew Pub, I thought, what do I need in an unsupported 112 mile ride? Twenty dollars should do it! I set off on my own version of 112 IM course having a loose idea of going backwards on the course, picking good road surfaces, quieter roads and tying in a visit toward Lake Champlain. With multiple stops at the Adirondack staple, Stewarts shops, I filled up on water, chips, bananas and ate my PB sandwich. Ninety miles went by smoothly, then the grind began…not enough miles in these legs!
Off the bike at mile 112. -- Then, since it is SoloMan and I am competing against myself, a nice shower. Off on the run -- well, shufflle -- well run as mosquitos/flies were feasting off my sweat/blood! “Hello Sherpa Christine!” “May I have a coke and would you walk with me?” Shuffle into town to then have Sherpas Seb and Alex accompany me after a nice long break at Lori’s house (Thank You). As we meander through town, we get a nice boost from Dave and Cathy Swezey! It feels like Ironman Sunday as the LP Pub starts clapping upon Dave’s cheerleading (Thank You). Off to the Olympic torch to do some miles on the track that has hosted many Olympic hopefuls (and a SlowMan). Off to the house for 26.2 and a family finish!
Who needs Ironman? Well, upon reflection, this was unprepared fun (in a masochistic way) that cost me 6700 calories and $9.00 versus the astronomical costs of the modern Ironman races. I was able to race without getting a drafting penalty, pick my roads, eat my own food and take in the beauty of the Adirondacks! No boost from the great crowds in town…but, no pre-race jitters. Many pros and cons.
I thank Lori, Sammi and Jack Morris for their hospitality. I thank Cathy and Dave Swezey for their enthusiasm and cheerleading. I thank the best GU/Shimano/Pearl Izumi rep around, Wayne Foose. Finally, I thank my family for all their support.
Yours in endurance and fitness,