I traveled up to Lake Placid on Thursday not only to coach the race, but to have my own final little training camp for Ironman Mont Tremblant. Typically when I come up to Placid for Ironman I completely trash myself because I pack the calendar. That’s fine when you don’t have an Ironman on deck in three weeks, but not cool if you do.
I also want to mention that in addition to Jennie Hansen racing, I had another QT2 athlete, Andrew Seefried… who PR’d the course with an 11:29! Really proud coach this weekend! #proudcoach
Other than coaching my plan was to stay low profile, train and train early (that’s when traffic is ‘best’) and stay off my feet as much as possible.
I have to give a giant shout out to Rochester’s David Bradshaw, who saved me in a time of need! As I was driving to Placid I got a flat tire on my car. I found myself at a gas station, called triple A, and asked the magical world of Facebook for help in removing my bike rack from my spare tire. Dave saw that I was in Star Lake…. where he and his family happened to have a cottage, and was there in 5 minutes. As he was changing the tire for me (I can do it myself now!) he told me he used to be a race car driver. SCORE! I also got to meet his lovely wife as I drove him the entire 400 yards back to his cottage. He had an Ironman in a few days, rest!
Ironman karma was on his side and he ripped off a 10:29 Ironman I believe! (I have too many results in my head right now!). Here is Dave the hero of the day, and I!
I got to Lake Placid just an hour late and settled into the condo with the Score-This crew. If you don’t already know, I am the race announcer for the Score-This multisport series (check out the four awesome races we have left and the Xterra!), and they are my family. We’ve been together since before my son was born and when I got there I felt like I came home. I love them more than I can say!
Lake Placid wasn’t too crowded so I got in luch with my buddy Ken, a run and then settled in for the night after a quick stop at the expo to see my favorite people on earth: Mac and Tres from Quintana Roo, my bike sponsor (and the sponsor of QT2). I had a picture and can’t find it now! SHA!
Friday was long ride day. We began at the late -for-me-hour of 7am and rode two loops of the course in the reverse direction. Which… yes meant we climbed the descent (In Lake Placid the descent is a noun. A proper noun I believe).
This is Molly, Tara, Donna and I at the top. We are self declared badasses!
The ride was great. It reminded me why I love to come to Lake Placid. It’s beautiful. Riding the course in reverse… in my opinion… was safer and there ain’t nothing like climbing the descent. It’s awesome. Climb that thing a few times and leave as Jens Voight. “Confidence beyond your abilities.”
Later that afternoon I got a swim in with Jennie, who was of course locked and loaded and swam pretty darn well. Have I yet mentioned she swam a 1:03 on race day? I am considering making her a plaque. She definitely gets to be part of the badass crew. Winning an Ironman is automatic membership.
That evening…. the old Train-This crew reunited. (Train-This was a coaching company I owned before joining QT2). K-Dub had us all over at his home away from home. And it felt like I came home again. One of the things I decided coming up to Lake PLaicd was to spend as much time as possible with the people who mattered the most to me. And this gang means a whole heck of a lot to me. They have been with me from the beginning of all of this. I was happier then happy to be able to spend time with them again.
Saturday morning brought another loop and another loop in reverse! This time one of my Score-This mates Jeff joined us, and my friend Kelly G. Jeff has been around as I have (late 90’s people!) and he’s not only done a billion Ironmans, he has hiked the Appalachian Trail. I was really really happy to have him on the loop with us. He was an honorary homegirl.
After a quick run and a quick swim in the lake with my homegirl Molly…. Rich rolled my brand new tire home for me. This is what a brotha from anotha motha is for.
Saturday night…. is all about the brew pub. I was really excited because I got to sit down with Rich Straus and Patrick McCrann form Endurance Nation. I LOVE what these guys do. If you haven’t read their four keys, read it. I can’t tell you how psyched I was to finally meet them!
I also got to catch up with many friends whom I love love love.
Here is Rich, Charlie and I…. Charlie is my adopted stepbrother from anotha motha.
Of course, the Quinn brothers were there. If you don’t know the Quinn brothers…. then you just have to accept that you are missing out on life. No pictures may be posted of the Quinn brothers. We want to keep them a mystery. There are 5 of them.
I can say no more.
Except that this is Rudy and he’s pretty badass.
Sunday, the day of Ironman I waited until I knew Jennie wouldn’t text me if she needed anything, and then set out on a 17 mile run. I ran up to the back end of the lake and paused as the race began. I felt calm. I knew Jennie would have an awesome day. As I ran I prayed to Heather, please watch over her today … I asked. And she did.
I ended up running up Jack Rabbit Hill, the first ascent on the bike course out of town. It was the PERFECT place to spot people, or rather many of them spotted me. And I took another hill and made it mine. My run felt really good. I feel like I am where I need to be for a solid day. I don’t know how fast Ironman Mont Tremblant will be but I feel good and ready. A year ago there was no way I could run this hill. I could barely ride down Papa Bear in fact.
The fruits of my labors are coming to fruition. My goal was to bring myself back to health and that…. I have. And I am badass to boot.
I spent the rest of the day cheering on Jennie and Andrew and all of the people I know and love who were out there. It was truly a special special day.
Here is Rich and I on the mic at Rich Clark Hill.
Here is Jennie coming up the hill about to take the lead. So proud! #proudcoach
I love Lake Placid. I love coaching this Ironman. I came out of this weekend with a solid chunk of training under my belt as I head into Ironman. I left knowing I spent time with the people who matter most to me, and I left not trashed and not spent and feeling good. Placid has special meaning to me after all these years. It just keeps getting better.
I should mention I had another flat. Not because flats are rare but because I seem to get a lot of them. Molly’s apparent psychic channeling did nothing for me though. If I am going to flat somewhere, let it be in Placid.
Thank you Lake Placid. for everything over the years. See you next season!