We are here in Lake Placid with our Valor Triathlon Camp. Jennie, Tina and I are coaching 30 athletes through a weekend of swim, bike and run. Tina secured us the three houses at High Peaks Cylcery, we have sags for all workouts, we have full nutrition support. We were able to put this camp on for $250 per athlete, and we walked away with a sizeable profit. We are super proud of this.
The Ironman Lake Placid bike course is no joke. It’s the hardest one on the circuit in my opinion. It’s hard because it’s sneaky climbing. Everyone talks about the 10K descent but the rest of the course involves nothing but climb, and a lot of false flats. Yesterday brought us one of the most difficult days on the course, with hellacious wind (my personal favorite). The last 11 miles were a grind at best. Averaging 4 miles an hour was a good ride.
These are the days that make or break athletes. Put them into retirement or fuel their hunger. I need them to get out there when it is hard. When there is no one but you to rely on.
Spot is not all rainbows and unicorns. The good days aren’t often. The tough days are what build you up.
In those last 11 miles you learn whether you are a boy or a man.
The past 4 years have been difficult for me in this sport. With an illness and a serious case of burnout I stepped back. I did Ironman last year to get my friend Heather, killed in 2012….. her Ironman medal. I didn’t care about the race itself.
Yesterday was one of the hardest and best days I have ever had on this course. In the past 12 years I have ridden this course at5-6 times a year. I have cried out there, laughed out there. I have been broken into a hundred pieces and I have found my soul.
Yesterday I found my soul again. I can officially pronounce burnout over.
I rode the half Ironman plan, which was 2 loops of the course minus the out and backs. Total it was about 85 miles. My first loop I rode with Tina’s husband, Brett. He’s a very solid athlete and this was hid first time out there. I will say he was one of the best training partners I have ever had.
I flatted on the descent bunny hopping a pothole. I can change a flat in no time and I challenged another guy out there to see who could finish their change first. I won! Victorious I flew down the road and left him in my dust, only to have him pass me like I was standing still a few minutes later.
That was when I noticed it. The fire in my belly. The joy in my heart and soul as I looked around and was surrounded by mountains.
This is as close to God as I know how to get.
Brett opted for one loop, I continued on. It was amazing to see our sag vehicles out there. It was amazing to see our team out there. All abilities. Finding their strong so to speak.
As hard as it was, I found crazy joy again. I loved the wind slowing me down to a speed of 4 mils an hour. I loved the challenge again. I loved being in on those hills. I loved every turn of those pedals. I loved that I was loving the fight again. I was loving that the fire was in my belly again.
The burnout is done. I won’t be on an Ironman start line again. That’s how I entered into the land of burnout. But I have goals to reach for and work for. I have dark moments to have and work through. I have successes to earn and ……. I am back in my sport 100%. I have waited for this. I was told if I stepped back and relaxed it would come.
When I got back to the house I was so so proud of the team. They went to “that place” yesterday. Everyone found their demon and everyone came out of it a bit different. There were tears. But through tears there comes lessons.
And that is why we are here.
Full recap to come. We have training to do!