Thursday, March 12, 2015

LPC Triathlon Camp - Day 5: Climbing Sugarloaf...twice.

I admit, I am almost too tired to write this blog entry. It's only my history of managing to get my recap out the same day that's getting me to put my thoughts into words for all of you. 3 years of triathlon camp and counting...I didn't want to disappoint anyone.

Day 5 started with a swim at the awesome 350 meter lazy river at Orange Lake Resort.

Okay, this picture was technically after the swim, but you can see one part of the spectacular pool. The workout was great...2 laps of warm-up, then 2 of drafting practice, then 3 laps of descending laps, a lap hard, and then a lap of cool down. Which is apparently 9 laps. I think? Or am I adding that incorrectly? I honestly can't add right now. But if it was 9 laps, that's over 3k of swimming - which is kind of amazing.
Overall, the swim was really good. My descending reps would have been descending except I got kicked in the face - but that's triathlon for you.  It just made my hard lap all the much better.
After the swim, we had some very important hot tub time, not to mention Starbucks Coffee time. Priorities, right? I needed to caffeinate before the big afternoon ride after all!
What a nice looking bunch, right?
We came home and ate a ton of food before heading out to the starting point of our hardest ride of the week - the Sugarloaf Mountain climb. Here are people getting ready for the start.
The interesting thing about today's ride is that Coach Mark wanted me to climb Sugarloaf 2 times. The past two years, I've just been happy to make it up once - but this time, the goal was two reps. The question of course was how to get the two reps. Personally, I was a bit nervous about going down when some friends opted for the 90km ride with a 20km loop around to climb Sugarloaf again, I figured that would be a good option.
I did not really think about how hard doing 2 loops of 20km of hills would be. I'm not that smart. But hey, I made it up once....see, here is the proof.
I even got a picture of myself...only on the first go though...I was too tired to think about getting one the second time!
Shortly after our smaller 90km group started off for the second loop, my chain fell off. So they all were way ahead of me, while I stopped to fix my chain (with Coach Nissim's very timely help). I caught up with the 72km group (heading back to the starting point - an Irish Pub - for a beer while the rest of us rode more) only to find out the 90km group was way ahead. On Coach James encouragement, I went as hard as I could to catch up.
I don't think I've gone that hard ever, but I did catch up (because they - eventually - stopped to wait for me at a corner...phew). After that, I was feeling pretty toasted, but I still managed to make it up Sugarloaf on the second loop. See, here we are...a small but might group.
Aside: what you don't know is that there were groups that did 125 and we weren't as crazy as some.
After the second climb, it was a leisurely (cough) 30km or so to the Irish Pub, where we completed our journey for the day. I admit, when I was done, I was thoroughly glad I signed up for a FLAT Ironman race. I couldn't imagine riding another 90km like that one.
Of course, Coach Mark was quick to mention it was early in the season and I would never ride that hard in an Ironman or I'd be walking the that made me feel better.
The Irish Pub included a very well earned beer.
Special thanks to both Coach Mark and Coach James who made the day incredibly memorable. Their constant support, encouragement and daring really made me push harder than I might have otherwise.
I think climbing Sugarloaf twice will end up being my biggest accomplishment of the camp - although tomorrow's 86km bike after a 19km run could be a close call. But that ride should be pretty easy....relatively!

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