Thursday, March 10, 2016

LPC Florida Tri Camp - Day 3 - Beautiful Day for the Allen's Challenge

It was yet another beautiful day in Florida today, making this the third one this week. Glad it was so nice because this was the second longest ride of the camp – an 86km ride out to Allen’s Creamery in Windermere.

For the past 3 years, this ride has always been on the last day of camp after the 86km ride, but after some feedback, the coaches changed it up to make it a different day. By having it earlier in the week, it gives people more recovery time – plus makes it easier for people to attend a final night dinner without being exhausted. Personally, I loved this change. It made for a great day of riding!

We all collected at the main LPC camp house for a maintenance workshop before the ride – focused mostly on tire changing and being prepared for a flat. This clinic never gets old – as each time you can learn something new. And with many new campers, it’s always good to make sure people are prepared. Following the clinic from Coach Ryan Power, we got ready to ride.
Tire changing clinic with Coach Ryan Power

I rode with the B group again, which was the right choice. For the most part, I had no issues with the pace– not that I’d know any different since my watch refused to give me the right distance or speed. So annoying! I’m now going to try a reset to see if that helps.

The ride out seemed so much faster than previous years – probably because Coach Mark and Coach Nissim got us there with no problems. This is actually a huge deal for me since every year until now I’ve ended up in a group that got lost…last year by a lot! Pretty soon we were in Windermere riding through all the nice houses on our way to Allens. We did ride on one road I didn’t like much, but we weren’t on it for long and I am a much better rider so it wasn't a big deal, thank goodness. Most of the ride was beautiful riding with lots of opportunities to practice riding in a paceline.
Allen's Creamery in Windemere

At Allen’s, 4 people took on the Allen’s Challenge – including a showdown between Coach Mark and John Pulford – as John took the record last year in about 4:50 – for eating 11 scoops of ice cream and 6 toppings.  Coach Mark had been the previous record holder. The bowls of ice cream are gigantic, so watching the challenge is quite a highlight of the week – and today was no less than spectacular.

John and Coach Mark Take on the Allen's Challenge!
All 4 competitors actually finished the challenge (you get 15 minutes to eat it all) and won their free t-shirts. But John Pulford won again – breaking his own record with a time of 3:16 (don’t ask me how – even though I watched it!), while Coach Mark also beat the last record in a time of about 3:45-3:50 (I can’t remember exactly). Crazy!

My friend Paula said she’d compete with me next year as part of my camp 5 year anniversary. We’ll see if that happens or if we both chicken out! I feel like doing a beer mile in -15 degrees and half a foot of snow last week was about as foolish as I get. That much ice cream is a bit insane.

After the challenge, we headed back home – Coach Mark looking none the worse for wear after his ice cream battle. The ride back was a bit more challenging because of the wind, plus a few frontrunners in our group decided to up the pace a bit (no idea by how much since my watch wasn’t working properly). I managed to stay right up front with them for a large chunk of the ride back, but I eventually got tired.

When we were about 15km from home, Coach Mark went off with the fast people, while the rest of our B group took a more leisurely pace home. I probably could have stayed with the B-1 group, but glad I didn’t because I wanted to save my energy for tomorrow (technically today since that’s when I’m writing), when we have a brick workout at Lake Louisa State Park.

It was pretty hot when we got back to the LPC camp house, but I still had a 3km brick run on my plan – or one loop of the Emerald Island Resort. I quickly changed into my shoes – which I’d left in the garage, although I rued the fact I didn’t have my hat with me. Ah well, it was 3km, so I figured I’d be done quickly enough that it wouldn’t be a big deal.

The run was actually better than I thought – although still pretty easy. My friend Flora (a super-fast girl who won the A1A marathon in February) passed me at one point like I was standing still. Absolutely amazing. To be honest, I enjoy watching great runners and cyclists (tomorrow's report will have a similar story about Lionel Saunders) – you can just see the focus and determination in their eyes. And Flora looked incredibly strong. As did Jack and many of the fast guys who also passed me at some point in the loop.

I managed to ride 250m back to my camp house after the run, where I proceeded to spend the remainder of the afternoon sitting in a deck chair on the back patio. Ahhhh, that felt good.

In the evening, a bunch of us went out for dinner at Orange Lake (and a few went for a hard swim – glad that wasn’t on –my- plan) – and celebrated Coach Mark’s birthday. I finally got around to giving him the small gift I brought back from Ironman Arizona and the Epic Road Trip…a mug and a crab magnet that reminded me of my first year of being at Camp when Coach Mark had Crab at Joe’s Crab Shack. I still have the picture of the silly bib with a hand-drawn crab that he wore, even though he wasn’t my coach at the time – it was just funny!

After dinner, we headed back home where I finished the Day 2 Blog and posted it! I’m definitely a bit behind this week, but I’m trying not to fall too far behind!