Monday, March 13, 2017

LPC Florida Triathlon Camp - Day 5: 2 reps of Sugarloaf!

Day 5 of the LPC Florida Triathlon Camp started similar to our first camp day - with a run and swim at River Island within Orange Lake Resort.

Similar to the first day, Coach Mark had me skip the run - this time to hopefully help keep my legs ready for a 32km mega-run to finish off the camp. So while everyone else went for a run...I decided to lounge about enjoying the atmosphere for once in my life. LOL. It really is a lovely resort! Can't imagine what it must be like just to come to a place like this for vacation.

Enjoying the view!

Once everyone was back from their run, Coach Alex led us through a dynamic warm-up - which I most definitely needed in advance of the swim.

The swim itself was more technical than the one on Sunday - focused less on distance and more on body position (particularly sculling) and drafting. I appreciated this since I was a bit tired from the Wednesday bike workout and knew I had another 2 big days ahead.

The Lazy River itself continues to be spectacular to swim in - something that never gets old! Today, we even had some neighbours join in the fun.

Company in the Lazy River

After the swim, I got a Starbucks to go because I needed more coffee in advance of the Sugarloaf ride. Also had some lunch. Earlier in the week, I made a great little rice dish with mixed onions, carrots, beans and broccoli. I've been eating it all week - and have been pleasantly surprised how tasty and filling it has been without causing issues for my training. I plan to make it far more often!

Hitched a ride out to the starting point of the Sugarloaf ride - an Irish Pub. Of course, the pub also makes an excellent end point. It's a well chosen venue, that's for sure.

Decided to ride with the B- group (we had a crazy variety of skill levels at this camp so the coaches broke us up into more than the typical 3 groups we've had in past years).

Re-grouping at a corner

Riding with B- was a good choice for me since I didn't want to go too hard on the ride - although we had a few faster folks who had to wait a bit at times. Thankfully they didn't seem to mind.

Nice pic of Rob Buren on his hand-cycle!

This ride included a surprising number of incidents of people making wrong turns because they got too far ahead (or in my case, a bit behind) - although nothing like in past years. Coach Mark managed to find us each time before we ranged too far afield thank goodness. I suspect he rode well over the planned 95km trying to keep us all together.
Coach Mark

All in all though, it was a gorgeous day for a ride. Early on, I had a tough time keeping my power in check (my big goal for the ride since I was doing a mega-run the next day). I ended up having to push a fair bit of power on some of the easier climbs when I thought it should have been easier. I've been doing pretty decently with my biking this year so couldn't understand why I was having a tougher time than in the past.

Coach Mark figured out the issue not long before we reached Sugarloaf. He noticed my cassette was small (I don't know the right term...but basically, I didn't have any easy gears making climbing much more difficult). Apparently when I switched my PowerTap wheel to an 11 speed cassette to work with my new bike, I didn't get a very good cassette type for climbing. Needless to say, I am going to have to get a better one before Collingwood. If this ride was hard with the current cassette...doing Collingwood with it would be nuts.

Regardless of my cassette type, I made it up to the top of Sugarloaf. In my Training Peaks, Coach Mark had suggested I do 2 reps of the hill - including going -down- (something that made me nervous given the hill is quite steep). He's made this suggestion in the past but I've never actually done it. This time, when I got to the top, I confirmed I had enough time to do a second rep - so I turned around and rode right down.

The descent wasn't as bad as I was expecting (although I took it at a snail's pace compared to what anyone else might do). Apparently Coach Mark watched to make sure I made it down safely - a fact I appreciated.

There were some men working on the side of the road about half-way up the hill. As I crawled up the road the second time, I'm pretty sure they thought I was nuts. We did exchange smiles though. I didn't have any breath in me to say anything though. It was hard!

Made it to the top just in time to get into the group picture (which I'll post when someone hopefully passes it on to me). Then I had time to quickly down a few cups of water because the house at the top of the climb kindly keeps a cooler of water by their mailbox for cyclists. I've never met these people - but they have my eternal gratitude.

I didn't even have time for a selfie at the top before we rolled out (well, I probably did but I didn't think of it). This is what comes of working harder than you have before. Ah well. I can just post a picture from a previous year and pretend it is current....LOL!

At the top of Sugarloaf in 2014 or 2015.
Same shirt but a different bike this year!

I rode most of the last half of the ride with my friend Paula - going fairly easy and enjoying the scenery. We stopped at a convenience store where I got a longer break than at the top of Sugarloaf, which I appreciated because my back was feeling tight. I took the time to drink a Dr. Pepper (which tastes amazing) and also to lay down on the ground to get my back in order. Really, that was all it took for my back to re-align or something because I was fine after I stood back up. So funny.
Rest Stop

Coach Gabbi's husband Ken was at the rest stop, which came in very handy when a 20-something woman with 2 young kids asked Coach Mark for help. Apparently she'd taken the car to the store to get something - except her mother had the keys back at the school down the road. It was one of those cars with auto she didn't notice this until she stopped and then couldn't turn the car back on How awkward!

Thankfully Camp LPC came the rescue with Ken chauffeuring the girl and the kids down the road to get the keys. Nice to have the right people in the right place to help someone out. It might have been more complicated without a car to help - so big cheers to Ken!

We made it back to the Irish Pub in good time to get our bikes loaded in the trailer and meet other groups for a nice cold beer!

Kirstie Kniaziew, Coach James, and Rob Buren

I admit, the beer tasted great! I stuck to French fries at the pub along with my beer - then ate a regular dinner when I got back to my camp house.

A well earned reward!

After getting back to the camp house, we learned that the maintenance folks had managed to get our hot tub working at some point that day. I admit, it was both a wonderful surprise and an utter joy. I took plenty of time to soak in the tub (which started out lukewarm but heated up while I sat in it). I think it made a huge difference in terms of recovery for my legs!

Blissfully enjoying the hot tub!

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