This year seems to be the year of the cold camps. Today, we rolled out at 6 am to do the Whiteface Mountain climb in rainy, 50 degree weather. As we headed down rt. 86 towards the 8 mile climb of Whiteface, Sean G. gets his second flat - his first was before we even left the hotel. He tells us all to roll on because we have to make it past the toll booth at the 3 mile mark of the climb before the guard gets there around 8am. Cyclists aren't allowed on the road to the summit of whiteface during the day because of the steep, narrow road. We regroup at the base of the climb and everyone heads up. The rain is constant and I'm soaked before the climb even begins. As we ascend, the temperature drops significantly. I was alone from mile 2 on up and it was cool. Almost spooky as there was no noise at all but the wind and rain and visibility was nil because of the fog. I hit the summit 58 minutes later and couldn't wait for the others to reach it for the group photo - I was too cold. Jeff Juergens rolled in as I began to descend. He was wearing only shorts and a long sleeve jersey and looked comfortable! His new nickname is the polar bear. Next I see Gus, then Steve, then Scooter and Robbie McCewen, then baker then Dangle. Ange took another group out that road to the toll booth, then descended and road the out and back Haselton section of the IM course.
The descent was frigid! I was shaking so bad that I had a hard time applying the brakes. I reached the bottom feeling a bit hypothermic and stopped at the convenient mart for a coffee and then sat in the sag wagon to warm up while we regrouped. The ascent today was much more enjoyable then the descent because of the wet cold conditions. Everyone was frozen and shaking at the bottom and I made the decision to have everyone ride back up 86 instead of the long route which would have been the course in reverse.
I told everyone to take a quick, hot shower and then meet in the front parking lot to run. We all ran between 1 hour 10 minutes and 2 hours. So far, we accomplished quite a bit and it wasn't even noon yet.
At most of the camps, we eat lunch on the road - usually in the form of a powerbar or perpeteum while riding along at 20 mph. Today, we actually had the chance to go to lunch. We went to The Cottage which is a great spot. Baker and I were pretty famished and downed some nachos and chicken and black bean burritos. Everyone had an opportunity to do whatever they wanted for a couple of hours before we met to swim at 3:30pm. Most opted for a nap. Ange discussed some swim tips before we plunged into mirror lake for a 45 min to 1 hr swim. Yes, that's right - I swam again! Two days in a row. The lake was great, as usual. It's actually quite warm right now. There is talk that this may be the first year for a no-wetsuit swim at IMLP. I highly doubt it, but it would be interesting.
Tonight, we had dinner at the Adirondack Steakhouse, minus one of the campers. Sean G. didn't ride this AM because of his flats and wanted to do the climb up Whiteface so he set out alone at 4pm, hoping to begin the summit at 5pm when the tollbooth closed for the day. That is my kind of person!
The rest of us had a great dinner with lots of laughs, and guess what? We hit Ben and Jerry's again on the return trip. As we all walked back to the hotel at 8pm, who comes rolling up but Sean G.! Baker and I joined him just now at a cool restaurant across the street. He ate dinner, we just had some wine.
I have been very impressed by the athletes at this camp. No whining which is my number one rule and hard workers. I am also very impressed by my co-coach in this venture, Angela Forster. I coach Angela and also have assisted her in getting her coaching business rolling and she is doing a phenomenal job. She is a caring, hard working person and her dedication to her athletes and the respect they have for her is terrific. This has been great to see.
Tomorrow, we head out at 7 am to tackle the 112 miles of the LP course followed by a brick run and then, a bit later, a swim, so I need to get some sleep now.