Tuesday, June 23, 2009

LP Camp Review - part 1

I really don't know what the term "feeling content" means. I often wish I could feel content about situations and things, but it's tough for me to do. And because I have a hard time feeling content, I also need to learn that this isn't the same for everyone else, and that as a coach, I need to not impose my perspectives on others. Yet at the same time, I can't think of one time that I have pushed someone too far at a camp, to the point where they didn't benefit physically or mentally from it - more so mentally. Some of those who have attended may argue this, but I stand by this statement. After all, aren't we pursuing this whole triath-o-lon thingy looking for self discovery? If we aren't continually searching for more in ourselves, then why are we doing this? And here I go again forcing my viewpoint. Maybe we can "just" participate because we like being active and enjoy being outside? I have to think that this is just a way of justifying, again, giving my viewpoint, but hey, this is my blog. The bottom line though is that I push everyone hard at camp and I do so because I'd like those who attend to come away maybe learning something new about themselves and because I want them to experience something that they may not necessarily experience had they just decided to do their own personal training camp. I feel I was successful in this with those who attended the LP camp 09'.

I arrived early on Tuesday and already described my Tuesday adventure in a previous post. The camp didn't begin until Wednesday evening, so on Wednesday morning, Jeff and I headed back to the base of Whiteface, this time, taking the trail, determined to run to the top. Well, we made it, but saying we ran would be embellishing a bit. The trail was so steep and technical that running wasn't really an option for 2/3rds of it. Yet our heart rates were still up near threshold the whole time. We made it to the peak in just under 2 hrs for 5.6 miles! And the rangers at the top were blown away by this time, pointing out that it's typically an all day occasion for most "hikers". It was a beautiful day, sunny and in the 70's which is odd for the Seattlesque spring we have had. The views from the top of Whiteface were amazing, and after a few ooohs and ahhs, we hitched a ride back down the mountain. After breakfast, we headed out on our bikes for a 3 hr ride. I wanted to check out some new roads that I'd use with the campers on Friday. Jeff nicknamed this section of road "The Land Of The Lost". Lot's of climbing on this ride and it felt comforting to be back on my bike up in LP. Comforting, yet not content. The campers arrived Wednesday afternoon which meant the pre-camp debriefing, an easy social run and then dinner.

Thursday, we awoke to rain drops, however the forecast looked drier in the morning than in the afternoon so I switched the days agenda and we saddled up and headed out for a loop of the LP course. It sprinkled on us for maybe the first 45 minutes and then it was relatively dry the rest of the time. Oh yeah, I was cramming though for swimming, so Jeff and I headed over to mirror lake to get in a swim before the ride. We stopped along certain points of the bike course so I could break down each section and discuss how to ride and race this course. Doug Bell was concerned for the weather and came out in a full gortex, 1980's Frank Shorter looking running suit. I told him it looked as though he was wearing a has mat suit, yet it did earn him the mvp for the day. Some lunch and then we headed over to Mount Marcy for some trail running. I sent over Angela with a group 20 minutes prior to my group - the idea was to get us all to the amazing lookout on this particular trail around the same time. I warned everyone to take some shoes and clothes they didn't mind getting muddy. As I took my group into the trail, about 10 minutes in, Ange's group was coming back. "it's washed out - the trail is washed out." She said. "Look, were all muddy." Someone else said. They looked pretty clean to me considering the trail I knew ahead and the amount of rain we had this spring. They were heading out to run the dirt road. I told them my group was going onward, not giving my group much of an option. We ran single file and soon encountered the swamp which was certainly wet, yet fun. We were running in knee deep mud, slipping and sliding all over, jumping over and through puddles, losing shoes in the mud, a few face plants,... Basically, acting like kids. And it was a blast! Not only were there no complaints, but my group thrived on it. Once out of the swamp, you begin climbing right away, and climbing, and climbing. I was off the front a bit and heard some rustling in the woods to my left and caught something coming at me out of my peripheral vision. I stopped startled to face head on a hawk. It swooped right past me as I yelled at it, then it landed and was hissing at me. I never took my eyes off it yet began moving up the trail, and it took off.

I love taking first timers to the lookout on this particular trail. It's simply stunning, looking over the high peak mountains. You can even see the town of Lake Placid off in the distance and the omnipresent ski jumps popping up out of the woods. We hung out for a bit before the slippery, quick descent. From the trails we headed straight to mirror lake to get in a swim - my second of the day (did you hear that Gus?).

Dinner at Nicolas was a fun time to retell the days stories, laugh a lot, and have a few Lake Placid Brewery beers. A salad and the #5 pizza is tough to beat here. Then our nightly visit to Ben and Jerry's (I highly recommend the triple caramel chunk), and you'd call that a great day.

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