Monday, June 27, 2011

LP Camp (Guest Blogger Cupcake - because i'm lazy)

We just finished up my LP Camp. This group was truly amazing. Despite the rain, we accomplpished everything I had planned on the schedule, and not only did the group do it quite well, but they did it in style by adhering to my "no whining" rule. Great group of campers and I'll try to recap the experience this week, but for now, the young gun of the camp, Jon "Cupcake" Campbell recaps his mvp day:

Apparently pontificating on and on about cupcakes will catch up with you. My friend the week before was up in Lake Placid and found this amazing bakery tucked inside the restaurant, Pan Dolce. I checked it out and scored a Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosted Chocolate Cupcake with a Peanut Butter Chocolate Delight on top. I saved this for after Wednesday night's initial 30 minute swim in Mirror Lake and for after a yummy Mexican dinner at Desperado's. I figured I needed the calories! After all, Eric is keeping his cards tight regarding the agenda and I might as well play it safe and stuff as much down me as I can.

I chose right. On tap for Thursday morning was a 2 hour trail run up to Avalanche Lake. I know Eric and I know he loves trail runs. This was going to be epic! And to make it even more epic, Wednesday night it POURED. The sound of the rain was deafening. Was this going to be a trail run, or a trail swim? Fortunately the rain stopped and things started to dry out by the morning. Unfortunately mother nature's drainage system doesn't work that fast. We knew our feet were going to get wet.

Halfway up the ascent to Avalanche Lake, the group splintered. Not gonna say names, but a certain leader *cough* Gus *cough* took our group on one wrong turn and after some deep pockets of mud, we backtracked and found our way back onto the trail. Meanwhile the group behind us already passed by. Upon arrival to Avalanche Lake, the cliffs were so large it was hard to gain perspective on just how large they were. What an amazing place! I like the Lake Placid run course, but this run was WAY better! I am a novice trail runner, so running downhill over rough terrain is a new concept. With a steep learning curve (pun intended) my body quickly learned how to have agile and quick feet. I only bashed my ankle up against one rock. Gotta give up a little blood!
With only about 30 minutes of running left, someone mentioned Ice Cream. I said, "Why Ice Cream? Why not a cupcake?" The deal was done and a camp nicknamed earned: CUPCAKE. Why oh why did I open my mouth again about another cupcake?!?! To my defense, THAT cupcake was worth the nickname. But with a camp nickname comes responsibility, especially staying on your toes at dinner when the jokes and teasing starts flying! Eric sure knows how punish you out in the field with the serious training, but also makes sure you relax and come back down to Earth at dinner.

After a calorie rich breakfast at the Downtown Diner and a quick stretch, it was onto the bike for a loop of the bike course (minus the out and back) with instruction and Indian drills with Eric. How do you knock off the flats of Rt 9 between Keene and Jay in record time? Do intervals! A whipping tail wind along that flat section may or may not have hastened the pace a tad. Ok ok, it probably propelled our confidence and speed and egos a few extra mph!

Before we knew it, we were climbing up to Wilmington. I don't mind the hills up to Wilmington. They are steeper than the hills from Wilmington to Placid, but for some reason mentally they are easier. Again, that tailwind I think pushed us up those hills.

But my demons on the Placid course ARE the hills leading up to Placid, especially through the notch. My first experience of riding the course was a year ago and I encountered the most demoralizing headwinds through this section. I thought I had two flat tires I was going so slow through them! Because of that tailwind on Rt 9 to Jay, that meant one thing for this ride: A headwind through the notch. Round #2 you say? This time I was prepared with a compact crank and lots more miles and power from Eric's coaching. That wind was NOT going to get me this time!

And it didn't! I was able to mentally break down this section of the course and realized that there are a lot more flat sections here than I remembered. Did the course get flatter? Or did Eric's coaching really finally whip my butt into some serious form? I am gonna go with the coaching.

Of course the day wasn't over yet! After another quick stretch and some more food down, we suited up, peed in our wetsuits and did a quick 1.6 mile loop of the swim course while dodging the kayakers and rowers. Kenny wasn't too thrilled when I tried to grab his ankle for a free tow back to shore. Me at a short 5'7" and Kenny at 8 feet tall, he clearly would have pulled me back to shore in record time.

We rounded the night out at Nicola's with some Ubu ale, pizza, lots of laughs, and listened to the next day's agenda. Epic just got more epic! Whiteface was on the menu, or I think we were on the menu about to be eaten by that mountain.

- Jon "CC" Campbell