Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Guest Blogger Perdue IMLP write up

Honestly I didn't pay Perdue to write this blog up and say such nice things. Lake Placid NY Camp! Being new to triathlons and having a couple sprints and one Olympic under my belt, I thought I would join the LP (Lake Placid) triathlon camp with Eric Hodska to take me to the next level! I have been doing the “Run Clinic” with Eric for several months and seen my run times improve 25%. With this kind of improvements, I was excited to give camp a try! I was extremely nervous and felt like it was my first triathlon, had no idea what to expect! I drove up on Wednesday the day before the camp was to officially start. I emailed Eric to see what time we were going to meet in the morning of the very first day. Eric returned my email and said he and couple others are going for an easy run at 4:00p and then going to dinner at Nicola’s if I would like to join them. It was 95 degrees and extremely humid day, so I decided to join them trail running in the shade. Eric’s definition of an “easy run” is a whole lot different than mine! After running a short distance with his group I realized my heart was going to explode so I backed off and slowed down, after regaining my breath I realized how beautiful the trails were and how hot the day felt. All the guys that were running with me were friendly, supportive and talkative and made me not feel like an outsider! Had dinner with my new group of friends and was amazed of ease of talking to this group and knew I was with a group of people who were going to make this camp fun. Day 1: We meet at Mirror Lake at 7:00am sharp, we all went around in a circle, said our names and what we hope to get out of Eric’s camp. After that Eric gave us 3 drills to focus on when were swimming to improve our efficiency and speed. Then Eric told us to swim to the other side of the lake and back. I couldn’t see the other side and I never swam that long before in my life. Like little ducks the group followed his wishes and jumped in and swam as well as I, I focused on the 3 drills and kept my head in the water and arms moving. The lake was clean and beautiful and after a couple minutes of panic, settled in and started enjoying the situation. I felt part of the group and had Eric’s casual but supportive voice in my mind saying “count, focus on your stroke, feel like your fast and smooth”. It was the best mile and half swim I have ever done! We all meet for breakfast to hear about our next activity, at first I wasn’t sure how I felt about not knowing what was coming next, but found I liked not knowing, Eric always had something fun and interesting with a twist! Next was the bike, we stopped several times on the course and pointed out common mistakes triathletes make in the course, as well showing us all sorts tips and tricks that Eric has learned through his career. It was a hot day and was getting hotter by the minute. Being new to this sport I was struggling to keep up and the humid heat was taking its toll. I tried my best not to show too much pain considering the crowd I was with, however I got to the point where I stopped sweating and got the chills. I knew I was in trouble, after a couple more miles caught up with the Sag Vehicle and Eric’s Father (aka Big Rocks) who quickly saw my situations and helped me with water and got me to shade. Eric walked over and asked if all was ok and recommended that we had 12 miles back why don’t I ride in the Sag vehicle for five miles and try to get back on the bike for the rest. I agreed and then realized that is crazy! I was suffering on the verge of heat stroke and I was going to ride again! Eric has this uncanny ability to see someone’s abilities, before we even know ourselves! So I hopped in the sag vehicle and got dropped off to ride the rest of the way in. At first it was hard to get legs spinning again, but I soon started feeling better. We all met at Mirror Lake again to soak our hot legs in the cold refreshing lake. I felt so good that I completed this ride even though my body didn’t. I would have lost this great feeling of accomplishment if Eric didn’t know me and my abilities. We finished the day with a several mile trail run and then dinner and laughs about the day. At breakfast a conversation started up about eggs, I had mentioned that I raise chickens because of great taste of “Free Range” eggs and how chickens are easy to raise! At this point I realized the whole table was looking and listening to what I had to say about my eggs and how my family and friends love them and will never buy eggs from the store again. I mentioned I even started raising my own meat chickens and turkeys due to the quality of the meat! The questions started to come from all directions “do you slaughter your own birds”, “how many birds do you have”, “is there a big difference in taste” and then Eric says in a fun confident voice “Perdue; that is your new tri-camp nickname!” The tabled laughed hard and the nickname was locked in! It still puts a smile on my face every time I think about that breakfast! What this camp did for me cannot be described completely; it must be lived and experienced for you! I went to camp feeling like I need a lot more work to get ready to do a half triathlon and left camp knowing I can do one tomorrow! The group of new friends I made, remind me of friends I had in the military, they have my back”! The Coaches: Ken Osborn was always good for a laugh and sound advice, Jim Hodska (aka Big Rocks) conversations of lentil loaf dinners, composting and sag support, Greg Pelican who is very knowledgeable about racing and riding, and finally Eric Hodska The best coach I have ever met! His uncanny ability to know each and every person individually and know just what to say to keep me wanting to do better! This is what separates him from all the other coaches I have ever worked with in my life. I feel he knows me better then I know myself. Thanks everybody for making it such a great experience!

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