Every year Larry Parker from Long Island, New York puts on a great training camp in Lake Placid. It is called The Fireman Ironman Training Camp, and 2002 was the first year that I attended the camp. This was the year that I completed my first Ironman and proved to be an amazing way to train on the course and learn what to expect on race day. I have attended this camp eight times now and I have a blast each year.
The camp has grown to host about 150 people which is pretty cool. I am still friends with people I met at camp #1 and continue to meet amazing people each year. Larry has recently added a dinner with a panel of speakers that I have been lucky to be a part of and also included my two inspirations: Karen Smyers and Matty Long.
My weekend of training at the camp was awesome. And for once, the weather in Lake Placid was HOT and SUNNY. I arrived on Thursday and Jim (who I met year 1) and I rode one loop of the bike course without the out and back before meeting folks for dinner. Larry Parker runs this camp with the help of some amazing people like Ted Tierney, Brian and Moira, and Matty Long. Larry is a blast and I can promise you that it is never a boring moment!
My coach, Scott Molina, wanted me to ride one loop of the course on Friday at race pace and then run 90 minutes off the bike, so I did. One loop in 2:40 and it was hard. This good and solid effort was topped off with a lovely 30 minute swim in the lovely Mirror Lake. Sweet!
The dinner was inspirational and very informative. Matty, Karen and Sam (who is part of Operation Rebound) all told their inspirational stories and Chris Draper offered some sound nutritional advice. There were additional panel attendees to add their input to the Q & A session as well. The energy was great and like I mentioned earlier, I was honoured to be a part of the panel.
Saturday we rode two loops of the bike course and three of us (Jim, Laura and I) decided to also ride to the top of Whiteface Mountain at the end of the second loop. That equated to 208kms, 7:40 riding time (eek) and over 8000 feet of climbing. Good times. Needless to say I only had enough time for a 10 minute transition run before heading to the dinner. The second loop was a good hammer fest in a solid peloton but I couldn’t convince Karen to join us on the climb up Whiteface. Next year I say!
Sunday we did a long swim and I ran shorter with the knowledge that I was running hard intervals on Monday at home. On the second loop of the swim I caught the Karen Smyers love train and that was nice!
The weekend was intense but amazing and I once again have come away with more knowledge and more great friends.
Thanks for reading.