It was about 9 months ago that I was gifted with one of the greatest opportunities — I was asked to assist with Ironman Lake Placid. I was brought on board to help with the astounding amount of work that goes into coordinating the thousands of volunteers. I didn’t know what I was in for, but that was the best part. The adrenaline was all that kept me going. The energy Ironman brings to Lake Placid and the surrounding areas is incredible.
I quickly began to realize that Ironman took months to put together and that it was one of the greatest events I’d yet to be a part of. The days flew by and the work leading up to Ironman was often tiring. The exhaustion was extensive but the reward of aiding in the successful execution of the event made it all worthwhile.
New to me
I tried to prep myself for the day that I would have ahead of me as the Sunday of Ironman approached. However, in hindsight I now know, nothing can prepare you for an Ironman until you've experienced the event firsthand.
I started my day off at 3 a.m. by brewing coffee for some of my fellow crew members to get our day started. I couldn’t believe after a measly five hours of sleep the energy I had. The day continued, and as a floating staffer numerous jobs were assigned to me at the last minute - the smile on my face just grew larger and larger. The average human might grow tired, but this contagious excitement/energy just made me appreciate the athletes, volunteers, specatators, and anyone participating in the Ironman that much more.
The hours passed and the first athlete crossed the finish line. At that point something hit me: This event was absolutely crazy, and I loved every minute of it. The clock kept ticking and the athletes kept coming. It was an absolute rush every time someone crossed that line and achieved their goal. By the time the clock struck midnight I was hooked on Ironman. The idea, the rush, and the sheer passion presented by everyone involved reeled me in. Weeks went by and somewhere between the exhaustion and constant memories of that day, I decided to try one.
I signed up for the 70.3 Ironman in Lake Placid, New York. Some call it crazy, I call it ambitious.
I’ve officially trained as an Iron Volunteer and Spectator, but now it was time to train as an Ironman athlete. So... I guess we have to swim, bike, and run. Well, I think I have the running down. Swimming will come in warmer months, but for now I have to focus on biking. I biked growing up on a Huffy from Walmart and hit a max of 18 miles, ever. I loved every minute of it then, and I’m sure I’ll love cycling now.
Longest Leg: Cycling
First and foremost comes the bike process. It’s gotta be the right size, dimensions, and let’s face it - style. Luckily, I live in a town of bike experts and a plethora of bike options. My friend who is very educated on bikes was able to hook me up with a beginner bike. I’d tell you what kind, but I don’t want to influence your purchase. Every person is unique and what works for me may not work for you.
Next comes the training, and where better to train than in the Whiteface Region? The roads are hilly and challenging and a great way to prepare yourself for anything that may come your way during the bike race portion of the Ironman or 70.3 Ironman.
If you're looking for a good route you can check out an array of them on www.whitefaceregion.com or even stop by the Wilmington Visitors Center. However, I will give you a glimpse in to a few of my routes. As cross-training is important, so is making sure to change up your routes to ensure that you are challenging yourself enough.
Let’s start with a nice and simple leisurely route, known as Between the Jays. This route is about 3.5 miles one way, but of course you can add to it any way you wish. Let’s call this our Sunday Driver route. Take in the beauty all around you as you head toward the covered bride and enjoy a drink at several pull-offs with breathtaking views. So go ahead... take it easy and enjoy the ride. You deserve it.
A great way to get in the miles is to mimic the Tour of Tour of Wilmington Whiteface Road Race. The race is a little under 30 miles and follows another gorgeous route. Let’s be honest though, anywhere you choose to bike in the Whiteface Region is beautiful. This year the race takes place on June 3, 2017, and it will be a great race to participate in to get a layout of the land. I personally have an attachment to this route because it goes by my old rental house. Memories, a gorgeous view, and an amazing ride — you really can’t beat it.
If you’re really looking for an intense calorie burning/training ride, head on up the Veteran’s Memorial Highway. Once you get to the top you’ll be thankful for the view and that you’ve finally stopped your ascent. Grab a bite to eat on top or just take it all in. Don’t worry, the way down will seem exponentially easier.
Get Close to the Action
The possibilities here in the region are really endless. It doesn’t matter what type of difficulty you are looking for you will find a beautiful route here. So grab your bike(s) and the family and head on up to the Adirondacks. We've got plenty of wonderful places to stay, dine, and get close to the endless beauty.
This week our ADK bloggers are counting on spring!
3-2-1 GAGS (best acronym ever)