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Monday, June 25, 2007

Friday - Heading up the Mountain

Gary, Trephina, Angela, Paula and I headed out via car at 5:40 AM with our bikes to get a head start on the guys. It was cold and raining, but that wasn't going to stop us. No Whining, remember?

We did a quick warm-up on part of the out and back section of the course, before heading off the course and up Whiteface Mountain. Hodska said that we'd never ever climb like this on a daily basis and boy was he right. There was no flat section, just a continual climb. My legs and lower back screamed at me, but I kept steadily heading up the mountain at a 4-5 mph pace.

Angela and I reached the halfway point (4 miles) about 45 minutes later. Seriously, 45 minutes of straight non-stop climbing! Soon after, the rest joined us. We made a judgment call to not keep climbing, because the conditions were so bad and none of us wanted to fly off the wet mountain roads on the descent. So, we headed back down (we saw the guys heading up). I don't know if I have ever been so cold on a bike before. Of course, we were all sweaty from climbing and now the cold/rain/descent were freezing our hands into the brake grabbing position. Paula rode the descent rather conservatively, which is unusual for her, so you know the conditions were bad. I hope I have brake pads left.

We got to the convenience store and thank goodness they had hot chocolate. We warmed up in the store (dripping all over the place - we were lucky they were kind enough to not kick us out). We then headed out to do the 14-mile out-and-back section. When we returned, the guys were just getting back down the mountain. The crazies actually rode the whole 8 miles. They were all a little blue and looked hypothermic, but I'm sure they were proud of themselves. I'm proud of them. I'm also glad they didn't crash on the way down. The only mishap was Shawn got three flats on the way to the mountain and had to figure out the issue with his tire (glass in it) before continuing on. He did go out later in the afternoon and rode the whole mountain by himself. Now that takes grit!!

Hodska and Angela made the call to send us back on the course (12-mile stair step back into town) rather than riding the 28 miles of the course in reverse. Getting warm/dry was imperative at this point. So, we ended up riding almost 3 hours but only covering 34 miles. It was a tough, good ride though. It built character for sure. Oh, and the 12 miles didn't seem so tough after climbing a mountain earlier.

We got a quick shower and then headed out for a 70-minute run on the course. Paula, Angela and I ran together and it was great to get Angela's advice about the course. I will definitely be walking the steep hill coming back into town to save HR.

We then had a glorious 3-hour break. It felt decadent to have so much time. Paula and I found a laundromat and got to wash all of the stinky, wet clothes we had accumulated. It was so nice to have clean/dry clothes!

Before the next workout, Steve got us to show us a rainbow that had formed over town. Here is a picture:

Here is a picture of the rainbow viewers, Paula, Steve and Trephina:

We then headed out for our last workout of the day, a swim of the course. I had a much better time this time and finished it about 5 minutes faster. Baker swam past me at some point and I just "grabbed" onto his feet and held on. I lost him briefly before the turn, but then grabbed on again and rode the "Baker Express" all the way back. Gary kept popping up throughout the swim and I had to swim over him a couple of times. Both helped give me the "race day" experience. Thanks guys!

We then got cleaned up again and headed out for a good steak and of course, Ben and Jerry's after. Here are the rest of the pictures I took at camp, all on that night.

Chris Nook (we call him Robby McCuen) and Gary:

Baker of the "Baker Express":

The rest of the group at dinner:

The Cleveland Crew from left to right: Trephina, Scott (coach's husband), me, Chris, Jeff (hiding behind Chris), Paula and Angela.

Part of the Connecticut crew from left to right: Gus, Baker, Coach Eric Hodska and Gary (from CT, but didn't know anyone before coming to camp).

Hodska with the girls:

Shawn, after coming back from his solo trip up Whiteface Mountain:

The whole crew (minus Dangle) who went the whole way up Whiteface Mountain:

It was a tough, but good day. We were all exhausted and had to get to bed to prepare for the next big day.


Blogger E-Speed said...

weird baker looks really familiar. Maybe he has a blog twin somewhere!

10:34 AM


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