Run: 5.3km @ 40min (Mirror Lake, NY + hill repeats)
No wind, setting sun, nicely cool temperature. Why wouldn't you want to do a loop around Lake Placid's Mirror Lake? My wife and I though just that, so we geared up and headed out. We walked down (literally) from our hotel on Olympic Drive and got to the public beach (which is the Ironman USA start) where the weekly sprint triathlon was just wrapping up. (I thought about doing it, but I decided to save myself for hill repeats and a swim on the Ironman course). As the last few runners were coming in, we started our run.
And what a beautiful run it was. There's a red cobblestone sidewalk that goes all around Mirror Lake, which is right in the heart of downtown (which seems to be the entire town, really). The water was a smooth as glass, and the homes and properties all around made me think of a mix of Whistler, BC, Waskesui, SK, and even a bit of Lac La Ronge, SK. This area is amazingly beautiful, very peaceful, and very busy. There's a tonne of visitors here this week, and it's no wonder with the beauty here, and all of the olympic facilities still being used for various events. We certainly burned a few extra calories dodging the people and vehicles as we finished up through downtown.
Then at the end is the hill. Our hotel sits atop this steep hill - so steep that reviews of the hotel mention it, and recommend people don't stay there if hills aren't their thing. Since today was supposed to be a tempo run, I decided to get some hill repeats on this to get into the anaerobic zone. Trust me, it didn't take long. The hill is steep, and then about half-way up it quickly changes grade from "all glutes" to "glutes and hamstrings" which takes you to the top. The easy run down is still tough, since the grade's so sharp that you must slow yourself down with your quads. I got 5 of these repeats in, with the last one being a sprint. I could have done more, but we were losing light so I cooled down with Renee. At that point, I realized just how much that hill had taken out of me - much more than I had thought.
The one thing that I find so cool about being here is just knowing who's been here before me at Mirror Lake. Being at the beach where thousands of Ironman competitors have toed the line. Running alongside the bouys that still mark the Ironman swim course. Running the length of Main Street that joins the beach to the olympic speedskating oval that hosts the transition zone. Just being here makes me want to try an Ironman. It's hard to explain, but there's been butterflies in my belly ever since I saw the bouys in Mirror Lake.
And if that isn't enough, my wife has found some bike shops that are still having Ironman USA sales on. I'm headed to Placid Planet Bicycles to test drive a Cervelo or two, and maybe a Felt or a Kuota. They've got some great prices on now, and I don't think I can pass this up.