First, you can’t talk about the Adirondacks without mentioning how breathtaking it is—greenery everywhere, blue skies (and Mirror Lake), plus its atmosphere seems calm, relaxed, and peaceful. Basically, it’s the polar opposite of New York City. Not to mention Placid is a triathlete’s Mecca thanks to plenty of places to swim, bike, and run. By the second day there, I felt like I was home. Is it too early to start thinking about retirement? Ha!
Two, even though my teammates and I were there to train and race, we had so much fun hanging out together. Sure, we see each other nearly every day at practice, but sweating for a few hours is much different than chilling for five days. Plus, this weekend allowed me to experience the fun part of triathlon again. Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love training, and my season has gone well, but there have been pressure and expectations, which I know comes with the territory. Aside from the New York City Triathlon, I’ve been able to rise to the occasion and perform, but in Placid, the vibe was totally different. Being around the (non-competitive) community reignited my passion for the sport and reminded me there’s more to racing than getting on the podium.
My now-Ironman teammate had a lot to do with this calm, confident approach. In the days leading up to the biggest endurance event of his life, he appeared to be relaxed, excited, and dialed-in (which is the exact opposite of what I’m like). He trusted his training, and during the race, he truly savored the experience.
As you can see, he was all smiles. Anyway, I’ve done my best to emulate his approach this week, and I can honestly say this is the calmest I’ve been before a tri.
Three, watching triathletes of all shapes, sizes, and abilities swim, bike, and run their races was so inspirational. Both the bike and run courses are spectator-friendly, and it was so cool to see the age groupers zip by on their bikes and chip away at the marathon. I’m at the point in my triathlon career where I can’t fathom biking 112 miles and then running 26.2, let alone doing an open marathon. These athletes have my utmost respect.
And watching my teammate and countless others cross the finish line to those priceless words—‘You are an Ironman!’—was absolutely awe-inspiring.
Finally, it should come as no surprise that even though I did not register for Ironman Lake Placid 2014, I have decided the race will be my first Ironman.