Monday, August 4, 2008

Neoprene Dreams: Director's Commentary

So if you don’t know by now I am not taking up residence with the fish at the bottom of Mirror Lake... sorry to disappoint some of you

So I got up Saturday morning as planned and hopped in the car and began the long trek up to Lake Placid. I stopped to get gas and Starbucks hot chocolate. Sitting in the parking lot of Price Chopper I input one of the shops that I was going to stop at only to have the GPS tell me that there was no such address. So I just told it to take me to Main Street and I would just find the shops from there. The drive up was uneventful once I got off the Interstate and headed towards Lake Placid then it began pouring down the rain then slacked off to a sprinkle.

The first stop I made was High Peaks Cyclery since they were right there as I made the turn onto Main Street. I tried on two different large wetsuits: a ZOOT (which was the high end suit) and a 2XU which was a basic model. I have never sweated like that before in my life. Getting the suits on was especially difficult in a 3 x 3 dressing room and trying to be careful enough not to tear the thing. The owner was nice, maybe a bit too nice. He kept telling me how great the ZOOT was, how he used one, and that he would give me an extra 25% discount. The 2XU just felt like I was incased in rubber. So after trying on the two different suits I said that this was the first place I had stopped and I wanted to check out the other place I had researched on the internet. The one really cool thing was that they had weekly mini triathlons.

So I left there and went on to Placid Planet where I tried on a ROO and two different NINETEEN wetsuits. I first tried on the XL just so I could see how it felt compared to the Large. By the time I had tried on the last wetsuit I noticed that the tip of my middle finger on my right hand hurt and when I looked down I noticed that I had a huge blister on the tip of my finger (my first Neoprene induced injury).

By this time it was raining steadily again and I was seeing my chances of swimming the course slowly go down the tube. I left Placid Plant because I needed to think about the different suits. I decided that if I could find a cheap motel room I would just spend the night and hope the weather was clear enough for me to do the swim in the morning. I finally found this place just outside of town for $65 for the night, nothing extravagant just something functional with no bite marks in the soap. So after reserving my room I went back to Placid Planet and bought the large NINETEEN wetsuit (obviously the one I had in the clips I posted last night) and I also bought some BODY GLIDE…that stuff is wonderful. The selling point for me was the red material in the arm area just made it easy for me to move my arm and an added bonus is that 19 in Stephen King’s Dark Tower saga (some of my favorite books) is a mysterious and important number which is used as a powerful key.

As I was checking out I asked if they could give me the bike route for the IRON MAN race.

Before I set out to drive the Bike course I stopped by the lake just to check out the facilities there and see if there was somewhere I could stash my stuff while in the lake. When I got there the guards were still there sitting out of the rain and I asked them about the course and if there was a place for me to put my gear. So I talked to them for about 15 minutes before starting my drive of the bike course.

The course looked challenging in places especially where it went up hill and around the mountains…given time and more biking experience I could probably do it. It took me about an hour to drive and entered back into Lake Placid right by my motel so I stopped off and put my wet suit and gym bag in the room before heading to the Lake Placid Brew Pub. Before heading to dinner I walked down Main Street…too many people and shops for my taste. Anyway I went over to the Brew Pub and had dinner then went back to the room and went to bed…yes an exciting night in Lake Placid for me…

So the forecast was for showers in the morning and T-Storms in the afternoon but as usual I kept waking up during the night and I would look out the window to see if it was raining and it wasn’t until about 6 or 7 AM. So I got to the lake and suited up, had to have one of the guards help zip up the back of my wetsuit.

The water really wasn’t that bad temperature wise even on my feet which weren’t covered by the wetsuit. I waded out and flopped around in the water for awhile, getting used to the feel of the wetsuit before starting the course.


So I started out at a good clip but pulled back and started working on taking long strokes and gliding in the water. I was following the line underwater which the buoys on top were attached to for my sighting. After awhile I lost the line in the water and decided to start sighting on the buoys floating on the surface which is a good thing I did because I was drifting to the right away from the course markings. So after a few times bringing my head out to sight my goggles started to fog so I stopped, rolled over on my back, and wiped the lenses.

Actually looking back this is what went through my head:
-wow I have swam that far already and I am not that tired
-holy crap I can’t see the beach
-if I get a cramp or BONK I am SOL
-!COOL! (brief exhilaration of life on the edge)
-I can probably make it to the side of the lake if need by and this wetsuit is keeping me up pretty well
-I had a somewhat decent run

Now would be the time to mention that the course is SWIM AT YOUR OWN RISK. There are no lifeguards in canoes patrolling the area like there are at Crystal Lake or divers at the corners to assist swimmers who may get pushed under in the turns like they do during the race.

While cleaning my goggles I also noticed it had started to sprinkle again so I decided to get moving again because with my luck the Thunderstorms would have rolled in early. After the second right turn I was heading back to shore alternating between working on my stroke and short periods of breaststroke. Finally the beach started to come into sight, I wonder if there were people on the shore wondering if that lite green thing out in the lake was some idiot out swimming the course…I hope so. About 40 yds from the beach I looked back and saw that off behind me was another swimmer. I booked the last yards until I started to see the bottom of the lake and looking for a place that did not have any rocks that I would step on or catch the wetsuit on and nick it. After finding a place to stand up I walked up the beach, taking off my swim gear and unzipping the wetsuit as I went back to the Guard Office. NOTE TO SELF: Next time use Body Glide around the neck.

video

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Got home last night about 6pm after running some errands once I got back into town and stopped at the gym and the hot tub before heading home and throwing together the following Spin list that I used for the 5:30am class I covered this morning:

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It was tough since I went to bed about 9:30 and didn’t fall asleep until after midnight and then was up a few times before pulling my sorry butt out of bed and getting to the gym around 5:10 with just enough time to change and get setup before starting the class.

Well it’s getting late and I am planning on doing the 5:30 class tomorrow morning which means I got some staring at the ceiling to do…I guess I can decide if I am going to do Crystal Lake or Pilates class tomorrow evening...

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