The NENSA camps at Lake Placid usually end with a time trial, and the past couple camps it has been on the Franklin Falls road, which goes up the shoulder of Whiteface. The course starts slightly rolling, climbs for a bit, then climbs steeply for a bit, and finishes with a flat section, a tiny bump, and another flat section. Not easy. Overall it is 7km, and I wish I'd been able to charge the stupid Garmin (now it won't even charge. gah.), to get the total ascent. Its a lot.
The boys went first, they do an extra flat out-and-back on a side road, that way they'll pass us and we'll all finish closer to the same time. The girls started a minute later. Just before the start, I jumped into the woods to pee. The ground was pretty muddy, and I got some mud and little pebbles under my boot, making it difficult to get my ski on. I get it on, kick it around, it seems to be firmly attached so I line up. Four strides in, I'm suddenly scootering on one ski wondering why my left foot feels so light. Oh shit, where did my rollerski go?!? Turn around to get it, make sure its on this time, and head off, maybe 50 feet behind the pack. I can see the lead pack skiing relaxed, and I really want to be up there with them, but I know that bad things will happen if I go into an all-out sprint at the start of an uphill TT.
I try to stay smooth and I start passing some girls, start the first climb and my legs definitely feel the effects of the past week of training. My calves are threatening to cramp up, but I focus on a smoother stride and I think I can maintain what I'm doing. Then the road kicks up, and damn this thing is steep. I put my head down and just grind away, and when I look up next I can see I'm closing on Parker Tyler, one of the Stratton girls. About halfway up the hill, the guys start to catch me, and at first I worried it was some of the girls I'd already passed, but not to fear. After what felt like forever, I got to the top of the steep part, and the road flattens out. At this point I only have one tempo, its just a switch between V1 and V2, no sudden changes are possible. Real slobberfest going on, I don't seem to have the energy to spit. I kick it into V2, its hard but not suicidal, and I reel in Parker. Then we hit the last little bump and I can't V2 that, I have to V1, and she gets 10 feet on me. The road flattens out again going into the finish but I can't pick up the tempo, my limbs are too wooden, and I cruise through the line just behind Parker.
Overall this was a great camp. It was so much fun to be training with other people, at a really high level, and not be sick or tired. The OTC in Lake Placid really allows for the best quality training you can get, and I love that I was given the opportunity to take advantage of that. Next camp is in August! I can't wait =)
A train of Stratton skiers on our distance double pole yesterday