I went straight at the fork (Part 1 of 3)

so this past weekend was a weekend i had been looking forward to and planning for awhile. i was heading to lake placid to run and ride the course. i had rented a house with 5 of my friends who knew me and who were going to be the best support possible during the process. so coach k and i drove up friday. we ate lunch at the green goddess (an AMAZING market and cafe). during the ride up we discussed so many things. mainly life things. but we talked about the transformative power of training and completing an ironman. i can’t speak for the completion just yet but coach k  has completed 2. i’ve felt the power of transformation as i train and move closer and closer to the race date. i have found a calm about little things that used to bother me, i have found a focus on the training but also on things that are important. i have learned how to prioritize the things in my life that serve me.

so for folks who know me well, i am a planner and i don’t normally leave things up to chance. so the night before leaving for lp i googled “lake placid run course”, found a map my run route, wrote it down and didn’t really think anything else about it. after we ate lunch, coach k and i parted ways and i started my run. it was cold and there was snow in the air. i parked outside the oval and started down the street. i felt decent and didn’t really want to wear my watch but knew i needed it to know the turnaround mileage. as i ran down the road i noticed where the hotels were and where restaurants were. i was trying to take it all in and remember every step even though my brain has been a colander. i looked at the directions and felt like i had a good handle on things AND i was going by my memory of watching the race last year.

so i started running. and i was running down this hill. the landscape was beautiful and breathtaking. i crossed the road once the sidewalk disappeared and continued downhill. the road leveled out a bit but then continued to descend. i kept thinking that jas had told me that the road leveled out and that maybe he had just told me something i wanted/needed to hear about the course. then i saw on the ground “papa bear” scrawled on the ground in spray paint that was fading. as i saw that i thought…hmm maybe you’re not on the right course. but i also thought that maybe there are “three bears” on the run as well. (on the bike course of imlp the final hills going back into town are the three bears.) the scenery was beautiful and i felt good so i figured that getting worried about the course wasn’t important. so i ran down. sunshine, sandy and fiona drove by and i got to say hi. it was a lovely little boost.

i got to the turnaround safely even though the cars were going fast, it was cold and the breakdown lane wasn’t that big. and i started back up the hills. some were easily runnable, some were walking with a purpose. the girls drove back by and i told them not to let me get in the car. my legs were cold. sunshine walked with me a bit and i was in a bad headspace. i was trying to remind myself that i had chosen to do this race, that coach k said a hilly run (and bike) made an ironman an ironman. i ate some more jellybeans, took a swig of tailwind and water and felt much better. not warmer, but better in my head. i tried hard to take in the scenery so i could use it to visualize. as i returned to town and made the turn up the road – and it was UP, things i knew but it was a good reminder that this course is hilly. as i came down the hill everyone was arriving at the car. it was a good run, hard, cold but good.

oh. and i definitely didn’t do the right course. on saturday i spoke with jas about my run and he informed me that i definitely didn’t do the right run course, but instead had done the final miles of the bike course. he asked me how i missed the turn… and my response was “i went straight at the fork” – except it wasn’t a fork, it’s a real intersection. oops. 13.1 hilly miles done though.

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