Lake Placid Delivers Hundreds of Mies, Wonderful Friendships, and the Flu

By Lindsay Dibona - teammate and AngelaNaethCoaching athlete

I came home from QT2/Angela Naeth Coaching's Lake Placid Training Weekend with a departing gift of Influenza A (makes sense that LP would also deliver the more challenging type).  It made for a pretty miserable six hour ride back.  And yet, there is something acutely clarifying about low moments, they seem to immediately reveal the things that matter most. During that feverish drive, I longed to go back to the awesome miles and moments I shared with my coach and dear friend, Angela Naeth, and also yearned to return to home again and give my son a giant squeeze, too.  Flu or bust (or maybe it’s flu and bust), I wouldn’t take any of it back!

I met up with Angela a day before the training weekend officially began and spent the first glorious day chasing her wheel and trying to find some run speed on a hot and humid trek around the lake.  The next day, we met the training crew and did a triathlon of sorts—starting out the day with the full swim course, a bike loop with an extra tour of Jay, and then another run around the lake.  The Lake Placid Pub served as a favorite early dinner spot these first two nights, and I soaked up time with my friend that we don't often get during regular life.

The third day, kind of like the third portion of any race, was the most difficult.  There was no shortage of lessons learned.  To set the scene, on this day, Lake Placid delivered on its reputation for ever-changing weather conditions: sunshine, clouds, rain, wind, and rising humidity.  We started out with a full course swim. While Angela said we’d probably swim just 3K, as I saw her heading to the final buoy on our 2nd lap, I knew we were going the full distance.  First lesson, take that gel before the swim, those oats just won’t cut it. And then, we started the big bike day: two loops of the notoriously challenging course.  That first go-around, I felt like I was making some headway in my descents, staying in aero longer, climbing well, and staying as close to Angela’s wheel as I could.  That second loop was a solo expedition.  As soon as I reloaded with hydration and took off from the hotel, the rain started, and I immediately felt my temperature dropping.  Half way down the Keene descent, I finally made a pit stop and pulled out my jacket (the one that I didn’t think I would need but Angela persuaded me to take, thank god!).  Lesson number two of the day, listen to your coach who just happens to one of the best riders in the sport—layers save rides.  I really think I would have had to call our SAG car guy for a quick-exit if she hadn’t been the wiser.  The rain finally lessened after the Jay loop, and I ran into Tim S. who was riding the course backwards and, unlike pretty much everyone I came across that day on the course, he had an enormous grin on his face.  He reminded me that the hills would warm me right back up and then continued on to go support the rest of the group.  All and all, it was not an impressive lap time-wise, but I was really jazzed that I made it around again. The mega day ended with a jog around the lake and a dinner with an amazing view with the whole training squad.  Lessons three and four, things can change out there—don’t hold too tightly to the highs or lows, and smiles are fuel: give and receive in abundance.

Sunday culminated in a long run down River Road and one final swim lap with a bit of chop out there for good measure.  The run felt pretty damn hot, and I wasn’t quite sure if it was the post-rain humidity, the high volume training days, or something else.  It was probably a bit of all of those things but also flu symptoms underway.  I decided to head home instead of staying for one more ride in the morning.  

Pushing myself is often not the hardest part for me.  It’s incredibly challenging to know when not to push.  Angela has a brilliant way about her when it comes to guiding me at these decision points.  Over the past year, she has allowed me to send her needless texts about being worried about not having enough volume, sometimes giving me hard-stop advice, but, more often, she gives me her thoughts and encourages me to both trust the process but also make my own choice.  With this kind of support, I have learned to trust myself and to reach out for support when I need it, too.  Even facing a bout of the flu with a month out of race-day, I trust that my body will recover and am stoked to be heading back up in four weeks.  I have no idea what lessons are in store for the 140.6 miles ahead.  Growth always seems to be on tap in this sport if you're willing to try and fail (or flu!) and try again.  See you soon LP :) 

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