Not always rainbows and butterflies

Now that the sun is finally out here in Lake Placid

I can breathe a sight of relief! The past 48 hours here have been trying, to say the least. At the start of this year I made the decision to do things I needed to do that would help me race to my full potential this year. Part of that involved training camps – heading to Tucson over the winter, I’ll be heading to Hot-lanta in July, and then I had this trip scheduled for Memorial Day weekend. Three days, a cottage in the mountains, and my bike == perfection.

….And then I saw the weather report. “It’s not going to be THAT bad” I kept telling myself as I stuck to my guns and made the drive up to Lake Placid Thursday night. “You trained for Cabo over the winter. You’ve been through tough weather. You can handle it.”

On Friday, in between the workday I managed a loop of the run course (in the pouring rain) and a swim (with water AND air temps below 60!). This proved to be nothing compared to what I was going to face on Saturday, though. If you happened to watch the national news last night, you may have seen the report of SNOW in Lake Placid. I took this picture as I drove to town this morning just to prove that snow was still on the ground!

So yes, yesterday was a tough day. I woke up to pouring rain and spent a solid 90 minutes googling “how hard is it raining before it’s too dangerous to bike in” before even setting out. I made it approximately 4.5 miles of the 56 before I was completely soaked. As I rode the last few miles, wiping snow from my glasses, constantly clenching and stretching my hands to ensure myself that despite not feeling them, they were working, I questioned a lot. I questioned why there is absolutely nothing truly waterproof in my entire closet of riding gear. I questioned why people are afraid of global warming when there’s a snowstorm in May. I questioned if I should even stay the rest of the weekend or if I should drive home tonight and just cut my losses.

“But tomorrow will be better. One of the weather forecasts on one of the many weather websites says there will only be a 50% chance of rain through the day with only 3 hours of real rain.”

So, I frantically spent the night drying out my riding clothes. Since I don’t have a clothes dryer in this cottage that meant draping everything, a couple articles at a time, over the radiator. When it smelled like burning I rotated the items. Pretty foolproof.

…And then I woke up to pouring rain again. I packed up the car and headed into town, hoping that it would cease. At least today it was slightly warmer, so no snow would be coming down. But, there were the 20 mph winds to contend with.

This time I spent about an hour calling around to the local bike shops seeing if anyone had rollers in stock for sale. If they did, I think I would have rationalized that purchase and spent the day indoors. But, none were to be found. So, I wandered into the cycling shop and asked the question that they had already heard countless times before 9am that morning – “I need better gloves, what can you find me?”

They took me up and showed me what was left – not much! “You probably don’t want to ride in these” he said, handing me a pair of huge Goretex ski gloves. “Ummm this is my ‘I’m absolutely riding in these gloves face'” I said. Even better was they were half off because who the F needs SKI GLOVES IN MAY?!?! Haha, anyways. Along with the gloves I once again put on just about every article of clothing I brought with me. I couldn’t help but have this playing in my head:

With my new Goretex gloves I headed out much happier than the day prior. There were more people on the roads, and that kept me occupied despite the weather. As I was making the final climb on the loop the cold and wet, once again, started to get to the best of me. Goretex is great, but apparently it has its limits too as the gloves were finally soaked to the core. Lucky for me I wasn’t done with one loop – I turned around, headed down the ~12 miles or so to the bottom of the climb back to town, and climbed back up. Talk about kicking a girl when she’s down, had gravity not propelled me down the road I am pretty sure my body would not have pedaled down for sheer unhappiness at the situation. Alas, that’s the beauty of a bike. That whole “where ever you go – there you are” saying really rings true. As long as you can get out the door and down the road……there you are. And, now you have to get yourself back.

So, I did. And then I even ran with heavy frozen feet too! Once again, I skipped the swim. Mirror Lake looked ready to wreak havoc on anyone who entered, so maybe tomorrow I’ll fit that in.

Speaking of tomorrow – a 0% chance of rain and 60+ degree temps means I’ll be leaving here on a high note! A tough weekend to stomach but I’m glad I stuck it out nonetheless. Lots of miles in the books amidst tough conditions – can’t find any better mental training than that!

Published by Alyssa Godesky

Alyssa is a professional triathlete who has logged over 8,000 miles in competition of swimming, biking and running across five continents. She came to triathlon from an ultrarunning background and over the last few years has found success back on the trails: in 2018 she set the female supported Fastest Known Time (FKT) on Vermont's 273 mile Long Trail in 5 days, 2 hours and 37 minutes. In 2020 she set the women's supported FKT for climbing the 46 High Peaks in the Adirondacks in 3 days, 16 hours and 16 minutes. She is a triathlon and running coach, and also enjoys spending time guiding hikers out on the trails. Alyssa is based in Charlottesville, VA with her dog Ramona.

0 comments on “Not always rainbows and butterflies”

  1. Oh man. That sounds fucking rough. I always find that those weekends that are just so unbelievably miserable really take it out of you. Be nice to yourself for the rest of the week.

  2. Oh man. That sounds fucking rough. I always find that those weekends that are just so unbelievably miserable really take it out of you. Be nice to yourself for the rest of the week.

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