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Lake Placid Needs Your Vote Now! Best Outside Towns 2015!

Hey Folks…If you are a follower of this blog you know how much I love Lake Placid, NY. I know some of you do too. So we need your vote to make Lake Placid one of Outside magazine’s Best Outside Town 2015.

Go to the following page and scroll to the bottom to vote… http://www.outsideonline.com/1972941/best-towns-2015/

Winter Night on Mirror Lake, Lake Placid, NY

Winter Night on Mirror Lake, Lake Placid, NY

Training Log-Prep Week 3-NYC & Miles For Meg

America, New York, New York City, North America, Park, Places, Skating, USA, United States, city, iPhone

Central Park Skating

I started off this week with a day off from official training, but that didn’t mean I didn’t rack up any miles on my feet. I attended the National Retailers Federation(NRF) expo at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City on Monday. My wife came along and while I was talking to vendors, she was out perusing the streets of the city. We took the Bieber Bus up and I ended up spending about 4 hours at the show. I set my Jambone UP to timer mode and it said I tracked about 2 miles while expo-ing. Walking and talking for 4 hours just exhausts me.

We made reservations that evening at Candle 79, which is a highly acclaimed vegan restaurant on East 79th Street just east of Central Park, so we had some time to kill. I stopped off at  B&H Photo on 34th & 9th Ave while Denise made her way up from Chelsea Market. It worked out perfectly as she was coming up the block as I exited the store. We then took the subway uptown and walked through Central Park for a bit. We still had a couple hours to go, so more walking. I tracked 10 miles for the day.

We eventually made our way to Candle 79. It was very nice and I was a bit overwhelmed by all the options that I could eat the menu. My wife, who is leans more to the Paleo side of things these days, didn’t have quite as many options. The tables were turned. I ended up overdoing it a bit with soup, appetizer and entree, but still found some room for dessert. It was pretty good.

Training

Enough of the gallivanting around NYC, and back to training. The work week was pretty basic with a couple rides on the trainer and a couple swims. On Wednesday, I did a graded treadmill test as per Joe Friels’ Triathlon Training Bible to measure my current LTHR for the start of the season. My results were not that impressive, but neither were my first FTP test. I hope to do this at the end of my prep phase and after each base phase to assess my run fitness and progress. My LTHR was around 167-170bpm.

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Saturday was the Megsmiles day, in honor of Meg Cross Menzies who was tragically killed by a drunk driver while out on her morning run on January 13th. It was pretty fun following everyone who was cranking out some miles that day. I started out with a 2 hour trainer ride and then threw on my shorts and headed out for a 4 mile brick run after. I tried to take my dog Yuki, but he wasn’t too fond of the wind blowing in his face. It was a nice run, a little cool though.

Park, Places, Run, Running, Seasons, Winter, times of year

Running into the Sunset

Sunday I was feeling a bit groggy in the morning. Perhaps a 4 mile brick run after a 2 hour trainer ride was a bit much for this early in the season. Regardless, I did head over to Rodale Fitness Park for an EASY hour and ten minute LSD run. It was nice day for a run, but I was feeling it. I think I will take another Monday rest day next week.

That’s about it that week. Nothing too exciting. I do have a new race announcement coming that should be pretty cool. More on that later.

I Found My Thrill On…Blueberry Mountain

I was ready to get out into the mountains after a full day of recuperation from my Ironman Lake Placid 2013 race. I had spent most of post-Ironman Monday just hanging out around the house after returning back from the the Ironman Store. I had stood in line from 7AM until around 8:30AM to get the much anticipated finishers apparel. Later I found out I could have just ordered it online and slept in. Ugh. Anyway, Tuesday morning I awoke feeling fresh again and ready to hit the trail. My prior days’ cowboy-style walking posture was now back to normal.

After doing some online research, I came up with Blueberry Mountain outside of Keene, NY just south of Lake Placid. It is a hub for many hikes and this one started out of Marcy Field Trailhead.

We had some lunch at the nearby ADK Café, which we also had dinner the night before, but today the service was a little less than desirable. We had asked to sit outside, but there was only one large table open, and our waitress said that they needed to save that for larger parties. That was fine, but when a two-top opened up she then made a big deal about us moving as said it would confuse the kitchen. Really? How would the kitchen even know where we were sitting? More like it would confuse her…and it did later when she gave us the check. We also had a regular burger and a veggie burger which took an hour. They were not all that busy either. We really love this place and they are usually very accommodating, but we have had a couple bad times there during lunch. Guess we should stick with dinner.

We eventually got to the trailhead around 2pm or so to start our hike. It started off pretty mellow and gradually started to climb. The climb got steeper and steeper as we went. Denise kept turning around to check on me to make sure I could handle it. Once I got going it was fine. I also was the one wearing the backpack, so I had some extra weight to deal with. I was also testing out my new Salomon Quest 4D GTX hiking boots  for the first time and they worked very well.

We came upon several bald, rock-faced openings as we got closer to the top of the mountain. Each one provided magnificent views of the surrounding Adirondack Mountains and valleys. We had practically a 270 degree view from the top. In addition to the views the top was covered in the best tasting wild blueberries I have ever tasted. Denise could not get enough of them and I think she almost cleaned them out.

Once we got to the top, which was a large rock bald area with a very large boulder sitting on it, we continued on through some very thick trail. It wound around a bit and eventually came to another balk face with more impressive views. At this point we had gone about 2.5 miles and roughly 2300′ of climbing elevation. A pretty good hike, especially 2 days after doing Ironman.

The hike back was actually the tougher part. The constant pounding on the quads and knees was tough. We were psyched to get back to the trailhead and head back to Lake Placid for some dinner.

We had dinner at Freestyle Cuisine for the first time. They have only been open since June and they are located behind Saranac Sourdough on Saranac Ave. Turns out this was the chef we had liked so much at the Alegria Garden Cafe back in the Winter trip. There was also the bartender and waitress from there too, so they all must have moved down the street together. The food was incredible and we were bummed we hadn’t gone there before. Definitely a stop for next time.

Onward to Toronto

I managed to get out of bed by 6AM on Thursday morning. Had some breakfast and finished loading the car, then we were on the road by 8:15AM. The wife manned the helm for the first half of the 8 hour drive to Toronto. It’s funny how she always is ready to switch as soon as I start dozing off. On the way I searched out a lunch stop in Syracuse which we should hit around lunchtime. I found a vegan place called Strong Hearts in Syracuse that was not too far off 81.
This place was all about being “vegan” and not hurting animals, so the food was more about replacing meat & dairy-related items than being whole, plant-based foods. This is the big difference between these two “camps”. I had their Red-Beet Sweet Potato chili soup which was pretty good. I also had a Seitan( pronounced Say-Tan) sandwich on rye and vegan chipotle potato salad. The sandwich was loaded with vegan “cheese” which became really overbearing after a while. The potato salad was made with vegan mayo, but was pretty tasty. The cheese and the mayo left quite congested and I spitting luggies the whole way back to the car. I don’t think either of those things are very healthy.
We continued on up through to Canada and made our way through the border crossing. Eventually, we arrived at the Fairfield Inn in Oakville(West Toronto) where we were staying for the night. It really stinks not having data/GPS while traveling. It is amazing how you become dependent on that and take it for granted when it is available. The Fairfield Inn was very nice and quite clean. Not a bad deal for $99. I will definitely stay at one of those again. We settled into our room a bit and relaxed for a while. We contemplated going into Downtown Toronto and see the Second City comedy show, but realized it would have been a bit of a stretch to get it all in. There was also the TIFF film festival going on in the city so we weren’t sure how congested that would be, so we ended up just going out for dinner instead.

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We ended up eating at Raw Aura Organic Cuisine in Port Credit. What a great find! This place was incredible. It is amazing how good raw, organic, plant-based food can be. For appetizer, we had their ravioli which was made of red beats and cashew “ricotta” cheese and a red pepper marinara. The dish was accented with their crispy Kale chips which were awesome as well. For our main course I had a Yellow Coconut Curry Noodle dish and my wife had a LARGE bowl of Miso soup. My curry noodles were made from zucchini and I actually argued with my wife that they were Soba noodles for a few minutes and then realized she was right(as usual 🙂 ). I washed it all down with a Mill St. Brewery Organic Lager. For desert I had a totally vegan brownie that was topped with a pureed cashew, coconut oil and agave icing. It was truly decadent! The meal was truly amazing and I would highly recommend this to anyone regardless of your dietary preferences.

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After dinner, we stopped at a nearby Irish pub so I could have a (full)pint of Guinness. Yum! It was
a long day of driving and we headed back to the hotel for a good nights sleep. Tomorrow we are planning on spending the day in Toronto. There is a Vegetarian Food Festival going on later in the day which we are hoping to hit. Found out that Rich Roll is supposed to be there too.

Morning Ride around Keuka Lake

I was on the road by 9:30AM on Saturday after a good nights sleep big bowl of granola with hemp milk. The sun was breaking over the hills behind the lake, and brightening up the west side Keuka Lake. I decided that to change things up this year I was going to climb up the hill a bit on the west side of Keuka near the Bully Hill Vineyard and follow the road that parallels the coastline at a higher elevation. I typically ride the lower road which is ok but there is a long line of cars parked for the people who are staying in the houses along the lake and you never know when a car door may open. I wished I would have done this before! The initial climb up from the shoreline is a little taxing(Cat 4) but it was sooo worth it. The road was fairly flat to rolling, with a nicely paved surface but the view was INCREDIBLE! I was winding through farms and fields of grapes and constantly overlooking Keuka Lake. In addition, the day was beautiful. Blue skies and white puffy clouds. It looked like something from the Simpsons.20120818-095715.jpg

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I eventually reached the end of the west side of the lake where I came to a dead end on Italy Hill Road. I made a right turn heading towards Branchport, NY and quickly descended the 1-2 mile 7% descent…Weeee!! Besides taking the upper road on the west side of the lake, I also decided to ascend the bluff which is the peninsula of land that forms the inner portion of the “Y” that is Keuka Lake. The climb up the bluff is not super steep, but long and gradual.You are then rewarded with a amazing view of both sides of the lake. Once on top on Skyline Dr. it is pretty flat too and then you take a steep drop down to the point. I thought I would get a really cool view from the point, but it was covered in trees. Once back down to lake-level I was faced with taking either a right or left on West or East Bluff Rds. I made the left and the road turned from paved to a dirt road that was coated with a layer of tar. It actually wasn’t too bad and I eventually dropped down to a paved section. The rest of the road was well shaded and flat. It cruised along the shore up to Keuka College and eventually back out to the main road(Rt. 14 ) not far from where I turned in. Wind had been coming from the North all day, but wasn’t too bad. I was looking forward to my southerly ride back down the east side of the lake which should be a fast cruise.

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Keuka College

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I made my way down the east side running around 18-22mph the whole time. A nice tailwind made it even more enjoyable. When I got back to the house I dropped my bike off and informed my wife that I still had a 20 minute brick run to do yet. She had forgotten about this and was looking forward to going to lunch, so she was not real happy about it. I quickly threw on my running shoes and made a quick 17 minute loop around the house. I then ran down to the dock and jumped in the lake for a quick bath, then it was off to Heron Hill for some lunch.


We enjoyed a fantastic lunch at Heron Hill. I had a portabella panini and a few glasses of wine and my wife had the greek salad. We ended up ordering another portabella panini and splitting it because it was so good. I then did a quick wine tasting and purchased a few bottles of their Eclipse Red and Dry Riesling to take home. The view from Heron Hill’s winery was spectacular(below). 20120819-124015.jpg

We stopped in at the craft show in Hammondsport on the way home and scored a really cool ceramic plate(below) for grating garlic and other things. Can’t wait to try that out. We chilled out at the house the rest of the evening and my Sister-In-Law prepared a wonderful dinner. They had chicken, but also lots of vegetables so I was good to go. I really had no desire to eat the chicken either, which I was surprised. I didn’t last too much longer after dinner as the 60 mile bike ride and 20 min run finally caught up to me. Got to get some rest as tomorrow is a easy mile swim and a 1:30 run in the morning and then travel back home again. Sad smile 

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Lake Placid Winter Vacation 2011–Day 1

Got off to a late start on Sunday morning due to wrestling with my Yakima Rocket Box so I could get my car keys out. I was on the road by 10:15AM and the drive up was pretty uneventful. Hit some some in the Catskills and southern Adirondacks, but nothing that caused any issues on the road. Picked up the wife at Kripalu in Lenox, Mass and we rolled into Lake Placid around 5:30PM. We had purchased tickets to the Banff Mountain Film Festival at the LP Center for the Arts which we thought started around 7PM, so we headed straight to dinner at Lisa G’s. Lisa G’s is one of the best places to eat in LP for a fair price. They have all types of food from sandwiches to platters, so there is something for everyone. Good beer selection too. The wife had Sole and I had the Burrito. Both were very good.

After filling our bellies, we headed over to the LPCA for some adventure films. While picking up our tickets we ran into the people we stay with which was cool. Banff Mountain Film Fest did not disappoint again. Saw several good films on mountain biking, climbing, caving and 2 Aussies that “Crossed the Ditch”  in a kayak which was the best of the bunch. The ice climbing film really made me want to get out there climbing this week, but the cost of a guide is just too much. My wife sacked out during the kayak flik which was too bad for her.

After the movies, we headed back to the apartment, unloaded and hit the rack. The weather report is looking promising for the week. Very cold early in the week and another big dump of snow on Wed predicted. Kind of crazy because we have hit a couple other winter vacations up here where we had gotten a foot or more of snow on a Wed and it is half price lift tickets at Whiteface on Wednesdays(when you bring a Coca-Cola product). Looks like it could be a third time again.

Trip Diary – Lake Placid Spring 2010 Day 1

While Lake Placid is a typical destination for us, we have never been there during the early Spring. We decided to make the trip up this time of year with the intention of some triathlon training and fly-fishing. I always use the excuse that I don’t fly-fish as much as I used to since I have been married, so Denise said that she wants to learn how so that we are both able to do this together. Our base camp is located right on the West Branch of the Ausable River and River Road which is the heartbeat of all endurance-related training in the area, so we will be perfectly located for our intended pursuits.

iPhone-0397 The ride up went pretty smooth. We took the Honda Fit in an effort to save some gas. The Fit worked well, but wasn’t quite as efficient as it usually it with the extra load of gear, two road bikes on the roof, and the increase in elevation. We stopped in Albany, NY at one of our favorite Thai restaurants, Blue Spice Thai. The last time up they had closed the doors on their previously location across the street which we didn’t realize until we pulled up to the door. Fortunately this time they were open. The food was still quite good, but the less than accommodating waitress left a bad taste in our mouths. Despite that we still ordered several orders to-go for eating in during the week.

While driving through Keene, NY we noticed that the former natural grocery store had reopened as the Green Point Foods so we made a U-bee and checked it out. A young couple from Brooklyn had just moved up here and opened up. They were a little sparse right now, but were gearing up to have fresh soup, sandwiches, and baked goods. If you are going through the area, it may be a good place to stop by and enjoy lunch on the nice deck our front.

Upon arrival to our “base camp”, we were greeted by our friendliest of hosts, Dan & Wendy. After catching up for a few minutes, we unpacked, settled in and enjoyed our Thai take-away dinner. After dinner, we set out for a short walk along the river to discuss the weeks plan of activities, then off to bed for a good night sleep.

Sunday, May 16th 2010

Sunday morning we got up at decent hour and off to our favorite breakfast place Chair 6. A party of 12 had beaten us to this tiny place, but we patiently waited since we were on vacation and not in any huge rush. Anyway, it is always worth the wait. Denise had her Salmon omlette and I had sourdough French Toast. Yum! After breakfast we headed to Jones Outfitter’s Fly Shop for licenses and the latest scuttlebutt on the fishing in the area. The river was still cool and  most activity was still sub-surface, so I loaded up on some nymphs and streamers and we were on our way. I headed out for my first road ride of the trip. I made my way down River Rd to Rt. 73, then up and back on Rt. 86 to Wilmington, NY and back. The ride up to Wilmington was a nice downhill grade, but the road was bit rough. The way back the same road was exactly opposite on both accounts.

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After returning from my bike ride, we headed down to the Iron Bridge on River Rd. for Denise’s first fly-casting lessons. She got the jist of things despite my ability to break things down to basics. No fish were caught, but that was not really the goal of this outing. An older gentlemen below us had yanked some large trout out on a spin real and some garden worms. He gave me a bunch but I kept losing them trying to false-cast then out to the fish. There were some large fish sitting under the bridge, but it was a deep slow pool and hard to get a fly down to them in order to tempt them. We decided to head home, clean-up, and head over to Desparado’s for some Irish-Mexican for dinner. “Despy’s” were a bit crowded so we opted for Caribbean Cowboy instead. The Cowboy is really good, but they had jacked up their prices a few years ago so we tend to limit our visits there. We got a few looks from the other couples dining there when we entered. Not sure if it was our extra-casual appearance or if it was our obnoxious Flyers garb. I had the Jerk Chicken platter which is always great and Denise had a Salmon special which was good, but didn’t “knock her socks off.” A couple LP IPA’s topped off this culinary delight. Post-dinner we bolted home to catch the Flyers first playoff game versus the Canadiens on CBC. Flyers did not disappoint. Flyers 6, Habs 0…Sweet!

Stay tuned for the rest of the weeks adventures…