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Lake Placid Week

This time, I'm the one who gets to read my coach's race reports.

In the triathlon world this is Lake Placid week -- as in the Lake Placid Ironman (or, for trademark purposes, the Ford Ironman Lake Placid) -- and Mary Eggers, who has been plugging in my workouts through my summer of sprint distances, is ready for the start line.

This will be her fifth Ironman and Lake Placid is one of her favorite spots on earth.

That doesn't mean she also doesn't have occasional nutters, like having to get a new chain ring the week of the race. Granted, Mary admits her hypocrite streak on this one -- she preaches to her athletes to be prepared weeks in advance of the race and to never, ever change anything race week.

Oops.

See, it's good to know your coach is human. Because after all, sometimes I think she might be a witch since she knows exactly (a) how, when, where and why I will have a freak out and (b) can predict within scary limits how long it will take me to cover distances, even with unpredictable things like stops, bonks and the danger zone of hearing Ricky Martin songs play in my head.

Jenny and I are driving to Lake Placid this weekend, first and foremost so that the half Ironman woman can sign up for next year's Lake Placid Ironman. (I am there for moral support, just in case she needs help filing out the forms.) But also, we're going to cheer on our coach, others in the Train This! family and the handful of other people we know competing.

Meanwhile, the Tour de France enjoyed an off-day yesterday, which let me catch up on some Internet reading.

In the concern about pollution in Beijing for the Olympics an article by the BBC News explains that endurance athletes will have the most difficulty with poor air quality -- enter your marathon runners, triathetes and cyclists. The experts in the article are hopeful, though, that closing streets to traffic a week before the games will help mitigate the problem.

In reading The National Post I discovered that Canada has four Olympic athletes over the age of 40, including 61-year-old Ian Millar, an equestrian show jumper. The article quotes a doctor from the Mayo Clinic who says of the older Olympic athletes, "If people become obsessed with what they can't do as they age, well then they won't do it. These individuals are more interested with what they can do."

Who said life-long lessons in sports are only for kids?

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