Wednesday, March 8, 2017

LPC Florida Triathlon Camp - Day 3: Allen's Challenge (and a bike ride)

I admit, I was somewhat dreading Day 3 of this year's LPC Florida Triathlon Camp because of a promise I'd made last year to do the Allen's Challenge for my 5 year Campiversary.

The Allen's Chain of Lakes Challenge (aka the Allen's Challenge) involves eating a ridiculous amount of ice cream in under 15 minutes. Specifically:

The Allen's Challenge
The thing is - the stop for the challenge is after a 43km bike ride to get to Allen's Creamery in Windemere....and before a 43km bike ride back to the resort.
I've watched a fair number of guys take on the challenge over the past 4 years - but only one woman has done it at the LPC camp. So the odds were not in my favour. But I promised that I'd do it....and I did.
The actual day began with a hands on tire changing clinic, although I admit I skipped the actual tire changing part since I've done it before and didn't want to jinx my tires (lol). It was a very useful clinic though. Everyone should know how to change a tire.
Once everyone was ready to go, we split into something like 5 groups for the ride to Allen's. We have an incredible diversity of riders this year - so 5 groups made it more sensible pace wise. I rode to Allen's with the B- group (we had 3 "B" groups) - enjoying a beautiful and relatively easy ride out to Allen's. It was a spectacular day for a ride so I was glad not to worry too much about pace.
At Allen's, I admit, my stomach was queasy before I even got my ice cream. That morning, Head Coach James Loaring had asked if he could sponsor me in the Allen's Challenge to celebrate my 5 years at camp - which I thought was extremely kind - and totally unexpected. So I  was under a lot of pressure to get the job done.
He also got an ice cream sunday....we compared them.
Guess which one is mine?
I admit, I tried to be very strategic in my ice cream choices. Originally, I thought to soak vanilla ice cream in 6 servings of hot chocolate fudge, but a previous Allen's Challenger warned me the fudge would freeze and be hard to deal with if I wasn't fast - which I knew I wouldn't be.
So when I got there, I studied the ice cream selections and decided to go for simplicity by picking the ice cream that had the least amount of dairy in it since dairy really hates me before running. Thant ended up being Orange Sherbet which basically tastes like an orange creamsicle. Technically I could've had the Lemon Ice, but I couldn't think of anything even remotely palatable as a topping for it. So Orange Sherbet it was.
After confirming I could have 6x the same topping rather than 6 different toppings, I also went for simplicity with rainbow sprinkles. I don't like having bits in my ice cream and I figured the sprinkles were small enough not to need chewing.
On top of that went a pile of whipped cream and some cherries.
The biggest  bowl of ice cream I will ever have!
Looking at my bowl of ice cream, I admit I had no idea how I was going to eat it all. It was hilariously large.
When no other woman stepped up to compete, my friend Paula kindly volunteered to keep me company in the challenge. You know an awesome friend when!
With the timer set, it was time to dig in. The first minute or two went pretty smoothly, but then I realized how much ice cream was actually in the bowl. Coach Mark mentioned that he got a bit worried about whether I could do it at that point - since my expression was a bit 'What on earth am I doing?"
But then Paula said something funny, and I made a joke about how delicious the ice cream was and hammed it up a little for the quite large and cheering audience of LPC campers, the person video taping, and Coach Mark who took a picture and posted it on Twitter.
Does it look like I'm eating a bowl of melted cheese?
That's when the tide turned I think. From that point, I focused simply on eating the ice cream and trying to have fun while doing it. I realized that my triathlon goal of "Finish and Finish Smiling" would work well for this as well. I was happily surprised that because of my simple choices, the ice cream actually tasted good and never got gross. Mostly, it was just 10 times more that I would normally eat.
Around the 12 minute mark, I was pretty sure I had it - since I was nearing completion. The key was not think about what I was actually doing. To be honest, the quick eating likely was helped by my recent beer mile experience - particularly since I didn't actually like the beer I ended up drinking. Eating the ice cream was much easier in some ways.
I completed the challenge in 13min and 30 seconds, well under the 15 minute time limit - and setting a new LPC Camp record for women (the men's record is something like 10 minutes and a bit faster...I have no idea how that's possible, even if I watched it happen last year).
After I finished, Paula decided she'd had plenty of ice cream and didn't need to have any more. I owe her big time for making the attempt because I couldn't have done it without her.
After we were done, 2 guys went head to head, with one trying to Do the Double and finish 2x the Allen's Challenge worth of ice cream. While he finished the first bowl very quickly, he lost a bit of steam on the second. All power to him for trying though. Just watching him work on that second bowl was amazing. Now that's dedication. The other guy went for the normal challenge - also finishing it in a great time. Glad I didn't have to compete with either since they've have been done well before I was!
Right after the challenge, I wasn't feeling too bad, just very full. Knowing the real challenge was riding back - I refused the offered ride back to the resort and simply decided to ride with the easiest of the easy bike groups for the ride back.
The ride back wasn't actually that bad. The pace was nice and easy, making it simple to focus simply on getting fresh air and not thinking too much about my stomach. I burped a lot - but that was almost funny after a while.
Made it home in time to basically fall into bed. I skipped my run, slept, did some work...and really only got out of bed to make a small sandwich at 9pm. Honestly, I was more hungover from eating that giant bowl of ice cream than I've ever been in my life.
All in all, it was a fun day. I'm glad I can say I did it - although I really want my free t-shirt. I'm hoping the manager actually did show up with the shirts (for some reason, they don't keep any at the store), since one of the awesome family members of one of the other campers offered to wait for them to show up. No idea if they actually did - but I really want my memento of this very important day in my life that is never going to be repeated, so fingers crossed!

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