Sunday, July 25, 2010


So much for all the blog buddies that said people training for IM will have no social life at all. You'll forget you have friends. You will only see your family if they make the effort to appear between workouts. You will think of nothing but triathlon.

Pfft!!!! We had friends over for a BBQ yesterday, them and their little daughter. Everybody had a perfectly delightful time, except for Amelia the cat. She's suspicious of strange humans at the best of times and doubly so for miniature ones. We did nothing more ambitious than sit around and chat and get caught up. We've been trying to arrange a time to get together for a while now, but in the followup to a kidney transplant and pregnancy she has to be very, very careful about getting sick. I was sick a surprising amount this year and told them that if I had even a hint of a sniffle I wasn't going to risk being in the same house. Other than clarifying the date for IMC, we didn't talk triathlon stuff at all.

I'd already done some of the prep for today's ride, and once they were gone I finished up. The forecast for the weekend was clear and hot, so I wanted to get started early. I've been looking forward to this ride for a while. 7 hours, hoping for 180 K. It turns out the time was the harder part.

I was up early so there was lots of time for a good breakfast and a visit from the poop fairy. It was still a bit cool when I hit the road at 7:15. Still lots of shade and if it had been any cooler I'd have wanted arm warmers or something. Down to 22X in 20 minutes, still on the cool side. Met up with another guy and we stuck together till I turned south at 22. My time to here was a little on the slow side but there was a bit of a head wind and I wasn't pushing the pace.

Things warmed up to a great riding temperature on the way to Black Diamond. Hardly anyone moving in town. Got there in 1:50. That's 50 K done. Highway 7 to Okotoks is the shits. Lots of cracks across the road filled with tar and topped with that fine grit. That extends right across the road. Lots of bump bump bump. There was a lot of grit and gravel on the shoulder as well, and in the morning sun lots of it looked like glass.

Just as I turned the corner to go south at Okotoks I flatted. Tires are much easier to deal with when they're warm. I got it back on using just my hands without even trying. There's a cut in the tire rubber big enough to see the cording, so I think I'm going to go get a new tire. Maybe there is some compound I can seal it up again but tires on vehicles doesn't seem to me to be a good place to save money. At this point I'm still feeling strong and happy. I've been trying to ride steady and smooth and firmly in zone 2. South on 783 to 543 and turned right. You can't miss that intersection, there are 4 huge white gas storage spheres.

Then it was into a good headwind again. When 90 K clicked over I was about 3:20 riding time, so I went to 3:30 and turned around then. There have been lots of rides where I'm a wreck at 90 K or shortly after. At this point I felt great. I was exactly on plan for nutrition and a little ahead of plan for distance. Now it was back the same way. The whole course is gently rolling hills, and lots of long gradual inclines. I wasn't worried about being slow going up because I figured it would be balanced by going down.

Things got a bit harder just before Black Diamond on the last bit of uphill, about the 4:55 hr mark. There'd been a ton of motorbikes passing me and I was getting sick of the noise. One Harley passing me had my guts reverberating. Even with all the nutrition I was beginning to feel a bit weak and tired. Once I got past the geezer who tried to kill me I stopped at the gas station/food store in Black Diamond. I was happy to be standing up again, and picked up 1.5 L of water and some chocolate covered peanuts. Yes, I thought about a Snickers bar, but figured the sugar hit would drop me like a rock before I got home. I took the water bottle back in and asked where to recycle it. The clerks eyes were as big as saucers. "You drank the whole thing??" "Naw, just filled my bottles, I'd look pregnant if I'd drank that much water."

Once I made the left turn I was riding more carefully through town. It's small enough the locals don't think anything of crossing main street without looking for cars. There was some kind of vintage auto show taking up one street that looked pretty interesting, but I was focussed on getting home. I had about 2 hours to go. All the bikes that passed me on the way into Black Diamond passed me on the way to Turner Valley. Then they stopped at a mutual admiration society in Turner Valley. Then they all passed me again.

Going north wasn't bad. I was still feeling steady and was maintaining speed. But the last bit across 22X was into a brutal head wind. I was head down and trying to stay strong. At this point I had figured it would be a toss up as to what would hurt the most, my butt, my hands, my triceps, or my legs. The dark horse came up the middle and put them all into the shade. My feet. The balls of my feet and toes felt like they were on fire. At one point I pulled them out of the shoes for some coolish air. This was the toughest part of the ride. In a way, now, I'm glad it was. Often there is a stiff wind from the west that means you hardly have to pedal at all. But the wind helped build my confidence.

I ticked over 180 K in 6:43 bike time. From there I took it easy to fill out the 7 hours, ending up at 185 K. After a short transition I was out for my run. By now it was pretty warm, but not what I'd call hot. The first few steps had my hams screaming. I can easily walk quicker than that. Before I had a chance to get worried, I could feel things getting better, almost by the step. By the time a few hundred metres had passed I was in a steady chug. Not what I'd normally consider a good run, but I was moving and felt pretty good. Part way through the run I passed one of my neighbours spraying her garden. I got her to spray me down, front and back and that felt wonderful! By the end of the run my heart rate had settled down, my feet and legs were in the groove, and I could have gone on longer if water and nutrition had been arranged.

The weather was perfect! I was only hot for about 10 or 15 minutes when I happened to be riding with the wind at exactly the same speed. The rest of the time there was a breeze. Maybe wearing a white jersey helps.

After some of my shorter rides where I was a wreck at the 90 or 100K mark I was really nervous about going such a long way. But I felt great getting off the bike! I'm thrilled that I was over the 180 K mark within the 7 hours. That's the furthest I've ever ridden at once in my life. Ever. The actual elapsed time was 7:20 from leaving the house to getting back. That's counting a flat, 3 pee breaks, and a "special needs" stop in Black Diamond.

I could have gone on a little way further if I'd had to, though I'm sure my feet would have taken some convincing. I was going to call the run a success if I didn't walk, even if I was barely doing a loose limbed shamble, yet I actually had a good run. So as you can imagine I'm a happy puppy. Especially after the peanut butter chocolate cupcake our guests from last night left.

Weekly Summary
Swim 3.75 hrs
Bike 12.0 hrs
Run 3.33 hrs
Walk 1.0
Total Cardio 20.0 hrs. (Holy Crap!! and I actually missed a 70 minute run.)
Core 1.0
Total workout 21.0 hrs


  1. very strong ride! sounds like you are more than ready now. see you in a few weeks!


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