Penticton Training Weekend, Take One

Penticton Training Weekend, Take One

Last week I spent four nights in New York City, came home for a day, went to Penticton over Memorial Day weekend to train, came home for less than 24 hours, and flew to Denver (where I am right now) for work. Despite all of the jet setting, I managed to get in a decent training weekend. I have tasted Ironman Canada, and it tastes hilly and challenging.

Jas and I drove to his parents’ house to carpool up to Penticton. On the way we stopped at REI so I could pick up some leg warmers because I realized it’d likely be ass cold over the weekend and I had forgotten to pack tights. We arrived at our hotel in Summerland, unloaded the bikes, and enjoyed the overcast views of the lake.

Our bikes' temporary home

View from our hotel room

On Saturday Jason, his dad and I woke up and prepped everything for our ride. We parked a few miles from the transition area and started setting everything up when I realized that the black rolled up wad of fabric I grabbed and shoved into my bag wasn’t arm sleeves like I thought, but rather compression sleeves for my legs. Fudgers! It was going to be a gray, chilly day, and my wimpo arms were surely going to freeze without some sort of cover. Jason suggested I just wear my compression sleeves as arm warmers. I didn’t have any better options, so that’s what I did. I ended up with 90 miles of compressiony goodness, but unfortunately I realized two things after the ride:

  1. The sleeves, which typically go from under my knee to my ankle, weren’t long enough to cover my entire arm.
  2. Even though the sun wasn’t out, that doesn’t mean the rays weren’t poking through the clouds.

As such, I ended the ride with this B.S.:

This is not a good look for me

The watch tan I’m used to. The half-forearm tan? Not so much. (I’ve grown accustomed to the hairy arms though, so deal with it.) Anyway, I started riding for a whopping minute before realizing that, no fucking way, my bike computer’s cadence sensor wasn’t working again. What the shit, I just replaced this stupid thing two weeks ago! I angrily fiddled with it for a while, and it went from not reading my cadence to not reading anything. Great, now I was going to ride 90 miles with no indication of my speed or cadence.

Frustrated and fueled by rage, I took off and anger-rode for an hour. After a while, Jason appeared next to me, slightly out of breath, exclaiming, “It took me forever to catch up to you! You need to slow down!” Apparently I was averaging about 24 mph and was climbing rollers going 20. To be fair, the first 30 or 40 miles of the Canada course are pretty fast, with lots of flats/downhills and a few inconsequential hills. I pouted a bit more about my broken computer but decided to slow it down in anticipation of Richter Pass.

Before we got to the pass, Jason’s dad got an epic flat by running over a huge kinked wad of wire. He wrestled it out of his tire and changed the tube but wanted to stop at a gas station to properly fill the tire with air. While he was fixing his bike, I stopped inside to use the bathroom and buy more fuel. When I came out, I saw Jason barely hiding his irritation while a filthy grifter with roughly four teeth peppered him with questions about our bikes. Apparently this Canadian mountain man had been marveling at how nice our bikes were and said that someone should build an eight person stealth bomber out of the same carbon fiber our bikes are made from. He then paused, looked at Jason, and said, “I see you’ve got a belly under all that gear! You must work in an office, eh? This is good exercise for that!” Jason muttered a “Yeah…” while murdering the dude with his eyes, and I resisted the urge to laugh. What kind of person makes remarks about a complete stranger’s stomach? Dudes with meth mouth, that’s who.

"Your belly offends me and my professional appearance."

After our brief break, we continued on and hit the pass almost immediately. I gotta say, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Don’t get me wrong, Richter Pass is no picnic, but you get to climb for a bit before shooting down a decent decline, then lather, rinse, repeat for a while and before you know it, you’re done. Unfortunately, after you conquer the pass (and are rewarded with a nice downhill), you get hit with a bunch of rollers that are pretty sucky, especially when you factor in a craptacular crosswind (which we got hit with on Saturday).

We skipped an out and back portion of the ride and continued on until we hit the second significant climb, which is the stretch of road leading to Yellow Lake. (Brief aside: who names a body of water “Yellow Lake”? Nothing screams “urine-soaked” like that moniker. It actually is a pretty lake though, and not at all yellow. Still, not the best name.) I thought this climb was uber-shittier than Richter because unlike Richter, which has steep climbs but brief reprieves where you get to descend, the Yellow Lake climb is pretty much a long, arduous, gradual, relentless son of a bitch until you get to the top. On the way up I saw several banana peels and wondered if Jason was trying to take me out, Mario Kart style. If only I had a red shell…

I'm gunnin' for ya, Jas

The last several miles of the bike course shoot you down a pants crappingly fast descent that scared the bejesus out of me due to the semis and crosswinds. Operation De-Chunkify has been going well for me, but at that point I wondered if I should have actually gained an extra 15 lbs instead of lost weight so I’d be better anchored and wouldn’t get bitch slapped by the wind and cars. At several points during the descent I envisioned myself getting blown over the guardrail and falling to my death while still clipped into my bike.

The next day Jas and I ran the middle portion of the run course, which is the same stretch as the first part of the bike course. We did about 15 miles in the sun and I thought about how miserable I was going to be racing in 90 degree heat considering I was already feeling overheated at 70 degrees. The “inconsequential” hills I mentioned earlier on the bike suddenly seemed like a jerk crusted bastard during the run. This will not feel good on race day.

We spent the remainder of the weekend enjoying the gorgeous scenery and buying roughly an asston of wine:

View of the swim start from a vineyard across the lake

Loitering in some Canadian's vineyard

Jason's mom gets inspired by the boobalicious mermaid statue

Our Ironman training fuel

Before we left, we flailed around in the freezing lake (“freezing” being 55 degrees) for about 20 minutes, making me think that I really need to do a couple more open water swims before Boise. Poop. Other than that, though, it was good to explore the Ironman course and dump my paycheck into many, many wine purchases. I can’t wait to come up with the team in July and do it all again. Hopefully Teresa will have some good advice on how to pace myself for the ride, and I’m counting on doing more wine tasting with some of my teammates. Don’t let me down, Ironman crew!

7 Responses to “ “Penticton Training Weekend, Take One”

  1. teresa says:

    so proud of you guys for getting out there! What a ride eh?! You have described exactly how I feel on those downhills…yikes! Can’t wait for some wine…oh and some stellar training too 🙂


  2. Rebecca says:

    How are you always the first person to comment on my posts? It’s almost eerie. ;P

  3. Laura says:

    You are seriously hilarious! Loved your training report!

  4. Sara Keogh says:

    Look at you, riding so fast without the technology! Thanks for the post, you manage to make it sound almost “manageable,” though you have done that hill in Wenatchee, so I guess it’s all relative . . . glad you were able to make it a fun trip, too, with all of the wineage. Keep those posts coming!

  5. Rebecca says:

    I was thinking of doing that stupid Cashmere ride again since I figured it’d be good training for Canada. Let me know if you want to join me in my misery.

  6. Amanda says:

    This is hilarious! Thanks for the play by play. Felt like I am more prepared for our July 4th trip!

  7. Jason's mum says:

    Never has my lack of boobaliciousness been more pronounced, however I do take comfort in the fact that I look slightly more attractive than Four-Tooth-Dude (and at least I don’t have unsightly tan lines on my arms!)

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