The Summer of Century Rides

Aug 24

It’s been a long season for me–my first race was Rev 3 Costa Rica back in March and I’ve done races in May (Mt. Rainier duathlon), June (Honu 70.3), July (Rev 3 Portland), and am currently sitting on my ass waiting for Sunday to roll around so I can cap off my triathlon season with Ironman Canada. Several months of training means several months of riding, and this year Teresa seemed especially intent on destroying my nethers by assigning me a stupid amount of century rides. Here’s a rundown of the 100+ mile rides I’ve done this year: 1. Flying Wheels Flat Tires: 1 (me) Got lost? No Bonk Factor: 4/5 I already wrote about this ride, so I’ll just reiterate again how crappy it was. Of all the centuries I did this year, I think this one was the hardest–it was just one of those days where nothing really went right. It was kind of cold out, I got a flat tire, rode by myself for a bit until I caught up with my teammates, and struggled in the back stretch of the course. The highlight of that day was getting cookies from Alley for giving her husband Bill (one of my teammates) a ride home (yaay, cookies). Also, the team camaraderie made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, so at least we all suffered together. All in all though, it was a tough day, moreso mentally than physically, but isn’t that usually the case with endurance training? 2. Coeur d’Alene Ride Flat Tires: 1 (Coach T) Got Lost? No Bonk Factor: 3/5, then 5/5 This was the glorious ride where Jason’s deaf dad shot down a hill and forced me to chase after him. The workout after that was kind of ball-kicky since I was riding with three people who were all way faster than me. Teresa got a flat tire but we managed to stay on course (we rode the old Ironman Coeur d’Alene course, which I enjoy 152% more than the new course). I felt alright but a little tired from chasing after Team Fast for a few hours, but after a long break where the group hit up the Ironman expo area for...

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Jim, You Deaf Bastard

Aug 21

Jim, You Deaf Bastard

When I was in Coeur d’Alene for the Ironman, Jason was staying off his feet and prepping for his big race while I had a big training weekend on my schedule. Coach T scheduled a century ride and a short brick run for the day before the race, but since I was volunteering at bike check-in that day, I wasn’t going to be able to cram in volunteer duties and a six hour ride. I ended up having to slog out 100 miles on Friday, but nobody was interested in riding the full distance with me (sad trombone) so I organized a “Bec-share” program: Jason’s dad Jim would ride the first two hours with me and then I’d meet up with Teresa, Paul, and Vicki to bust out the last four. I’d be like the Stanley Cup of TN Multisport athletes, getting passed from one cyclist to the next (uh, in a non-slutty manner). Jim wasn’t interested in doing anything too strenuous because he rode with us the day before, so we took off at a fairly easy pace and did the beginning part of the CdA Ironman course–an out and back along a paved trail that follows the lake. The trail has a couple of long, gradual climbs that aren’t too bad, but I didn’t want to kill my legs since I still had several hours of riding ahead of me. We did the out and back twice and realized we still had more time to tack on, so while we pondered which route to take we ran into a nice older woman with a Southern drawl and a little foo foo dog. We chatted up the woman for a bit and she gave us directions for a little loop we could tack onto our route that would take us back to Coeur d’Alene Lake Drive. The gist of the directions were as follows: Woman: “Take a right on Yellowstone Trail road, and ride along that for a while, then left on Bonnell.” Me: Right on Yellowstone Trail, Left on Bonnell. Got it.” Woman: “Have fun, y’all!” Me, to Jim: “What a nice lady!” Jim and I took off to go find Yellowstone Trail road. When we came...

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Ironman Canada Training Camp 2012 Day 1: Blinded by the Climb

Aug 06

Ironman Canada Training Camp 2012 Day 1: Blinded by the Climb

The last weekend of July was my team’s Ironman Canada training camp. It had been a couple years since I had ridden the course (the last time I trained on it was when I raced the event in 2010), so I was really anxious to dust off the ol’ cobwebs and re-familiarize myself with the area and see how much my fitness had improved in the past two years. I was also excited to hang out with my teammates–even though we were going to be working our asses off all weekend long, it’s still fun to spend time with your friends and enjoy each other’s company away from the stresses of the real world. The camp consisted of three days, which I’ve broken into separate posts. Here’s a recap of Day 1: Day 1: What Doesn’t Kill You Just Half-Blinds You Canada camp was scheduled a bit differently than Coeur d’Alene’s training camp. At Coeur d’Alene we swam, then rode the course, then did a brick run (and the day bested me because I was battling a fever and a cold and chumped out after 80 miles on the bike). At Canada, however, we’d start the day off by tackling the bike course, then doing a 20-30 minute brick run. No swimming? Boo-yah! I took off with my cycling group from our hotel. It was going to be warm (mid to upper-80s) but not as hot as the ridiculous training camp back in 2010 (when temps hit 97 degrees). I was supposed to stay in zone 2 for my ride but my stupid Garmin didn’t charge overnight so I had to ride “naked,” so to speak, and went without heart rate information. It was actually kind of nice riding based on exertion/feel for a change, but I was mildly disheartened when the guys all took off as if they stole something and left me, Aimee, and Leslee behind. It was hard to tell whether I was going out too easy or they were going out too hard, or if they were just riding comfortably while I was sucking it up. Not helping matters was hitting Richter about 2 hours, 3 minutes into my ride, which was a few minutes...

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A Day in the Life of an Ironman Bike Check-In Volunteer

Jun 27

Last week I was in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, for Ironman CdA. A good chunk of my teammates, including my boyfriend the BFG, were racing and I was there to get some training in for my upcoming Ironman (Canada 2: Electric Racealoo) and to cheer for my peeps. A few months ago I decided to sign up for a volunteer spot as a way of giving back to the Ironman community since the volunteers do such a great job of making the races run smoothly and ensuring that the athletes make it across the finish line in one piece. I thought it would be cool to be an athlete catcher at the finish line or do something on race day, but since Jason was racing I wanted to be free all day to spot him on the course, so I opted to volunteer the day before at athlete bike check-in. My summary of my shift is below: 6:00 am I wake up and contemplate going right back to sleep because waking up early sucks balls, but I have a stupid 90-minute run on my schedule and it’s supposed to rain later so I should get this damn thing out of the way before I start my volunteer shift. Blargh. 6:40 am My teammate Jill and I hop into her car–she’s meeting some TN folks for a swim and I was tagging along so I could begin my run from the trail that’s adjacent to the lake. We ride in silence for several minutes before Jill breaks the silence with this amusing confession: Jill: “I ate a whole box of cookies last night!” Chick, you’re doing an Ironman tomorrow. Eat all the cookies you want. 7:00 am Jill begins her swim while I start my run. I make it about 5.3 miles out before turning around and heading back. The weather is cool and it’s very quiet and serene. I feel pretty good and tell myself I should wake up early to do my workouts more often. (I probably won’t.) 8:30 am I finish my run and sneak a shower at my coaches’ rental house, then chow down on a Powerbar before heading over to bike check-in to start my volunteer...

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Band of Brothers: Flying Wheels Edition

Jun 12

Band of Brothers: Flying Wheels Edition

When I got back from Hawaii I checked my training schedule to see what sort of torture Teresa had in store for me that weekend. She wanted me to do the Flying Wheels century ride, so I met my teammates at Marymoor Park at about 7:45 am on Saturday to get situated. I hadn’t thought much of the ride going into the workout and just figured a steady bike ride in zone 1-2 would be a piece of cake compared to the windy hellfest I endured in Hawaii the week before. Once I got there, however, I realized that the ride would be much crappier than I initially figured for a couple of reasons. First of all, my mind still must have been in warm, humid Hawaii mode because I was underdressed for the ride. The weather report said it would get to low 60’s but the entire day was overcast and I remained half-frozen throughout the entire workout. Secondly, before I even started the ride I realized my front tire was partially flat. I found that perplexing since I had pumped up my tires before I left my house, but instead of switching out the tube right there like a smart person would have done, I just had the REI dudes re-pump it up and hoped the mysterious disappearing air pressure was just a fluke. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t. I got a measly 40 minutes into the ride and was following my friend Kirsten up a hill when I noticed that I was working harder than usual to keep up with her. I started to wonder if my front tire had gone flat again when some dude behind me yelled, “Hey, your tire’s flat!” Guess that solved the mystery. I sighed and pulled over, watching Kirsten ride further away from me until she was out of sight. Tire Change Mode, activate! Unfortunately, Tire Change Mode was less Optimus Prime-y and more Herpy Derpy since my hands were frozen and resulted in a profound lack of dexterity. A five-minute job turned into 10+ as I fumbled to get the tire loose. Two of my teammates, Lyset and Ashley, stopped to help and were super patient as I rained expletives...

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