Well it was a long weekend, so Mike and I decided to take advantage of it and get in some longer rides. We are prepping for Ironman Canada at the end of August, but life has been hectic for this one and we are definitely not feeling as ready as we have for other Ironman races. For starters, we bought a house in March, and opened a business last year! Then we raced TTT in Ohio (4 races, 3 days — sprint, 2 olys, and a half) and had some family gatherings while out there. So nothing I would change, but just giving some background to how we are feeling a bit behind this year, and that brings me to this weekend…
Living in Southern CA we have tons of great cycling routes we love, and so this weekend I did 3 of the ones that challenge me. Turns out, we had much cooler weather than we’ve been having lately and it was pretty much perfect for cycling.
I started off Saturday with an 82 mile loop that takes me over some rolling hills, around a lake, and more rolling hills to home. But the best laid plans… at mile 3, the road was closed. It is a small back road, and we later learned it was a fatal crash much earlier in the morning. So we got to extend our route up and over one of the ridges in town, adding 7 miles and all climbing/descending/rolling — nothing flat. But what makes me climb will make me stronger, so I just went with it. Besides, it added one of my very favorite stretches of road to the loop 🙂 However, on the way home, the road was still closed (Mike had already reached that point) so I took a new road home. Wow it was steeper than I expected! Miles 75-79 were tough, but not in a way I felt was too much. And I made it over, and a couple smaller climbs later I was home: 91.5 miles (see the route map here).
Got up Sunday and headed to our tri club ride. Mike and I had let the group know that we planned to ride the Oak Glenn loop — which is a bit over 40 miles and goes from 1000 to 4900 feet, and then I was going to add on another 40. The main part of the climb is a stretch about 7 miles long from 2500ft to 4900. I just took it easy — well, as easy as my gears would let me — knowing it was going to be a long day. At the usual “5 miles from home” point (right after that favorite stretch of road again) I headed out for more, telling my self that it was just a little 18 mile out and back, nothing to it. Well, it was 14 miles of slight and not-so-slight uphill, followed by 4 miles of down… and then back up and I couldn’t wait for that down. Unfortunately, the wind was not on my side, and even the fun down parts were times to pedal. I was glad it was such a solid ride: I didn’t fight the wind, but just worked the effort I wanted and just got home slower 🙂 The route was similar to the route map available here. Mike and the dogs were already at his office, so I put on running shoes and ran just over 2 miles to meet them. Why not?
Monday was going to be tough no matter what with all the miles in my legs, so I saved the vertically easiest, but sometimes windier, ride for that day. One main series of climbs, and the rest was as close to flat as our rides get, adding another 85.5 miles. It was still a tough day though, but I made it! And I guess I got wind karma on Sunday: for once the wind helped me home. And I thanked it!
So 3 days, 257.5 miles on the bike. Not a bad weekend!
Oh and for those of you waiting, I do have TTT and also Tinman Sprint race reports to post. I’ll do it, I promise!