"...In the end, people either have excuses or experiences; reasons or results; buts or
brilliance. They either have what they wanted or they have a detailed list of all the rational reasons why not."

~ Anonymous
(taken from Matt Erbele's, It Takes Time to Get Good)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Week 20: Long workouts and Ride Report (yeah, yeah I am behind)

Let's start with a big thank you for all the kind words and well wishes for Ironman. I have resolved myself to the fact that it will be what it will be. I am going to show up and race my heart out. That is all I can do.

I am really sorry that all of my posts are these long, multi-day diatribes with ride/race reports that go on for days, and show up once a week (or sometimes less), but I am DYING!

Ok, dramatic.

But I am buried at work and training, and recovering from training (i.e. napping) takes any other available time I have.

I can't remember a time in my life when I did not get up at 4 or 5 am to be somewhere to torture myself on both Saturday and Sunday of the weekend.

Now, it is not that it has been that long (I certainly spent MANY more YEARS sitting on my fat, Ho Ho eating ass than I have spent Ironman training) it is more that I no longer have the energy reserves to think beyond the previous or next 20 minutes.

On to this past weekend...

Friday - 50 minute Run

It was going to be hot, so I I decided to head up to Skyline to find a nice shady trail. As is par for the course, anytime I do not know the trail ahead of time it is either hell, or I get lost.

Well, I didn't get lost.

It started with a 2 mile descent. Not a sweet, gentle descent that makes you feel like you weigh 47 pounds and are the most gifted runner alive. It was the steep ass, bone jarring descent that makes you feel like a lumbering hippopotamus forced to descend the Sierras. (I don't know why a hippopotamus would be in the Sierras, or why someone would force it to run down the mountain, but it is a funny image, no?)

Of course this descent means you have to climb back out.


Saturday - On schedule 3 hour 20 minute run (Actual Stats: 14 miles/3264 ft of climb/Time 3:45:00/90 degrees in the shade/15 billion mosquito bites)

I got up at 4 am to meet students at the Flea Market for a Red Cross Club fund raiser at 4:45 am (I know, I know. I got suckered into being the new Red Cross Club's adviser. Damn kids. They sure can be cute when they want something. They were decidedly less cute when they got there at 5:15 am and I had been waiting for 30 minutes.)

After I helped them set up (HUGE clusterfuck, btw. Do not do a fund raiser for students at the Flea Market. Just don't. I think they made $150. I would have given $150 to not have to deal with it.) Anyhoo, after that I took off to do my long run. It was supposed to be blistering hot (99*) so I headed out to the trails with some cover.

Kind of a boring picture, but I look like a toad in the other one I took and it is my blog, so I reserve the right to only post flattering or semi-flattering pictures of myself.

The Santa Cruz Mountains favorite Mollusk! The California Banana Slug

I chose AGAIN to pick a trail I had never run before.

Again, I did not get lost. Which means...

Elevation for the run (Please note: the gradations are in 500ft increments!)

Notice that you don't see the trail after about 3 feet. It is THAT steep. I just came up that and the climbing was not done for another 2.5 miles.

Umm... yeah.

Going to dinner that night I could barely walk with the soreness in my calves and knees and all I could think was "I have a hilly-ass century ride tomorrow. Great."

Sunday - Strawberry Fields Forever Century (Actual 103 miles/7946 ft of climb)

Julia, Lori and I met up to start together for a planned start time at 7 am. I will have you know that we rolled at 6:59 am. Finally got my shit together on these things.

Ready to roll! On time I might add.

Lori was doing the metric and, unfortunately, the two courses split pretty early on so we didn't get to ride much together, but she met up with some of her peeps and had a great ride so all was well.

The ride started with a 13 mile, 2000 ft climb right off the bat. You may be able to spot it here on the elevation chart.

Ummm....yeah. Again, with the 500 ft increments. It makes the climbs later on look like nothing. Believe me, they were NOT nothing.

At the top Eureka Canyon (the big climb) enjoying some Newtons du Fig. (pronounced in an obnoxious french accent because it cracks me up)

The first rest stop mascot. I didn't exactly catch her name, Sully or something like that. Very cute old girl!

Somewhere during this climb Julia's bike developed this god awful creak. We tried to find the cause but no love. It wasn't until 74 miles in that a fellow rider that was a bike mechanic discovered her crank was loose. Yikes. She gutted it out, trooper that she is.

After climbing Eureka Canyon there was a glorious descent down Old San Jose Hwy (Rd?
). Sometimes this descent can be a nightmare with road rage drivers, but was wonderful today! About 50 miles in we reached the second rest stop that was sponsored by a local bike manufacturer Calfee.

Now, I don't know a damn thing about Calfee bikes except people say they are go
od, but they are my new favorite company because of this

Lattes made to order with an ocean view! Are you fucking kidding me?
Freaking AWESOME! Yes, I eventually pulled myself away from the rest stop, but it was tough.

It was also at the rest stop that we met up with Jill, hereafter referred to as Bad Ass Jill. I call her Bad Ass Jill, because similar to Bad Ass Helen, she is freaking FAST. She is a total hoot, but WAY faster than us so I thought our encounter would be brief. However, she was trying to ride off a bad week (you know, just a little century with 8000' of climb to dust off the cobwebs. Easy peasy) and decided to hang with us because, let's face it, we may not be fast, but we are a freakin' blast!

Bad Ass Jill, Julia, and moi. Ready to blaze over some hills and laugh our asses off.... well, at least we did the laugh our asses off part.

After the rest stop we rode through Elkhorn slough which, while stinky, is a beautiful
ride ending with a tough climb up Strawberry Road.

Hubby and I have been talking about kayaking here FOREVER. We even bought Lucy a doggy life jacket so she can go too. (BTW: Lucy would NEVER do this, but she is damn cute in the life jacket!)

We pressed on to the dreaded Tustin Road climb that Julia had been warning us about all day. It was a short climb of only about 1-1.5 miles, but the last 1/8th of a mile is at continuous 18-20% grade. An eighth of a mile doesn't sound long until you try to ride up an 18 % grade. Several people were walking their bikes, but I decided, fuck it, I was going to ride up it or fall over trying.

Surprisingly, this story does not end with a road-rashed RBR. I made it up. Not fast, not pretty, but I got it fucking D.O.N.E.

Boo yah.

We headed off to the lunch stop thinking the worst was behind us. Nope. One more brutal, albeit shorter, 15% climb awaited us right before the lunch stop. Lots of walkers on that one as well.

Did I make it up that one?

You bet your ass, I did.

*smug grin*

Then in the ultimate insult, we had to climb a steady grade into the park where the lunch stop was being held. I don't think we were even getting credit for that mileage. This caused me to swear loudly and demand a sandwich upon arrival and after dumping my bike petula
ntly on the grass. (I was kidding, but I did notice that I did not take any pictures at this stop. I think some of that bitchiness was real. Oh, and NO cookies at lunch? What is up with that?!)

We pressed on and a mere 9 miles later we were at another rest stop. Odd, but it was the locally famous Gizdich Ranch and they had PIE!! I am not shitting you! Actual PIE!!

Lattes and pie?! I am currently pre-registered for this ride for the next 22 years!

I would have taken a picture of my piece of pie, but the shutter speed on my camera is not that fast. (Ha! A camera AND gluttony joke all in one! I crack myself up!)

The last 20 miles included one more big climb up Hazel Dell (more walkers on a steep section of this climb. Not me, baby!) and then it was smooth sailing into the finish.

I pushed hard these last 20 miles and I felt really strong. Much stronger than I had expected to feel considering the amount of hard running I had done for the 2 days prior, the general beat-upness of my body these days, and all of the climb in this ride.

The upside of all this is that I am cautiously optimistic about my ability to make the cut off for the bike. If I can just make it through the damn swim.

Bad Ass Jill bought us all pies at the end (they were selling left overs for $2 each! Woo Hoo!)

I have some SERIOUS blog reading catching up to do. Good thing it is a 3 day weeken


Jo Lynn said...

A hippo in the Sierra's? Would be hilarious! You have covered a ton of miles girl, Damn. I'm curious where the Santa Cruz run was. Looks a lot like Big Basin where I was last weekend. Pretty, wherever it is. ;)

Unknown said...

After seeing teh elevation chart for that century ride, I'm amazed that you are smiling in ANY of the photos and yet you are smilling in ALL of them.

Way to get 'er done!

Diana said...

I'm completely exhausted after reading that! Holy crap that's what IM is about? Shit!
Love the "newton du fig"!
A big smile after that ride! Amazing!

Missy said...

Pie, they had pie!?! Lemme know next year, please. Lattes, what the hell kind of ride is this?

You totally will make every cut off, I have no doubt. Try not to obsess about it and just think, smooth not panicy, just roll through it. Once you panic, then the hr is all over the place, blech. You got it. It'll be great.

Carolina John said...

yea i'ts a 3 day weekend! you might even be able to train and post about it.

lattes and pie in one ride is awesome. sounds like a challenging time.

Calyx Meredith said...

That elevation is crazy! You are a climbing fool!! Just think - in *less than a month* it will be DONE. You are so strong and you are so consistent. Yay RBR!! When does school get out? Soon, no?

Lindsay said...

well i def don't need to get into biking. i'd end up gaining weight! i need to quit griping about my hills - remind me to not ever do a workout with you! since you love them so much though, you could do the grandfather mountain marathon. i think it's held in the summer and 26.2 miles of uphill goodness - right up your alley ;)

incredible workouts as always. i don't blame you for being tired!

IronWaddler said...

You looked like that you had a great time. Amazing with that elevation. You rock.

Aka Alice said...

Pie and Lattes? That is so freekin' awesome.

Once again, you make me feel like a slacker. I mean, the ride's nothin' compared to being an advisor to a club, and then doing a freekin' fundraiser...that shows real courage...LOL!

Tri-Scott said...

Wow. How do you have so much energy to smile! Keep it up!

Reese said...

Nice job on the ride. Thanks for stopping by, HI! For the record, the song on my page is not classical, perhaps the fact that he played with the Mahavisnu Orchestra threw you off. But the Mahavisnu Orchestra was a Jazz/Rock fusion band, and Jean Luc Ponty is much more Jazz/Rock than classical. Certainly not everyone's cup of tea, but neither am I.

Julia v said...

I look drunk in that last picture... drunk with knowing I have PIE!!!!!!

Stef0115 said...

You are SO ready for CDA with all of these tough workouts!

Gorgeous pics and pie! I love pie! Coffee too! LOL.

Hope you had a great three day weekend!

Angela said...

You're amazing! I love the humor in your blogs. I don't come comment as often as I should...but then again...neither do you. THAT, my friend, was a joke! I can't believe you ride those elevations. UGH! Keep up the great work!

ShirleyPerly said...

I agree with Stef. You are ready for IMCDA. Just don't do anything stupid like roll your ankle on an acorn or something on the way to work ;-)

What a steal on that pie!!!

A Plain Observer said...

seeing the name of your blog I had to click on it. Funny posts, great training!

Maryland Girl aka Michelle said...

Way to kill those hills! I have a hilly ride coming up in June I hope I can knock out the hills without walking too!

{will run for margaritas} said...

Hilarious! You go girl!!


JenZen said...

OMG - what an awesome, amazing race! Lattes AND pie!!! Where do I sign up?

If I had even attempted any of those elevation runs or rides my quads would have jumped off my body just to kick my ass. Wow!

Donald said...

This post is crazy - in a great way. A few thoughts:

1) Have you ever kissed a banana slug? The kind of paralyze your lips for a few minutes. Creepy, but cool.

2) Elkhorn Slough is an awesome area to ride - I usually do it from the Castroville area when I want to get some rolling hills and cool air.

3) Our family has probably polished off about 100 Gizdich pies over the years. The kids classes do field trips there each year, and they also stock the pies in our local market. Very tough to refuse.

4) Your training buildup sounds awesome. Way to go!

Aileen said...

That was exciting...especially the pie part! Hello!

As a pseudo-Frenchie, I LOL'd in a big way with "newton du fig".

My coworkers are probably wondering what's up...

Anonymous said...

Long time no catch up. I can't believe your Ironman is so close. Take extra good care of yourself!!!!!!!! You are doing a great job of training. Keep up the awesome work (and the lovely smiles!!)

Jane said...

okay, more advice. You asked if it's normal to be so tired. hell yes! You are at your peak training. Last week and this week, you are probably exhausted. You should be starting your taper. You'll have so much time, you won't know what to do with yourself. While your body is tapering, you will feel a surge of energy and feel almost giddy and antsy. Then you will cry and curse. Then you will shit your pants. Then you will be giddy again. Roller coaster of emotions these last few weeks. Then you will race and be an ironman! Then you can eat more pie!

P.s. banana slugs are gross. :)