Finally catching up after a great weekend. It was a strange one workout wise as nothing seemed to want to work as planned. With weather interfering and motivation on the verge of breaking me I had to move things around in order to get everything in.
First off, I had a long swim at lunch on Friday. Once a week, my schedule calls for a long straight swim. The rest of the swims are interval swims. This week was 3500 yards in the pool. It turned out to be my best swim ever. I hit the split button on my watch every 10 lengths (250yds) to help me keep count. When I first started this season, I would hit each 250yd in about 4 minutes flat. On this swim, my slowest split was 3:55 and the rest of them were 3:50 or faster. I even dropped a 3:41 final split which comes out to 1:28/100yds and still hand energy to spare. I finished the swim in 53:34 (1:31/100yds).
That afternoon, I ducked out of work a couple hours early (after finishing all of my assignments of course) and headed over to O-H-I-O. The Cleveland Tri Club was hosting a Rev3 Cedar Point course preview and MattyO invited me to come over and check it out. Beings as I won’t be able to actually make it to race day, I figured this would be a fun change to check out the Rev3 course and spend some time with MattyO, Heather, and BDD.
Thankfully, I arrived just as MattyO and BDD were finishing up the manual labor with MattyO’s dad pouring a new patio. Had I but known I was cutting it close, I would have circled the block a few times to make sure they were completely finished before I got there. haha. While waiting for Heather to show up and dinner (courtesy of BDD) to cook, we talked about the things triathletes talk about: nutrition, training, racing, etc.
We crashed pretty early because the plan was to get up at 5:30 and be biking by 6:00. Well, at about midnight, I awoke to some massive thunderstorms. I checked the radar on my phone and it looked like the storms were going to be around for a while. I faded back off and woke up around 5:30. The rain was still coming down, but the thunder had rolled off into the distance. We ate breakfast, packed up our nutrition and headed out. In no time though, Heather saw lightning in the distance. To be honest, I was completely oblivious to it and would have never noticed it. I’m glad she did though because the upcoming storm was ferocious.
With the storm in the distance we decided to stick close to home base and to do a loop around Cedar Point. Meteorologist MattyO was our man in the field pointing out the storm cells and the best way to go to avoid them. We chose a 6 mile out and back loop that encompassed the first and final 6 miles of the Rev3 course. Wow. What an awesome start and finish to the course. For those of you out there doing this race you are in for a treat. It is like warp to a different part of the country. It almost feels like Florida or something with the water and trees lining the road.
Of course, the ride could not be complete without MattyO causing trouble. Only 8 miles into the ride, he got distracted (probably by something shiny) and stopped leaving Heather with no out except to crash into him. Down she went. Thankfully no one was hurt except for MattyO landing in the doghouse less than an hour into the ride.
After 15 miles of riding the storm was getting closer so we packed it in. We got back to the O’s place just in time. The storm hit with a vengeance and we hunkered down while it passed.
During the storm, I made friends with Frankie, an 80lb lap dog. Shhhh… don’t tell Bailey.
With the storm interrupting our bike ride and having already gotten up early, we were all getting hungry. So MattyO grilled up some cheeseburgers. Nothing like a cheeseburger at 9:30 in the morning.
After the rain let up, we headed back out. Because of the interruption from the storm, we altered the course a bit. Thankfully, once we were on the course, my trusty Garmin led the way. MattyO knew most of the course though so he led when the Garmin was acting stupid.
The course is fairly basic, head out a few miles to the loop, do two loops and head back. Because we altered the course and started from further away, we only did a single loop of course. That was about all any of us could take in the heat though. With the later than planned on start, we biked through the hottest part of the day. We were sucking down fluids as much as we could and still feeling the affects of the heat.
We got halfway through the loop and stopped at a gas station for refills. We also bought some sunscreen to reapply (remember this). After the fillup, we all had a bit of a second wind. This got us up the far side of the course before turning on to Frailey which is basically one long hill. Nothing serious, but it is never ending and like a constant slap in the face. It was bad enough doing it on one loop. Can’t imagine coming around for a second pass.
We caught up with a large portion of the CTC training group at the aid station on Frailey. After filling water bottles and grabbing a few Oreos we headed out in a big group. I tried to put ice in my bike helmet but it was so cold that it was giving me a headache and I had to dump it out.
MattyO flatted out shortly after the aid station giving us another chance to catch our breath. I’ve had really good luck with not getting any flats (knock on wood) so it always astounds me at how quickly people can change out a flat. In no time we were back moving.
The group we caught up to was pretty good. There was one woman though who was a complainer. I’ve got no problem with saying you’re tired or that you aren’t feeling it or whatever. But when it becomes the only thing out of your mouth, I just want to smack them. It reminds me of one of the FAQs for the Grand Rapids Marathon.
We finished up the last few miles in no time. I think we all were feeling a bit better after the final aid station and picked up the pace a bit. I attempted to get us lost but MattyO has a better sense of direction and got us on the right path.
After the ride, we all filled up water bottles and headed out for a run. My goal was about 30 minutes. I was running mainly to try out my new tri shorts and tri top. This was the first time I had rode and run in them and I wanted to test them out before Steelhead. Wow. They worked great. I’ll probably do another quick post with my sweet new kit, but the short of it is that they were super comfortable. It is such a relief to have found something that I feel I can wear the entire day at IMWI.
I felt fairly good on the run and managed about an 8:30 pace. I called it quits after 25 minutes mainly because I was out of water. 20oz of water in 25 minutes. Damn it was hot out.
We attempted to cool off by jumping in the canal. Fail. The water was like a hot tub. It was a bit cooler 3 or 4 feet down but I was so exhausted at that point that even diving under water was a chore. After the cool off, I showered up. After I got out of the shower, what did I see in the mirror?
A sexy beast. My shoulder blades were completed scorched!!! WTF?!?! I applied sunscreen twice! My first thought was that it was in a place where I couldn’t reach but I checked and I am fully capable of applying sunscreen in all the places that burned. I didn’t think it was that bad. That is until I got home and it turned into giant blisters. Yeah, not fun. I’ll spare you the pictures because it isn’t at all pretty and actually downright disgusting.
Anyways, after the shower, we headed out for dinner and drinks before I started the long drive home. Not fun. I got hit by multiple storm cells. Where was Meteorologist Matty when I needed him!?!
I was going 25mph on the expressway with the windshield wipers on
high and couldn’t see the cars in front of me. I could have gone for a swim.
Note the fact that I am still stuck on the Edge network. Ohio, your AT&T sucks.
Despite the long drive to and from, it was totally worth it. MattyO, Heather, and BDD are great company to ride with. It really makes the time fly when you are hanging out with people on the ride. It was also nice to change things up a bit and get a little different scenery than normal. Ohio cornfields look totally different than Michigan cornfields. haha.
It just sucks that all of us bloggers are spread so far apart. How about we call a truce with the whole Midwest vs Texas battle and find a neutral state to take over. Maybe Colorado? That’s kind of in the middle. We can commandeer Colorado and make it The Great Endurance Nation. Only runners, cyclists, triathletes and other endurance athletes are allowed. D-bags and asshats (Jeff’s word, I take no credit for it) need not apply.
Jennie and I woke up on Sunday after sleeping in a bit. Pretty sad when 8:00 is “sleeping in,” but such is the life of an active couple. We had our weekly big breakfast of eggs and hash browns. We let that digest before heading out on my long run. While digesting, I checked in on all the peeps racing IMLP.
I had a 2.5 hour run scheduled. It was a major suckfest. Honestly, I almost bailed after 6 miles. In fact, I sort of did bail. My stomach was feeling funky and my heart wasn’t into it. I stopped, turned around and told Jennie I was done. I was just going to walk the 2 miles home and quit. I told her to just go on without me but she wouldn’t listen (she never does) and stuck with me. As I walked, I drank about half a Gatorade. I spent a mile walking. The entire time I was internally yelling at myself. I’d never bailed on a run before (at least not since I started logging my runs 5 years ago), why the hell was I going to let myself start to quit now. I kept thinking about everyone out racing IMLP thinking that I was going to let myself quit after 6 miles when most of them were probably just getting started on a 112 miles bike ride and then were going to run freaking marathon after that.
After yelling at myself enough (and drinking plenty of Gatorade), I actually started to feel better. I turned around and started to run again. I actually felt a lot better once I got moving. I then decided that I still needed to change things up a bit. This sport can’t just be all work, there has to be some fun too. So, I decided that rather than run 2.5 hours straight, I would do 2 hours and then Jennie and I would stop home to pick up Bailey and run the final 30 minutes together.
It worked out perfectly. We got home in a little under 2 hours after logging nearly 14 miles. Bailey couldn’t have been happier to see us. With a quick water bottle refill, we headed out.
Even Bailey was thirsty. He has finally mastered the puppy drinking
fountain in Gaslight Village. Only the best for this dog. He turns his nose up
on water dishes – he only drinks fresh running water.
In no time, we had logged another 3 miles. Jennie actually managed a great pace for having just gotten 14 miles in on the bike. She commented that her 5k time off the bike was faster than what her time was in her first 5k. Now if that isn’t improvement, I don’t know what is.
After the run, it was time to hit the pool. Not nearly as fast as Friday’s workout but it never is after a run. I just plodded through my intervals. Swimming after running always sucks but I always feel better after doing it. It is a great way to let the legs recover and I generally don’t have any soreness afterwards.
Overall, it was an awesome weekend and I am glad that I got to spend time with both friends and my lovely wife.
Thanks for reading!
And congrats to all of the Ironman Lake Placid finishers! Can’t wait to read all about it!