Well I've done it...another milestone accomplished. Leslie and I biked 160 km today. Never in my life have I ever done that...and I'm still amazed I did!
I'd be lying if I said it was easy though!
The route was Cochrane to Bragg Creek and back (60km), then the Horse Creek, Bottrell, Lochend loop (100km). Cochrane to Bragg and back was good. I was trying to keep watch of my heart rate, but my monitor was on the blink. Bummer. That made things difficult as I was trying to figure out my IM pacing.
Lots of cyclists on the road; however I must say this...they weren't very friendly! Not many waves or hellos said. As I was wearing my Team Tri-Life shirt I figured I'd better keep waving and smiling or I'd give our team a bad name, haha.
When we got back to Cochrane we made a quick stop to the car to grab some more fluids. I had a cooler full of ice in the back so everything stayed pretty cold. It was SO hot out today I was amazed the ice hadn't melted!
The next 100 km were ok, but not great unfortunately. I just couldn't seem to keep a decent speed. My cadence was ok - I did better than I thought on the hills, which is a good thing. I'm not sure if my legs are tired from the week or what. Towards the end my neck and upper back were also sore. Had I never ridden a bike?! Admittedly I was a little frustrated and fears about actually doing IMC did crop up. I did try to think good thoughts though. After all, IMC won't be all roses either, so I best not get down now!
There were some fun moments as well on the ride, as always! One - I had to come to a complete stop just before the Hwy 1 overpass because of a rather stubborn, pudgy prairie dog. I swear, I tried to shoo him away, but he wouldn't move!! He just sat there, which was troublesome because I wasn't sure which way he'd dart once I got close. The closer I got though - he just wouldn't move!! The nerve!! I had unclipped and stopped right in front of him when he finally decided he'd run into the bushes and, thankfully, not onto the road.
The second thing that was fun was stopping in Bottrell for some water. I'd asked the proprietor of the Bottrell General Store if I could please borrow the water hose out back in order for me to spray myself so I could maybe cool off. Well, the water was a tad colder than expected and I ended up doing this funny water dance while doing it. You know the kind, where you are doing a Snoopy Happy Dance and screaming when the water hits you? Leslie was killing herself laughing at me, then promptly illustrated a less dramatic way of using the hose. haha.
Once we got back into Cochrane we did a 30 minute run. I was surprised as always that my legs actually worked and I could run! Okay, so my Granny could walk faster than my run...but hey, I was still running!!! The last bit of the run was pretty hard as it was just SOOO hot out. YIKES! More fears about IMC cropped up...how would I run a marathon in this type of heat?? Hopefully these concerns are normal. I did do my best not to be too worried. I had to think about the positives, such as this heat would definately be good practice for IMC.
I guess you can't always have great training weeks - and the bad ones are likely the ones that you learn most from and prepare you for what may be the most challenging race you face....
After all this exercise it was time to guzzle mass quanities of cold water and sit in the river and let the cold water soak the legs...aaaaaah!