Sunday, 29 June 2008


Okay, so last year after IMC it wasn't a difficult task to recover. Why? Because I felt like shite. I didn't want to swim, bike or run.

This year is a different story however. I feel great! The muscle soreness was gone in a few days and my energy wasn't too bad. I did seem to want to nap a bit more than usual, oh and eat. A lot.

Greg had advised me to be careful and that my muscles will heal faster than it takes for the fatigue to leave them. His advice, don't run, bike easy, do all the swimming, yoga and stretching you want.

I happened to mention that I was going to go for a bike ride with Richelle, a very talented sprint/olympic distance triathlete (who, I should add, will be doing her first half Ironman this coming weekend!). He said that should be fine under two conditions - do not chase her and watch your heart rate, don't let it get too high!

(Greg, you can stop reading this post now...)

Let's just say I kinda followed the 'rules'. Sort of. A little. Okay, I swear I tried for the first few kilometers at least!! I just couldn't help myself!!!

Here's how the ride unfolded...

Richelle needed to do a recovery ride, and I just wanted a relative flat and easy route, so we decided to head out to Bragg Creek. After Richelle admired my new Ironman Coeur d'Alene tri top, which I ever so proudly wore, we took off down the hill from our neighborhood.

What can I say? It felt amazing to be back on my bike! In fact I think I shouted to her, as we bombed down the hill at 50 km/h, 'I LOVE MY BIKE!'

We turned onto Hwy 22 and hit the first climb. This is where I broke the first of Greg's golden recovery rules. My heart rate just skyrocketed! I tried to climb slow, but it just stayed high. Of course, I didn't turn around and say maybe I shouldn't ride today. Nope, I just kept going with a big grin on my face.

Richelle was a bit ahead, but as I promised Greg not to chase her, I didn't...for now.

We rode the flats for a bit and I caught up to her, almost. Then we hit the next wee climb. I was soooo close to her and my heart rate was high anyways, so I thought, 'Ah, what the hell! Let's see if we can catch her!' So I pedaled like mad and almost did catch her! Golden rule number 2 shattered.

Admittedly, whenever I looked at my heart rate monitor, which I wore even though it was a 'fun ride' because I had intended on following the 'rules' and keep my heart rate down, I felt a wee pang of guilt. The pang was not enough to stop me mind you.

I was in my element, pedaling away with the hot sun beating down and the headwind in my hair! Woohooo! I was also excited be out just doing a fun ride! No distance or time goals. Just 'hey let's go ride to Bragg, have a smoothie and head back!' I've been wanting to do this forever, but hadn't before. Richelle felt the same way as normally our rides are all about sticking to the training plan - ride x kilometers in y amount of time with no stopping other than for a loo break or a quick refueling.

All was well until we were about 11 km out of Bragg. I was keeping up with Richelle fairly well and then the fact that I had done an Ironman, exactly a week prior, factored in. I just seemed to slow down even though I felt like I was pedaling the same. Unfortunately, my heart rate didn't slow down! Whoops!

I still felt good riding, so wasn't worried. I just dropped it down a notch. In no time at all we were in Bragg. Richelle took me to this great bakery cafe that had gluten free goodies!! Normally I have to pass on all the yummy stuff, but today I could splurge. I spent some time debating having the chocolate chip cookie (which I haven't had in forever!) or the moose mountain chocolate turtle. I then decided on the turtle with some strawberry lemonade (made with fresh squeezed lemon!). One word - heaven.

We sat and chatted for a long while there, then decided to head back. I wasn't sure how my legs would feel about this as I did start to feel a bit of stiffness as we got up and went to our bikes.

We were lucky that we didn't have a headwind this time, just a crosswind from the south east. Heading north is always fun because there is a slight downhill on sections, with only two climbs inbetween. For a long while I was maintaing about 35-40 km/h, until I hit the climb over the highway. Things seemed to pretty much halt at that point. I could feel my Ironman legs big time!

I just slowly chugged along up the hill, but once over I used gravity as my buddy and flew down the other side. Along this section I noticed my bike computer said 44 km/h! Suhweet!! Of course my mind was thinking 'Okay Gregory, I know I shouldn't be doing this, but man it's fun!! Ride like you stole it!!!'

It felt like we were back in town in no time at all! As we turned the corner to go back up to where we live, Richelle and I remembered 'the bonus hill'. Oh boy. This was going to hurt. I put my bike into the Granniest of Granny gears and started the very slow chug-a-lug up the last hill. By the time I got to the top my legs and heart had said 'Right! You've had your fun. Now it's time to stop!' I should add that the legs are still complaining a wee bit, and I feel like I need a long nap.

Total ride distance was 65 km. I had an amazing time out there, but think I might give it a bit more time before I go out again for the sake of my recovery. I just don't think I can go out there and 'take it easy'. tee hee. Ah well, it's all good.

Peace out my friends!

1 comment:

  1. Holy Doodle! I can't do ANYTHING after an IM -- I just get really, really tired and then I'll catch a cold if I do any kind of exercise. You are a monster!!!

    Last year, the most I could do was pick crab apples off my trees and I felt worse than when I had finished IMC...and I had to suffer the comments from neighbours telling me there was no way I would make a dent in those apples. That was it -- the gauntlet was thrown down; I picked those frigging apples every day until only the upper-most branches had apples in them. The longest day was a 6 hour odyssey of climbing up and down the ladder, moving the ladder, and picking apples.

    I have this love/hate thing with my crab apple trees -- beautiful when they bloom but the biggest pain in the A@# when they start to fall to the ground. I've had bears in my yard dining on the nectar -- even though I picked those frigging apples until my arms just about fell off.

    THEN, after the first frost -- the apples may look like they are solid -- but they are NOT. They are like mush bombs -- they fall and SPLAT on your arms, your legs -ECHH. Then this soupy mess lands on my dogs which they roll around in and walk around in and then come onto my nice WHITE carpets. AAARRGGHHH --- Julie , stay in the moment. Do not think ahead to crab apple time! LOL!

    Mike and I attack this problem every year with militaristic precision -- last year we unrolled these black cloth net things and nailed them into the ground to try and *catch* as many crab apples as we could. We haven't perfected our crab apple attack, but we are making progress!

    And no, I don't make crab apple jelly, or jam, or anything. In fact, I want to install a sign that has a crab apple in the middle of a red circle with a red bar through the middle: NO CRAB APPLES ALLOWED. LOL!!!!