Good evening sports fans! I'd love to write a ton here, but to be honest, I'm one pooped cookie! Also, the internet connection here is a tad slow, so hard to post.
A quick summary would be that today was a brilliant day on many levels, my legs are very tired, it was beautiful out again, and I did 120 km. So that's 259 km in two days, if you are counting.
So a little more detail! First off we drove out to Oliver, which is south from Penticton by about 40 km, and proceeded to don wetsuits, caps, and in my case, booties, and braved the lake there. I can not tell a lie...it was c-c-c-cold! But doable once things froze and I couldn't feel the cold.
I was SO proud of our friend Chad today! A little background: He took up swimming in October, has already swam 3800 m in the pool, in a steller time I might add, and today he braved his first open water swim in frigid water! Open water swimming can be intimidating when you first get in, and the cold doesn't help. He had to take a minute and go back to the shore to regroup, but then he was back in and kicking some freshwater butt. Huge high five to Chad for sticking with it! I must add here that I loved watching him and Leslie work as a team as she checked on him to make sure all was cool and then swim out together. I was so sweet and touching.
Once out of the water we got changed for the big challenge of the day - Anarchist. A little info on Anarchist, the climb is switchback and about 20 km in length with 8% grades. You have stunning views of Osooyos and the lake below and much time to look at them as you climb.
I'm actually afraid to look down because I'm afraid of heights, instead I try to catch glimpses as I zoooom down! Not too much looking though as there are a couple of tight corners and you are going a good clip so it's best to mind the road.
I'm not sure if I'm any better a cyclist than last year, but I've noticed a couple of things. One was climbing anarchist. I'm still at the back of the pack, but this year I wasn't just one speed. I was able to pick up the pace and even gear up a couple gears on some of the less steep portions. This was very big for me.
Also, although my legs were screaming in some sections, they seem to be ok on the flats and I can hold a pretty good pace. Or at least it feels pretty good - my bike computer is broken so it's hard to tell.
Also, this year I rode Anarchist then instead of just riding back to Oliver, I rode back to Penticton. Which is how I got the extra 40 km in.
The ride back was pretty good, but by the time I hit Penticton doing any type of hill was a major challenge. My legs were pretty beat. It was so funny too because as I was riding up one hill, just before entering Penticton at Skaha Lake, and I saw some of those pretty yellow daisies. I was thinking, ah, there's a nice pick me up! As I got closer though I noticed they'd all wilted in the sun and their little heads were hanging down, which so accurately described my fatigue at that moment! I had a good laugh to myself about that.
The winds totally picked up for the last bit of the ride too and got a bit chilly. Just another bit of challenge to ride the last bit in a headwind!
All was great though. I accomplished what I wanted, which was to climb Anarchist and feel good about it, and to ride home afterwards.
A stellar day with a truly great group of people. I'm sure there are more details to write, such as the fellow who fell over on his bike and knocked me over (he needed 7 stitches but I was ok!) or the fact that my shorts rubbed a chunk of skin off the underside of my butt cheeck, but I gotta get some shut eye so those stories will have to wait till another time. Tomorrow we are riding the Ironman Canada course so I need to be well rested. Shouldn't be too hard to fall asleep!
Oh, and for those in the colder regions, we are expecting 27C tomorrow.
Peace out my wonderful friends!