Just so we are clear here, this title does not refer to one Gassy Jack whose statue is located in Gastown, Vancouver, BC. I'm going to have to google his significance because I forget - although I do think he's cool.
No, Gassy Jack was me last week. Why? Cause I was gassy and my nickname is Jack. Holy hannah is was a rough training week. It was supposed to be my first week back from my recovery week, but I did not get enough training in as I felt rather icky. I think the physical part of all the emotional stuff finally caught up or something. I had no energy, was gassy, as mentioned above, and was dealing with the wonderful world of assplosions. What's up with that?!
I did manage to get in three great runs (meaning actually running not 'runs' that go with assplosions....although that did come in to play too). Huh. Perhaps this is too much information? Oh well. Such is the life of triathlon. We pee in our wetsuits, on our bikes, blow snot rockets and discuss bowel movements. But I digress.
So I ran quite well three times, although I did have some butt clenching issues towards the end so the last bits were ever so tricky. It doesn't help that I have to run up a very long hill to get to my place. Oh, and exactly how is it that your arse KNOWS when you are near the toilet?? So you are running the last bit home and you are managing quite well, even though you know you absolutely have to go, but as soon as you walk in the door your arse senses you are near a loo and it is all you can do to get the knot of your shorts drawstring undone and open the lavatory door in enough time that you can slam your butt on the seat before the big kaboom! Again, I digress...
So getting back to training - I only got part of a swim done and one bike session too. Sigh. Totally sucky.
Today, however, totally made up for it. I FINALLY got OUTSIDE on my bike! I can hear the angels singing 'Halleluyah' now.
I wasn't sure what it would be like out so went full on prepared. (Having a hypothermic experience tends to have that affect on a person.) I had on leg warmers, shorts, bike jersey, bike shirt, IMCDA bike jacket and mitts - then carried arm warmers, skull cap, and toe warmers in my jacket. Oh, and I also had two bananas, a fruit stick, and enough Infinit to ride for about 4 hours. Did I mention I was only going out for a couple of hours?? Actually, I wasn't sure how long the ride would take me, but it's my favourite route so I had an idea.
I just wasn't sure how I'd feel, or if the weather would turn or what. I had a couple friends come out from the city to ride with me so we did the prerequisite chat about what everyone was wearing. Just so we could be sure we were sane with our selections.
As soon as I started pedaling I was in heaven. Ahhh. The fresh air, the trees, the creek, the young boy who just pulled out in front of me riding a motorcross bike that is puking blue smelly smoke at me....
We rode the Grand Valley-Horse Creek Loop, which will be part of the Ironman Calgary 70.3 route next year. I had feared that it would be overrun with cyclists and on the last half of the ride I had that fear confirmed. It's an amazing route because it's in the country, you are surrounded by farms, cows, llamas and space. There are very few vehicles along there too so it's very quiet and it's also why everyone loves it. The fact that it's now on a map just makes it even more popular.
We didn't see anyone for the first half and then as we went back we came across what I can only describe as a tour group. We had all ranges of adult right up to 'little ol' dear' level. They were riding road bikes, mountain bikes, and I even saw a couple of cruisers. Cruisers...serioulsy?? Did I mention how hilly this ride is??? I swear, if I was riding behind them and couldn't pass I would trade in my bike for a scooter and give my hair a blue rinse...
The were coming towards us though so I didn't have to worry about being out cruised by a senior, thankfully. I made sure to wave and say hi to everyone cause I hear sometimes about triathletes and roadies being snobs and I want to make sure I don't contribute to that negativity. Plus, I thought it was really cool they were all out there. One thought did cross my mind though - where the heck did they all come from?!
As for the fitness of todays ride, I was pretty pleased. After being on the trainer the last four months it's hard to figure out where you are at in you fitness. Not to mention I didn't ride much (read that as 'at all') the last few months of last year. As mentioned, this is a hilly route so it was a good test. I'm proud to say I kicked a little Lance ass on the hills and I believe my speed was faster than last year going up them. However, I did feel it in my legs AND I could not breathe.
Unfortunately, my inhaler expired and I didn't realize how much I would need one for the ride today. I was wheezing pretty bad up the hills. There were a few farmers out doing their thing and the pollens and stuff being kicked up were really getting to me. This trivial little fact could not take the smile off my face though. I LOVED being out there. It was just brilliant!!
Aside from the cyclists and farmers, we had two groups of deer cross the road in front of us and the first prairie dog of the year ran in front of us. I love the praire dogs on this road as they are great at testing my bike manoeurving skills - they are also darned cute. Oh, and I almost snorted a bug too. This is a sure sign it must be spring!
I was pleased as punch when we got home and I saw that I had done that ride within the same time as my fastest time last year - although this time I didn't feel as fatigued and we took it easy through some parts. I truly hope this means that my bike fitness is a wee bit better this year and will continue to get better.
We did a short 20 minute brick after and the legs didn't complain too bad, which was also a good thing. My lungs on the other hand were screaming, itchy and wheezy. After a spot of lunch and a shower I called the pharmacy to refill my inhaler. I'm happy to report I can now take a breathe without breaking out into a coughing fit. It's amazing how wonderful air feels going deep into the lungs!
Today was truly an amazingly wonderful day. I made sure I thought of Tigger a lot too as I know she would have loved it out there!
Peace out my riding friends!