Road Trip Tom Foolery

Put four girls, four bikes, and lots of snacks in a mini van, drive through three states, and what happens?  Lots of good times!

We wanted to find a swimming hole on the way to Boise,
so googled a few places and thought we'd found a good one in
Ellensburg WA.  We arrived at a fast-flowing,
freezing cold river.  Oops.
Sign where we first stopped.  BTW - we eventually
did find the swimming spot, just down the road.
It was idyllic!

Corinne and I on a warm evening in Richland, WA.

Post century ride dinner in Boise.

Evening crit - Boise's twilight criterium.

Back on the coast - Catherine photo bomb.

Michelle practicing selfies.
On the way home.

The national puzzle champion hard at work on the ferry home.

Quick ferry pit stop in Friday Harbor (San Juan Island)
before arriving on our island. 

100 Miles in 100 Degrees

Last weekend Corinne, Catherine, Michelle and I drove to Boise, ID to participate in the Goldilocks Ride (terrible name, so we were calling it the G-Cent) women's only century.  It was fun, flat, and fast (sort of...), and hot!

Being a women's only event, it had a good mix of tough (riding 100 miles) and girly (necklaces, pink porta-potties, pictures of Ryan Gosling out on the course, etc).  One thing I noticed about having no guys there was how clean the porta-potties were!  There were the odd male out on the course, volunteering (patronizingly called "papa bears" - most things about the event I really liked, but not that).  Sure enough, we were making fun of the need for the papa bears, until of course we needed one!  Corinne's tire blew (literally - it made a gun-shot sound and scared the crap out of us) and needed to be replaced, and a nice papa bear brought a spare tire he had in his garage and gave it to her.  While we spent over 45 minutes at an aid station waiting, it was worth it as she got to continue with us.

Corinne's tire - not even a boot could help that!
Pretty thankful to the guy who brought us
a tire so we could continue on together.
We were riding near the front before the tire mishap, but still rode a good pace for most of the rest of the ride.  The heat definitely affected some more than others.  The course was flat and fast, but we chose to ride together so didn't always take advantage of how fast it could be.   Worth it though to finish as a team - we were the only 4 people from Canada in the event (out of about 500) and got a lot of cheers as "the Canadians".

The Canadian train.
The weather was off the charts in terms of record heat, and according to my Garmin topped out at over 42 degrees Celcius (107 degrees F).  Yikes!  However, the heat didn't bother me at all.  The wind (oh how I love Boise winds) didn't pick up until after 9, so we got a lot of miles in before we had to deal with head- and cross-winds.  Here's what I did to stay on top of my nutrition and body temperature for a long ride in the heat.

Time doesn't include rest stops...
we spent a long time at mile 45 waiting for a tire!
I started the morning (it was an early start - 6 a.m. so really early dark-thirty wakeup) with a light breakfast of a banana and an Erin Baker's Breakfast Cookie.  I drank a cold bottle of Vega Pre-Workout Energizer on the way to the start, and ate a package of Clif Blocks right before we started the ride.  I had two bottles on my bike (kept in the fridge overnight so they were nice and cold) with Vega Pre-Workout Energizer and two scoops of CarboPro in each (so around 300 calories).  Because it was so hot and dry (for this coastal girl anyway), I was drinking about one bottle per hour.  I had in my pockets two baggies, each with two scoops of CarboPro and a Nuun tablet (electrolytes).  Once I finished that, I switched to Gatorade which is what they had on course.

In terms of solid food, I didn't have much as I do well with liquid calories.  I did have a handful of swedish fish and pretzels at each of the 7 aid stations, and a Honey Stinger waffle at mile 60.  Also at mile 60 Corinne located us each a can of Coke.

Most of the aid stations had ice, so I'd fill my bottles with ice to keep my drinks cold for as long as possible.  I'd also dump handfuls of ice in my bra, which cools the blood in my heart and then cool blood is delivered around the body.  I highly recommend this technique anytime you're racing in the heat.  It's also handy to grab an ice cube from while riding if you want to snack on one. :)

Pouring cold water on the back of your neck helps too.  Don't pour it under your helmet, as it needs to evaporate to get the cooling benefit.  We also all reapplied sunscreen at each aid station, and despite a long day with no shade, there were no sunburns!

At the finish.
We got tonnes of compliments on our kits all day!
Corinne, Catherine and I are water babies so once our ride was done and we were back at our hotel, the three of us decided to rent tubes and raft down the river.  Perfect way to end the day!

Tri of Compassion race report

Sunday's race went pretty well; I felt good all day and turns out I finished in 3rd place in my age group!

It was a 500m pool swim at the Esquimalt Rec Centre, which is the warmest pool in Victoria (about the same temperature as bathwater), so I was not expecting a good swim.  There were also 5 people in my lane with varied swim times - not sure why they set it up like that - but lucky for us one didn't show.  I started off strong and held on, even though at 350 meters I thought I was going to overheat.  But the super-short swim was over quickly and I finished in 7:59, first time breaking 8 minutes for 500 meters!  

I ran to my bike - BTW my hot pink Betty Designs saddle makes it REALLY easy to spot on a transition rack - and was out of transition quickly and on to the 20km bike course.  It was three loops so I got to see Jason, Tiki, and my friend Candace a few times as I went around through residential areas and a navy base.  I was pushing hard but riding comfortably, and came into transition in just under 38 minutes.  I think - because in the official results they combined T1 & T2 times with the bike time (total 41 min), and I forgot to hit stop on my Garmin or have it on auto-pause.  Also, that's one way to render a power file absolutely useless - oops!

Putting my sock on over my broken toe was a bit of a feat, but soon enough I was out of T2 and on to the run.  I haven't been running that much lately with the whole knee thing, but felt good... of course the first half of the course was downhill so that's probably why.  It went down to the ocean from the rec centre and around McAuley Point - a really pretty run course - and then back up.  I just put my head down and kept running, knowing it would be slow but I didn't really care.  Run time was 35 minutes.  Not my best, not my worst.  But good enough for 3rd in the end.

It was a fun race, very low-key, and a fundraiser for the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre so a good cause.  I plan to do it again next year!

Sprint Race Gear

Tomorrow I'm doing a sprint race with a pool swim, so fewer pieces of gear needed than usual.  Here's pretty much everything I'm taking:

For the swim, I just need my tri kit, swim cap and goggles (I always bring an extra pair, just in case).  

The bike I need a helmet (I'm bringing my aero helmet and regular because as of this moment I can't decide which I want to use), bike shoes, sunglasses, garmin and bike.  One bottle with Vega Pre-Workout Energizer (yeah, I know it's called "pre-workout" but I also use it during) and two scoops of CarboPro.

Then onto the run, I need socks, shoes, visor, number belt, my garmin, and one Gu.  I'm wearing K-Swiss Kwicky Blade Light shoes; I love them and am sad they don't make them anymore, but more importantly for tomorrow I have a broken (baby) toe which is really swollen, and those shoes have a pretty wide toe box.

Everything fits easily in my awesome Blue Seventy transition pack.  Including clothes for after the race, and a bottle of Vega Pre-Workout Energizer for the drive in.

The bike is paired right down, one bottle cage on the bars only (You don't need more than one bottle in a sprint, and no bento box or anything like that... the race is too short and you'll barely deplete your glycogen stores.  Honestly you really don't need much for nutrition during a race unless you're doing a half or longer). No pump, and I'm tempting fate but even took my spare tube and CO2's off... so if I flat, I'm out.  I'm willing to risk it, especially as I'm just doing this race for fun and a hard workout.

Yes, I know I need to change the bar tape on my bike to match my saddle.  I'm saving that job for closer to Vineman Aquabike because I want to keep the new tape clean.  Smart move as today I dropped my chain twice on my ride, resulting in greasy hands and therefore greasy bar tape.

Triathlons with pool swims are always interesting, as it turns the swim into a bit of strategy.  I've also never raced with a broken toe before, so we'll see how that goes.  I haven't tried running on it since I broke it yesterday!

I'm in the last heat so I don't start until 10:45.  Yay, I get to sleep in!  Wait... there's no sleeping in with puppy....

Minor Change of Plans

Here it is, mid June, and I'm changing things up a bit in terms of racing.  After sucking big-time at Shawnigan last month, dragging myself through some training, and being forced to look at priorities, I realized I needed to make a couple of changes.  My spring has been off-the-charts in terms of busy.  I normally hate that word (busy) and it's a pet peeve of mine when people say they don't have time for "insert whatever here".  Truth is, we make time for what's important to us, so really when someone says they don't have time, they mean they'd rather do other things.  So what I'm choosing to spend my time on this spring is not necessarily the training I should be doing to meet my race goals.

Reason #1 - our puppy.  Pointer puppies are high energy and high maintenance, but the time spent with her now training etc will pay off heaps when she is exactly the adult dog we want.  So I'm spending more time than I thought I would be with her (really it's been 13 years since we last had a puppy and I think I blocked out most of it).  Plus she wakes up every morning at 4:45 and refuses to go back to sleep... and I'm not choosing to get up then but the reality is I'm awake and my sleep is suffering, and my training decreases as a result.  I'm a pansy and I need sleep!

Reason #2 - my job.  For reasons I won't get into here (and those of you in B.C. can probably figure it out - send me an email if you want deets), my work has been crazy busy and I am spending way more time (and way more stress) at work than I normally would.  Again that's not necessarily a choice, but I'm committed to making the best of this situation... June is already a crazy time of year and with everything going on and the extra work that has fallen on my lap has eaten away at some precious training minutes.  The stress doesn't help either, but hey, wine sales are up :).

In light of my time being spent in different places, I changed some races around.  First off, no more XTerra Victoria on July 6.  I have basically spent almost zero time on my mountain bike, so I'm not ready for that race.  Instead, I signed up for the Triathlon for Compassion this Sunday - I wanted another shot at a sprint race after Shawnigan went so poorly, and it pretty much had to be on the road.  I haven't done that one for years, so it will be fun.

The biggest change is I downgraded (one way to think about it) my Vineman Aquabike entry from the full to the half.  I'm just not getting out for the long rides of 100+ miles that I would need for that one. The half distance is perfect for me right now, and I still get to race in wine country.

Sometimes original plans have to be modified as you go, and you have to respond to outside factors.  Training and racing is a super fun hobby, but sometimes life gets in the way.  I'm excited about my new plans and don't feel so pressured anymore to get on my mountain bike on singletrack or to get out on the road for six hours.

As my friend Tanya would say: Onwards and Upwards!

They Grow So Fast!

Tiki is growing like a weed.  She was so little when we brought her home, and she's at least doubled in size over the past 1.5 months.  Jason is calling her "Tiki the Tornado" as she just explodes with bursts of energy.

So little when we brought her home.
Tiki the Tornado

Puppies crash hard after a day of playing.
Supervising the yard from the deck.
Identity crisis?  She sits on the couch like a cat in the sun.

Welcomes me home after a run.

Victoria Goddess Run

Today was a great day, as I got to join my friend Candace for her first ever 5k.  She always said she could never run unless something was chasing her, but when I suggested she train for a 5k this spring she agreed!  I wrote a training plan for her, she followed it pretty faithfully, and this morning we stood on her very first start line.

We ran together until, finish line pretty much in sight, she went for it on a downhill and sprinted the last few hundred meters in to a strong finish.  Her sprint is way faster than I could ever do!  It was so exciting to watch her, and she was stoked at the end - I have a feeling she is not one and done!

A few months ago, this is what Candace
would have said she needed before she'd run.
Afterwards I did one of my fave things: went for a swim outdoors.  This is the first time since the outdoor pool opened in May I've been able to get to the city and get in a swim.  With the pup there will be probably have to be fewer trips to the outdoor pool this summer, especially since the local aquatic centre is not even 10 minutes from my house.  But you bet I'll take the chance to swim in the sun when I can!