In less than six weeks, I will be on my way to Lake Stevens, Washington for my second half Ironman this year. After previewing the course over the Fourth of July weekend, and facing the reality of the bike leg that awaits, I have decided that these next weeks of training will need to be all out Beast Mode (as in Marshawn Lynch beast mode). The training is about to get real and I have to be ready for what would be considered a very hard bike ride on its own, let alone being sandwiched between the swim and run legs of a half Ironman. This past week provided a glimpse into how intense and focused I am on meeting my goals of getting even stronger on the bike. Here’s how the week went down.
Monday: One of my favorite rides in Central Oregon is on the road to and around Mt. Bachelor. I wanted to get in some good climbing, so I decided to do an out and back from Bend to Devil’s Lake. The Cascade Lakes region is a great area for outdoor recreation, with miles of cycling, hiking, trail running, and mountain biking, as well as canoeing, kayaking, SUP, camping, etc., etc.
Not only is the ride full of hills, it’s also at elevation (5,500-6,500ft) which provides a little extra benefit that will pay dividends come race day near sea level. To get in a little more climbing, I did the notable ‘Sparks Lake Climb’ twice, and finished with 4,616ft of climbing in 54 Miles. My legs were a little angry by the time I finished.
Tuesday: 30 miles on the bike, spinning out the legs from the previous day. Amazingly, they felt good and were still able to commit to some good climbing.
Wednesday: Normally I would do my swim before my run, but because of the hot temperatures that have been lingering around the area, I started the day at the track and then hit up the pool. I decided to mix a little track and road for my 7 mile run, doing two miles on the track, four on the road around the Tetherow neighborhoods, and finishing with a mile on the track. I was sweating like crazy by the time I finished, and was ecstatic to be heading to the pool for a 1,300-yard swim (which felt awesome).
Thursday: Once again I decided to ride up toward Mt. Bachelor because, lets face it, that ride never gets old. The view of the mountain from the road is one of my favorites. After completing 30 Miles on the bike, I took it to the track for a quick 4-mile run. Once again, it was HOT!
Friday: I got up early and decided to do my 60-mile bike ride around the Cascade Lakes Highway. I feel so fortunate knowing that people travel to Central Oregon from all over the world to drive this scenic route, while I get to enjoy it any day of the week.
It was a gorgeous ride, the temperature was perfect, and I felt like the 3,400ft of climbing were almost effortless. The last few miles were uphill and a bit challenging, but I was glad to finish strong and without much fatigue.
One of my best friends, Jessica, and her mom Traci, drove into town later that evening for a girl’s weekend. Justin was out of town for a guy’s weekend of fishing in McCloud, California, so I thought it would be the perfect weekend for some girl time. We stayed up late, had a couple glasses of wine, ate some yummy food, and watched a movie. The perfect end to a day.
Saturday: Rest day and fun with the girls. The three of us awoke rather early (natural body alarm clocks) and went down to the Old Mill District for a coffee and walk. We then ventured off to the pool where we lounged for a few hours, talking, reading, and enjoying the sunshine. It was so nice to lay out and watch others swim for a change.
That evening we headed downtown for the Bend Summerfest, happy hour, and dinner. We did a progressive dinner, starting at Hola! with margaritas, chips, and guacamole before making our way to 900 Wall where I sipped on a glass of wine while the other girls had Bloody Mary’s. I was impressed.
After our two happy hour destinations, we made a very smart decision to stop in at Powell’s Candy Shop for some dessert we could splurge on later that night. My favorite quote from Jessica, “I need a watermelon gumball for the walk to dinner.” Don’t we all?
We were having dinner at Greg’s Grill along the Deschutes River in the Old Mill, so we decided to walk from downtown to space out our meals and drinks. The walk went by in no time, but not without some silliness and laughs.
When we arrived at Greg’s we were seated outside on the patio along the river. The sunset was absolutely gorgeous, as we sipped on our last cocktail of the evening and chowed down on some yummy food. By the time we left, we were some of the last diners in the restaurant.
Sunday: After Jess and Traci took off back to Grants Pass, I hopped on my bike for an unexpected 44-mile ride. It wasn’t on my schedule, but it was just one of those days where I wanted to ride. We were experiencing some major storms in the distance and I was almost feeding off the electricity in the sky. Loved that ride. Once I was finished I was “supposed” to do a long run, but with the 95-degree temperatures, I only lasted 4 miles before I melted and conceded.
Totals for the week:
Swim: 47mins, 2,550 yards (neglected)
Bike: 12hrs 03mins, 217 miles, 14,107ft of climbing (obsessed)
Run: 2hrs 11mins, 16 miles
Total Time: 15 hours 01 minute (that one minute is a special one)
Yesterday my coach sent me my schedule for the next two weeks and that sound many of you may have heard around Bend was the sound of my jaw dropping. I have 18 hours of training on the schedule this week and 17 hours next week. Dang. Beast Mode. I can’t wait!
In other news, the Cascade Cycling Classic (the country’s oldest continually-running stage race) is going on in Bend this week, so the country’s top riders (who aren’t in France competing in that “other” bike race) are all in town. We are hosting Chad Contreras who works for SRAM and drives the neutral support vehicle for the race. If someone flats, he’s there to change the tire. If they crash, he’s there with a new bike. Tomorrow will be my first experience riding around in the neutral support vehicle, following the race from the front of the caravan and listening to all of the action on race radio. I will get a first hand look at what it is like to be in the action and close to the peloton. I will even get to help with any issues the pro riders have. Woot!
What is your favorite route to run or ride in your neck of the woods?