Thursday, May 17, 2012

Training Weekend

This past weekend, I joined the Boston Triathlon Team for their annual training camp in Waterville Valley, NH, and what FUN weekend it was. Instead of spending all day Friday sitting at my desk at work, my day was spent riding my fireball! It really can’t get much better than that. Here is my fireball resting at the top of the Kanc – notice the rear wheel – nope, not mine but more on that later.

This was our home for the weekend, and the starting point of our rides:

Day 1:

I arrived at Waterville Valley on Friday early morning, and we were off on our 110 miler by 10am. Weather was a bit chilly, but thanks to my new amazingly warm Pearl Izumi booties, leg warmers, gloves, and my E3 fleece lined riding jacket, I was ready for the elements. I may or may not have looked like a Michelin woman, but I was warm and toasty the entire time!

Here are the awesome Pearl Izumi booties that kept my feet warm the entire time!

Now onto the ride. The first 10 miles getting out of Waterville valley is always downhill. I am talking like avg. speed of 25+ mph without really even trying - now that’s FUN! Until of course you realize that the only way to get back home is going back up J. But I say that’s FUN too. Climbing hills is really the reason why you come to ride in the mountains, isn’t it?

I was in a group of about 10 speedy guys and we were moving along at a very descent clip, until we came to a screeching halt at the base of the first real climb of the day called Sawyer.  And that would be the first pit stop about 40 miles into the ride, though there was no gas station in sight! What does a girl wearing bib shorts, and about 3 layers of clothing suppose to do? While all the boys took care of business in about 2 min (not fair), I enjoyed a nice little snack (The Coconut Chocolate Cliff Bars are the best, and I routinely make sure that my local grocery store is out of them), and we were off again.  And for the record, it’s really just not fair how easy it is for guys to take care of business.

Then the climbing began. It was quite uneventful as the road just kept going up and up and up, and kept getting steeper and steeper leaving me in search for the extra gear that wasn’t there.  I could still see the lead pack of guys racing to the top, and heard the rest of the group behind me.  As I was wondering when this is going to end, or what I am to do if this gets any steeper, I heard a pretty loud pop and my rear wheel immediately began to  rub against my brake pads with every repetition. UGH! And just like that, the lead group was out of sight L. I tried opening the brakes, but had no success. My problem was a bit bigger than. I had broken a spoke. I was left with a wheel that would not make it around without getting stuck. Of course, cell reception was nowhere to be found, so one of the guys rode to the closest town to call for help, and my buddy Brett stayed back with me!  Thanks Brett!!!! After we walked and pushed our bikes uphill for a little bit, we saw a truck that we were hoping could take us back into town, but no such luck. My “sick” fireball apparently doesn’t count as “medical emergency” so we kept on walking. Then Brett graciously offered to switch wheels with me and though I put up a little fight to not leave him alone, he sent me off to finish my ride. I was able to find Jeff and Brett’s wife Theresa who along with Brett saved the day for me. If you guys are reading this – Thank You so so much!  Not  many people would give up their wheel and walked barefoot in the middle of nowhere, and/or drove at least 30 miles to pick us up. You guys are both amazing, and I really can’t thank you enough! If only all people were as nice as you two are, the world would be a better place!

The rest of the ride was again quite uneventful. 12 mile or so climb from Lincoln up to the top of the Kancamagus highway. Here is evidence that I really made it there J

Quick descent back, and just a 25 or so miles back home. And then there was the last 10 uphill miles into town, remember? J I was at this point riding blind (no distance, no power numbers) so I got to enjoy the surroundings a bit more without peaking at my power output and screaming at my legs to just try a bit harder. In the end – Day 1 was a huge success, and 110 miles in the bank!  Rest of the day was spent eating, eating, more eating and hanging out with the BTT crew, and with coach Jorge’s balls – part of the secret as to why my hamstring felt a million times better the next day. These balls work wonders!

Day 2:

Plan was to run/bike/run to get ready for next week’s triple run/double bike American Zofingen duathlon, but since my fireball was a bit more sick than anticipated, the run had to wait till after the bike.  Thanks to Noah, and Jorge, who really is not only my coach, but also my mechanic, and saint who answers a hell of a lot of questions that I seem to have almost every single day. I think he may sometime try  to shut me up with a ridiculous workout or two but somehow I keep coming back for more J.  On a serious note,  I am not sure, I could ask for anything more from him. He is the BEST! Thank you Jorge for all you do for me.

Saturday was a lot warmer than Friday, so I was able to start on my cycling tan J. Group of about 5 of us stuck together, and I spent the day either fighting the headwind or chasing after Bill who even though he was on his road bike was just killing us all. He was flying on the uphills like they were downhills and it sure took a lot of work to keep him in sight and stick with him. I was happy to keep up with him for most of the time, even though he was probably taking it EZ and absolutely smoked me going up the Kanc. I’ll just blame it on the 110 extra miles that my legs had and his didn’t J. The 78 miles were over in no time, and I set out for a quick 4 mile run. This is when for the first time in the last 2 weeks, my hamstring was pain free! I told you Jorge’s balls were magic! He seriously needs to start selling them! The pain in my hamstring was about 75% better than it has been in the last 2 weeks even after a few massages and ART sessions. I now have my own set of balls, though I have yet to create the final product.

Saturday night again was spent hanging out with the BTT crew, great food, drinks, ipod, and on the dance floor.  Fun times for sure! All was left was a longish run on Sunday morning.

Day 3:

Another beautiful day in Waterville Valley J, quick 8+ mile run with the mountains as the backdrop and as quickly as the weekend came up on us, it was gone. It was an amazing 3 day training weekend, and I can’t wait to do it again. I am now more than ready to take on the small bumps of the American Zofingen duathlon in just a few days. I will tackle the Middle Distance race, which means a 5/29/5/29/5 run/bike combo.

Zofingen Run:

Zofingen Bike:

I will do my best to defend my title, but one thing I know for sure, is that I won’t freeze like I almost did last year. If the weather forecast holds, this year may be quite opposite, and I may melt. Is it Sunday yet? 

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