Saturday, June 27, 2009

2 Peaks

I wasn’t so sure about this ride. Today was the club’s 3 Peaks ride, starting at the regular ride time (8am) which came a little early after having been out the evening before, first for dinner with a friend and then for drinks at another friends. We were home just before midnight. I hadn’t decided how far I would ride or how many of the peaks I would attempt and wanted to just see how the day went.

Starting off from the normal meet up spot with a huge group looking to work, we headed over to Mt Seymour first. Seymour is just over 13 km long (8.2 miles) with over 3000 ft elevation change and an average gradient of 7%. The weather was perfect for it. Not too hot, but sunny. Not having done the climb before I kept a nice even pace and didn’t push outside of my comfort zone too much. There were a few places where turning the pedals was really difficult, but I tried my best to keep my perceived exertion in check. The group was really spread out and I had expected the faster people to start descending long before I reached the peak, but they weren’t that far ahead of me. The descent was so much fun. I am not the best descender but I was just as happy if not more happy with the descent as I was with the climb. We regrouped at the bottom and when I rolled in Graeme was totally surprised to see me already.

Between this climb and the next things didn’t go so well. After waiting for everyone, we headed off and one of the guys got a flat. He had stuck with me on the Penticton ride, so I stayed and “helped” him this time. We thought we’d have to hammer to catch up to the group, but shortly after we were back on the road he got a call from his girlfriend that there had been a crash. Two people had gone down, though no one knew exactly what had happened. The girl was a little rough and had hit her head. The helmet had done its job, but she was still unsure of what had happened, so she rightfully called it a day and had someone pick her up. The guy looked a little rough, but he kept riding.

So, on to Cypress. It turned out that only 3 girls, myself included kept going for this peak. Cypress is 15km (9.4 mi) with 2500 ft elevation (from the base which you have to climb to get to) and an average gradient of 5%. I found this climb a lot harder. Seymour had switchbacks, but Cypress seemed like it was just straight up the hill. Once again I tried to keep in a nice rhythm and just keep turning the pedals. I don’t run or ride with music, but I wished I had some for the last half of this hill. Anything to get my mind of just turning the pedals! When I rolled into the parking lot at the top, Graeme was even more surprised to see me then he had been on the previous climb.

My nice was surprise was that a guy from the club had driven up to the top and had a trunk full of treats. That coke tasted SO good! By now the clouds had rolled in and it was c-c-c-old on top of Cypress. I was NOT looking forward to the descent. The first couple miles were brutal as I tried to hang on with my freezing hands, but then we entered back into the warm air, and in a few more minutes were at the bottom.

At this point I was already over 4 hours of riding, making it my longest ride time wise and I still had to get home, so I decided not to go for the third peak. A group of us split away at the middle of the climb up to the 3rd peak, which is the elevation I live at. In retrospect I wish I had done the last peak as it’s the shortest and because I had fueled well, I still had enough in my legs. But still, a great day and probably my most favourite ride ever. Over 110 km and 7000ft of climbing.

I had brought the camera, but didn’t have time to take pictures, so here are some google images.

View from Mt. Seymour

View from Cypress Lookout (less then halfway up!)

And an elevation map

Friday, June 26, 2009

Time in the bank

Nothing exciting, but I am getting stronger.

Training roundup

Monday, June 15
35 min swim. Crappy.

June 16
5 mi run

June 17
2 mi run (slowly increasing mileage so adding some short runs);
Just under 50km ride with the club. Felt a little wheezy for the second time (first was on the weekend) but I think its just allergies.

June 18
50 min swim. Once again felt crappy.

June 19
50 min easy lunch time run
About an hour swim. First swim of the Graeme planned workouts. Felt much better. Cool down was COLD though. Gray and drizzly out.

June 20
20 min ride. Started pouring a few mins in and I was already cold. Decided to postpone until Sunday when better weather was forecasted
90 min run. Ankle felt ok, but not great.
20 min swim. Pool schedule online was wrong and got kicked out after 20 mins for closing. I am tired of the local pools and the schedules ALWAYS being wrong.

June 21
Nada. Up early for Graeme’s race and then was exhausted. By the time I recovered it was raining again. So much for that forecast! Graeme and I had a very nice pub lunch though so it was a nice if unproductive day.

June 22
30 min swim. Back was hurting so had to cut it short, but otherwise felt good.

June 23
53 min run. Felt strong.

June 24
20 min am run.
1:40 bike. Was not mentally into it after work etc. but I got it done.

June 25
50 min. Another Graeme planned workout. Another good swim.

June 26
50 min trainer
55 min run
60 min swim

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pavilion Lake Weekend

As weekends generally are for us, this was another busy and good one. Our friend’s 35th birthday was last week and for the last month or so a group of us have been planning a surprise weekend away at another friend’s cabin at Pavilion Lake, which is between Lillooet and Cache Creek.

We picked up a friend and headed up there Friday after work. We made a quick stop in Whistler to grab dinner and watch the last few minutes of the hockey game (Go Pens!) and were at the cabin by 10:30pm. I was exhausted and didn’t know how late I could stay up. As well, Graeme and I had planned to be out riding at 6am the next day. Well the next car and the car with the birthday boy didn’t arrive until after midnight and bedtime didn’t come until 2:15am, after a number of drinks so we changed the morning plans.

Still I was awake not much after 6, though I slept on and off until around 7am. We got up, ate and were out the door by just after 8am. It was a beautiful morning and was going to be a HOT day. Highs in the lows 30s/mid 90s for you Americans. I was a bit hungover and out of it when we left and forgot to put my Garmin on bike so I had no idea how far or long we had ridden or what my speed was. The fist half of the ride into Cache Creek felt like it was all downhill and I was really not looking forward to the ride back, especially with the day heating up. I told Graeme that I would probably be crying going home.

We got to Cache Creek 1.5 hours and 45 km into the ride and stopped at a gas station to fill up the bottles. Heading back I kept waiting for it to get bad. Now, that’s not say there weren’t hills, but it really was not bad. Yes, there spots where the cliffs blocked any small amount of breeze and the hills felt long and hot, but only one hill felt hard in any way. I have to say I have never felt better at 90km into a ride and I would have gone longer, but Graeme was really not feeling it, likely because he had not eaten well the past few days. Plus the lake really did look inviting!

We spent the rest of the day hanging out on the dock and the boat and inside once the rain and thunder came. I had planned on swimming later in the afternoon with my new wetsuit, but the storm stopped that from happening.

Sunday was a lazy lazy morning but before noon we wetsuited up for a swim in the glacierly cold lake. It took a few times, but I was finally able to swim properly at least around the edge of the lake. When I swam toward the middle of the lake where the water was a lot colder, I still had that take my breathe away feeling and was not able to breathe properly. I think it had less to do with the distance to shore and more to do with how cold the lake is. It’s unlikely I’ll be doing any races in as cold as a lake though. But still while progress was made, more is definitely needed!

After the swim we headed home along a different route. This time going through Cache Creek and along the Fraser Canyon. BC is such a beautiful and diverse place landscape wise and that may need its own post.

The lake

Riding back at the tip of the lake

At the junction to Cache Creek

Friday, June 12, 2009

New Wetsuit!

Well after a long saga which included four separate trips to the local tri store, I am now the proud owner of a new Blue Seventy Synergie wetsuit (in the right size)!

Now, for more open water swim practice.

What was that again?

Training, I mean. So, after the work craziness came illness. Which really I shouldn't be too suprised about. My body is not overly fond of being stressed out. At least in the manner it was.

But I am "mended" and did a short 30 min run on Thursday AM. First real workout since the Thursday before. Thursday evening was a 60 min trainer ride, and then Friday a 40 min lunch run.

I seem to have trouble with these colds/flus/sicknesses a lot. I eat well and sleep well and I don't generally feel like I am pushing my body too much. I know stress is a huge part of it, but unfortunately that is just a part of my job, and well, most jobs. I guess the good news is I generally come back with more motivation to train even more/smarter and I feel like I have come to that point again this time.

I'm also obviously not good about posting when i'm not being active!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I'm still around!

We have just passed a big deadline at work and now I have a chance to get caught up on my life outside of work. Lots of late evenings last week meant my training did suffer, but such is life. I am catching up on regular work which has been put aside the last few weeks but once I am caught up there I will catch up in here.

And just a couple pictures of places I have swam in the last little while.

Second Beach Pool

New Brighton Pool

Kits Pool

Aaaaahhhh Vancouver in the summertime.