Wednesday, July 21, 2010

STP - Day 2

Sunday we were up by 5:30am, had breakfast and were on the road by 6:45am. Again, the sun was not out. In fact it was misting on top of being cold! Knowing that the sun was likely not coming out any time soon, I added more layers which was a big help.

Sunday we stayed together as a group the entire time, with a well functioning paceline. We all wanted coffee, which was supposed to be at the first rest stop, but was not. We then saw a little coffee shack and stopped there, where the only other flat tire(s) of the ride happened. So one before we headed off, and two when we were already stopped.

We stopped again for lunch, but headed straight through most of the stops, knowing Portland wasn't that far off. Coming into the city, the crowds were building back up again. It was a fun ride the last few kms, even if there were a lot of stoplights, as everyone was excited to get there. We rolled in around 1ish, 135kms and 4:29 of ride time later. The beer in the beer garden tasted really good!

Once it was check in time, we headed over to our hotel, where I think everyone had a quick nap, before heading out for dinner. We had planned to go to Deschutes brew pub, but the wait was 1.5 hours and none of us could wait that long to eat. Instead we ended up at Rogue Brew Pub. The beer was really good, and the food just ok. Still it was a great evening. We didn't get back to the hotel until 11:45! A late night for a long day.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

STP - Day 1

Traffic was bad on Friday afternoon and by the time we got into Seattle it was a lot later then we had planned. Graeme had slashed his tire the night before and needed to get a new one. I knew the sponsoring bike store was open 24 hours before the rideand we passed it on our way to UW. After dropping off our stuff, we still needed to find some dinner. We got to bed later then we wanted and the dorm beds left a lot to be desired. I would not do that again! The only good part is they were really close to the start line.

I really didn't sleep much and the 4:45 alarm came very early. Up, stuffed half a bagel and pb down (it wasn't toasted and was hard to swallow), then headed down to the start. We met up with everyone else from the group, dropped our bags off at the truck for our rest stop and after Graeme changing his tire, and then a flat, we were rolling at 5:50am.

The first hour and a bit out of Seattle was very congested. The route goes past a couple lakes along the Seattle Marathon course. You really had to watch the riders as it was obvious not everyone was a good rider. We made our way through the packs and eventually the bikes thinned out a bit. We decided to stop at the first rest top for a bathroom break as none of us had wanted to wait in line at the start line. The volunteers at this stop were the best of the weekend. All wearing matching tuxedo shirts and high energy. I had some food here, and felt way more awake.

We didn't stay too long and started rolling again and it was COLD. We picked up the pace as we were all trying not to freeze. Where was the sunshine that had been forecasted for the entire weekend?? The route is a combination of main roads, side streets, and then leading up to the halfway point in Centralia, a long bike path. After the first rest stop our group split up, with Graeme and I, and another couple from the tri club, joining up with a few random guys and getting a good paceline going. I was a little worried with the speed and wondering how I would hold up all day, but it was good.

By the time we got to the bike path, it was down to the four of us. The path is too narrow to do a real paceline, but we still were passing people, cautiously, as we had seen a number of crashes. That is one of the most interesting parts. The entire time you are passing really slow people. How did they get that far in front of us??

We got into Centralia and had lunch there. That is the midpoint and where most people stay over night. After regrouping and eating lunch, we headed out again, as we had another 40km to do. Well, it turned out to be more, as there was a detour which was not noted! The place where we were staying is actually slightly off the STP route, and it's not marked. At all. As 2 of the girls had stayed there last year, we knew where to go. Until the detour happened. We found our way around it, but it added another 10km or so onto the ride.

The sun had started to come out at Centralia and the afternoon was really nice. Because the place we were staying is not on the actual route, the last section of Saturday was mostly open roads with hardly any other cyclists. We got in to Toledo around 3:30pm - the first to arrive at the school. 207 kms done, in 7:19 of ride time.

The afternoon was about relaxing and waiting for the spaghetti dinner, which was at 5. After eating, we headed down to the local pub for a few drinks which was quite the experience. After a couple drinks, Graeme and I headed back for some rest. Unfortunately, sleeping on the classroom floor was not much better than the dorm room, and once again, I didn't get much sleep!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Seattle to Portland

After work today we head to Seattle and then start the Seatttle to Portland ride tomorrow with 10,000 other riders.

200 miles in 2 days! There are 7 of us in the group. We are planning on 205km on Saturday and 120km on Sunday. Most of us are staying over in Portland on Sunday evening and then heading home on Monday. Another fun weekend on tap!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Random Mid-July Update

It's been a busy few weeks around here! Training has been going well. Well, at least on the bike front. Lots of good rides, long rides and hard rides! Running has been coming along. Swimming, well I need to get back at that.

Racing has yet to happen this year. First with Shawnigan being so cold and since then, I haven't signed up for another. It may sound stupid, but I just don't feel like I am ready. Mainly on the swim. Graeme says I am, but the problem is I don't have the confidence in myself. And not swimming much the past few weeks isn't going to help anything! Next week it's time to get back in the pool and really decide what I want to do.

I know how to much myself on the bike and run now, and need to figure out the swim part. The funny thing about all of this is I am actually a *way* better swimmer this year then last. I just can't find the drive to swim any long distances. Part is with Graeme not ironman training this year, we are spending way less time at the pool in general. But I just have to get myself there. No excuses.

On another note, today we celebrated 4 amazing married years. I am so so lucky! I was the recipent of a very pretty delicate necklace and this:

I have been talking about wanting a frozen yogurt maker for a while and Graeme did some research and found one of the only ones left in the city! I can't wait to use it. If anyone has any favourite recipes, let me know!