Friday we left the city just before 6PM and talked so much that I barely noticed when we got to Kenora. I missed the turn off to the cabin and ended up about 12 kms north of the cabin at the Rushing River turn. I can't tell you all the details of what kind of engrossing conversation we were having. That will be left for the annals of girl talk folk lore. The rest of the evening was spent with intent to induce hyper-natremia via chip eating (and for you non-medical types, that means we overdosed on salt).
Saturday was a big day. The Plan: Bike to Redditt and back and include Kenora Airport hill in the mix, then run for about 1.5 hours.
The things I did NOT plan on:
1. Pulling for the whole ride.... this plan only popped into my head after about 17 km of guiding us through the twists and turns of Kenora -- in a half ironman race, I will not get the benefit of draft anywhere. If I am going to have an honest training test run, then I had better do all the work myself. There was some tootling around in places, exploring Redditt for one where we found a 15% (or steeper) gradient hill to climb, and riding around Garrow Park on the way in for another, and a little photo op at the bridge that crosses my lake.
2. Freaking wind.... It felt awful on the ride home from Redditt, compounded by the fact that I SWEAR the ride is uphill heavy on the return even though it is hard to assess the accuracy of that statement by the Garmin elevations. A quick wind check on my phone Weather Network link in Garrow Park tried to place the winds at 7km/hr from the south. Bullocks!! I say, Bullocks.. The sensor must have taken the reading for that hour in a moment of wind reprieve. At least I had company to vouch for me. Jen said she pulled out from behind me on a couple of occasions just to check how hard I was working and, YEP, I was working hard.
Garmin pace fall below a 6 min km. Heat is not my friend while running. I had salt caked in the creases of my arms. So, the plan was 15km.... 10 is what got done. Thank GOD for lightning, I say. The good news: The run did not kill me and I did not want to puke. I wanted to walk A LOT (and if you are clever and follow the magic link, you can count how many times I walked on the run) but I didn't walk as much as I thought I would need to. There was one hill however that I could not EVER run the whole way up.
5. Garmin keeps me waaaaay too honest.
Sunday -- The Plan: Easy shorter ride to Rushing River (40km). Jen gets to pull the entire ride. Swim. Big SWIM hopefully right to the other side of my lake.
Things I did not plan for:
1. Wind... It was worse than Saturday (greater than 30 km/hr). But, this was not my problem. I was coasting in draft *insert evil grin here.* One thing I can say about riding with Jen is that we are perfectly matched, and if you ride, you know how hard this is to find. I can grit my teeth and giv'r and not have to worry about dropping her. She will always be on my wheel. I can sit in her draft it is the perfect recovery ride for me. And I am sure it is the same for her in my draft.
2. Waves. The swim didn't happen and video proves why best:
Things I've learnt about my riding and racing this weekend:
1. I am a bit of a grinder. Especially uphill. I need to not fear the lower chain ring.
2. Heat is not my friend.
3. I need to take in more calories during a workout (and the race). I estimated I took in, over just under 4.5 hours, -- about 660 calories. One watered down Gatorade bottle (estimated 200 calories and that might be being generous), one package of power bar shots (160 calories but much preferred in flavor to cliff shots), one gel (100 calories), 2/3 of a 300 calorie power bar (what was left from a previous ride). I drank about 2 litres of fluid on the ride and the run. I could probably do better there too as I did most of that drinking when stopped and not during the ride.
4. I am getting better at downhilling. Hit 61.4 km/hr on airport hill decent which has to be a record for me and there felt like a bit of wind against me as I was able to pedal and have a gear to work with the whole way down. And 67.4 on the steep steep 14% grade hill near my parent's cottage.
5. I don't really use my aerobars when riding that hilly, so why do I even have them on? I'm just lugging extra weight.
What else can I say:
Rushing River is gorgeous and more rushing than I've seen it in years.
I'm liking the fact that I've shed about 7 pounds. My body is finally figuring out how to work with that because for the last month or so I've been convinced I shed 7 pounds of muscle.
The Kenora Bypass is still scary as hell....I mean, it is beautiful but sometimes it feels suicidal. Photo below taken just before 5 semi-trucks went by -- in a row. Note also massive drop-off over the edge of flimsy wire barricade:
Oh and special thanks to the Kenora OPP for NOT giving me that speeding ticket. We were sure that they were either just checking out the bikes, or assumed that a RAV with 4 bikes on the back must be a couple of arrogant hot shot guys. Not the case. Just a couple hot chicks.