Monday, July 21, 2008

Penticton Visit

I'm back after a week in the Okanagan - part family visit, part training camp. It was a great week, although I'm a bit tired and wondering if it's okay to ask for a day off work to recover from my vacation?

Family Visit
Claire and my brother-in-law are understandably a little tired due to the tree on their house (see photo in the previous post) and the headaches that go with clean up and fix up, but the kids are having a great time at their grandparents. I helped a bit with cleaning up, I spent a morning cleaning off books and separating glass from Tinker Toys, but there's only so much I could do. My exceptional Exec Assistant skills aren't really that applicable in this situation!

Mum came up too. She had a blast with the boys, she watched them at their swimming and skating lessons (I only caught the latter) and helped them build Custard the Dragon characters out of (glass free) Tinker Toys. Claire, Mum and I had a "Girls Day Out" and went for a pedicure at the spa at the Naramata Inn followed by lunch at the wine bar. It was a great day but I probably shouldn't have let Claire and Mum talk me into getting my toe nails done up to match my bike.

I joined Bronwyn and Dave for a couple of swims during the week but the rest of the time followed my own program, doing my workouts early then heading over to hang out with the family for the day.

I did a 16km TT workout - South Main/Eastside/Lakeside Road (the IMC marathon course) is a great 15km route, but of course I was determined to do 16km so I had to improvise a bit at the end. It's hillier than the Marine Dr. route we do, and I had to stop on the way out to fix my bike computer (using my "driving language" as Mum would say) so my time out was slow. As the club workout was an individual time trial followed by a team time trial I did a return TT, thinking I'd have a headwind out and a tailwind back and that would be a similar difference in effort. Somehow I managed to have a headwind both ways, plus for the return I started on a hill (not too smart) so I had some trouble getting up speed. I was 33 something on the way out and 31 on the way back. Slower than my Marine Dr. times but this is a harder course.

I tried to do the prescribed track workout of 6 x 1km on 4:45 and had my dumb training moment for the week. I went straight from the swim to the very nice track at Penticton High School and didn't have anything to eat in between. I forgot my hat so was running in the increasing heat with my easily fried brain unprotected. After a good warm up I did the first two km's too fast and the second two pretty close to 4:45. Somewhere around 200m into the first one I realized my mistake about food and around the third one I really, really wanted my hat. On the fifth 1km I was absolutely spent, I killed myself to just barely keep my time under 5 minutes and felt atrocious the whole way through. I know training is supposed to be hard but I decided to skip the last km, did a short cool down and biked back to the hotel.

Training Camp
On Friday I joined the training camp and did a long ride on the IMC course. I was only supposed to ride for 4 hours so Andrew said he'd pick me up at Yellow Lake. I thought he had high expectations for my speed but figured I wouldn't argue and see how it went. The first part of the ride was great, we were flying and I thought all the training had really paid off. Of course we had a strong tailwind, although it was nice to think I could average 40kph on an easy effort!

At Osoyoos we got to find out how much of a tailwind we'd had as we turned into the wind to ascend Richter. Climbing Richter wasn't bad, especially as I got to pass a few people, but the descent was frustrating as the wind was so strong it was hard to get any speed. The rollers were tough and the flat section heading into Cawston was extremely draining as we were going full on into the wind. I finally smartened up and got on Bronwyn's back wheel, I tried to take the pull a few times but she's just stronger than me and I was slowing her down so I ended up being a wheel suck let her pull me to Beck's road (the turn off to the Cawston out and back). This was four hours for me (nowhere near Yellow Lake) so I left Andrew with my bike and did my brick run on part of the out and back route. It was hot and my HR was extremely high but I felt okay for the run. I then piled into the van with Andrew and was very, very happy I didn't have to ride the whole course.

After that we had our ice bath and got to enjoy the odd looks from passers by as they tried to figure out why people were sitting in garbage cans in 35 degree heat while wearing hoodies and toques.

Saturday started with a long swim in rough water. It was very windy and the waves were pretty big, for Okanagan Lake at least. I didn't mind the rough water as I need practice swimming in waves. I tried to get Joanne's mind set from Worlds, where she enjoyed the roller coaster ride of the swim, and said "Weeee!" to myself when I was starting to get frustrated by the waves. In writing that down I realize it sounds really silly but it worked.

After the swim we rode the Peach Classic bike route plus some. I was a bit discouraged as it took me almost 1:45 to do 40km, I know easy ride pace is different from race pace but that seemed like way too much of a difference. I did a short run along the canal off the bike, another ice bath then back to the motel to change and go to my sister's neighbour's barbeque. The couple are very involved with Ironman as racers and organizers so I got to talk triathlon with quite a few people.

I ended the week with the Peach Classic (race report to follow), all in all, a great week off.

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