This guy got up close and personal
On my last bike ride for the week, there they were. It was soooo cool! Friday I traveled back to the big city, got myself immediately to the Club Pool (different location-oh why can't the city pools be open midday???). I needed to share a lane so went with the older sweet looking gentleman, who apparently unbeknownst to me, was swimming backstroke-starfish style with paddles and fins..Really?? I managed to cut my hand on the water fill pipe on the edge of the pool, I was swimming so far to the side to avoid the guy. This went on even into my 20X100's, every other one "hard effort". Finally the "water aerobics" class (and I use this term loosely-sorry..) that took up 4 lanes was over and I got my own lane. The good news is I consistently swam my 100's in 1:40. This is really good for me. With 45 seconds rest and an easy 100 in between, I am a rockstar! Lol..hopefully this will translate to a decent swim in the clear waters of Hawaii in 3 weeks (yikes, I shudder at how close I am to the race).
I also Skyped with my coach Michael on Friday. He is in Hawaii already (from Australia). No, I'm not too jealous! It was good to see him and the conversation about my training, the Kona course, etc. brought the race even closer to reality..Always feeling uplifted and younger than I am after talking to my coach, I went to sleep anxious to get the coming two days, my biggest training weekend so far and ever, maybe.
Saturday, up and atem, ready for my epic 2.5 hour run, followed by a 40 minute run in the ("PM"). I noticed my stomach felt kinda queasy and had some pain there up in Chama the last couple days, but didn't think much of it at the time. I started my run down Tramway and about 20 min. in my stomach started to go South. Horrible gas pains, don't want to be too graphic but I had to stop a dozen times to the potty. Luckily there were some along the way. At one point, I dashed onto a running trail to find a proper bush and boom! tripped over my right shoe, these same thing I have done many times. I managed to scrape my left knee which is typically what I scrape when I fall. There were some blood. So I scooped myself off the ground put the Band-Aid that I have with me on my knee and went along my merry way. A couple of people stopped to ask if they could help and was I alright. I graciously said no and then cursed under my breath. My left knee is not too happy with me! I have abused it one too many times..
On I went with my miserable run. The stomach was a real issue. Was it the tacos and burritos I has eaten on Friday? Or a stomach bug? Whatever, I did the run, even the 30 minute sets "within the run" at "effort" (faster). All in all I kept it together to finish. I felt quite dehydrated by the end and was pretty much worth nothing the rest of the day. I was suppose to do an "optional" 30 minute swim afterwards but I was in no shape to carry on so just rested..I couldn't eat hardly anything my tummy was so rebellious, but managed to hydrate a bit as I knew Sunday would be a long ass day too. I emailed my coach-whaaaaa! Stomach is a mess..what to do? He calmed me down, as always. Just drink and eat as much as you can..have good ride tomorrow! I calmed down. This was my biggest training weekend before IMAZ Kona and I was pissed the physical issues were getting in the way!
Saturday night, we piled in the car and drove the hour+ to Sky City Casino, the home of the start of the Tour de Acoma, which was to be my 100 mile training ride for Sunday. The Tour de Acoma is an organized ride and race either 25,50 or 100 miles. We have done the 100 and 50 before. The Pueblo opens this area just once a year for cyclists. The race is well supported and views are absolutely stunning! Especially once you enter El Malpais National Conservatory Area:
Breathtaking views as we winded around huge sandstone rocks on our bikes. I could just feel the wonder and history coming from those rocks. I felt blessed and so lucky to be able to bike through this wonderful land.
Anyway, we went to dinner at the hotel Sat night, my stomach still a mess. I could hardly eat. But got all my nutrition, drinks and bikes set up for the race Sunday AM. Tried to drink as much as I could, went to bed at 9:00 and hoped for the best.
I was wide awake at 3:00 AM. Thank goodness for Mickey-D's across the street. Open 24 hours a day, I ordered breakfast and (free) coffee and observed, well no one basically in McDonalds at the hour. I was hungry..good sign..awake much to early, I got on my computer and checked emails, surfed the Internet for info on Kona and drank much coffee. By the time H was up at 5:45, I was over ready to go! At 7:00 the 100 milers lined up at the start line and someone said "go" and that was it. I decided to take a timing chip just to see what my official time was at the end. My goal was to do a pretty good pace, not racing just steady. Limited stops and keep to my nutrition plan..oh and enjoy the view on the ride!! Soon the riders were spread out, there were 54 riders on the 100 miler, 7 were female. I saw a couple of gals out there but didnt think much of placing in the race itself. In 2009, H and I tried to "race" this ride and it was miserable. I think I was 10th back then and I didn't see too many gals out there in 2009 either. They only give awards to the top 3 overall men and top 3 overall women.
The wind, ahhh the wind. I was just thinking the other day I really haven't gotten to train in some proper Kona wind conditions on the bike yet.. Be careful what you wish for. We had WIND for much of the hundred miles of beauty and wonder as we fought side winds, headwinds, 20-25 MPH with gusts, which my old Zipp wheels didn't seem to like very much. I had to hold on for dear life when the side wind almost blew me over a few times..Ahhhhh, Kona wind is my friend! I figured all I had to do was contend with heat and humidity as I think I got this wind thing covered. H and I pulled each other the last 20 miles, taking turns except on the hills, where I was barely moving. My legs were still screaming a bit from Saturday's run at this point. My stomach started to hurt. We finally had an anticlimactic crossing of the finish line. I didn't even stop-go to the timing tent but instead headed straight for the bathroom and Restaurant. H and I were starving! We got way too much food from the almost closing brunch buffet, thought we could eat it all after burning 4,000 calories (according to my Garmin), but of course we had many leftovers. Food never tasted so good! I had stuck to my nutrition plan of gels and Shotz electrolyte drink, with little food so I was making up for it!
For anyone who is interested in the course. It is really amazing!
Monday was spent in pajamas. Except for the 90 minutes I crawled onto my bike on trainer for 90 minutes and did an "easy spin", followed by a short run outside, where I just missed the big storm coming in. I was so beat up that day, was overwhelming tired. My daughter had to put her 13 year old dog down Monday in San Diego. I so was so sad for her and heartbroken to hear Riley was leaving us. Riley has been to our house many times over the years and was a permanent part of B&D's family for so long. So tired, sad and sore- I tumbled into bed at 8:00, opened a message from a friend and he said did you know you got 3rd place in the Tour Sunday? Whaaaa?? I had no idea. That perked me up! I checked the timing site and I'll be damned, sure enough.. And the prize for placing is a nice piece of beautiful handmade pottery! I immediately emailed the RD and hopefully H and I can go pick it up or they can mail it to me.
Yesterday (by now this was Tuesday) was an early morning 2500 yard swim, which included 40, yes 40 sets of 50's. I made it to the city pool where I still had weird experiences but the water was crystal clear! I had hard set every couple 50's. Anaerobic swimming accomplished.
I ran at sunset last night. It was amazing. I am starting to visualize the run in Kona, with the ocean instead of desert around me. I remembered my run in Melbourne at sunset, it was magical. I thought I am really doing this!