This was our second last long training weekend, weekends designed to push our bodies and test our physical and mental limits and yes, both were tested. Friday I went searching for a sleeveless wetsuit and finally found one but they had to order my size so I have to wait until this Friday to try it out. We headed to Meech lake to do our longest swim to date. I wanted Neale to swim the whole 3.8 distance tonight before we did Beach to Beach the following Friday. While I had never swum the distance, as a swimmer I knew I could and never really worried about myself. In Tremblant we swim 1.9k into the middle of the lake, turn around and come back, it is a scary thing to do, so this time we set off across the lake at its widest point to swim across it. It seemed to stretch on forever but when we were close to the other side it was only 1.25k in fact. We swam it slowly and I spent a lot of time looking for Neale, that man can not swim straight. We made it back across the lake and then did a large loop to the narrowest point, across and back for a total of 3.9k in 1:44. I was so proud of Neale for going the distance, well below his IM cutoff time. I am looking forward to this Friday and the beach to beach swim, it will be a real test of the race day swim.
On Saturday we drove to Tremblant to bike for the day, on the road from Ottawa by 7:30, on the roads of Tremblant by 9:30 for a long bike ride. We did the loop except the St Jovite part which is 80K. I was nervous going on the highway, I did not like the idea of cars and truck going by at 100+k but the shoulders are wide and it was actually quite fun. I hit 69.6k on one of the downhills (see the BIG drop on the graph, yeah that one), too bad I was crawling up it at 10k on the trip back but that is the great part of hills, what goes up must come down and helps balance out your speed.
|the bike elevation profile, look at the last part, yikes|
I loved the highway section but it was windy so that slowed down my progress a bit but I was well above my average speed on that section so I know it will be a nice recovery section if it is not too windy on race day. Duplessis is the toughest part of the course, there are three 8% grade climbs that make me want to cry. The first loop I tried to go up them working down my gears to my smallest gear and the second time I had no pride and put it into my climbing ring and spun up the hills. I know on race day that is the strategy to use, it is easier on the legs and I will need those for the run. We drove home around 5, I had done a 130k bike ride but not my run, I did not want to leave the bikes on the bike rack unattended and I would not miss a 3k run, Neale did 125k and a 12k run. Driving home was wild, a big rain and thunderstorm was passing through and all I could think is please don't let this happen on race day, I could not bike in this.
On Sunday I was up early to do a 25k run. I was running 6ish K with Barbara and the rest with the marathon group. As soon as I started I knew it was not going to be a fun run, my legs were like lead and it was already muggy. Barbara and I ended up running 8.7k so if I did the 19 with the group I would be well over but that was OK, or so I thought. I did not take in enough electrolytes after my bike ride, or have enough recovery time to stretch properly and my left hamstring was not happy with me. As I ran with the 4:15 group I knew I needed to keep the hamstring happy so when they dropped onto the trail at Trim, I stayed on the road and that was the last I saw of my group until almost the end of the run. I was really hot, I was tired and my hamstring was really grumpy now. This is when the mental part really kicked in. I walked up Trim hill and then for the next 6k I played mental games with myself, OK run Trim to the power lines, then you can walk, run this section of the path, then you can walk across the street, run the next one too it's a short section and so on. As I was waiting for the lights on Charlemagne I saw my group so I waited for them and finished the run with my group. I was not feeling well at all, I knew I was not dehydrated but I felt a bit light headed and just wanted to finish. At one point I thought about walking it in and sternly told myself NO!!, that would be like walking it in at the end on your Ironman, that is not going to happen. I made sure to drink lots of electrolytes after my run and hydrate well and today my hamstring feels fine and so do I.
I spent over 10 hours swimming, biking or running this weekend and I loved almost every minute of it, yes I am glad it is done but I was happy to do it all and look forward to doing it again this weekend and a little bit more...because I can.