Wow, what a weekend! I hope you guys all had great ones!
On Friday I did my longest…swim…ever! I had a 4000 m swim on tap. It was a great workout of 3 x 400 m, 3 x 300 m, 3 x 200 m, 3 x 100 m, plus a warm up and cool down. Having all the little sets broke the swim up and I didn’t feel like it was that long. The workout called for me to swim at IM pace and take 10 seconds between each 100, 1:00 or rest between each set. I decided to bag bits of rest and just swim straight through. The whole swim went really well!
After the swim was over it was time for my one and only Stampede related event of the year – the Oxford Stomp. The Stomp is a private function that brings in some big named acts and you get a concert, beef on a bun with coleslaw, baked beans and fruit salad. This year Steven Page (formerly of the Barenaked Ladies) and Blue Rodeo were playing. I love Blue Rodeo, they truly are an iconic Canadian band. They put on a great show, plus I even got to meet the lead singer after the show. Such a fun evening!
Saturday dawned bright and early. 160K ride out in the mountains planned! Kelly, Tara, Ally and I met up just outside of Canmore in Harvie Heights. We rode along Highway 1, through the Banff park gates, past Banff, then slipped on to the Bow Valley Parkway toward Lake Louise. I just swapped out my rear cassette of a 12/25 with a 12/27 earlier this week, so I was keen to see how the hills would feel. The swap was recommended by my coach to give a couple of easier gears for IMC so my legs don’t get so trashed on the bike. Swapping out the rear cassette is a much cheaper option than switching out for a compact crank. I felt great on the hills and I’m definitely glad I made the switch.
I was also trying some new stuff for nutrition. I had a peanut butter and jam sandwich in the morning for breakfast. I carried 4 bottles of Infinit with me. I also had pretzels and a Flat Out Wrap with peanut butter and jam inside. I brought a banana with me, but I never really felt like eating it. I think the pretzels and the peanut butter wrap were great and I’m going to continue working with them for nutrition on the bike.
We lucked out with a fantastic day in the mountains. The weather was beautiful! We also saw a fox and some big horn sheep along the ride (but unfortunately no pictures of either). The 160K went really well. I started feeling a bit uncomfortable around 140K as we pedalled into a headwind, but otherwise I tried to be really mindful of keeping my shoulders down and arms relaxed and it paid off in the end.
On Sunday I had a long run of sorts to do. The left leg/hip/knee is feeling better, but there was no way I was going to put it through a 2.5 hour run, especially the day after riding 160K. I started from the Y and ran a nice 33 minute loop outside and felt great. Then I popped inside to finish things up with 2 hours on the elliptical. Wow, that is a long time to be on a stationary piece of equipment! Have you seen treadmills and ellipticals lately though? They have come a long way! The one I was on had a jack to plug your iPod into so you could manage your tunes directly through the elliptical’s screen, plus you can see how your distance equates to you running around a track or an island.
Yes, I am pretty sure the guy next to me thought I was nuts for taking pictures of the screen, but you gotta do what you can to keep yourself entertained! The 2 hours was mind-numbingly painful and all I could think about for the last hour was how I really wanted a burger when this was all over, but I made it through. Fingers crossed that I’ll be able to do my long run outside this week for I fear that the novelty of the flashy elliptical screen will wear off soon…