Friday, May 25, 2012

Crash taper!

With the first tri of the season on deck for this Sunday, it probably wasn't the best idea to put in 10.5hrs of training over the Victoria Day long weekend, but it was a lot of fun!

Puslinch Tract on Saturday

Rode to the market on Saturday, had brunch, then headed over to the Puslinch Tract for an afternoon of mountain biking. It was my first time on "real" trail with clipless pedals, and I actually did ok; fell over once while stopped (yes, you read that right) and scraped up my right forearm a bit, but otherwise didn't come off the bike. I'm getting much better at negotiating obstacles, but I still suck at riding up sharp hills! Puslinch Tract is an amazing spot, though - something for every skill level, lots of different types of terrain, and stunningly beautiful.

Note: not indicative of most of the trails, but a shot I couldn't resist taking.

Tanker dropped me off at the pool with my mountain bike afterward, so I cranked out a swim and then took the Mill Run trail home, pausing in Riverside Park to get a photo of some of the cute little goslings.

Little fuzzy footballs!

Then off for a lovely sunset 6km run on the newly-renamed Bob McMullen Linear Trail. It being May 24, we spent part of the evening shooting off fireworks with neighbours on our street. An amazing day!

Sunday dawned with a pool swim, a bunch of errands, a little over 10 sweltering kilometers of running on the Grand Trunk and Devil's Creek trails, then a cruising 35km ride on my tri bike just before sunset to test how it felt in my race suit and aero helmet. This day really got away on me! Before we knew it, it was dark again and the fireworks display on our street resumed, with a neighbour who used to help out her (now passed on, RIP Betty!) mother with professional displays pulling out some pieces that definitely hadn't been bought at a roadside stand!

Back from my Sunday ride, in full-on dork mode.

Monday morning we hauled ourselves out of bed early and rode up to north Waterloo to check out the action at Victoria's Duathlon; the first multisport race of the season in Southern Ontario. While it was a tough, hilly ride to get up there, we had a blast spectating and cheering on the competitors on the bike and run courses, and even got shot by the event photographers while we were out there!

Tanker's grumpy because he hasn't had a coffee yet.

After the race was over and we'd congratulated the people we knew who were competing (oddly enough, out of three people I knew in the race, all of them were doing it as a relay), we rode home via Coffee Culture on King Street in Kitchener and had a couple of freddoccinos to cool us off. The whole weekend was hot and sunny - typical May 24!

I might have to order a copy of this one!

With our legs thoroughly whipped, we hopped on our motorcycles after a quick brunch and went for a good rip. The breeze was just the thing to cool us down before hitting up Puslinch Tract again and struggling into my wetsuit for the first open water swim of the year!

Stuffing sausages.

Of course I ended up putting a nail nick in my suit (first time ever!), so I'll be off to Swim & Sports this afternoon to pick up some wetsuit repair cement to fix it before Woodstock on Sunday. Otherwise, the swim went well! I felt ok in the water, my wetsuit still fits, and the water was absolutely lovely. I'm glad I found this spot; I'd done some open water swimming in Puslinch Lake previously, but it's horribly weedy, and everywhere else close by is at a conservation area that charges an entrance fee. While I fully support the pay-per-use nature of the GRCA and understand that the fees pay for conservancy programs and staff, it hurts a bit to pay $11 for a 20min dip (since I refuse to swim in open water alone, and always bring Tanker as a spotter/safety person). Puslinch Tract is free, and since the pond (a former quarry) is quite small and shallow, it warms up quickly in spring. Perfection!

I approve this swim venue!

Whipping my suit off and drying off, we noticed some ugly looking clouds rolling in, so hopped back on our motorcycles and headed for home. As the wind began to gust and rain seemed inevitable, I squeaked in a quick 5k run around the neighbourhood before calling it a weekend for training. Three runs for about 21.5km, three swims for 4,500m (the open water was only about 700m), and almost 6.5hrs of cycling. Got to ride all 4 of my bikes, including my motorcycle! More fireworks Monday evening, then back to work on Tuesday.

The suit!

Having torched myself pretty well on the weekend, I've been taking it quite easy this week - under 15k of running (5.7k Tuesday, 5.2k brick run Wednesday and a wee 3.7k trot last night), a half-hour on the tri bike to make sure everything is perfectly set up on Wednesday evening, and two short swims (1,000m on Tuesday and 1,100m last night). I'm feeling pretty good, and have busted out the pie filling and basmati rice for some carbo-loading. Today is, as always, a day off - I'll do a quick little run, bike and swim tomorrow just to stay loose, then it's off to Pittock Conservation Area Sunday morning.

If you see this, you should be moving faster.

As the first tri of the season, I'm not necessarily looking to tear up the course, but I am definitely looking forward to some good, sweaty fun! My bike feels good, I've managed to sort out an error in my swim stroke, and I'm coming off a recent 10k PR on the run - just hoping the weather cooperates for a great day! There's also the small matter of a wager over a pool noodle to be settled..

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