Sunday, June 21, 2009

Centenial bike ride and good company

So I've been slacking off on the ol' blog posting lately, but what can I say? Life gets a little busy sometimes. Rather than try to cover all that's been going on lately, I'll just pick right up with this week.

I've finally completely recovered from my burn out. A little break from the training grind, a mix up with my workouts and of course, great friends to help distract me from my woes was all it took. I'm back and feeling 100%.

Yesterday, Jeff (a friend and training buddy from my club) and I packed up our bikes early and headed up to Whistler to get a little change in scenery for our 4 hour ride. The plan was to park at Whistler Creekside, ride up to the Olympic Nordic Center in the Callaghan Valley, and make up the remaining time down the highway until turning around and heading back to Creekside for lunch on the patio at Dusty's. Unfortunately things didn't go exactly as planned, but good thing for us, we're adaptable people and when the highway was closed because of down power lines south of Whistler, we improvised and drove up the the Nordic Center to start our ride from the bottom of the Ski Jumps.

En route to the top we came across a little friend on the side of the road. A bear! He was just chillin out in the grass eating berries and doing whatever bears do on Saturday mornings.. Jeff had never seen a bear before so we quietly pulled over and took a picture. Just as we snapped this shot, someone coming up the road behind us laid on their horn and swerved onto the gravel shoulder doing what could only be interpreted as their best effort to scare the bear away! Both Jeff and I were a little confused at why anyone would scare the poor thing, he was just hanging out. But it only took a second for us to clue in why it wouldn't be a good idea for bears to become accustom to loitering along the side of the road... maybe it had something to do with the fact that in just a few minutes, we would be riding past that every spot on our bikes (without the comfort and protection of the car between us and the wild bear). So that worried us a bit. Oh well... we carried on.

By the time we reached the top of the Callaghan Valley, the weather (as it will in the mountains) did a 180 on us and we found ourselves in the freezing cold and pouring rain with only thin layers of barely water proof clothing on. Between the Winnie the Pooh sighting and the down pour, we were starting to think our day was doomed. BUT - we decided that we would only be embarrassing ourselves if anyone found out that we drove all that way and a little rain deterred us form our Saturday ride. We could tough it out. We decided not to think about the bear.

That was the best decision we could have made. We headed south once we got to the highway (safe and free of any more bear encounters..) and we ended up riding all the way to Squamish. The rain had stopped only a few minutes down the mountain and the rest of the ride was perfect. We turned around in Squamish and headed back putting in a sold 4:36 hours and 103km's on the bike. It was awesome.

We went for lunch on a patio on the river in Squamish, and a bowl of yam fries and 4 diet cokes later, we were headed home feeling pretty darn good about ourselves and our epic ride.

This morning was a really challenging swim in the ocean. The water was choppy and tough to swim in, but it made for a good skill building session. Sighting, drafting, all that good stuff. Now I'm just waiting for my friend Jess to give me a call so we can go for a run. Next weekend is the Scotiabank Half Marathon. This will be Jess' first half, so I'm going to run parts of the course with her today.

Only three weeks left to the Osoyoos Half Iron. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I'm working on my race plan this weekend. I'll be going through that whole race in my head and getting a preliminary 'runsheet' of what that day is going to look like and feel like. It will include things like when am I going to leave Vancouver for Osoyoos? What will I do the day before race day? What time will I go to bed? And also the beginnings of race day details - what time do I get up? What do I eat for breakfast? When do I head down to the race? What do I do pre-race? etc etc etc.

Coach Allen has suggested this will help reduce my anxiety on race day. Anything that will help.

That's all for now.

Happy Fathers Day Dad! I hope you had a great day. I miss you and wish you were here!


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