Thanks to a great friend that lives here, I've got super stellar accommodations right in Penticton. I arrived Thursday by noon and by 12:35 I was in the lake for my first swim in OK Lake. The water was a bit cold and I got the heebie-jeebies swimming alone once I couldn't see the bottom of the lake. I normally do fine in open water, but something spooks me about being out there alone. I guess I figure if OgoPogo or the OK Lake Creepy Crawlies are going to swoop in and have me for brunch, if I was with a group of people, then being a part of a sea monster buffet was just my fate. However, swimming alone is just setting yourself up for disaster - far less selection. Plus, my Mom told me never to swim alone.
Anyhow, after lunch I headed out for a nice and easy 1:35min run. Since I had never actually seen the Ironman run course after it leaves downtown Penticton, I was SO excited to finally be running it (or part of it anyway).
This whole "awesome" approach to training has been incredible. Since redirecting my focus from performance to attitude, my entire experience has changed. I feel better, I train better and even though I haven't done any number crunching, I wouldn't be surprised to see that I'm getting faster.
Being here in Penticton has a completely different feeling for me this year. It's really real now and in a few short months I'll be running these streets and calling myself an Ironman. Unbelievable. I was thinking about that as I ran along side beautiful Skaha Lake and the smile on my face was ear to ear. Anyone passing me must have thought I was crazy. For approximately 16km's I was grinning so huge that at some points I was laughing. I'm just so proud and happy to be here.
Today I went out for an epic bike ride in the valley. Last year I was so impressed with British Columbia when I rode out in Osoyoos for the first time. The desert and mountains and lakes are amazing. Today though, I rode some of the most beautiful landscape I have ever seen. Not just in BC or in Canada - ever, anywhere. I left from Pentiction and past Skaha Lake into OK Falls and took a somewhat backroad (paved obviously) and rode up and over the mountain pass into the valley. Wineries, ranches, desert and beautiful, incredible, postcard perfect emerald green and turquoise lakes. The day was perfect - blue bird sky and 28 degrees. Awesome.
While it was a pretty ride scenery wise, I certainly worked for it. There are very little flats in the Okanagan. Seems your almost always either going up or coming down. After 4 hours of riding, I was toast. I definitely deserved that funky-monkey booster juice and the nap on the beach afterwards.
Tomorrow, another swim and an equally epic 2:30 run coming my way. Can't wait.
I brought my camera but it died before I could take the first photo. This shot from my blackberry as I cruised down a mountain road will have to do for now. It does no justice.