It was always going to be long, but it turned into my longest training day ever, complete with my longest ride ever (for the third time this week).
The day started before sunrise as we headed out to the Orange Grove trail - one of the nicest runs I have ever had. Last year, I stopped a bunch to take pictures so I'd keep the effort easy...today, the goals was much harder. Although there was still time to smell the oranges!
Here is everyone right after sunrise!
The goal was 2k easy, 14k at marathon pace, and a few more k easy. Yes, that was longer than the 10 mile loop in total, so I did an extra out and back to get the time in (oh, the hardship!). Given it was my shortest long run in months - it sounded pretty easy when I read it in my schedule...but I did climb Sugarloaf yesterday (and swim a bunch), so I was quite tired going in.
I had a bit of indigestion when I woke up since I ate a lot of not-so-healthy foods yesterday at the Irish pub after Sugarloaf (Nachos and French fries, plus a beer)...including cheese on the nachos which I should know better than to eat the day before I run long). So I skipped breakfast. I did have a chocolate outrage GU before starting though!
Fortunately, it was perfect weather for a run (45f). A little chilly at the start, but I warmed up quickly and had to shed my windbreaker (thanks to being able to give it to our support crew driving around!) after a couple of kilometers. Need to remember that for May, since the start of the marathon might be cold. I should have something to wear and throw away! My stomach also settled a few minutes into the run, so I chewed on a couple of shot blocks along the way for some added energy,
Forgot that the course actually has some nice rolling hills on it...especially the back half. This was good because it forced me to try and pace better. Overall, other than starting a little quick for a warm up, and then the first marathon pace mile a bit quick, I think I did great. Managed to average MP the whole time I was supposed to...with a few quicker miles, a few slower ones, and many right in the sweet spot (5:10-5:15). Seemed right given the hills, but we will see what Coach Mark has to say when he looks at the data. He was very positive when I finished though.
Headed home, ate a good breakfast and had a couple of hours of rest (partly spent sitting in the backyard reading) before meeting up for the ride to Allen's. Allen's is a little ice cream shop (the one we rode to a few days ago) and a visit there is a staple of the last day of camp because usually a few of the guys take up the Allen's Challenge: eating 11 scoops of ice cream with 6 toppings in 15 minutes (Coach Mark apparently holds the record at 7 minutes). We ride there, the guys do the challenge, and we ride back.
It is meant to be an easy ride of less than 60k...but Coach James and Coach Nissim managed to get us detoured a few times...leading to a 38k ride to Allen's and a 37k ride back. I think they figured our beginner group just didn't have enough mileage for the week so decided to get us to ride longer today than anticipated. ::laugh::
In reality, the accidental route we took out was fabulous - taking in some beautiful residential neighbourhoods! Loved seeing the big houses and riding through quiet subdivisions!
What is great about this ride is the fact I did well (for me, of course!). Still slow descending even small hills, but did pretty well pushing to catch up every time I fell back. While I did walk my bike across one crazy street and one very busy and non-light intersection toward the end (I was tired and afraid of making a mistake...better safe than sorry), I was generally much less twitchy about cars and felt a little more confident on my bike.
Got home safe and sound, with a final total of over 75km of riding for the day. Crazy! Especially after a reasonable hard run! That means that for my race in September, I will only need to add 2k of swimming, another 1.5k of running, and 15k of riding to what I did today (and put them back to back). But today's session really gave me confidence that with another 6 months of training under my belt, I should be able to do it.
My shower afterwards never felt so good...but we didn't have much time before heading off for the camp dinner at Breezes restaurant at Orange Lake Resort. Dinner was fun since I got of talk to some folks I really hadn't chatted with at camp yet (because they ride in the faster group and aren't in my house). Had a celebratory piña colada which tasted good too.
Then it was back home to say good bye to everyone. And of to bed for my early morning wake up. All.
Lessons learned today?
- I can do way more than I think I can. I don't think I'd have decided to go 75km on the bike today if I'd been asked in advance...but I did it because I needed to. We all did. I can use the confidence from today for when I face hard points during Mississauga and any other race that I decide to do.
- As the Girl Guides say: be prepared. I am glad I had lots of water with me and some Sharkies for energy.
- Sometimes the road less travelled is literal! :)
To Coach James Loaring who runs an incredible camp that I'd recommend to anyone...we had a gamut there from incredible elite athletes to, well, me! But I think there was more than enough going on that everyone learned something and never felt held back. Coach James also brought together some amazing coaches to lead sessions and to give help and advice! He is an incredible coach and I learned a lot from him this week, and appreciated all his encouragement. Thank goodness for my brother who convinced me last year that I really needed to go to James' camp if I wanted to learn about triathlon.
To Coach Mark Linseman, my personal coach, who I've only been working with for 4 months. To be honest, I've learned more in those four months than in a year of training mostly on my own. He is great and will no doubt have me ready to do anything I set my mind on. He has more confidence in me than I do some days! One day I will climb Sugarloaf 4-5 times just to prove that I can...although I might be 90 before I am ready to go down it! :) It was great having a week of training with him so I could pick his brain more in person!
To Coach Nissim who kept with our newbie bike group day after day - always supportive and patient. He kept me in one piece last year when I was a newbie biker, and managed it again this year as I continued to improve (but continued to be new...and likely will be for a few more years!)
Thanks to all the other coaches and guest coaches/speakers who were there as well (Ryan, Kyle, Katelyn, Coach Nate and Sarah Haskins) - and to all my fellow campers. I learned a lot - not just from the coaches - but from everyone else too. I was excited to see several of my fellow campers and new friends achieve their own personal feats this year - from finishing the Orange Grove loop to climbing Sugarloaf for the first time. Everyone at camp was awesome. Seriously awesome.
Sad to head back to the snow...but already looking forward to next year!