Tuesday, March 10, 2015

LPC Triathlon Camp Day 3: Awesome ride with a wee brick run

We had the chance to sleep in today - not that I did. I was wide awake bright and early since I didn't sleep all that well. Isn't that always the way? ::laugh::

After breakfast, we all met at the main camp house at 9am for a bike maintenance seminar, including a reminder of what to carry on your bike to change a tire, plus a walk through of how to change one. Having now changed one tire (for my Dad during his epic 64k ride on his 64th birthday), I felt I knew the basics - but then there was a great discussion about how to get the tire back on the rim when you don't have the strength to just push it over.

A couple of methods were showcased, including using your palms and re-fitting the tire around the rest of the wheel to loosen it a bit more (and potentially enough to get it back on the rim).

Thanks to Coach Ryan for the demo.

Following the demo, one of my House of Dreams housemates got a flat and had the opportunity to change it. That was good timing, right?
As I mentioned yesterday,  Coach Mark and I decided I should ride with the intermediate group for today's ride. This worked out much better than I expected and I was easily about to keep up to the group's speed.
I was very excited because we took much less busy roads than we did last year thanks to one connector road getting paved in the interim. They also put a crosswalk at one pretty scary corner. This meant that my two biggest "scary bits" were taken out of the equation!
I am finding we're not riding as much this year (i.e. I rode 34km compared to 43 the first day, 17 compared to 22 the second day, and 63 compared to 73 today), probably because there are more groups than there were last year. I will be honest - from a mental perspective, I really don't like riding less because it kind of feels like backtracking.
But, truth be told, I think the quality of the riding has been a lot better. Today for example, thanks to the new routes, I was able to ride faster - and that's a skill I really need to develop: comfort with riding faster outside. Coach Mark keeps telling me I have the potential to ride a lot faster than I do (according to my FTP test) - I just need to get comfortable and confident doing so. So riding less miles with more miles at higher speeds is much better learning/practice for me than just getting regular miles. And I certainly did that today.
Our group did a number of loops around an empty subdivision where we practiced paceline switching and cornering...and our group was regularly breaking 30km/h, and even were up around 35km/h for very short stretches with the wind at our backs. Being able to ride that fast in a group outside was kind of great because it shows I can ride pretty decently, especially when there aren't cars wandering around.
During the circles, Coach Mark noticed I was still breaking around corners (yes, I'm afraid of falling), so I tried to make sure I kept my fingers spread back away from my breaks around the turns from that point on. I still slowed down and had to catch back up to my group, but it wasn't nearly as bad as it was for the first few rounds.
After the practice, we went off to a couple more out-and-backs and even made a trip to Walt Disney World...well, the sign at least!

I was still feeling really good when we turned to head back home, but Coach Mark had us all slow down for the last 10-15km or so - so the ride back to the resort was really easy. Given how warm it was getting, that probably wasn't a bad thing since we still had the brick run.

Once back, I quickly changed into my running shoes and one of my housemates (Lisa) and I went off on a brick run. We did one loop of the resort (3km) at a moderate pace - and it was more than enough. I think it was hovering around 90 degrees around that point.

Back at our camp house, we cooled off in the pool. Just dunking my head under the water a couple of times made a huge difference. I felt re-energized.

We (several of my housemates and I) spent much of the rest of the afternoon lounging around the pool and chatting (okay, there was some beer involved too), while being entertained by Marlon (a fast triathlete from Trinidad) trying to get into the pool. Apparently it is boiling hot in Trinidad most of the time, so he finds cold really, really cold. It took him a good 20 minutes to get totally immersed in the pool and it was quite a performance throughout. The rest of us gave him a good round of applause when he finally got his head under.

Kudos to him since I was only in the pool for 5 minutes (It was pretty chilly).

After enjoying the patio heat (mostly from the shaded part of the backyard), we joined a few folks from one of the other houses for dinner at Orange Grove Resort (where the lazy river is). We got more patio time there, along with some good food and a bit more beer.

I finished the night with one of Terry Linseman's absolutely incredible homemade cookies (Terry is Coach Mark's Dad), which he warms up for a few sends in the microwave to make even more delicious. He's promised to send me the recipe at some point - which is good since I think they might become my recovery food of choice.

Tomorrow we are off to Lake Louisa State Park - which has been my favourite day of camp the last two years because of the chance to bike on the beautiful in the park where there are almost no cars. I'm really hoping tomorrow will be just as awesome - although there is the slight possibility of a thunderstorm in the forecast. Here's hoping it waits until the afternoon if it needs to rain though!

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