Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tour D'Alberta

This past weekend was a huge training weekend for me, both in terms of volume and my longest ride ever! Saturday morning I recruited Alice to come with me to the pool at 8:30am for a 4km swim.  Here's what we did:

-warm up: 2 x {200 swim, 200 drill/sw, 200 pull
-5 x 100 as 25 kick/50 swim/25kick
-2 x 1000 broken: {as: 200 pull on :30rest
                                   4 x 100 IM on :20rest
                                   2 x 200 free ez on 3:15
-300 cooldown

In the afternoon, after some food and dog walking, I headed out for a 2 hour run.  It was my first run in brand new shoes (same kind as before - Saucony Kinvara), so it felt fabulous!  The first few times I run in new shoes they always feel awesome, and I really noticed the difference between the pair I was previously wearing.  My old pair really felt worn out, even though they were brand new at the beginning of May!  They have been through 2 half-ironmans, I guess.  It does get pricey switching shoes every 2.5-3 months but it's necessary!  The lightweight shoes seem to wear down faster, but I won't wear anything but. 

I had to be up at 5:45am on Sunday morning as the 185km route for the Tour D'Alberta started at 7am sharp in Morinville, so it was early to bed for me on Saturday night. 

I woke up to a beautiful sunny day and as it turned out, we couldn't have asked for better weather!  Wow - what a gorgeous day it was.  I was so glad as it would have been a lot less fun to ride 185km in rain and/or cold.  The route started in Morinville, then went through St. Albert to Villeneuve, then through Westlock, through Legal, and finally back to St. Albert.  There were 7 rest stops/aid stations and I ended up skipping about 2 of them, and the stops were mostly about 20-30km apart.  The whole event was fantastic!  The volunteers were amazing, the route was well marked, the aid stations were stocked with a variety of stuff, including trail mix, chips, gummy candy, fruit, bars, etc.  The stop in Westlock was a lunch stop so they had sandwiches/cookies etc in addition to the other stuff. 

The ride for me went great and I actually felt strong throughout the day, and the weird thing was that I felt like I was getting stronger as the day progressed and I remember feeling amazing by the time 165-170km rolled around.  There were no clouds in the sky, a slight wind, and comfortable temperature of about 23C, and the scenery was beautiful, so I really enjoyed myself out there and was happy with how the ride went.  I even had a riding buddy the whole time whom I had just met out there.  Chris and I started riding together about 30km in, and we were going much the same pace, so we continued on the rest of the 185km.  We had 2 other guys with us through St. Albert and Villeneuve, but they dropped off the pace just before Westlock so our 'team' became just two for the remaining 80 or so km.  Didn't get a chance at the end of the event to thank Chris for the company so I will thank him here! Our ride time ended up being around 5:51, so a pretty decent pace, and of course that didn't include the aid station stops, which probably added another 30 mins.  The last 10km stretch to Morinville happened to be in a headwind so we just pressed on through it and finished off that monster ride!  It was definitely tough but the day was so beautiful and I was in a really positive headspace, so I honestly didn't even notice.

I saw a few peeps from STARRT at the end of the ride (those who had done the 100km route), so it was great to catch up with them and share our experiences.  There was also a fabulous lunch provided, and it was one of the best post-race meals I've ever had (not that it was a race).  They even had pina colada popsicles! 

Can't believe it is Thursday tomorrow already!  I was up at the crack of dawn on Monday morning for a 7:40am flight to Vancouver for work and back last night, so Mon/Tues went by fast.  This weekend means we're only 4 weeks away from race day - it's creeping up on us! 


runningman said...

Good job on the long one. I'll have to keep the Tour D' Alberta in mind for next year. Keep up the awesome training, you're going to do great!!

mike said...


You are turning into a triathlon monster, can't wait to follow your day at ironman you will do awesome!