Monday, January 25, 2010

Storm of the Century

...and other such musings.

It's pretty funny how worked up people get over a little rain and wind. Maybe it's just my negativity for trainers and treadmills, or thoughts of "real" weather back in Minnesota and North Dakota, but seriously? It wasn't that bad. It was a little challenging fitting it all in, but not once did I end up on one of those dreaded machines.

I live in San Diego. I'll say it again, San Diego living is Glorious. I can't imagine preparing for an Ironman anywhere else. May 1st is a pretty "early season" Ironman, and who else besides Arizona, Hawaii, and Southern Cal residents can possibly have an adequate preparation? So when people say us Utah'ers are crazy for signing up because of the dreadfulness of winter training, that should exclude us nice weather peeps. Yeah, we have to deal with the cold, the rain, and the wind...but not forever. It will continue to be sunny in San Diego. So suck it up.

Last week couldn't be a wash week (pun intended) for me. The previous week was my rest week, so I knew I needed to plan it out and get it done. Monday was a swim...partly cloudy. no rain. Tuesday was my day off, so I did bike intervals on Fiesta followed by what would've been my short track workouts, but decided to "race" a 5k on Kyle's Navy base. I ran through the finish line, and then kept running...partly cloudy. no rain. We rode home together, and just as we arrived it started to sprinkle. Yeah for getting it all in! Wednesday it was supposed to rain, so I opted for another swim. Sunny. no rain Literally, sun in my eyes. Outlook on the western front was good.

Thursday there was no avoiding it. I had to get my long run in, so I put on some layers and headed out in the morning. It was windy. It rained for maybe 2 of the 11 miles, one being the first mile, just to make me suffer soaking through the rest of the run. Although, a brutal headwind at mile 2-4 kind of dried me out. Then came the repeats up Cannon, and it was HOT! I was dying in all my layers. Good times.
Friday it was supposed to rain, so I opted for yoga in the morning. sprinkles, barely. Saturday it was raining when I woke up, but I had to get another ride in. I left the house at 7am right when the rain stopped. The roads were soaking, Fiesta Island was a mess, and Soledad Mtn repeats were a bit chilly, but nothing too horrible...but I can't say the same about my bike. Poor Kermit. Not a happy camper.
This was after the initial brush off.
He was a little cranky. :)

Sunday was...interesting. 7am departure for what was supposed to be a 4 hour ride. 39 degrees through Rose Canyon, and a frozen puddle about froze the under-prepared (Jake and I).
Noko walking around the flooded area.
Yes I have a temp gage. 39 plus (or rather minus) the "wind chill" you create while riding. Awesome.

Up the coast and met up with Steve and Erin, and did the Elfin Forest, Del Dios loop. Realized I had enough food for 3.5 hours, and that this ride was going to end up at 5 hours. Coach gave Noko and I the lovely task of Via Capri at mile 70.

Via Capri. To all you non San Diegan's, this is quite a steep pitch. 650 vertical ft over only 1.4 miles. I didn't think I was going to make it. I was bonking hard. The thought of a Double Double from In and Out was the only thing that got me up that horrendous pitch. Jake's front derailleur wasn't working, so he pushed on in his big ring, taking breaks in random driveways and side streets. I can't believe he did that. I have a compact crank and a 27 in the back. I'm sure my cadence was lower than 40. I wanted to cry, but didn't have enough energy to muster pedal pushing, much less a tear. Made it somehow. With many thoughts of turning back and just f'ing going around. And much to my coach's dismay, I stopped at In and Out for that Double Double. I barely remember tasting it. 5 hours and 79.5 miles later I was home. And late for work...No time for a transition run, but I thought long and hard, and ate and drank and worked. And after work I went for a run. It was the first time I wanted to go for a run. Just to run. I didn't look at my HR or pace once. I just ran. It felt far from effortlessness, but I was running, with aggression, with passion and without limits. Good times. HR was surprisingly normal, and the pace was pretty quick considering the days prior events. I survived the storm. I laugh thinking about it.

I got an email prior to last week titled "Storm Watch" and forwarded it to my coach, to ask about the dreadmill and trainer. His response,
"When scientists start using phrases like, 'barreling towards', 'slam into', and 'truly ominous', I instantly become suspicious that they've become a little too enamored with their own work. Especially when it involves weather/climate models." He couldn't have been more right. Congrats San Diego...we survived the storm of the century. Now don't ruin my plans for the Great Western tomorrow.

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