Sunday, July 21, 2013

Trans Tahoe

I have had this race on my bucket list since I first heard about it in 2009 after just meeting speedster Erin H. I finally got the opportunity after meeting Noko's pal and neighbor Allison. I signed up for Ironman Tahoe last summer knowing I'd need to head up pre-race for some recon. Combed objectives into a quick vacation up north.

Kyle couldn't miss class, Steve was racing Lake Stevens 70.3 {and crushed it!}, and Kara's bf was in DC all week. Screw the men, it's girls weekend! We left after a half-day at work on Thursday and arrived late. I slept like crap with obvious altitude effects of a higher heart rate and increase breathing cadence.  

Tahoe Course Recon 

Friday was 96 miles and the absolute worst brick run of eternity. By anyone. Serious struggles. Couldn't breathe. Everything hurt. Could hardly stand. Was barely moving. Walked three times. Yuck. Was seriously considering bagging this race cause altitude sucks. After the longest 21min run ever {yes I know time doesn't slow, but this was as close as it gets to that feeling.} Internal pity party commenced. Sat in the water at lakeside and tried to push away my negativity. 

After thinking about the bike course and my pacing, nutrition, course finding, power, heat, altitude, and amount of climbing I'm okay with what happened. I learned a lot, of which was published in a book to the coach. Excerpts from that writing:

3) I have a during-ride coke addiction. I crave it. I need it. Stopped in Truckee on 2nd lap at a gas station on course. Can I please bring $2 with me and stop during the race? (Is this legal?)

5) Hill grades. I hate anything above 7% ish. Erin is strong. Stayed attached to her wheel and was pushing 170-195. Then incline started to increase. And she rode me off her wheel. Felt like Froome vs Contador. Incline increased more. Cadence was 34 at one point. Couldn't turn pedals. I see a few Via Capri repeats in my future. 

6) REMEMBER TO PACK INHALER. {life or rather lung saver}

Trans Tahoe swim relay

This was definitely the highlight of the trip. I awoke on Saturday morning excited to be on the lake {and not on the bike; sorry Super Grover.} We drove to a nearby boat launch and met {for the first time} our Draggin' Anchor teammates. Kara drove Erin to the start and before we knew it we were searching for #1207. Speedster Erin was the 2nd person from the 2nd wave to the meeting point and we were off on our 11ish mile trek to the west side of the lake. 

The team decided the order and I was 3rd but had to jump a bit early as our 2nd swimmer's lungs didn't agree with the altitude {which made me nervous about mine!} Lungs were fine {phew!}; it was the legs that were lead, draggin anchor on the bottom of the lake. After many cannonballs {2x20 min swims for me} Erin was back in the water for what was the final leg. 

We finished in 4:40ish; picked up Kara and headed on the pleasure cruise back to the boat landing. Scott, our amazing captain, gave us the chance to try wake surfing. So Much Fun! I got up on my first try and wow, that's a leg workout, riding the endless wave. We definitely had the nicest boat and captain in the race. 

Tahoe Sunday Brick

Today was what I needed. Drove to T2 and rode the loop from Squaw Valley. Lungs and legs felt much better. Temps were much more favorable starting earlier and only doing 1 loop. We went up the descent from Northstar as far as we could before gated neighborhood on other side. Was smarter with nutrition and water. And was riding harder. Felt better on big hill too, still fading the last half mile, but faster and felt easier, although the coach may say otherwise. Channeled my inner Julie D. descending skills {and will during the race} hammering down towards the lake. Rode a consistent 10 miles back to t2. 

Run felt surprisingly good. Like 100% increase from Fridays sorry excuse for a run. Ended up as a huge confidence builder, yet still showed me I have work to do! Thanks to my amazing friends Kara and Erin for making the trip up and agreeing to do "my" workouts! You girls are pretty awesome and super badass. More of these, please!

What an amazing weekend in such a beautiful place I had yet to visit! I told Kyle we are parking the future RV here for a summer or two. Looking forward with anxious anticipation to Ironman in 2 months and a day!  

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