Layeth The Smacketh Down

That is the plan for the next six weeks. This Thursday I leave for a long trip that will include some Southern Barbeque, some Civil War statues, some bad English weather punctuated by hilarious jokes from Ross’ uncles, some delicious Czech pizza (yes, Czech pizza tastes good because of the beer) and some nice French wine down by the Mediterranean. I am pretty stoked already. This past weekend was all about adding the last dash of spice to my training soup, with some intergalactic heart rates and record setting times….

I felt like poo straight through until Friday after Temecula. I guess dehydrating myself like a raisin out on course in Temecula probably didn’t help my recovery. Nor did driving two hours to Los Angeles to then fly all the way home that same night. My post race recovery food was five popsicles. Yep, five. Never, ever has anything tasted as good as those Breyers lime popsicles. My stomach ached the whole night but still I believe it might have been worth it.

We went straight home since our friends Chris and Sacha were visiting us from Toronto and would only be in BC until Tuesday. Monday night was a MelRoss pizza extravaganza with loads of guests, some yummy red wine and our patented thin crust pizzas. I really, really wish I had a wood fired oven so I could bring our pizzas to the next level. That would be my dream house, pizza oven and barbeque pit…. The evening was very fun. Wednesday I went swimming and nearly drowned and followed that up with some of the worst riding in a Wednesday night crit I have ever done. I my defense, the crit is just a nasty hill you ride up 14 times. After working my way to the front of a fairly unmotivated pack only to rocket to the back by the top of the hill for eight laps, I dropped out and went home. My quads were not just tired, they HURT! Thursday was another morning swimming terrible at the pool followed by my planned tempo running session. The first three kilometers were fine, the last two were starting to stink a little so shortly after five kilometers I shut it down. Did some half hearted one minute pickups but really, just ran back to my car. Friday I again was testing the boundaries of horrible in the pool, embarrassing myself in front of some of our World Championships guests in the process (lots of guest swimmers in Victoria since ITU Worlds is coming to Vancouver in two weeks), did an easy run and an easy ride, and then had a very relaxed evening.

Saturday I was good to go. Kelly Guest and I have a fun, hard riding session I like to call the Hour of Power. Really, it is like 45 minutes of Power since I decided it was better to do about half of our bike race distance at double the effort than to ride at exact race pace. Basically the loop is about 2 kilometers composed of some fire road steep climbing, some single track climbing and a fast, technical descent. We went four laps two weeks ago and decided we are fit enough to attack five laps of it. Because both of us are racing Alabama (me in one week since I will do the mountain bike race as well) we left on our arm warmers and knee warmers despite the warm and humid conditions. Kelly actually had an undershirt and a long sleeve jersey which was super hardcore. Needless to say, we were cooking in all that because the weather had finally turned to summer and was 26 degrees Celsius. Kelly is the best training partner ever. He is way faster than me, he is super positive and he works super hard. Knowing that he is also riding up there with the best of them now is even more motivating for me and I try my hardest to catch him on the loop. Try being the key word.

I decided to ride the Shiver with my Powertap wheel since I plan to ride a duallie in Alabama and my Fourstroke was not quite ready. On my first lap I set a new record for the loop (for me) in under nine minutes (8:58). However on the third lap my overheating and deliriousness caused a crash in a loose corner that lost me time and on the last lap I ricocheted off of a tree and crashed but still had a very good overall time and still set a new record for five laps of the Hour of Power. It was awesome but the cost was hanging off my bike with my heart rate at 200 bpm at the end. This is how hard we train for XTERRA! I went home to do my Swan Lake tempo off the bike (five minute run to the lake, three-ish kilometers race pace, three kilometers base, run home) and finished the day with the coldest ice bath I have ever had. I seriously could not feel my legs when I got out, ah……much better.

This morning I ran with some very fast girls, Kerry from the NTC and Shawna from UVic invited me to do their Sunday long run. We did 21 kilometers negative split in 90 minutes with 2x 10 minutes of “steady state” on the second loop of the lake which for me was go from kinda hard to very hard for ten minutes, meanwhile getting dropped by both of them. It was great to get pushed hard today. I was also on the chisel program since I got up too late to eat breakfast so by the last two kilometers I was pretty close to bonking. Overall a great run for me because I could feel my legs tighten in the last bit of the run. I rarely do long FLAT runs which means the leg speed is what really kills me. This was super good training and will serve me well in Richmond and Alabama where parts of the run are flat and fast. Ross and I finished the day riding our Crossmachines in the mountain bike park which was super fun. It is funny when you bomb a sketchy line on a cross bike to get around people and they go “They are on ROAD bikes” or “They are riding ten speeds!”. Haha! Good fun.

So another ice bath, this time in the ocean, and all the hard work is done. I will do a little “tuner” session on Tuesday but now it is all about the racing for the next six weeks. Guess we’ll see what I’ve got, huh?

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