Why run when you can ride…why swim when you can paddle?
I appreciate the comments and suggestions from everyone about my last post. Things are going good in the racing realm and I have a good plan forming for the end of the year. During some rides this week with a few friends it all became clear… it is funny how it all makes sense when you talk something over with a friend or two during a ride. I realize I need to get away from my mantra in the title of this post for my end of year training but this weekend was one last fling with my favorite two sports.
I have only ridden a hundred miles or more two times in my life… Last October was the first time and it was the first ride on my road bike. A comfy fit and I logged over 140 miles. Three weeks later I hit about 112 miles at the 12 hours of Temecula and that was a hard century to pull in. I really didn’t plan any of these century rides so this weekend when Ryan, Sean, Jason and I headed out for a solid ride the last thing on my mind was putting in another 100 miler…
Not planning the ride or distance turned out to be the best route! We headed out at a quick pace and I made a plan as we made our way south on PCH. I was going to keep it steady on the flats (drafting behind the six foot and over club) and push up every hill at a threshold effort… Pretty good plan for a short ride but turned out to be a kick in the crack for this hot ride. I got a PR time/power up Newport Coast and ended up with the most “work” I have ever collected with my powertap in a single ride to date. A little over six hour of ride time, 114 miles, 3,715 kilojoules. Stoked!
We met up with a group ride heading north on Jeffery and lets just say it was a hot pace after every green light. Sean kept us honest with a solid pace the entire ride and I was trying to keep to my plan of pushing up all the hills. At about mile 30-40 Ryan and I really started to feel it. . . We thought that this was the half way point but we had no idea! By the time we met up with Jason in Lake Forest we had a HOT ride though the canyon. The heat does strange things to you sometimes and I think we were playing cowboys and indians?
We did net a solid ride and it was a good time with these tall guys. A good laugh and leg burn really makes the miles fly by….
The next day we headed up to Big Bear for the PaddleFest race. This was event #3 in the Conquer the Bear Challenge and the first paddle race for Monique and me. Another perfect day in Big Bear!
I was feeling pretty beat from the sun and miles the day before but I was so stoked to paddle! We had a 10K on the lake that would start in Fawnskin and head out to the damn, around some rock islands and back. Paddle time!
As we started out, I got in a draft behind Danny Hough to try to avoid getting caught in the sea weed all around Fawn harbor. Unfortunately, I was pulling a huge mess around my fin and slowly Danny started to pull away as we rounded the first cove. I was struggling in my mind about if it was better to hop out of my boat and pull off the mess of sea weed or loose more time and energy from dragging it though the entire 10K route. Then it somehow came loose and like the wind at my back I was gliding along at an efficient pace. Ahh!! It felt so good! Before long I had passed Danny and by the time I paddled through the rock islands at the turn around point I was told I had a five minute lead. Stoked!
With less than 5K to go I got into a rhythm and just started cranking along. I knew I would have to deal with the sea weed again once I got into the harbor so I was just trying to hold a decent pace until then. . . Then… I fell in while talking to some of the boats. A welcome surprise as I was sweating like a pig in the sun and I needed to go to the bathroom…ha! I drank a full hydration bladder that was strapped to the back of my pfd…what can I say, when you gotta go….
I looked behind me and there were no boats in sight so I cruised back into the harbor. Not my fastest paddle but I was able to hold on for the overall win. Stoked!! That last 200 yards felt so slow because as soon as I got back into the cove I picked up more sea weed. Dragging that in after a big effort felt like I was pulling a barge behind me!
I was stoked to win my first (hopefully of many) paddle races and then got to lead out the StandUp paddle races afterward. A great event and a perfect ending to my biggest training block yet.
Luke joined us and I was stoked to see him picking up paddling so quickly. He is a natural! For some reason all these triathlete/multisport folks just know body-mind connection or something… I am sure a solid understanding of swimming mechanics is a big help but Luke just took off after a few barks!
After the race we got in a quick ride on some of Big Bear‘s sweet single track before getting back into town for the awards ceremonies. We were sharing the stage with the Big Bear Shootout #2 race that took place just an hour after the paddle race. Paul jumped into the race after announcing all day and setting up the venue and pulled a 2nd place pro result. Nice!
We ate and enjoyed a great venue, music and people that came out for the hand full of races going on . . . just about as perfect of a weekend as you can get I think.