Happy Monday! Today I am entering my biggest training week EVER, Week 22, and I am very excited! I am also super happy that the weekend before peak training was a DC Tri Club Training Weekend. Training weekends always bring new energy to my training and this weekend was no different.
On Friday, Pablo and I headed up to Deep Creek State Park in Maryland for some swimming, biking, running and camping with about 50 about DC Tri Clubbers.
Deep Creek is the site of the famed SavageMan Triathlon. If you haven’t heard of SavageMan here are some quick facts: There are 2 distances Savageman 30 (Olympic) and SavageMan 70 (half IM). While it is the SavageMan 70 that earned the #1 spot in the category World’s Hardest Triathlon in 2012 (a very deserved title!), both courses are tough!
The SavageMan 70 includes diabolical climbs and technical descents and it’s worth a visit to the SavageMan website to watch some of the YouTube videos of people attempting to climb the Westernport Wall. Many people walk or fall and those who do make it up earn a brick with their name on it. It’s insane!
I will probably never ever do more than spectate, volunteer or drive the 70 course (it’s hilly, but so beautiful out there!), but the 30 course is a different story…
On Saturday, while the rest of the club set out for their bike rides, Pablo and I set out for a race day simulation. We started with a 1-mile swim in Deep Creek Lake, which was quite pleasant.
Then we headed to the car to assemble our bikes (which we store in the trunk and back seat) and tackle the SavageMan 30 bike course…3 times. The course is beautiful! I should’ve stopped to take some pictures of the wildflowers that line the streets, but with climbs that felt like I was moving slower than molasses, I wanted to stop as little as possible.
While training weekend organizer, Sean, was a major source of motivation on the Bumblebee Rd climb, I had a brief moment of sheer hatred when I saw him and smiled that I was happy to be nearing the end of my first loop and he happily chimed back, oh your climbs are only just coming.
Well, Sean was right of course…the 2 biggest hills were just ahead. I made it up Bumblebee Rd, because Sean and another rider were right ahead of me and pulled me every step of the way. The next climb was harder and I definitely had to stop, walk a bit to a semi-flat section before I could continue…I love you Emma, but you just don’t have enough gears and I don’t have enough power to tackle a 14% grade climb.
The second time around, it didn’t get easier, but I finished my second loop and was flabbergasted when Pablo rode up next to me announcing he was finishing his 3rd loop. Who is this beast I married?!
Knowing I just didn’t have it in me to complete those hills for a 3rd time, I modified my third loop, skipping 3 of the 4 killer hills, returning to a road I had accidentally stayed on too long after I missed a turn during the first loop.
Since I walked part of the course I have full intentions to return next year with either Emma and some new gear ratios or my good ‘ole road bike to tackle the Savageman 30, without any walking!
One thing I definitely did during that ride was nail my nutrition. I was slow, but strong on the 40 min run that followed and made sure to finish right at the site of the Club’s swim clinic, so I could jump in for a quick 5 min cool off swim. Then we headed out for dinner, drinks and some ice cream.
We went out early, which worked out perfectly, because as soon as we got back, I stretched and rolled as Pablo put a tarp over our tent. No sooner had he finished and it started to downpour…no downpour is an understatement, it STORMED and we hunkered down for the night.
Luckily things cleared up in the morning and while various people headed out for their long runs, I decided to join some of our friends for a campfire and breakfast. We cooked up a feast and hung out around the fire for a few hours, then toured the beautiful area for a bit before heading home.
The weather was supposed to be iffy, but lucky for me it turned out to be a beautiful afternoon and I headed South on Mt. Vernon for my 10-mile run. I was slow, but steady, even skipping some of my 4:1 walks and opting for 9:1 instead. While I know I can’t keep up 9:1 in Louisville, I think I’ll try a 5:1, which should help me line up my miles better with the aid stations and get me to the finish line a little faster.
I was happy to have strong runs all week last week, because this week is going to be a heavy running week with a 19-20 mile run as the grand finale on Sunday.
Knowing I’ll cover at least 30 miles this week, I’ve decided this is the perfect week to turn on the Mizuno Baton. The Mizuno Baton is an app that you download onto your phone and turn on for 1 week. During that week Mizuno will donate $1 for every mile you run to the charity Back on My Feet, a nonprofit organization that helps those experiencing homelessness turn their lives around through running.
The Mizuno Baton must be turned on by August 18, 2014 at the latest and the program ends on August 25, 2014, so hurry up and download the app and let’s run some miles and raise some money for charity!
Are you ready for the Mizuno Baton?
How about SavageMan 30 or SavageMan 70?