Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Santa Monica Mountains Camp Day #3

It was another great day in California! I had a nice early morning swim at the Calabasas Swim and Tennis Center. It started out with a nice long warm up and then a main set of 12x200 pulling with paddles. The legs were happy to have a nice break. I even surprised myself with the amount of energy that I had...I was hopeful it would translate to the bike and run planned for later in the day.

After the swim I had less than an hour to shower, drive back to the hotel, eat breakfast, change into my bike gear and get to the group's meeting point. I arrived there with about 5' to spare..finally I got the timing right! Today was a scheduled "rest" day ... the route was only 80km and only involved about 1500m of climbing. However, 10km into the ride we were hit with a crazy climb! It was short, yes, but at times the grade was 18-20%. The hill flattened out at 14% and that felt like relief for the legs! Haha. Definitely had my highest 1' and 5' peak power output of the camp today! I was very happy when the climb was over and we reached the first rest stop. I rewarded myself with my first ever Pepperidge farm cookie...OMG...they are so good! I could have just hung out at the rest stop for the rest of the day eating those cookies. Haha. But today I was still with the lead group of 3 guys after the first climb so that motivated me to keep riding :) The group did get a bit ahead of me after the next descent...I can't believe how fast they go down! I tried to watch and copy what they did, and I am definitely getting more confident (I was even in the drops for part of today's descent!), but there's no way I can go that fast. Even if I was in a car I would be nervous at that speed. Once we reached the bottom of the mountain I rode with the guys along the Pacific Coast Highway, which runs parallel to the coast and the beach that stretches for miles and miles. It was a nice long, flat-ish stretch, and it was great to have some company. I guess the reason it was called a rest day was because of this 20km stretch that didn't involve any 10%+ grade climbs :) Too soon we arrived at the next climb, which was a 16km ascent up the wasn't too steep though (4-8%) so I found it quite enjoyable. I did get dropped by the guys, but my legs felt pretty good and was determined to not push myself too hard, since tomorrow is a HUGE riding day (150km and about 3500m of climbing). I came to another realization on my climb...and that is that I tend to figure out solutions to problems while riding, but then I get off my bike and I am either too tired to follow through with those solutions OR I forget them. So tomorrow I will have to think about how to solve that problem :) Once at the summit I helped myself to a few more cookies and then started the descent back to the hotel. Once I arrived back I couldn't believe the ride was over. It felt so short compared to Monday and Tuesday!

After some lunch and a few hours of relaxing it was time for a quality treadmill run...I was not quite sure how I would find the energy...but, somehow, it was there. 15' of warming up then 45' of intervals ended up being a 14km run! At the end I was pretty much dead..and HUNGRY! I had barely stepped inside the door of the hotel room, before I was eating everything in site! 2 muffins and a banana were gone within seconds :)

Now it's time to relax and mentally prepare myself for my longest ride ever tomorrow!

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