Friday, January 25, 2013

Santa Monica Mountains Camp Day #5

It was another rainy day in the Santa Monica Mountains. The day started out as planned, with an early morning swim. It was raining, but I love swimming outdoors in the rain. I got in a long freestyle warm-up and then started on a mixed stroked main set. The goal of today's swim wasn't to push myself, but just to get in some meters (or, in this case, yards!), retain the feel for the water and add a bit of variety (hence the IM stuff)! I actually felt like I had good energy in the pool, but I have a double swim day tomorrow so I will use it then.

The rain stopped at around 7:30am and my 3 iPhone weather aps didn't show it raining again until early afternoon. Yay! So I met with the group and we started our ride under overcast skies at 8:30am. The 8 of us that went out were hopeful that the rain would stay to the south of us and we could get in our planned 85km ride. The rain held off for about 20km, but then the skies opened...and when they did we got soaked! The fact that there were rivers running down the roads and we could barely see through the downpour was a sign that we should all turn around. I felt like I was swimming, because I was soaked right through! I decided I would push myself on the ride home so I could stay with the lead group. That ended up being just me and Robert (who I rode with yesterday in the rain). In the past he has always been way ahead of me on the climbs and today I managed to stay with him and only let him get a few hundred meters in front of me at the most. Success. Also, it turns out that 4 out of the 8 riders had to get a ride back in the support vehicle! So maybe the fact I stuck it out on this ride makes me 75% tough?

As soon as I was back at the hotel I did my run (inside on the treadmill...I had had enough of the rain!). I actually felt really good and got in a decent 6.6km run in 30 minutes...with energy left at the end! So, today was another day where I had to miss half of the planned ride. This is disappointing, but, as Adam pointed out, I still managed to ride 425km in the week so that's an average of about 85km/day ... so almost 5 half-ironman distance rides in 5 days is not too shabby! AND I still have 3 days left. I am hopeful that on Sunday the weather is nice enough for me to get in the epic 150km ride...but we will see what happens.

Tomorrow is a double swim day and I am on the hunt to find a shot glass from LA and Westlake Village for Rikki's collection! I will be happy to get back to Toronto to see him :)

For those of you interested about the cycling camp that I am doing in the Santa Monica Mountains, here are some of the details. The organizers are from Cycling Escapes ( and they offer many different camps all over the US...and I hear they are thinking of offering a few in Europe! Richard Merrick and Mike were our group leaders and they were super drove the support car and the other rode. The routes they planned were diverse, so that even though you were riding the same mountains daily, the routes were different so you felt like it was a new location each day. They offered advice if you needed it, lots of encouragement and they even went out in the pouring rain to support us, even when only 2 of us were riding. The support vehicle stocks every nutrition product you can imagine and has everything you need for a full lunch. I couldn't believe how well prepared they were. And I will never forget that they introduced me to Pepperidge Farm cookies! Also, they are able to recommend restaurants to eat, places to see, etc. I definitely want to do this camp again next year! I really loved it :)

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