Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Back From Heaven!!!

Woohoo!! What an awesome time I had in Penticton -- meeting fellow bloggers, and others, AND biking my butt off!! :) :)

The weather was absolutely perfect -- over 30 degrees Celsius, so we could really get used to that kind of heat. I got a bad sunburn on my left arm and shoulder just driving to Penticton!! I was bunking with Kelsey, but due to car trouble, she didn't make it Thursday night. I woke up Friday morning, to see IG standing outside my room eating an apple.

I opened the door and made small talk until he nonchalantly said, "Well, we're thinking of biking the IMC course in reverse today, do you want to come?" I said, "Sure! When will we leave?" With the same nonchalance, IG casually looked at his watch and said, "Oh, I don't know, about 32 minutes." BAKAW!! 32 minutes to cram some breaky into my belly, and then gear up my bike with multiple water bottles, gels, etc.

I quickly got ready -- I was excited to just dive into a monster bike ride-- THEN I met Susi!!!! She is the sweetest, kindest, funniest chickie -- an all around cutie-pie. She has the biggest heart. :) :):) I also met Daryl -- awesome!!! IG, Mark (one of the dudes I drafted off for the Lethbridge race), Daryl, Susi, and I all set off. What a GREAT ride!!!!!!! I had so much fun, pushing myself continuously -- out of my comfort zone but not so far out that I would die of exhaustion. :) :)

We did an easy run afterwards just to the lake, where we quickly waded in and stood with our aching quads and hamstrings-- a natural ice bath!! :) :) This was to become my favourite ritual at the end of the day. :) :) Although,as each day passed, I waded deeper and deeper into the water as my nether regions and my ass got more and more sore. LOL!!!

Kelsey arrived Friday afternoon and cooked me a wonderful meal of salmon and pesto pasta. We made a deal that we would take turns cooking and cleaning. Some other people also arrived and once we met each other, I was off to bed.

Saturday morning, we all drove in a convoy to Oliver where we swam for a bit in the lake. We practiced running out of the water and then running back in. Kelsey did so awesome -- she had been a bit nervous about the lake, but totally overcame her fears and had a positive experience. I had an epiphany too -- while talking with everyone the night before, I decided to try swimming with my contacts in. Everyone told me they had never had a problem with it -- I was always under the impression that NO ONE swam with contacts. When one person after the other said, "I swim with them in", "I do too", I got my courage screwed up. And it worked! You have no idea what an ordeal it has been for me to not swim with my contacts. During Saturday's swim, suddenly, I could see!! :):)

Next we rode from Oliver, through Osoyoos, and to the top of the Osoyoos hill. A steady, steady climb under very hot oppressive conditions. At times,it was like an oven -- no wind just a quiet, intense heat. My nutrition was bang on!! :) :) This year, I have added electrolyte pills to my nutrition regimen and it's been the missing link for me. Working out in the heat has always been a challenge -- I am a very salty sweater. During the last three IMC's I have had lots of white powdery residue caking my shorts and my face. I would also pee like a demon too. Finally, this year, by cranking up my electrolyte intake I felt IMMENSELY better!! :) :)

Our group was strung out along the hill. I pedaled up to the eagle statue then turned around and blasted down!! YAHOOOO!!! Biked back to Oliver,where I had warned as many people as I could of my horrible sense of direction. Fortunately (for me!), Kelsey got a flat and decided to just take it easy until I caught up with her. All her stuff was in my car too -- heh-heh, almost like I ensured an escort into Oliver,eh? LOL!!

We waded into the lake to ease our muscles -- this time, I went up to my hips. LOL!!

Sunday was the day we biked the IMC course the right way. I was going to leave early with Susi and a couple of other gals. The plan was to leave at 7:00am -- until I wheeled my bike out and saw the rear tire was flat. It took me a while, but I did change it and felt mightily pleased with myself about that!! I felt bad that Susi and the girls were waiting for me -- I told them that they didn't have to wait. I didn't take the time to get all the grease and bike chain imprints off my legs from changing the tire -- we just set out.

Now here comes the truly embarrassing part -- the plan was to sort of stay together and wait at the corners or major turns for one another so we wouldn't get lost. Well, I went ahead to Okanagan Falls, and completely missed the turn --I started going in the wrong direction -- biked across a bridge and started going uphill. I quickly realized I was going in the wrong direction and pedaled back. LOL!! I had no idea where Susi and the girls were -- I had no idea what corner or where I would even perch to wait for them. So -- onto Osoyoos I went.

There were a bunch of other cyclists on the road at this point, and I must have cruised by another training group, because when I pulled into the Osoyoos Husky (THE place for the biking crowd's pit stop) I was greeted by this guy who waved me toward a nice tented Gatorade and water stand. I had to explain that I was with another group -- although I had no idea where any of them were!! LOL!!

I continued on, intending to bike the entire IMC course, out-and-back included. The only problem was, I didn't recognize any of the turn offs. I tried going up this one side road, Coulthard road -- it sounded familiar,but as I biked along (I went quite a ways), the road didn't strike me as familiar at all. So, I turned around again and headed out to the highway. I then pedaled until Keremeos -- I missed the road where we were supposed to turn off and ended up at this gas station. I bought two bananas, filled up my water bottles and asked two other cyclists to point me in the direction of Yellow Lake.

It was right after this that I met up with some of our group!! YAY!!! Andrea (An AMAZING cyclist) shouted "Julie!" I was so thrilled to see them!! LOL!!! They were wondering where the hell I had wandered off too -- I said, "Don't ask!!!" LOL!! Mark laughed that I was the one who had the most experience on the course and I still got lost!! LMAO!!! Hahahahahaha!

It had been pretty windy up top this point, but to me, it was just like a normal day of cycling in the Pass. The wind quieted down as we started the climb to Yellow Lake. What an awesome climb!! I felt strong and the climb was enjoyable -- that Osoyoos hill had boosted my confidence. Biking the IMC course on tired legs from all that previous riding added even more confidence!!

I biked back into town and then went for a quick run. I felt GREAT -- I could have kept going, but the lake was too tempting. I waded in and ooooohhhh did it ever feel good. I was really pooped afterwards - we all went out to eat afterwards, and I slept like a log that night.

Monday morning, a few of us decided to do a recovery ride. Poor Kelsey had gotten 4 flats(!!) the day before,and thinking the problem was solved, biked happily along. Her tire soon was leaking and we all stopped as IG inflated her tire. She then got another flat, and after changing it, we all decided to head back down. Everyone was leaving, but me. Hee-hee! I didn't want to fool around with all the traffic,so I was staying one more night.

Biking back down the hill my legs started to feel heavy. I started to feel really tired too. I planned on going for an easy run later that afternoon, but my body had other ideas. After everyone left, I crashed for over 2 hours!! Woke up, ate, then went back to bed!! LOL!!!

I am fatigued but elated!! :):) I had a great trip and am planning on going out to Penticton at the end of June. Jenna -- I still want to go with you in July,but that is the weekend of that huge festival in the Pass -- if I can wrangle it, I definitely will!!! :):)

Well, that is the abbreviated version of the training camp. I'll leave the more detailed reports to Susi, Kelsey, and Daryl. IG took a bunch of pics, so did Susi. :) :):)

Things I learned this weekend:

1. How to ride uphill while holding onto just my aero pads.
2. I have greatly improved my uphill biking ability! (YAY!)
3. I still get lost -- no matter what!!
4. Kelsey bikes like a mad demon.
5. Daryl can keep his composure even when his aero bar falls off going 75km/hr.
6. Susi loves all wildlife, and wildlife loves Susi -- Ask her about her Boob Bug!! LOL!!!
7. IG doesn't do mornings. LOL!!
8. Mark is a great cook!
9. I CAN'T wait to meet Jenna!! Ooh boy, I think me and you are going to hit it off, girl!! LOL!!!


Susi said...

Jenna is coming to Calgary May 30th weekend...can you come up too? Both of you can crash at mi casa!

Julie said...

Oooh, I'll see what I can do! :) :)

Susi said...

okay, found a break to read the whole blog tee hee....

LMAO - yep we were all pretty giggly over the fact that you got lost! of course they have people flagging the direction in a race - maybe next year we'll get someone out there for ya! tee hee.

it was truly awesome getting to meet you too. i absolutely love your spirit and joie de vivre!! i think we had a truly amazing group out there!

hopefully we can meet up again, sooner rather than later. maybe you can come up here when jenna is here, or i'll take a trip there after IMCDA and learn how to ride in the Pass!

big hugs to ya!!

Keith said...

May 30 huh. hmmmmm.

Great post Julie! Read hastily over lunch, will read more thoroughly later....

Jenna said...

WARNING: I can;t find my way out of a paper bag! My cognitive mapping skills SUCK. Julie, if you and I venture off together - we better take along a guide or we could vanish forever!!! Love the stories and it sounds like you had so much fun. PLEASE anyone who can be part of a fun weekend riding on the May 30th weekend - I'd love to meet you all!!!

Jenna said...

oh...and I would love it if you could post what electrolyte tabs you take and when - in fact...would you mind emailing me me your nutrion schedule if you don't mind. I have no idea what ai will need when and when I will not want GELS any more. The nutrigrain bars just dissolve and seem to work really well for me - for running or biking. Even though I do not appear to sweat - I seem to have a skiff layer of salt on my body after a workout. I am red and white - like a candy cane but I don't taste like mint!

runningman said...

Awsome report Julie, it was awsome to meet you and train with you. You're attitude and laugh was an infectious part of the weekend. It's so easy to stay positive with you around. Somthing I have to keep working on.

One small complaint though, I was promised I would have a nick name and link on the side of the blog when I got back. I don't see it there?!?!? LOL

qtlibrarian said...

Daryl 'I'm not sure we've meet' IM blog sounds about right.

You can be my roomie anytime!

Cath said...

Sounds like you a great time - way to go to all that training!