Friday, September 27, 2013

Tour de Vic, 2013 Edition

Last weekend I participated in the 100km ride that is part of Ryder Hesjedal's Tour De Victoria. This was my second year taking part in the event, and once again, it didn’t disappoint.

This year was a little different though…

Last year it was just me and my Dad riding the 100k. (Kirsten and Tyler took on the 140k, but we never crossed paths with them).

This year it was a family affair, as my Dad, Kirsten, myself and even my Mom took on the 100k ride.

Last year the weather was pretty much perfect. Sunshine-happiness and all that good shizz.

This year the weather was ugly. Rain, wind, more rain… oh, and a little teeny-tiny bit of sunshine to end out the day.

Last year Shane gave me grief for not stuffing my pockets full of Honey Stinger products at each feed zone to help fuel our Ironman training that year (and the fact that Kirsten had done this, and used the “free” Stinger products all season long only gave him more ammo for his “grief giving”).

This year, I took everything and anything I could get my hands on at the feed zones, and finished the ride with pockets so full they probably added 10lbs (or more) to my back. I’m pretty sure the kid volunteering at the Parkland feed zone will never forget me, haha.

Judge me if you will, but the event is expensive, and training for an Ironman is also expensive, so yeah…
a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.
Last year the ride was in June and I was healthy and fit and heading into a peak block of Ironman training. 100k on the bike was a pretty regular occurrence at that point in the season.

This year I came down with a slight sore throat a few days prior to the event, only to have it turn into a full blown chest cold the day before. Oh, and with all the time spent running on the trails this summer, about 55k had been my longest ride of the season.

So yeah, I felt like crap, and the idea of riding 100k in the rain with a chest cold wasn’t super appealing, but I also have major cheapskate tendencies (^see evidence above) and I wasn’t about to throw away the registration fee (or the Honey-Stinger-getting-opportunities).

On top of that, I had been looking forward to riding with my folks and Kirsten and I really do enjoy the “no pressure” aspect of this event. So I sucked it up and well… onward we rolled.

Anyway, what can I say?

Despite the rain and the wind, the day was super fun. Aside from a little bit of laboured breathing on the Munns Rd hill climb (it was the chest cold, I swear) and some minor “my hands and feet are numb” wussy moments, my body felt good at the end, and it made me excited to really get back on the bike and get into training for IM CdA in the coming weeks (if only I could kick this damn cold).

Getting to ride on roads with little-to-no traffic, having flag people control all the intersections, and just being out in our beautiful city with a bunch of other like-minded people is a pretty awesome thing.

So yeah, if you couldn’t tell, I had an absolutely great time soaking up the day (pun totally intended); rolling along at Mom’s pace, just taking in all the cheers and cowbells of the [awesome, amazing, super-fantastic] volunteers on course.

Oh, and did I mention the Honey Stingers? Yeaaahhh!!!
Photos by Art Box Victoria.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Riding Bikes

“If you worried about falling off the bike, you'd never get on.” – Lance Armstrong

Love him or hate him, I’ve always enjoyed the above quote by ol’ Lancey Boy. It sort of goes along with that saying that goes something like “it’s not if you fall off your bike, it’s when.”

I’ve been riding my bike a lot lately. Commuting to and from work on my trusty Blue Steel.

I haven’t fallen off my bike yet *knocks on wood* and have only had one minor scare with a bus (admittedly probably mostly my fault ~ don’t worry parental units, I learned my lesson), which was MORE THAN ENOUGH to smarten me up, teach me some patience and become the best, rule following cyclist that Victoria has ever seen.

Anyway, September in the Capital always sees an increase in clogged roads and a return to ‘didn’t-get-out-of-first-gear’ commutes as students return to university and parents return to work after a summer off with the kiddies. Since we’ve been so lucky and had such beautiful weather as of late, it seems silly for me to be sitting in the car when I can ride to work instead (in pretty much the same amount of time as driving).

So I have been. And well, it’s been great.

On top of that, I’ve taken a bit of an unplanned break from running (and structured training in general) and spent the month since TransRockies just doing what I feel like. Riding my bike to and from work, going for walks in the sunshine on my lunch breaks (and then with Rusty and Shane in the evening) and swimming every once in a while, is really all that I’ve felt like.

Not a bad place for a lunch time wander.
My legs still seem to have a general heaviness in them and so I’ve been enjoying this “active recovery” phase before jumping back into a strict ‘more well defined’ training regime, and you know, I think my mind has enjoyed the break as much as my body.

That said, October 1 will be when I get back into some structure and start on the road to IM CdA. Between now and then however, I’ve got some fun things planned.

I’ll be tackling the 100km route in Ryder Hesjedal's Tour de Victoria with my family in just over a week and am really looking forward to it. No pressure, just fun, relaxed riding. Last year I had a blast riding with my Dad, so I think adding my Mom and sister into the mix will make it even better.

On top of that, I’m hoping to throw myself into a few cyclocross rides/races. Shane recently got a new cycolcross bike as well, so *fingers crossed* I can drag him along with me, or we can build a little track on our property to practice on (*hint hint* and ~pretty please~ Shane).

Anyway, this is rambly and probably kind of boring to anyone but future-me, but I felt like it has been a while since I touched base with the blog-o-sphere and well, just wanted to say…

ps. I’m obviously playing with the look of the blog, so give me some opinions would ya?

pps. Even though the title (Penticton or Bust!) may seem a bit outdated, my sentimental heart won’t let it go. I’ve come to realize Penticton isn’t only a magical little town in the Okanagan and home of my first and second IMs, it is so soo much more to me. So much really, that words can’t do it justice.