Saturday I rode the Harvest Century which started and finished less than a mile from my house. And it wasn’t pretty. My pals Jay and Steve met me at my house at 7AM when it was a balmy 39* and together we rode up to the start area where we were greeted by many, many, many more cyclists than I thought there’d be. It took us nearly 45-minutes to get our packets and actually get on the road to ride. And dang! It was COLD. OMG. I had all of my cold weather gear on and within 20-minutes my fingers, hands, and toes were either numb or painfully cold. And I’d stay cold for the next two hours.
The weather other than being so cold was beautiful with bright sunshine and clear blue skies. The three of us met up with fellow Ironhead Tri Team member Kaytee Petross (70.3 AG World Champion!) along the way and made our way out of Forest Grove and towards Hagg Lake. And here is where a route mistake was made that cost us an additional four miles which at the time wasn’t a big deal but towards the end of the day I was wishing I didn’t have those additional miles on the odometer. We had a lunch stop ~45-miles in to the ride and we were very well fed and the warm school cafeteria was a nice shelter to warm up in finally.
We left the lunch stop and turned east and immediately we ran into the East Winds head winds that I knew we’d have since the forecast spoke of them the night before. And the wind was awful and remained the rest of the day. On the other side of Newberg and heading towards Champoeg Park I began to run out of gas. I knew this ride was maybe not going to be easy, but it quickly got pretty tough. Looking back on this now, maybe riding this ride 6-weeks after Ironman Canada and 6-days after the Portland Marathon and without being on the bike since Ironman Canada wasn’t the best decision I’ve ever made.
After leaving Champoeg Park we made our way to Canby and I made my first ever ride across the Willamette River aboard the Canby Ferry which was pretty cool. Until we got to the other side and were immediately hit with the very steepest climb of the day from the river to the top of the hill ½-mile long. It was nasty. Most folks walked their bikes up but for those of us strong (stupid?) enough to grind it out we were going fast enough to stay up right but only barely so. Then it was onto Wilsonville and Sherwood before working our way back towards the finish area via many of the same roads I ride weekly during triathlon training season.
Eventually I made it through the flatlands and winds to get back to Hillsboro and then soon enough the Washington County Fairgrounds where this fun day started. I sat down at a picnic table, in the sun, with Steve & Kaytee, a double-cheese burger, Rouge Brewery Dead Guy Ale, and enjoyed the best part of the day. Stats for Saturday’s ride: 108.4-miles in 6:46 @ 16-mph.
Monday morning at 5:00am I found myself in a place I hadn’t been since late August – the edge of the pool looking into the cold water and ready to plunge in for some laps. Yes, it’s time to get in some swimming again so there I was. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be, but towards the end of the session I could tell I hadn’t been swimming in two months. At lunchtime I was out the door for my first run since the Portland Marathon and it too didn’t suck as much as I thought it might. It was a beautiful day with cool fall temps and lots of sunshine. I ran a very easy pace and did not push it at all. It was awesome to be out running again. Stats for Monday’s swim: 2,000-yards in 39:09 (41:39 w/rest) 4x500 w/30-sec. rests. Stats for Monday’s run: 6.2-miles in 50:57 @ 8:13/m.
And today I was again at the pool for another easy session. I swam the same distance but tossed in some drill work along the way. Then late in the workday afternoon I was able to get out for run that I couldn’t do at noon due to a meeting. The weather was drastically different then it was yesterday with blustery winds, blowing leaves, cold temps, and just general nastiness. But it felt better than yesterday’s run, it felt easier than yesterday’s run, and the pace was faster than yesterday’s run. Stats for Tuesday’s swim: 2,000-yards in 39:45 (41:45 w/rest) 5x400 w/30-sec. rests. Stats for Tuesday’s run: 6.2-miles in 49:31 @ 7:59/m.
And also today is my Friday! My beautiful wife and I are loading up the Outback and taking a road trip down the Coast Highway 101 to the Redwoods National Park in Northern California and then looping back up to Crater Lake. We have no reservations anywhere and no timelines on having to be at a certain place at a certain time. We have just the two of us hanging out together for a few days, the open road, some beautiful scenery, and a great time ahead of us. I’ll try to post some pics next week.