Back from the land of hot dogs, IPAs and more Umeke bowls than I could count in one household. Now that was a weekend. If you want to learn how to properly work hard and play hard visit The Rouses! Good times.
Cheesy group pic! Friday evening at Green Flash Brewery. Mike, me, John, Jim Vance and Kimmie.
There were many reasons for going to SD, the primary one being to train (despite all the beer tweets/pics you may have seen from us over the weekend). There really aren't too many places near where we live in OC where you can quickly get to quality uninterrupted roads for 50... 75... 100+ miles. Don't get me wrong, we have decent riding and we have hills (thank goodness) but also lots of traffic stops and congestion, and that can kill the mojo time after time. (OC'ers: If there's some magical traffic-less route I'm missing, please fill me in.)
SD, on the other hand, has the roads for quality long miles. Not a single forced stop, good weather and hills. This past weekend we wanted to get in ~5hrs, and have the finish line be at Alpine Brewing for a post-training refreshing beverage. Starting in Alpine worked out perfectly because immediately we had access legit training grounds. It brought back memories, for sure.... When I still lived in SD, I used to ride in the general area out on Dehesa and Japtul roads, Harbison Canyon, etc; however, that was when I was content and stoked on a 20-mile ride haha. I think my ex-boyfriend had me to GWL once, and I wanted to kill him....
So we parked at the brewery and got riding, and it was just what we wanted and extra hot. Perfection. Mentally I was ready and excited for a big day in the saddle and nothing was going to break that spirit. Rousey had given us directions on where to ride and just casually mentioned that there would be some hills and, like uh, an 11-mile climb, Mt. Laguna or something; stated it like it was no big deal. Mt. Laguna sounded familiar but I didn't think much of it. Meanwhile, Rousey ran the whole time we rode, fueled on on bottle of water and a hot dog. Yup.
Long story short, the ride was a freakin beast and a blast! I had not done that much climbing since all my MTB'ing last year, and I loved it. I have a good ability to put my head down and grind up consistently. The grade on Mt. Laguna wasn't that bad, and I've done gnarlier, but combined with everything else we got in just under 8k vertical. John and I just took the hills as they came, not breaking any records, but enjoying a solid day of 70 miles. It wasn't quite the 5hrs of ride time we wanted, but 4+ with that kind of vertical was an ok compromise.
Quick stop during the grind up Mt. Laguna to enjoy a Bonk Breaker and a good view. I was sporting my new BB kit made by Hincape, and it was SO comfy and breathable in the heat.
I really do love climbing, even the nonstop grinds like Mt. Laguna. I had good practice last year when doing all that MTB, including the 9-mi TT that took just under 1:30 (yea, now that was a grade given that time/distance as you can imagine), and the 50mile-ish Saddleback Mountain race . In fact, I will take climbing over descending ANY day. I hate downhill for one reason: the fear of a bee slamming it's stinger ass into me at 40+ mph... fear of anaphylactic shock... fear of the epi pen.... I'm not gonna lie, it all terrifies me. But that happens when you've paid $2,000+ in medical bills from that exact scenario panning out before. Of course, I carry an epi pen religiously now and can avoid another 911 call most likely, but still. It sucks that I'm a scaredy cat. Thank god our decent was bee-free this time.
After the ride I had oddly great energy and was not overly trashed. It was weird. I attribute that to good nutrition especially: couple bonk breakers, skratch, banana, water, MAP... the usual. I never let myself get depleted. My diet otherwise over the weekend was hit or miss: some healthy Paleo-ish fish tacos to the other end of the spectrum of good ol' fashion pizza, more chips than I've eaten in ages (my weakness is chips) and I don't even know what else. But it was interesting to see that someone who eats as healthy as I do still did fine with gluten-filled food and drinks. Last time I had real pizza I got sick, so I consider this a success.
I love me a good flight of good beer! @ Alpine Brewing.
Tasting room, on my way to finding a bathroom where I attempted to take a sponge-bath "shower" with sink water and paper towels in a bathroom with no light after being on the bike for 70 miles. Yikes.
This is one weird dude. 26+ mile post-run craving? Fried pickles. That's all. I'll admit, though, I actually had one and it was pretty dang good.
On the other hand, Kimmie made us a fabulous fresh caprese salad which was like heaven in my mouth and guilt-free!
Successful morning running for Boston!
The crew ended up getting in 900+ miles, yet we only needed 700-something to make the distance to Boston (the challenge being to run from SD to Boylston Street, as mentioned). Success! I ran 10.5 miles all with Rousey (giving me a solid ~40 miles of running for the week, rampin up!). That guy is something. He ran 26+ on Saturday's jaunt and still hung at about an 8:00 avg pace on Sunday morning for another 10+, with plenty of time at a sub-8:00 pace in there, both of us chatting the whole time. No hot dogs though, sadly.
All in all a great weekend, and I'm glad where my head is at as I start to tap into Ironman base volume. It's going to be a fun year, and I have a feeling there will be plenty more SD trips, for training or otherwise, in our near future....
Two more things: 1) Follow @IPAattheFinish on twitter. Trust me here. 2) If you ever see this food truck below, order from it. Really good stuff.
Apparently those who like craft beer enjoy good food too! The scene at Green Flash.