So when I last left you I was in St. John's Newfoundland. I had a great time on the Rock but now it was time to get back to the mainland. Of course, the day I left St. John's it was a warm 23C and clear. The clear part was good as I needed to get the flight out on time. It was cool seeing NFLD from the air. I could make out an iceberg in the distance - hard to see but it's the white dot in the ocean.
Beautiful. Once I landed I was hit with the familiar Ontario humidity. I landed at 7:30pm and it's was 35C with the humidity. I got my suitcase and headed north to meet up with Sara and Logan who were camping in Muskoka, Dwight to be exact. I would be doing some work and training there - love those hills!
The boys. I did not get into the smores - Lake Placid is within 4 weeks. I did manage to get a open water swim in with the TriMuskoka training club. We did almost 2K in Harp Lake at 6:15am - arghh. The water was surprisingly warm and the setting was stunning. I even saw a bear running across the road. I also learned that IM Muskoka should be a reality for 2015 with a late August date to be announced in the near future! Muskoka 70.3 would then be moved to early July - exciting news!
Coach and I going over our training plans for the next couple of weeks. Logan and I did some intervals at Dwight beach. These were 250m in length - I was running and Logan was on his bike. We'd "race" for the 250 then head slowly back 250 for recovery. We ended up doing 10 reps and it usually ended with Logan blasting past me saying "smell you later!" We got lots of laughs from the beachgoers who were wondering what the heck we were doing.
On the Wednesday I went for a long ride. I did the Muskoka 70.3 course minus the North Portage to Deerhurst out n' back. This worked out to 75k of hills. I met Sara and Logan at Dwight Beach to reload on beverages and nutrition and decided to head up to Algonquin Park. I was SO glad I did. The shoulder along Hwy 60 through Algonquin is huge - you could easily ride two abreast the entire way. Traffic doesn't have to worry about cyclists and everyone wins - some planner was really thinking on this one! Not only that the pavement is incredible - most of the paving has been done in the last couple of years. There were loads of hills and plenty of places to reload nutrition along the way. Once past the West Gate the kilometres are marked as well. Whenever I head to Muskoka in the future this will be my go-to ride!!
Ironman training is going well. My Muskoka long ride was my 5th 160+km ride of the season so I'm rounding into form. There are always a couple of niggles to monitor but, overall, my health is good. I'm hoping to have a good race. I plan on enjoying the day. I wasn't in the right mindset at all last year - in fact, I dreaded the training for the most part. This year I'm feeling a lot better. Work is going well, Logan has been progressing (he is becoming quick the young man), and my stomach troubles from last year have not been present (knock on wood). So based on that I feel good. Confidence in my run is still a question mark however. Due to the stomach troubles my runs for last year were 4:30 (Placid) and 4:45 (Florida). My previous runs prior to 2013 were 3:53 (Placid) and 3:57 (Wisconsin). I know what I'm "capable" of - I just have some anxiety still when it comes to my stomach as I never had stomach issues during my first 6 Ironmans. I plan to take it out slow and cautious and see what happens - hopefully it will all work out.
Happy Training - Cheers!