My next big race is the Wildflower Long Course Triathlon on May 2, 2009. It is known as the second toughest half-Ironman distance course in North America. This will be my toughest race yet.
Last weekend, I went up to Lake San Antonio for a long weekend training camp. We swam, biked, and ran on the terrain that we will be racing on. The training was great, but it was a huge wake-up call to me that I need to improve my cycling skills.
This would be me riding the 56-mile hilly course. I'm smiling because I know I'm almost done. Whew!
The 56-mile bike course has lots of rolling hills at the beginning, then levels off for several miles. Around mile 43, there's a hill called "Nasty Grade". It can best be compared to "Heartbreak Hill" in the Boston Marathon -- when you're done with much of the course and a bit tired out, up ahead is a long hill to conquer. Nasty Grade is several miles of climbing. It levels off and you think you're done, but then there's more climbing to do. At the top, some joker spraypainted on the road, "What hill?". I laughed so hard when I saw that, after sweating through that long climb.
Swimming is.... swimming. I don't really love to swim. I am tall and have broad shoulders, so I'm not too terrible. My attitude, or perhaps attitude problem, toward swimming in triathlons is that it's so low yield -- even with tons of practice, a swimmer will only shave a minute or two off her race time. However, with running and cycling, many minutes can be saved. I attend an hourlong coached swim session once a week, but soon I'll be doing an open water swim also.
Running.... I love to run. I could run all day. Like Forest Gump. Except I like my music and can't live without my Garmin 305 GPS to tell me how far and how fast I am running.
The next few weeks will be some tough training.