I’m skipping reviewing my workouts this week (sad I know…) and focusing on my weekend instead. I managed to cram a fair amount of biking, hiking, running, and avoiding rain clouds into two days. Because I was busy enjoying myself, not many pictures were taken. But I do have quite a few Garmin maps to show for it.
Last weekend a few friends headed up to Donner Lake/Truckee for some camping and triathlon training. The trip came into existence because one of them is doing the Donner Lake Triathlon and wanted to pre-ride the course. It is an olympic distance triathlon with gorgeous scenery and a rather technical bike course. I decided to tag along because a) I like all things Tahoe/camping/etc and b) hard workouts are fun. It is not often that I get invited to ride hills at a high(er) elevation.
I arrived at Donner on Saturday for the brick. It was a bit later in the day than I anticipated (thanks HWY 80 construction) and hot.
Although the race starts with a 1000+ feet climb to Donner summit, we decided to survey part of the run as a 4 mile warm-up. I spent a lot of the warm-up admiring the lake and wondering how the altitude change would impact my already mediocre cycling on hills. The relatively flat part was over too soon and I started the climb.
Despite the fact that the road looked steep and it was hot, the climb wasn’t actually that bad. It was hard (obviously), but there was never a moment when I worried that I might have to get off my bike and walk. I can’t say the same for Cantelow. I didn’t even feel that I needed to get out of the saddle to push past steep part, but I did anyway for a nice change in body position. That isn’t to say that I was making amazing progress… I was pretty much crawling along (see pace below), which was okay, except that I felt bad for my riding partner who decided to wait for me. After the hill, I mostly coasted for miles. It was a lot of fun, but unfortunately I had to ride up that hill again. Such is life. Here is the ride recap.
I am fairly certain that this is the most elevation gain my bike has seen ever.
After the bike was the run (surprise, surprise).
While I felt okay on the ride, I completely lost it on the run. I tend to slightly exaggerate when it comes to my running performance. Jokes aside, this was pretty much an all time low. There seemed to be no shade and I was convinced that my bike jersey was trying to suffocate me. (Maybe not literally, but I wanted to rip the sleeves away to give me some air). Also it seemed that I was running by disgusting smelling trash every few hundred feet. Somehow I managed to make it through 1.8 miles running at 8:20ish. And then I started walking. The funny thing was the first part of the course was uphill. So essentially I ran the hills (~100 feet elevation gain), fell apart (heat + wardrobe malfunction), and then walked down. While I felt terrible, I managed to average 9:03 over 4.27 miles. Next time (not that there will be a repeat performance) I’ll remember to ditch my bike jersey and walk the hills (or not walk at all). I can probably shave off at least 30 sec/mile.
After the workout I jumped in Donner lake (it felt so good). As I lounged on the beach, black clouds started to roll in. During late lunch in town, it started pouring rain. It was a weird storm in that lightning and thunder was accompanied by warm rain (not something I observe often in the Davis. There was some concern that the rain would interfere with camping (I like to be comfortable, warm, and not soaking when I’m vacationing), but it stopped after a bit. I guess we lucked out in terms of weather!
The next morning I woke up and went for another run. I wanted to make up for my performance the day before (and make sure I didn’t slack on miles this week). However the run was much slower than the day before (this time because I was running on river rocks and couldn’t find a good running trail). Looking at the map, the trail (marked in white) was apparently quite close, but I missed it (despite running past it 3x and asking two people for directions). I can’t complain too much because I enjoy trail running and felt considerably better this time around.The weekend ended with an amazing hike up Mt. Judah. I cannot recommend this trail enough. It was a fabulous workout with beautiful scenery. Mossy forests, pretty wildflowers, and a windy summer. Oh, and a great view of Donner lake.
All in all, it was a pretty fabulous weekend. A little bit of me is sad that I am not going up for the triathlon in 5 days. Then again, it would be a pretty hard to have a repeat performance.