01 July 2012

Peak Weekend and Mother Nature

Mother Nature had a bit of a hissy fit this weekend out here in the mid-Atlantic.  Not only was it hot (temperatures over 100+ degrees and humid - kind of like being back in Burkina, except it's not humid there), but on Friday night a fast-moving, destructive storm blew through the area, knocking down trees, powerlines, etc with its high winds.  Mindy and I had originally planned to do our last 100 mile ride pre-Placid down on Skyline Drive, but with recent reports of fires and a quick call to the ranger station confirming that the air quality was expected to be smoky and not ideal for biking, we changed our plans at the last minute to bike out in Poolesville, MD instead.

Besides some power outages along the Columbia Pike and seeing an overturned port-o-potty somewhere as we drove out to the highway on our way to Poolesville, we didn't see too much damage and destruction in the Arlington area.  Things looked a bit worse as we got closer to Poolesville, more downed trees and lots of debris in the roads (though, it should be mentioned that clean-up crews did a really impressive job at clearing the big stuff out of the roads really quickly).  We joked, it'll be like doing cyclocross on our tri bikes, not really thinking that would actually happen.

Be careful what you say (and let it be noted, we were 85+ miles into our ride and turning around would've added alot more mileage and we were desperate to be done).

Ha, the irony - we were on a road called "Big Woods Road."  And there wasn't any warning that the road was shut down, we just came around the corner and saw this:

Fortunately this was the only major downed-trees crossing we had to do, the rest of the roads were relatively clear of the big stuff.  And the roads were actually in very decent shape well outside of Poolesville where it was more fields than woods.  So besides the stifling heat (which really manifested itself on our T-run) and the debris-dodging, we had a good ride.  Even better was the fact that our legs felt A-OK afterwards.  We didn't get started on the ride as early as we wanted (thanks to yours truly running late, per usual), so by the time we were partway through the ride, it felt like we were biking in an oven heated to at least 100 degrees.  Ick.  We planned out our route so every 15-20 miles we rolled by the only store in the area that had power and was selling cold Gatorade.

After we crossed through the above forest in the road, we continued on a few miles before we came upon this:

The power was shut down and the wires weren't live, but they weren't letting any cars through.  Bikes are smaller and more nimble though, so they let us through.

I slept in to 7 this morning and moved really slowly eating my breakfast, getting my running stuff together.  I only had a 90 minute run on the schedule, my legs felt pretty good, but it was SO HOT outside.  I opened the door at 7:45 to look for the morning paper and it was like a hot, humid hair dryer got turned on in my face.  I finally got out the door around 9am.  This was an easy run, so I had no shame in running close to 9 minute miles the whole time.  I can call today's run good for heat acclimatization but I hope, hope, HOPE Placid will not be as hot as today.  By mile 6 I was dreaming of slushies.  By mile 7, I decided that we needed to go to Williams-Sonoma STAT to buy some overpriced-popsicle makers that I scoffed at two weeks ago saying we didn't have room in the kitchen for them.  Oh, nevermind, we will FIND room.  I thought about texting Mark when I got home to see if he could just get the popsicle makers on his way home, but figured that once I had something cold to drink, and maybe a smoothie, I would change my mind.

Nope.  We're going out to get the popsicle makers this afternoon.  It's going to be a long, hot summer and I planned to be fully prepared when it comes to frozen treats.


Mindy Ko said...

Popsicle Makers!!! YUM!!! Great last big training ride!

Jon said...

Omg!! We heard about the storms as we were driving north. Congrats on getting the last big volume in in some hideous conditions.

We are on our way back from Lake Placid now. The water temp in mirror lake is quite refreshing. Hope it stays cool for race day!

The Unknown Triathlete said...

Hi Caroline! I started a new blog after I decided to go for ironman triathlon racing. Up to this day, I've only been racing shorter distances.

Your blog is one of my inspirations. You live a normal life, but still manage to race triathlons with unbelievably great results and your latest posts about ironman training have been so much of a motivators for me.

I thought maybe you'd like to follow my blog and the long journey I've decided to start. All comments and advice from seasoned triathletes as you are very welcome.


"the unknown triathlete"