Wednesday, May 29, 2013

We own Muskoka!

Last weekend our triathlon club the Fletcher's Meadow Cross Trainers (FMCT) organized the annual Muskoka training weekend and we decided to join in the fun. It was the perfect occasion to get out of the city and have the kids spend two days outdoors instead of glued to their favorite electronics screens. As for us, we were really eager to ride the Muskoka 70.3 bike course to see how deadly it was going to be on race day. The Ironman Muskoka 70.3 is notorious for its hills and what better way for taming the beast other than jumping on it and riding on its back?

We left Brampton on Friday evening a bit after 7pm and after an uneventful 2h drive, we arrived at Clyffe House in Port Sydney where the White Cottage was waiting for us, with the heat and lights turned on, thank goodness because it was so COLD! Brrrr.
The White Cottage
The rest of the FMCT members and their families were all scattered across the cottages on the property, so we didn't get to see many people that night. I checked in with the organizer though and learned that the majority of people were planning a 120km ride the next day, and that sounded pretty frightening to me. 94km of the Muskoka 70.3 loop was already more than I was prepared for, so I decided not to join them and stick with our original plan instead.

The next morning I did see them all bundled up and ready to go, shortly after 9am. The air was chilly and crisp and I went to check out their outfits in order to reassure myself that I had enough layers on so I don't freeze to death. Just before they left, I took the picture below so we can play "Spot the Crazies".
FMCT biking squad
We decided on two layers top and bottom, including a buff under the helmet. Zin and I left the cottage shortly after 10am and went to Deerhurst Resort where the official start of the loop was waiting for us. Upon arriving on Deerhurst Rd, we saw lots of cyclists turning on Canal Rd and asked ourselves what the occasion was. It definitely looked like an organized race since it was marshaled and protected by the police. Later on we found out that we had just run into the Spin the Lakes Cycle Tour (and missed Marlene who was doing the 110k loop!) but that leaving the cottage so late in the day was actually the best decision that we could have made as it kept us away from the race mayhem. I get very nervous when I ride in a group, so it was definitely for the better.

We started our ride just after 11am and we barely met a soul the whole day. The hills never gave us a break. We pushed and pushed and we took pictures and we laughed, and cried and grunted and gave ourselves pep talks to forget the pain in the crotch, shoulders, arms and legs. Zin often would ride ahead of me and then wait for me to catch up. It was ok, I knew he wasn't far and I was reassured not to find him splattered on the asphalt. I did the stretches on Hwy 35 and Hwy 117 entirely in aero, they were not very technical, but the rest of the ride was tricky and not only because of the constant up and downs, but also because of the poor conditions of the roads. They should definitely pave them sooner or later, some stretches like Dwight Beach Road is even dangerous. We made only one stop in Dorset to refill our water bottles and use the bathroom and 4h later, we arrived back to Deerhurst Resort where I collapsed, happy to have completed my mission, but totally defeated. I could not fathom running a half marathon after that, my legs were like Jello. I spent 5 good minutes laying on my back, looking at the trees above me and wondering what I've gotten myself into. Thankfully I snapped out of it quickly and reassured myself that there are 3 more months of hill training and bricks. I felt really proud for not walking my bike up any hills and never dismounting unless I had to put back my chain, which managed to fall twice, how rude. All in all, a very successful day. Here's how it looked in pictures.
Back when the ride was still beautiful
Wheee, this is so much fun!!
Look, ma, no hands!
Aero Riri racing the cars
One more hill done, 99 to go!
4h later... This isn't fun anymore!!
The End
When can we do it again?? The answer is next month! We're already planning another weekend of 94km of hills for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and hopefully we can see some improvement after setting the baseline for this sufferfest. Maybe we'll even run a 10k off the bike. Who knows how adventurous we'll be by then?

So anyway, until then, let's continue with this weekend's recap. We went back to the cottage where we took a shower and cooked some BBQ dinner and made sure that our kids were still alive and well. They had finished all chocolate bars and candy while playing tennis and baseball, but thankfully they were not hyper at all. After ingesting enough food so I could stay upright without assistance, I decided to take an "ice bath" in the cold waters of Mary Lake. What a letdown that was!! As soon as I stepped in the water, it was clear that I was cheated, the water was definitely not cold enough, even though it was rough.
Looks cold enough, right?
This lake is sure wet!
That's how far in the water I went, but I found no numbness in my legs.
Back to the cottage after 20 minutes of counting the waves, I put on dry clothes and joined hubbs and the boys in a Smores fiesta by the fire pit. So much fluffy goodness in them, I had to have two! Then we all went to bed, hoping that the night would not bring any handicapping pain to sideline us on the next day.

And oh THE MIRACLE, next morning there were no aches anywhere (someone has to explain this to me as I write this 4 days later it's still the case and I haven't stopped working out). Just before bed I emailed my coach and asked him what the plan was for Sunday. Candidly he said, do 30km bike easy and a 10k run. Say what?! Okay... so there we go again. Most of the FMCT folks went biking again too, but the plan was to go for coffee 28km away in Baysville, which meant more kms than I needed on my odometer that day. I recruited Lorraine, another tri friend from FMCT who also wasn't really looking at biking that long, but she said that she wouldn't mind doing some shorter distances with me.

So our trio went on an out and back, slower to make it "easy" since there was no way to flatten the  landscape. Time went by so fast, in less than 90min we were starting our run. Plan was to go  "downtown" Port Sydney and have coffee and a scoop of famous Kawarthas ice cream, then see how the legs feel and decide whether to continue or not.
Looks familiar? This time on foot!
Crossing the dam. Don't look down!
I looked, and it was terrifying
Much better from far away
Kawarthas Ice Cream lives here
Muskoka Mocha and a very excited Riri
And there you have it. I ended up running the 10k without getting lost or eaten by a bear. I saw lots of deer though, it was really cool.

I can't wait to go back!! We had such an amazing weekend, a bit on the chilly side, so we didn't swim, but if the water wasn't so rough, I may have just put on my wetsuit and gone in regardless. I made it halfway, didn't I? Ha! I think I'm ready to start this triathlon season!

1 comment:

  1. Excellent weekend away! Great workouts! I can't wait to hear about your next trip!