Sunday, June 30, 2013

Muskoka Weekend Redux

With Ironman Muskoka 70.3 fast approaching on September 8, I could call this the "Muskoka Year". Not only we love everything about Muskoka and Algonquin, but being just 2.5h away, we can drive up there during the weekends for a few hours of training and fun, like we did at the end of May with the triathlon club. If you missed it, you can read all about it here. This weekend, we went again, but with our friend Carol who is also signed up for the same race and who has never done the bike course before. Perfect opportunity for us as well, I truly believe that the more you get acquainted with a difficult course, the less you fear it on race day.

On Friday, we loaded the car with everything we needed to bike, run and swim, plus food and our pajamas and after a quick bite at Tim's, we started driving north. It took us 3.5h to reach Huntsville due to Canada Day long weekend traffic and eventually we checked in our hotel and unloaded our gear.
After switching rooms due to a clogged sink, we managed to get to sleep, only to wake up an hour later because of a group of noisy neighbours who decided to party just outside our room (they could not smoke inside, oh the injustice!). They were pretty drunk, so arguing with them was pointless. I told them that we'd like to sleep and at 1am they finally stopped their racket. We woke up at 6:30am, with the goal to be on our bikes no later than 8:30am.

Another quick breakfast at Tim's (no kidding, they should sponsor us), and we were on our way to Deerhurst Resort, a 10min drive from the hotel.
Got our stuff ready, then visited the bathroom a few times because there was no plan to pee on the bike that day. And especially not on the Cobb test saddle from Endurosport which you can see in the picture above. I will reassure you, the one I'll buy won't be bright green. This one was special.

Zin, who is a much faster rider than us girls, was going to do his thing and wait for us at the end. My workout for the day was to survive the course, but also do 1h at race pace. Since Carol and I ride mostly at the same speed, this wasn't going to be too difficult because she catches me up the hills anyway. So, no guilt for surging ahead, we had a good plan. And so we started the day...
I would follow... (B A N A N A!!!)
Or ride ahead, then stop to take a picture of Carol...
The first 40km went by really fast. I managed to push some big gears down the hills, I was really having a blast. It rained on us, but we didn't care, it was not a downpour, just a bit annoying at times. I had to remove my sunglasses because I couldn't see very well, but Carol didn't have that luxury because she couldn't see without them at all.
We stopped in Dorset for a pee break and I was so excited, I forgot to refill my water bottle. Oh well, it wasn't that hot and I wasn't drinking like crazy anyway. I took a little time to admire the artwork on sale... It was everywhere, even in the bathroom!

The next stretch on Hwy 117 was rather uneventful. Not very technical, just a bit boring, so I decided to do my hour at race pace then. I also tried to stay above 90rpms as often as possible, when I wasn't climbing, of course. Everything was going great. I was eating every 45min and alternating drinking water and Endura. It kept raining here and there, but nothing would change my mood. I was in heaven. Did I mention that I was excited too?
Then we hit Baysville and turned on Brunel Rd, then on South Portage Rd, which brought back the mother effing nasty hills and not-so-great pavement. I told Carol that soon she was going to start hating people and things, including me. It was only a matter of time.
Surprisingly enough, for my second time riding this course, it no longer seemed that horrible. I could remember the suffering I'd been in 4 weeks before, but I wasn't feeling like that anymore. Aside from some discomfort in my sit bones, everything was just peachy, even though I was eager to see the end by km 80.
I knew that the last 10k were going to be brutal with some major climbing action required on very tired legs. We stopped for a minute just before the last stretch as Carol was feeling a bit nauseous and needed more food in her. 
Enjoy the last break, girl!
I took a last sip of Endura and off we went! The home stretch. Downhill, uphill, downhill, uphill, repeat a few good times. I remembered the last one, the one that felt the worst. Powered my way up then waited for Carol at the top. Not even 30 sec later, there she was, victorious!!
Last 2k, downhill(ish) from there, but there was no more pain, only contentment. Personally, I beat my previous time by 12 minutes, for the same average heart rate. I call this progress! Besides, I felt no real pain at the end and I could go right on the run.
I did 15 min out and back and I could still enjoy the scenery and myself.
Coming back to the resort, I managed to get an asthma attack and a coughing fit, alas. Just as I was feeling like puking, a lady walked by and she said, I'm a doctor, where is your puffer? Can I get it for you? Then I felt stupid and I went to grab it from the car (I should have had it on myself the whole time!) and two puffs later, my cough subsided, then stopped. Phew, that was a close one.

We stretched for a bit, we ate bananas, granola and pretzels, then started to look for a place to get some meat in us. We were all craving burgers, but certainly not the Mc Donald's kind. We ended up at "Muskoka On The Rocks" on Hwy 60. The food was just perfect. I had the Swiss burger with sweet potato fries and a Lake of Bays beer. It was every bite as delicious as it looks, but I decided to eat only half in order to leave some room for a scoop of Kawartha's ice cream. I was feeling more than full anyway.
But to fully deserve the ice cream, we had to make one more stop - a swim in Mary's Lake in Port Sydney - it was on our way home anyway. Once we got there we found the beach right away. We freaked out for a moment looking at the seadoo's zooming across the lake and other speed boats going back and forth. There didn't seem to be much of a safe zone for us tiny yellow caps. In the time that took us to get changed and put on our wetsuits, things calmed down a little. We decided to swim together not far from the shore and it is exactly what we did. 800m out and back in a straight line - 20min looking at the stuff dumped at the bottom of the lake and fighting with the current and the waves. It was short but fun, and we survived the "traffic".
Got changed again, then went to Uncle Larry's Store for that long awaited scoop. Little did we know, we ran into other type of scoop involving a certain mayor's brother. Not for public consumption though, so if you're curious, ask me more around a coffee.
Anyway, my Muskoka Mocha in a waffle cone was the best way to end the day. It sealed another memorable weekend filled with sweat, cheer and ... a bit of rain. This summer is the awesomest yet!!

No comments:

Post a Comment