Sunday, June 3, 2007

Wicked Weekend Get Away

We had a fantastic weekend in the capital city. We left Friday after my swim, and Darin putting on my new pedals and cleats for my new shoes (they are soooo beautiful, but like most beautiful shoes, not as comfy as the ugly ones).

We made it to Edmonton by 9:00 and checked into our sweet ass hotel room at the Westin downtown. We thoroughly spoiled ourselves this weekend...well mostly Darin spoiled me.
Had a chill night hanging out with a bottle of wine...

Saturday morning we were up early to try and beat the heat. After a 5 star breakfast at the hotel buffet we headed East towards Sherwood Park. Clinton recommended a ride east on the Yellowhead to Vegreville. He said it was 80km each way which was what we were looking to do and a destination in between is always good.

We found out later we didn't drive quite far enough to start so our ride was destined to be longer. It was a real change for us to ride on a fairly flat road with virtually no wind and the first 90km to Vegreville took me Darin just over 2.5hrs and me just under 3. The head was fairly tolerable as it was still before noon, but after a stop for food and water refills it had already begun to heat up.

We started out on our way back and my bottle cage broke. I was now left with 2 bottles, both with Gu20 and no plain water. Big mistake. The first hour all I could think about was how thirsty I was, that my Gu20 was hot and salty and how nice cold water would be. By the second hour I was feeling woozy- the sun was beating on my head, I was soooo thirsty and the Gu20 was making me more thirsty! It was all I could do to keep taking sips and moving forward. It has been a while since I have ridden in this kind of heat and I forgot how much it saps out of me!

Just as I was feeling desperate enough to pull into one of the farm houses and ask for some water, I saw a cyclist in the ditch up ahead. I approached to see what was up and saw a girl my age bleeding from the lips, nose and mouth. She had someone with her and said her boyfriend had gone to get the car and was on his way. I had nothing to provide in the way of help, so I carried on my way with a sharper focus, seeing how much worse my day could be. I realized later that I recognized the other bike that belonged to the boyfriend and then realized who the girl was. I felt terrible for her and later found out her injury was serious enough to end her triathlon season :-( Just shows how quickly it can happen to anyone, and that being on the road negates focus and attention at all times...

I finally got my relief from the heat when I came upon a Shell station about 20km from the car. I stopped and bought the biggest bottle of water they had, guzzled as much as I could, filled my bottle and dumped the rest over my baked head. It was like I'd been infused with life force and I felt 100% better getting back on the road.
Not long after, I saw Darin driving on the opposite side of the highway and realized he was coming for me. We made an agreement that when he finished he would wait 30mins and if I didn't show up come looking for me. Aa it turned out, he figured that in that heat I would feel as crappy as he had and decided not to wait. I was at just over 160kms and 5hrs48 ride time so I was happy to put my bike on the roof and take the ride :-) Darin did 195km in 5.5 hrs and other than being white with salt and sustaining a couple bites from a flying ant, didn't seem too worse for wear to me.

We were back to the hotel later than expected so we had just enough time to shower, grab some Sushi with Jay across the street and head to the concert. Cory was meeting us there as she drove up that day.
The train was packed with people heading to the concert and although we thought we were late at 6:45 (the time it was supposed to start) there were streams of people still arriving when we got there.
As it turned out Sloan didn't start for about 45mins and the Police got to the stage at 9:00!
It was a fantastic concert- so cool to see them live. Jay and Darin are both big fans so they were quite excited to be there. The music was awesome, so many great songs and Darin knew every word to every one they played (he gave Sting a run for his money). He was especially excited at the old old stuff they brought out. My personal favorite was Roxanne which they played prior to the encores and Every breath you take which they played as the final encore.

It was a late night and I am really surprised we both managed to stay up with enough energy to dance and cheer through the end. We didn't get back to the hotel until 11:30 and it was after midnight before we finally crashed.

Sunday we slept in until 8:00, went for another great breakfast and then out for a run on our tired legs. Edmonton has an absolutely amazing river valley pathway system, and we found some fantastic trails to run on that were soft, cool and surrounded by lush greenery. My legs felt sluggish for about the first 20mins, but then started to feel really good. I had a great 95 min run and could have carried on if I'd had more water. The sun was out full force again and as soon as I exited the shade of the trails I was baking.

We showered, packed up and checked out by 12:00. We stopped for some lunch and then hit the road. We made it home by 4:00pm, had time to unpack and relax for the evening.

Overall we had an absolutely perfect weekend away. It was a great celebration and reward for some great milestones we have reached and we both really enjoyed and appreciated every moment.

Training Friday: Swim 3000m 1hr 05min
Saturday Bike 163km 5hrs 48mins
Sunday Run 95mins

oh, and lots of dancing at the concert saturday night......that counts, right?

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