Monday, August 4, 2008

Biking, BIrthdays, Boyfriend and Beauty of Nature

Just a few of my most favorite things that I got to enjoy this weekend. We had a most spectacular and successful training/ celebrating/ training weekend in our new home away from home, Jasper.
Friday I swam for the 4th day in a row and am feeling really strong in the water. Consistency is gooood.
Friday night we arrived in Jasper and headed out for some pre training fueling. We had an absolute sushi feast, and solved the world's political and economic problems over Japanese beers :-)
Saturday morning we woke up to single digit temperatures, cloudy skies and wet roads. No time for procrastination though, so we bundled up in our 'winter gear' and headed out for a ride. We started out by climbing up to Maligne Lake. This 50km ride was one of the most challenging and beautiful rides I have ever done. At one point passing by Medicine Lake, with its turquoise waters reflecting the towering mountains surrounding it, I actually said WOW outloud. It is a ride that literally takes your breath away. There were also a fair number of quad busting, lung burning pitches on the mostly uphill journey to Maligne. There is an awesome coffee shop at the top where we had lunch and warmed up before the chilly decent. Once back to the highway, the skies were beginning to clear and the wind had picked up. We did a short out and back on hwy 16 and fought the wind back to the apartment for a change of clothes and refill of fuels. Then it was more climbing, this time out 93A up to Athabasca Falls (more gorgeous views!!) and back on highway 93. My total ride was 185.7km and 7hrs15mins. I actually felt fantastic right through the ride and could have run a marathon. But D was home and had a beautiful spread of food- salad, chicken, fresh bread and pasta....what a man. Sat night was quiet one and and early bed time.
Sunday was run- day, so we picked a trail from the map and headed out. We chose the "Saturday night lake loop" and it was a great choice for the day. The first 14km were up up up... some pitches that sucked the life right out of my tired legs. But it was so beautiful, quiet and lovely that I couldn't help but love every minute of it. The half way point treated us to a gorgeous waterfall that started higher than the eye could see and ran right past our feet. I took a moment to enjoy the cool mist, sucked back a gel and then headed on my way. Thankfully, the trail began to descend and it was a nice change for my legs to be going down, instead of up. That lasted until about the last 5km when my knees began to beg for a flat section...or even a hill!
We finished up the 27km in about 3hrs 20mins. We walked another 3km back to the apartment where a much needed shower awaited us.
Then it was off to eat our weight in food...again. This time at Earl's. More beers (our training secret haha) and then home to wait for our visitor to arrive.
Shortly after, our great friend, and much missed training buddy Alan arrived on the way back from crewing Neil in the Death Race. They stopped for a lovely, but too brief visit, and delivered our prizes from the cross country series we did in the winter. I finally have my cup! And a great picture of Al and I in the confed relay.
Sunday night was another quiet one, watching a movie on the laptop and crashing early.
Monday morning...happy birthday to me! After a breakfast complete with birthday treats we were off for one last ride. I wanted to head back up to Maligne, this time WITH my camera. The universe gave me what I wanted most for my birthday- A beautiful clear blue sky and warm sun :-)
We both were surprised with how good we felt despite the hours on our legs. It was such a gorgeous day to be out, I enjoyed every moment. At the top, more good food and then down to pack up and head home.
Overall it was an absolutely perfect weekend. Doing what I love, with the one I love, in a place I love.
Friday Training: Swim 3100 60min
Saturday Training: Bike 185.7km 7hrs 15mins
Sunday Training: Trail Run 3hrs 20mins 27km
Monday Training: Bike 98km 4hrs

1 comment:

Naomi said...

Sounds like an absolutely perfect birthday celebration for a very special Birthday Lady! As for the 'bear attack' in the picture...I find ice cream to be a really good remedy. LOL! ;)