Sunday, September 9, 2012

Roasting at the Coast...

Hi Friends! With three weeks to Ironman Augusta and six weeks to Beach 2 Battleship, I am waist deep in training. It is that point where you feel that is all you do and your friends don't understand why you can't meet them for lunch or dinner after your long runs or rides. Truth be told if you aren't just too tired, you are probably packing up your nutrition and gear for your ride/run/swim the next day. The never ending circle of tri training.

I have been fortunate to be able to attend two training weekends with friends which has made for a nice change from my normal schedule. Over Labor Day weekend, I attended Roast at the Coast Training Camp with Blue Iron Coaching in Panama City Beach. Most in attendance are training for IM FL so it was a perfect chance for them to preview the course. As luck would have it, one of the people attending is doing B2B with me! It is such a small race it is rare to bump into someone actually racing it. My new B2B friend, Sarah, turned out to be a lifesaver this weekend and I can't wait to share the B2B experience with her in October.

The weekend started on Friday with what was to be an ocean swim followed by a beach run. Double red flags on the beach due to Hurricane Isaac meant no swimming so we opted for a beach run. Isaac ending up changing a lot of the swim plans for the weekend.

The plan for Saturday involved an 85 mile ride followed by an ocean swim later in the day. On the way to the meet up, I caught this picture of the blue moon.

Saturday started off innocently enough. Tires pumped, helmets fastened and we were off. About 10 miles in I hit a piece of asphalt and heard an immediate hissing sound. Yes, a flat. Joy. I pulled off and started to get the tools out scanning my memory banks for the last time I changed a rear flat - or any flat for that matter. It was easily over a year ago and not on this bike. Luckily, within moments of my flat, I was surrounded by Sarah, Guardian Angel Joe and Regina from the SAG crew. They sort of stood back and talked me through it and we were off in no time.

At around mile 30, the road starts feeling rather bumpy. At the same time I think this, Sarah mentions that my tire looks low. We tried to air it up and took off. That lasted TWO miles. We pulled over and changed the tube again since nothing seemed to be in the tire. As he did last time, Guardian Angel Joe appeared within 60 seconds of the flat. We were off. This time we made it FIVE miles. Yep. A more thorough inspection of the tire revealed this tiny little wire that was inside the tire.

We didn't know it at the time but could have removed it with pliers or tweezers. We folded a dollar bill in there between the wire and the tube and that held for the rest of the ride!

At 50 miles, we had a rest stop at Pitt Springs. After changing the rear tire on my bike THREE times, Sarah and I could not wait to dip in the cold water. It was like an ice bath - assuming your ice bath has thousands of little fish in it. We hated to get out!

By the time we got back, I packed the bike up and headed to Steve's Bike Shop in PC Beach for a new tire. They were so friendly and had me in and out of there in 15 minutes. If you are in Panama City Beach and need anything bike or tri related, look them up!

Sunday brought the Blue Iron Scorcher - an ocean swim followed by a 3 hour bike ride and a 10 mile run. Red flags on the beach changed the event to a duathlon so we set up our transition area and headed out on our bikes down 30A through seaside and a lovely route.

Once everyone returned from the ride, we set out on the run. This is where the "scorcher" got its name, I suppose. Before we even started it was hot.

As we were running, we kept seeing people turn back early. Callie and I kept plugging away. Dripping in sweat, doing a run/walk and mentally negotiating with ourselves to get to the halfway point. We were quite proud to reach the turnaround! Of course, who else would be there but Guardian Angel Joe with a cooler of water, gatorade and cokes. Just what we needed!

We kept plugging away and before we knew it, we were sprinting in for a big finish.

The "feels like" temp was 104 and only a handful of people finished the whole 10 miles so we were pretty proud of ourselves. So proud that a frozen drink seemed like the perfect treat before we hit the beach.

We spent some time relaxing on the beach and in the pool before heading up to dinner for a skype session with Heather Gollnick. She was so nice and gave us lots of great info for our upcoming races. I think even some of the more experienced people got some good information to take away.

And then there was Monday... Our final morning involved a poolside yoga session.

... and a choice of a beach run

... or an ocean swim - the red flag went to yellow on our final day!

All this was followed up with a yummy brunch and awards. I really had a great time and made lots of new friends! I am so glad I was able to go and can't wait to go cheer everyone on at IM FL!


ajh said...

Good job on the whole 10 miles on a hot day. I cannot imagine swimming in the ocean for a long race - or any race who am I kidding. Do the flags mean the currents are too strong?

Karen said...

Thanks :) The double red flags mean no one can swim due to the strong currents. If there is just one red, you can swim but it probably isn't the best idea...

Char said...

That sounds like a really inspiring but energy-sapping camp.

And your re-cap has reminded my again of why I don't cycle. You have to change tyres??!! I am fairly technically inept so that's beyond daunting to me. I never have to change shoes while I'm running so I think I'll just stick to what works for me.

Kate Geisen said...

What a great event, and just what you needed when you're in the middle of heavy training. Way to tough out that run! And you look FANTASTIC in all of your pictures.

Johann said...

That is awesome training, well done! You are certainly very inspiring. Keep it going!

Ann said...

I love the pictures - it sounds SO AMAZING!!! :)

Mari Fridenmaker said...

Karen, It was so fantastic having you at camp! And, you definitely deserved the "Never, Ever Quit" award! You are going to kick a$$ at B2B! Good luck with the rest of your training! Sincerely, Mari

Sarah said...

B2B, here we come :-D

Unknown said...

So glad that you went and made some new friends and had a great time! So sorry again that I couldn't be there! I would have totally sat and watched you change those tires and cheered you on. :) And then we would have drank that night.

Suz and Allan said...

Whew, I know it was soo hot and there is hardly any shade close to the beach so a break from the heat is impossible to find. Great job!