Got back last Wednesday from an epic training camp up in the interior. It included sitting by the lake, swimming in the lake (with the kids), and eating in true camping/holiday style. I also managed to do some runs and rides.
After my attempt at the Grouse Grind I realised I wasn't going to win the thing come race day no matter how much I trained and didn't really want to change my training too much to accommodate the Grind anyways. No use in going straight up when most of my races are horizontal with a few hills (not mountain climbs) thrown in. I was a little on the fence so when we travelled through Chase (for a wedding), Mara Lake, and Penticton, most of my runs involved some elevation gain. It's hard not to. Most roads that lead away from the lakes or rivers go straight up. I found a great forest service road by Mara that I climbed for 45 minutes without reaching the summit. I was aching to get there to see what I could see. With only one water bottle (now less than half full) and my IT bands not looking forward to all that descending, I turned around. I could have stayed on main highways but figured a bit of rollingness couldn't hurt for Grouse and would help in England where I believe the Commonwealth course is to be somewhat like that. Failing that, it's good to get my legs re-aquainted with hills for H2H in November. I don't need to be starting my hill work with only three or four quality weeks before that. I ran from Penticton up towards Naramat which I'd only ever ridden before, that being in the Peach Classic triathlon. It was cool to be going slower and to have a look at the beautiful landscape (minus the smoke).
I also put in some cool rides while we were away. One memorable one was taking the road from Penticton up to Apex. I did this with a group a few years ago and I didn't remember it being as vertical as it was. When I got to the turnoff for the actual ski area, the sign said 11km. I figured I'd ride up it for ten or fifteen minutes because I knew going back to town would be quicker than coming up. I rode for twenty minutes up and up and up. Again I was dying to reach the top but didn't need to fatigue my legs THAT much. I turned around at 1:25 not wanting to ride more than 2 hours. It took me 40 minutes to get back to the motel. What a ride. Turns out I went up the Apex road only 3.5km in that twenty minutes so it would have been at least an hour to the top. Next time. Another was riding towards Naramata, past Painted Rock, and towards Chute Lake. I didn't quite get there either so I have a lot of ground to cover next time my bike and I are up there.
I decided to drop the Seymour Hill Climb for the Games this week. I read the fine details and noted that it wasn't exactly a climb all the way up from the bottom to the top of the mountain. The course is only 3km long and on the steepest part (9 or 10%). With the triathlon two days after that, I rather would go in feeling a little stronger without those 3km in my legs. I must be getting old, I know.
My plan for the rest of August is to simulate the weeks I had prior to going to Belgium. This time I'll start with a 60 mile week then a 80 then try for the 100 again about three weeks out. For some reason ever since Belgium I don't feel that effortless pace I had when training for it. I thought I was just fatigued from the race and giving blood after but it's been slow to return. I'm hoping I can get it back. On a high note I don't have nails on the first two toes of each foot anymore so that won't be a problem for England or H2H. One less thing (actually four).