Yesterday I headed up to Bellingham, Washington, about 90 minutes north of my home. I was riding up with Chris Tremonte for the North Shore Circuit Race (cycling). We had both decided that the nearly 3000 feet of elevation gain over a 40 mile course would give us a better shot of getting away from the pack than returning to Dung, where three weeks ago we took advantage of the fact that nobody knew us.
About 30 minutes after leaving my house we ran into a blizzard. I called a friend who was about 20 miles ahead of us, and found out that it was no longer snowing up North – we kept on our route. Sure enough, the snow turned to rain, and stayed that way until about five miles from the race site.
Below are some pictures of the registration area.
Needless to say, the race was canceled.
So what do you do 80 miles from how in an end-of-March snow storm?
Snowball fight! (Chris really likes throwing snowballs. The video finally ends when he squarely lands a crotch shot – owe!)
After that we went to the local pool where I bummed goggles from the lost-and-found and wore Chris’s running shorts (yeah, I violated my own rule, but the lifeguards insisted I wear something). We did a drill-focus set* (actually five 500 yard drill sets), which was a great change of pace from the typical bread and butter sets I’ve been doing the past few weeks.
Next, we headed into downtown Bellingham and went on the wettest, coldest 90 min run I’ve ever done. I’m pretty sure 34 and snowing is the most miserable conditions that exist for being outside (I’m sure anyone in the Northeast would contest that, which is why I got out of New York the moment I graduated.) At one point we were completely turned around (I’ve never spent any time in Bellingham, and Chris is no expert either), so I set my Garmin Forerunner 305 to point us in the right direction (it has this cool "return to start" function that shows a dotted line of where you’ve been, and an arrow, compass, and distance reading that will tell you which way to go and how long if you’d like to find your car again.) I got a bearing that was 180 degrees off from where we thought we needed to go, but shortly after turning around the wet conditions finally got the best of my poor watch. About 50 random beeping noises and some crazy screen flashing, my Garmin Forerunner 305 died. Now, the manual says that it is water resistant, and I think it originally was, but it’s had a hard life being my training partner (falls from my bike at 25 mph, accidental trips into the shower [also how I killed my cell phone], and a winter of sitting on the handlebars of my rain bike in Seattle). Still, Garmin is taking it back to fix under warrantee, which is awesome. Better yet, the new Forerunner 405 is out, and it is fully waterproof, much smaller, and capable of joining me on my open water swims. I can’t wait to get one.
Before finally heading back to Seattle, we made one last stop at Bandito’s Burritos. Chris had spent the 90 minute drive north talking about this place, and – after eating a burrito the size of my head (but not my ego) – I can see why. It was phenomenal, but what really made the meal, was a selection of 12 different homemade salsas. The salsa had names like "texas five star" (a standard hot tomato), "Hawaiian ginger" (self-explanatory, but delicious), and "Kermit’s last Stand" (which had something green and enough kick to kill a frog).
And that was just the first half of the day.
*the swim set:
3×200 Swim / Kick / Pull by 200 @ 10s rest
8×50 variable (by 25s: fast/easy, Easy/fast, all easy, all fast, two times around) @ 10-15s rest
10×50 kick (max effort) @ 1:15 (40-45s rest)
500 build by 100, recovery to tempo. Start immediately after kick set.
4×125 IM @ 15s rest (easy, drill if you need to, 50 free, 25 of the other strokes)
20×25 drill (R arm, L arm, 6 and 6, 6/3/6, swim)**
10×50 negative split, underkick / overkick by 25 (negative split by adding a kick, not by adding effort)
Warm Down b/w 100 and 200 yards.
**6 and 6 is a six kick pause between strokes, so you kick for six kicks on your right side, then take a stroke and kick for six on your left. 6/3/6 is the same thing with three strokes between pauses.