Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Traincation part 1: Lake Tahoe, CA

Post Vineman 70.3, the plan was always to launch into *focused* training for Ironman Hawaii. The last few months of training have had 70.3 specificity with less focus on LONG (4+hrs) rides and longer runs.

With my husband away for 2 weeks on a business trip, rather than ride and run the same old routes around Marin County, I decided to take my training on the road and escape the summer fog in the city... Side note: that reminds me of my favorite billboard around town right now.. "Don't call it Frisco... Or summer..." :)

Lake Tahoe
The first stop on my traincation was the Lake Tahoe area. I've been coming to Tahoe in the summers to train since I first qualified for Ironman Hawaii in 2005. The access to quiet roads to ride, great trails to run and open water swimming in Donner Lake are great and the training benefit is further heightened when you consider the 6,000ft elevation.

My friend, Mimi, not only offered to host me for a long weekend, she was also a willing partner in my training plan since she is training for Ironman Lake Tahoe AND Ironman Hawaii right now! Since she's on the IMLT plan, last Friday she and I met up with a fellow Olympic Club member to ride a loop of the IMLT course.
Dean, Mimi, Jordan at Squaw
Wow! The race is going to be a toughie... we were lucky enough to have access to Martis Camp (private road) and were able to ride an entire loop of the course (note: actual course is 2 loops plus a bit) and there is a lot of climbing. There is a small climb within Truckee (along back roads and bike paths) but the real tests of the course will be the climb up Martis Camp (~800ft) followed quite quickly afterwards with a climb up and over Brockway summit (~1,000ft) where the altitude tops out at 7,120ft. I would typically race the Ironman bike leg focused solely on watts, but the altitude makes a huge difference, especially as I am coming from sea level. If I were racing, I'd be paying quite close attention to heart rate as well. After our little trio finished the ride (we staged out of the Squaw parking lot), I went for a 20min run on the IM course. The course starts with a gentle descent so it could be a nice way to warm up the legs coming off the bike in the race.

On Saturday Mimi and I decided to ride the loop of Lake Tahoe... a 72 mile ride that hugs the Lake's shoreline and offers spectacular views. It's one of my favorite rides and I'll be back to ride it again later this summer! We made the smart decision of staging at Sunnyside (on route 89 a few miles south of Tahoe City) so on our return, we did a quick soak of the legs/body (closest thing we were going to get to a shower) in Lake Tahoe before joining some friends for a late lunch at Sunnyside. They had just competed in the Trans-Tahoe swim race across the lake so after lunch they offered to take us out on the boat for a quick swim! So fun to be in the middle of the lake on a boat :)

Sunday morning's training plan called for open water swimming so Mimi and I launched from the east end of Donner Lake at 7am for an hour long swim.
Mimi & Jordan at Donner Lake
Even though we wore wetsuits, the water is currently a balmy 73f, so we could probably have survived without them... if we swam briskly! Post-swim, we took off for a 90min run around the lake (~1.5 laps).

Monday morning was a travel day for me as I embarked on the 2nd part of my traincation... but before I left the Tahoe area, I snuck in a 3.5k swim at the Trout Creek rec center in Tahoe-Donner. I was happy to have the pool pretty much to myself.
Trout Creek pool

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