A bit tardy on this post but oh well. It's the weekend after the 4th and I didnt realize what a blast i had up north till this weekend when all the sudden the wet and sorta stormy saturday morning has me wishing i had that perfect weekend back. We drove up late friday thru the WORST storm i can remember. I was so scared and we finally pulled over and got off 35 around Sandstone bc we could not see. It was so windy and raining so hard. We sat it out for about 40 minutes then continued on up to Duluth and Two Harbors where it was still raining. The next day ( which was LOVELY!) we found out there was a tornado and straight line winds right where we were driving so no wonder it was bad. It was.
Saturday meant a long day in the saddle and a run afterwards. I had mapped a ride that took us UP from the lakefront, which meant two things. Hills and Heat. There were two things i hadnt planned on for that 100 miler, and to be honest I was expecting 4 things, bc everyone says 4 things go wrong in an IM so i was just thinking there would be 2 more!
Around mile 20 we hit a gravel road. Huh? that wasnt on the map. Maybe we missed a turn? nope. Maybe we should turn back? hmm. That would not work for the route we had bc we would have to be on 61 ( busier freeway) longer than i care to ride on it. And well...we kept thinking " the airport is on this road, what gives?" Well the airport WAS on that road but it was the Silver Creek Airport. Never connected thru that one, have you? good thing, there was no Starbucks and no bathrooms. Its basically a hangar:) so we had 8 miles of rough road and yes i was thinking that a flat was imminent. Luckily the only real aftermath was a super dirty bike and super sticky yukked up front brakes bc my front bottle holder means i get some drips down the front fork. Ick, it was like crystallized sugar.
So we made it to the real roads and right above Beaver Bay the real climbing started. We had a N NW wind at 18 and that means a head wind, coupled with uphill ( its all uphill from the lake) it was 12-14mph and slower at times. I was supposed to do a TT in there, 30 minutes at 40K pace and i laughed, sorta pathetic to do a TT at that pace, but i tried. You know why? Bc I was getting dive bombed by theses guys:
Yes our good friends the Deer Flies. Ack. As soon as we sped up going downhill they were gone, but they are pesky little / BIG buggers. Rich said " those arent flies they are hummingbirds."
So we made it Isabella, we refilled at the one little stopping place where the nice lady asked us all about the "white powder we put in our water bottles..." and we had some fun with that one.Not sure she knew who Contador is but we said he gave it to us. The way back flew by. Literally, downhill, tailwind and all was good, the flies were still around and i think that the bright outfits attract them but at least we were going fast enough it didnt phase us. At one point i nearly fell off my bike trying to swat one and decided taking a bite would be better than a fall.
I practiced my nutrition and sorta gag when i do the math on how much sugar was ingested over nearly 6 hours of riding ( like 1800Kcal) no wonder when my mom offered us some donuts later that day i sorta had a gag moment. My sister was a champ and met me at Iona Beach ( where the Gitchi Gami trail is) to run. Rich soldiered back home to get 115 for the day and She and I laced up and hit the trail for 5miles. It wasnt too bad. But it was HOT. The only issue i had was a hot spot on the ball of my foot. I dont usually wear socks to ride but may consider it if I get that again. It was super painful to run on. Not a blister, not Mortons Neuroma, but just a hot spot from climbing likely and yes it was HOT. I do wear socks to run, but if anyone has any tips for this let me know! After we ran we did a version of this:
And no this isnt from this weekend bc we were so hot we went right to the lake in our clothing and, by the way? Those flies were biting if you were sitting still. So we were so hot that 50 deg water felt so good. And SO COLD. OUCH. The water in Superior never warms up from the air or sun. The currents may allow some warmer water 1 day out of the year but its pretty much always 50 or below. So good for an ice bath.
Here's a pic we took monday on a shorter ride. See we really had awesome weather, winds pretty much from the west ( land) and despite this being warm the lake breeze usually keeps the flies away so you sorta have to pick your poison. Flies and heat or Wind and no flies:)
We hit Pike Lake in Duluth for an OWS, and it was lame. Too much boat traffic and the only good part was not wearing my wetsuit. So it was a long drive for not much swimming. Oh well. Now I know.
Monday was more riding and some hiking and visiting with others up at the cabin. My sister and my nephew were here for a few days from Houston so it was fun to see them even tho it was too short a stay.
So there ya have it, a bit of training, a bit of family time, and wow short weeks are nice:) Happy Weekend After July 4th to you all!