Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Epic Camp Day 8: In Jasper

I'll skip ahead to the good news: I got a bike today!  After our swim, I went down to the bike shop and had them build up a Specialized Roubaix SL4 for me.  I was pretty lucky that they had one in my size, and fortunately they had a pretty nice sale going on too which means I got a sweet deal.  It took a bit longer than expected to get it ready which meant I missed the group for the 60k daily minimum, but I got it done.
Anyway, back to the start of the day.  We got to use the pool here in Jasper which we specially booked ahead of time.  We had to get things done early which meant getting there at 6am.  With the time change coming into Alberta, this was a particularly brutal early morning wake up.  The pool was only a quarter mile away, so the walk was short.  We all did an easy warmup, and then got on with the special events that were planned: The races.  First up was the 400m IM race.  We split into waves based on projected finish time.  I was in the faster wave, and it was fun to watch some of the earlier waves race.  When my wave was up, Petro and Molina were trash talking like they were going to win, and rightfully so since they are both very good swimmers.  But little do they know that I'm a strong pool swimmer and that IM is my jam. :)  I ended up going out strong and took the lead immediately during the butterfly.  I don't have a lot of endurance with fly, but I can swim a solid 100 if needed.  I was pretty bushed after the fly, but backstroke is my strongest stroke so I increased my lead a bit.  From there on out, I just hung on to my lead and ended up winning.  No points were on the line, only prestige.
The next event was the 200m kick.  Zach was the closest competitor here, but I won this too.  The last race was the 50m free.  Gary was officiating this, and he said I left early.  I argue that everyone else just left late!  It's not my fault they didn't anticipate the start! :)  I ended up winning by more than a second though, so it was a moot point anyway.
After the races, we just had a little more to do, so I followed Newsom's lead doing a 20x100m on 1:35 pace.  I got a bonus point for that set, and I got a bonus point for the 200m butterfly afterward that nearly killed me.  Some people stayed and did more, but I had to go to the bike shop to search for a bike (more on that later.)
Breakfast was awesome as usual.  We had a bread, bacon, ham, and cheese casserole as well as leftover pancakes.  It was amazing.  Thanks Michelle!
Next up was our "2 hour" trail run.  We decided to go to the Valley of the Five Lakes.  It was recommended by many people (including my friend Dave,) and it was worth it.  The trail was definitely some of the best trail running I have ever done, but the colors in the lakes were amazing.  I've never seen so many shades of green!  The run ended up being quite a bit longer than we planned, but the views of Jasper were incredible.  My expert navigation skills ended up taking us to all of the right places, and we didn't get lost once!  My quads were pretty crushed after this, but as usual, it was worth it.
Our bike minimum for the day was 60k.  I wanted to head out with the group, but my bike wasn't ready until after everyone was gone.  I kept it pretty simple.  I headed east on the main highway.  I stopped quickly at the Japser Lodge just to check it out.  The first half of the riding going out was great.  It was downhill is a nice tailwind, but I didn't realize this until the way back.  The headwind was soul-crushing.  Thankfully I only had to put up with it for about 12 miles.
And now things get interesting.  It was a little past 6pm which is usually our cutoff for workouts.  We have a "12 hour rule" to prevent people from training into the evening (mostly for safety reasons.)  Since I had to get out of the pool early this morning to buy a bike, I asked for special permission to go back to the pool to do the 3k IM set (12x (100 IM, 150 freestyle.))  Molina was the final ruler on this, and he said it was OK.  And with that, I hustled down to the pool for a quick hour to get that done.  It was an easy set, but the people in my lane were quite frustrating at times.
Afterward I hurried down to the main strip to meet everyone for dinner at the Jasper Pizzeria.  I'm a bit of a pizza snob, but it was acceptably OK.  And afterward, we had some delicious ice cream at Scoops and Loops.  We never did figure out what the loops were...