This weekend was a big EEW! Epic Exercise Weekend. This was my second weekend of epic exercise. I was too tired to blog about the first one, so I’ve included a summary of both weekends here.

Ironman Coeur d’Alene is 64 days away. My training has been going quite well. Other than some creaky knees now and again, I’ve managed to stay injury free (for which I was rather pessimistic). I’ll just give you some highlights from my first EEW and then tell you about this weekend.

My first EEW was March 21 – 23rd. On Friday, my parents and brother and his family went to Natural Bridges Beach. They took Kevin with them and I rode my bike, the long way, to meet them that afternoon. I headed north to Portola Valley and went up and over Old La Honda. Then I rode out toward the coast on highway 84 to San Gregorio. That is one of the most beautiful stretches of road. I turned left on highway 1 and rode down the coast. I hit Davenport at mile 70 and was at a real low point. I called Dave to whine a little. But I had perfect weather, a view of the ocean, and was out riding my bike on a Friday. Dave was in his cubicle, staring at his computer. He wasn’t terribly sympathetic. J I turned left on Bonny Doon Rd and rode some steep sections on Smith and Empire Grades. I saw a few signs like this one: Steepgrade

Finally, I got to go downhill and meet my family at the beach. It was a total of 85 miles with over 6000 feet of climbing. I was pleased with how good I felt at the end.

The next day, Saturday, Laura and my brother and I went for a 65 mile ride in the east bay. We did a bit of climbing and rode by Calaveras Reservoir – another very beautiful stretch of California road. We got lost for a while in Milpitas and added an unnecessary 6 miles onto our route, including a lot of crappy roads and city traffic.

Finally, I ended my epic weekend on Easter Sunday with a 10 mile run. The tiredness really set in about halfway through and it was everything I could do to keep from walking. I averaged a 9:00/mile pace, but was going pretty slow by the end.

A nice easy swim on Monday was about all I could muster.

My second EEW was this weekend. My brother and I did the Tierra Bella Century ride, starting at Gavilan College in Gilroy. It was unbelievably cold at the start, with pretty brisk winds. It was hard to get motivated, since riding the bike only causes more cold winds in your face!

We rode north past the Uvas and Calero Reservoirs. Then we headed east. Around mile 40, we started up a 10 mile climb to Henry Coe State Park. There were some tough, steep sections and the climb seemed to last forever. But for the first time on the ride, I was finally warm enough to take off my jacket! We turned around at the top and came back down and headed south, then east again to the Gilroy Hot Springs. I started whining at mile 70, but then got a second wind 10 miles later. My brother was waning around mile 76. But we saw lots of different people all day, and it was fun to ride alongside for a bit to catch up, hear stories, and get motivated again. The bike lanes were lacking for most of the ride, so we rode single file almost 100% of the time. There were even police cars requesting that riders go single file – the safest option anyway. Other than the 10 mile climb, the ride was pretty flat. Florida flat. Long, straight stretches where you could hunker down in the aerobars and just go like a hamster.

After the ride was over, we switched to our running shoes and caps and went for a 15 minute jog/run. The first 5 minutes felt awful, but after that, our legs forgot that we had been biking for the last 6.5 hours and it felt easier.

The support for this ride was fantastic. They had over 200 volunteers directing traffic, parking, and helping out at aid stations. The aid stations had plenty of food, with quite a variety – hot soup, salted red potatoes, pretzels, fruit, and all the common sugary stuff like cookies, brownies, etc. At the finish line, several Mexican food buffets served enchiladas, rice, beans, and salad. I was “practicing” my Ironman nutrition – seeing if I could drink 350 calories per hour, so I skipped most of the rest stop food. My brother said his PB&J sandwich tasted really good!

After a very, very long day, I got home and made two egg casseroles in preparation for our second annual Great Race brunch. The final stage of my 2nd EEW was a 12 mile run (on Sunday). Seven of us met at our house at 8am and ran to downtown Saratoga for the start of the Great Race run. The race was 4 miles one direction to downtown Los Gatos. At the finish line, I turned around and ran 6 miles home. Stephanie joined me and we gossiped all the way home – which turned out to be mostly uphill!

John was the top finisher of our group with 9th place overall (out of 1454). Fred got 10th. Eduard was the first finisher of our “Dads on Parade” (the fathers running with baby joggers) with a 5:55/mile (!!) and ended 26th overall. Derek, another baby jogger pusher, is “featured” in the Los Gatos online paper for his 45th place finish. Dave finished 56th, giving Kevin his first blue finisher’s ribbon. Stephanie ran sub-8 minute miles, and I was happy with my sub-9:00/mile pace (which I held for all 12 miles).

We had 20+ people for brunch after. Our newly landscaped backyard was perfect for the party – lots of patio space, BBQ counter space, and hot tub space! Everyone rehashed the day, ate lots of food, and was entertained by all the kids. We are lucky to have such great friends with which to spend time!

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  1. tasterspoon says:

    I am soooo impressed by your training. I hope you’re taking lots of naps!

    I heard the Great Race festivities were a ton of fun.