Birthday Smashfest Weekend Report

by hillarybiscay

As promised, I´ve got a full birthday smashfest update, a week late . . . Cat and I are now in Europe and our internet connection leaves something to be desired. As does the swimming situation: we just got kicked out of the only proper pool within an hour of here because there is apparently “no training allowed.”

Sooo it ended up being a good thing that I did indeed get in my birthday swim set, plus a few, before traveling over here.

GCM and I made a last-minute decision to come over and race Ironman Austria next weekend, so an extended birthday smashfest weekend was actually just what I needed to get my legs back underneath me. I had two of my TeamHPB superstars, Leslie and Alyssa, to make it tons of fun. The company was welcome after a solo 3+ hour track session on my actual birthday, Thursday.

They had planned an overnight cycling weekend, and since Mini-Me Alyssa (below) and I share the same birthday and I hadn´t yet had a chance to train with Leslie, I couldn´t resist. But I am glad that A) I didn´t realize how hard this sucker was going to be. And B) I had an urgent need for cycling-induced suffering (i.e. the imminence of Ironman Austria).

Because we rode 220 miles and 20,000+ feet of climbing over two days, from one end of Skyline Road (Front Royal, VA) to the other (Waynesboro, VA). And then back the next day. Plus I am pretty sure we had a headwind the whole way on day one. And Coachie had the brilliant idea of making the kids run before our ride that day so we got a late start and finished at about 9:30PM, in the dark.

Looking a bit the worse for wear, starting day two . . . With every painful pedal stroke, I reminded myself that I was one stroke closer to getting the legs Klagenfurt-ready.

The fitness gains, scenery, and time with my kids were, of course, all well worth it. Despite the numerous signs suggesting their presence on Mt. Lemmon, I have never seen a bear in the wild. Last Sunday we saw five, including a mom with three cubs up in a tree–right on the side of the beautiful road we were riding!

If you look closely, you can see the two sleeping lumps next to the baby bear staring out at us.

Thanks to a weekend on this pain train, I woke up Monday feeling something like an ironman hangover (only, thankfully, it went away in a day instead of about 6). So Alyssa and I took our birthday swim like a long recovery swim. It was lovely and I felt best by the last 35 or so of the 111×100.

This x2 was the reward for my efforts. I had a couple days of training with Alyssa in Baltimore and she introduced me to my new fave pizza place where this was my make-your-own creation: gluten-free crust, pesto sauce, Daiya mozzarella vegan cheese, caramelized onions, roasted garlic, bell peppers, mushrooms, and–the key–walnuts! AMAZING.

Updates from Austria up next!

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