Friday, July 07, 2006
Hello from the shores of Gitchee Gumee
Camp week continues. Soapinator and SLJ are enjoying camp- "It rocks!" was the exact report. Trihubbby and I embarked on our own version of "camp" and headed to the north shore for a much appreciated break from the daily grind. Of course, when you are encamped on one of the largest fresh water lakes in the world it just makes sense to explore on foot. We went for a 4-5 mile run on Wedsnesday, then hung around Canal Park for the evening. Duluth has done a reasonably good job at economic recovery following the all out collapse of the taconite/iron industry in the late '70s early '80s. It's a tourist destination for the most part, with the benefit of incredible natural beauty, they do tourism well. Duluth is the type of city you can drive to and feel like you are a million miles away from everything.
I am a century virgin no longer! The Harold Munger trail is 63 miles of pavement that runs from Duluth to Hinkley and boasts of being the longest paved trail in the world. It is dotted with state parks and small towns, and abundant in wild life and clean air. We saw a dozen or so deer, including several fawns and were promised a bear attack by one of the trail workers. That made us ride a little faster. I had a stash of Nutter Butters and sunflowers seeds, so I felt confident I could throw a feast at a bear that would distract him from my legs.
(however, while visiting a friend on the 4th I met said friend's sister who commented on Trimama's legs. "Wow, your legs are so strong looking, they're so muscular, I just want to touch them"
That'll cost you extra. I've been paid peculiar compliments before, that tops them all.)
Since said legs might appeal to a bear, I kept my HEED bottle handy, a useful weapon against wildlife of all sizes.
We rode out 50 miles, made a big ceremonial deal of turning back and rode on. AVS at mile 30 14.8, AVS at mile 50 15.2. What we barely perceived was that the rail bed which was the original intent of the path climbed for most of the first leg. That is the most bizzare feeling, when you are pushing hard and not gaining speed. Once we made the turn back it was rare for the speedometer to drop below 19, 20, 21 mph. Final AVS 17.3. There was one part of the trail that was under construction, so we arrived back at our car short of the 100 by 1.5 miles. Ugg. There was no way we were going home without that century so we rode around the neighborhood until that baby turned over!
I can't tell you what that does for my iron confidence. I know I can ride 100 miles. I felt fantastic at the end. It was a hot 85 degrees and Florida humid, with wind. I ran around in the parking lot a few minutes, confident that I could strike out on a run. Although, I definitely will do a lot more bricks between now and November.
We drove back into town for a cold beer, a shower, and a nap. I slept welll with that unknown weight of century off my shoulders.
Huddle camp starts tonight
Lot's of pics and info to follow-I'll take good notes, because tri races are definitely not a test you can cheat on.
Oh, and cheers to Trihubby who pulled the trigger and entered Ironman Zurich for June 24, 2007.
Ziggy zagy, ziggy zagy, Oi,oi,oi