Last August when I signed up for Ironman Canada, I was excited about the prospect of training with a big group of athletes (and I wouldn’t be the only girl!). I knew that most of the group would be training with Michael McCormack (AKA M2), whose spin class I had been taking for about a year, and I knew that his workouts were supposedly epic. Man, was I in for a surprise!
Over the course of the season, our M2 crew of 25+ did insane workouts – spin classes that left us all wobbly-legged, hill climbs that would make even hardcore athletes cringe, and trail runs and century rides that are definitely not for the faint of heart. The best (and worst) part of all these adventures was that you never knew what you were going to get. The workouts were almost always worse than they sounded (and they sounded BAD), but just as I’d been told, they always ended up being epic.
Besides participating in the Silicon Valley Int'l Triathlon, the Double Dipsea, and Vineman 70.3 races, training adventures included:
- Off-roading on the road bike (this would be the same ride where M2 told me to “stop being a chickenshit”, something that I have striven to remedy ever since!)
- Riding the Solvang Century route with the new boyfriend in July in 100+ degree temps and ridiculous headwinds (and we still like each other – thank God he’s as crazy as I am!), followed by a substantial (and also hot) trail run in Montaña del Oro along the Rattlesnake and Badger trails
|Honey Badger don't care...|
- A double BoFax/Seven Sisters loop. 5000 feet of climbing in about 50 miles - ‘nuff said.
- A swim-bike-run Tahoe weekend, which included taking a conference call on a 20-miler to Tiburon on Friday, swimming in the Trans Tahoe Relay ACROSS Lake Tahoe with five of my teammates on Saturday and a cycling trip around Lake Tahoe on Sunday.
|Enjoying a cold one after my second swim leg|
- An epic 19-mile trail run near Mount Tam. You don't need a map…it’ll be obvious. Flow along the lake, cross the dam and go down the hill with the river on your left. Turn up a trail on the right (think it has the word “Oat” in it). Gnarly climb, you’ll know it. Dumps out at the golf course then flow toward meadow Bon Tempe area and back toward 5 Corners. Yeeeaaaahhhhhh…If I hadn’t brought my trail map, I’d probably still be wandering around somewhere near Alpine Lake, begging Cokes off of poor, unsuspecting picnickers…
|Just before getting dumped out at the golf course|
- The Shasta Summit Century – 10,000 feet of climbing over 100 miles, and probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life (even after IM Canada!)
|Gorgeous view of Shasta from the top of the third, and hardest climb|
- Hill repeats at Limantour. The saddle sores from Shasta hadn’t healed by the time we did this lovely ride!
|There are hills, we will go over them. Well, up them. Twice.|
- A swim from Alcatraz in ridiculous chop. Picture swimming in a washing machine.
|That's the city in the background. I swallowed a lot of sea water that day.|
- A time trial from Stinson Beach to the top of Mount Tam ONE week before Ironman
|The M2 crew at the top of Tam, looking sharp in our matching kits!|
- And for good measure, a trail run to Alamere Falls (where I damn near killed myself climbing down the scree to get to the beach), followed by a swim in Bass Lake, which was amazing apart from the “SWIMMING LIZARD!!!”
|Scrambling down to the falls, and this was the nice part!|