The trials, tribulations and nonsensical babbling of a triathlete training for her first Ironman.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Redefining the Wedgie: A South Carolina Summary

HI Y'all...
The grind has officially begun again. No more sleeping in. I was up at 4:30 am this morning after having a week "off" (well at least a week of not having to get up so bloody early). South Carolina was a BLAST. What a GREAT bunch of people to hang out with for a week. And the scenery! WOW! We were in the north west corner of the state, bordering on North Carolina. Nothing but mountains surrounding us. It was awesome. As for the riding it was nothing short of spectacular. It was challenging but well worth it. I rode for 5 days and covered almost 400 km (gives new meaning to the word "wedgie" let me tell you). I had expected to cover a bit more but when you're riding up mountains, you can't exactly move quickly (that and I took a day off). For example, we were out for almost 5 hours on our first day of riding and we covered 120 km. That's going just under 24 km/hr. That's not *that* fast in the grand scheme of things. But, considering we were climbing a lot of the time, that's pretty good. We climbed up the Blue Ridge Parkway--that was the epic climb of the week. At some points I was going 9km/hr. At those points my HR was also at about 190. It was about 18 miles (29km) from the start of the climb to the top of the Blue Ridge. And to say that we started climbing right away is misleading. It was a lot of rolling hills and gradual inclines for the first 2/3 of the climb. The last 1/3 was the tough part. I think I averaged 13 km/hr over the last 7 km uphill. It was tough. What made it even harder was the fact that you couldn't see the end of the road as you were riding up switch backs all the way up the mountain. That was a little disconcerting. It really made me mentally have to tough things out and stay positive and focused. The worst parts for me were the desecents! I was PETRIFIED! I am ok on a straight downhill but throw in some slingshot like switch backs and I ride the brakes till my knuckles turn white and my hands cramp. My back wheel is COVERED in brake dust. But, I know I've become a stronger rider because of it. Lake Placid is going to seem *that* much easier now. And at least I don't have to deal with any switch backs on that course. Only a 10 km straight down hill. I shouldn't have a problem with that after last week!

I have posted some pics from the trip. I will probably post some more as I get them from the rest of the gang. That's Fred chillin' out in the Pimp Wagon. There's Gary and I with some serious helmet head at the top of Ceasar's Head. There is a shot of Gary and I after our first day of riding. There is a shot of half of the Gang (the other half had gone back to the cabins"). There is a shot of the view from Ceasar's Head and a shot of the cabin that was "home sweet home" for the week.


Blogger Eileen said...

WOW! What an amazing time you must have had! Not that I'd be joining you anytime soon!

I started my own blog (inspired by you and my brother)

I'm still learning how to fix up my own blog....I love reading about your adventures! I'll keep checking in with you!

2:36 PM


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