Last weekend I had the opportunity to go to Leavenworth, WA, to make some new friends and do a bit of altitude training. I used Google maps to plan out a route, then used USATF’s site to plot the elevation:
Woah! I then checked the Auburn half-tri’s course:
Looks close enough to me! My planned route didn’t quite work out as expected, as the “road” that Google showed running across the north end of Fish Lake wasn’t actually a road at all (I encountered a sign that said “snowmobiles only from this point”). Other than that, though, the ride was great. The sun was out, the birds were chirping, and once I got up over 2000 feet, the forests on either side of the road were blanketed in snow. Here I am at my turnaround point at the northwest end of Lake Wenatchee, scarfing a granola bar:
During the ride, there were certainly a few moments of boredom. It helped to be able to look around at the lovely scenery and realize how lucky I am to be able to do this. It also helped to have a ready supply of favored karaoke songs memorized to distract myself!
For dinner that night, I feasted on a massive burrito at South. This ended up hurting me a bit on my 14 mile run the next morning (a couple laps of a loop around E Leavenworth Rd, Icicle Rd, and Highway 2), but at the time it was absolute perfection.
After my run, as we were packing up to go, I discovered that my bike’s rear tire was completely flat. I realized that it must have punctured at this giant pothole I flew over at 25mph in the last 5 miles of my ride. I had only a second to decide whether to veer into the road and risk being run over, or else pop a wheelie and hope my rear wheel survived. I chose the latter, and it seems my rear wheel (or the tube inside, rather) held onto life just long enough for me to get back. I really need to learn how to bunny hop.
In any case, I was reminded on this trip how much I love training outdoors. Nature is energizing in a way the thumping beats at the gym just can’t match.