Day 1, Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thursday Molly and I started an 11 day vacation. This is the longest vacation we’ve had in over two years. We have some plans, but are keeping everything pretty flexible, wanting to just have a good time and get plenty of training in. Usually on our vacations we’ll get a little bit of exercise in, but not enough to even maintain our fitness. Now that I am trying to focus on getting ready for Kona I see this vacation as an opportunity to get some extra training in that I haven’t been able to do while working. Although I am already a little behind on posting my activities, I’ll write a post for each day.

This first day was mostly a travel day. To keep things interesting, we decided to break up the drive, so we drove up to Santa Clarita where we made our first stop. Molly and Kendall we going to Magic Mountain while I went for a ride. I had a great route mapped out that I made after looking at some routes on My planned ride had a lot of climbing and was about 90 miles. When I started at 11 AM it was already 101 degrees. I am not acclimated to this temperature at all. It has been rather cool in San Diego lately with highs in the mid 70’s. The instant I started my ride I could sense that I had no power, and if I tried to push it at all I would probably overheat. Keeping the plan flexible I realized that my original route would probably not be a good idea, so I would just ride for a while and see how things went. I ended up only riding 45 miles, and took 4 stops to refill my water bottles with ice water. I also spent some time cooling off at each stop, so my 45 mile ride took up 4 hours. When I ended the ride, the temperature was 108 degrees. I really don’t like amusement parks or roller coasters, so suffering in the sun was actually much more enjoyable. Although I wasn’t building strength or cardiovascular fitness, I saw this as an opportunity to start getting acclimated to heat. I’ve been thinking that I would start doing some heat training before Kona. Although it is still early, it is good to get started on some heat training. Training in the heat is not comfortable, and I would much rather train in conditions where I am almost cold. Now that I’ve suffered through this I feel the next time I face the heat it won’t be as miserable.

We took off from Santa Clarita and headed north towards Sacramento. Over 10 years ago we used to drive from San Diego to Sacramento a lot. I don’t think I ever liked the long drives, but now I know I don’t like them, and really don’t feel like pushing a drive to the point of being miserable. We decided to stop at Santa Nella, less than 200 miles south of Sacramento. There isn’t much there, but this is where they have an Anderson’s Split Pea restaurant and hotel. We decided to stay there. The hotel was actually decent, the pool felt great, and the restaurant was pretty good too.

You can see that my power output was really low on this ride. I was keeping the power below 200 watts most of the time, but there were a couple climbs that I had to venture above 200 watts and I was on the edge of overheating. I had no energy on this ride, and occasionally I would feel pains in my legs as if they were on the verge of cramping up. I just tried to keep focused, hydrated (as much as possible) and look for cues that may indicate I needed to take a break to cool off. I was amazed at how difficult it was to drink hot water. Ice water was great, but it didn’t stay cool long in my water bottles.

Here is the route I took. Not that interesting actually. I was planning on riding through the mountains you see north of the route I did.