Ironman training brings with it so many emotional highs, and typically a few low moments. There are way too many workouts stuffed into the months before race day, and they can't all feel awesome. This was a big weekend for me and for the most part it was glittered with emotional highs and reason to smile.
I returned to a similiar long ride I did at this point in my training last year. The whole ride felt considerably different. Different in a GREAT way! I've visited Palomar Mt. several more times this year, so that climb wasn't nearly as bad.
I remembered everything about this ride last year. I remembered how awful my legs felt, how I didn't know if I'd make it home, AND I remembered the great company who joined for the ride last year ;) I was determined to have that much fun again. After making our way up and over a few more mountains we had about 4hrs in our legs. Instead of an easy ride home we headed straight into a stiff unrelenting headwind. I loved it and insisted on staying out front to battle the wind the entire way! (funny thing, the only cyclists I saw way out in East County were those training for Kona. While we soaked it all in and chalked it up as great training conditions, most others stayed away from the excess heat that's settled in to SoCal). It was indeed the furthest I've ever ridden in one day! And to do so with a smile (or should I say without bonking) was encouraging!
The next morning I didn't feel so great. My legs were fine, but I had an awful headache. Oh and I really didn't want to sit in the saddle again. But I got 'er done. It was just one of those lows that we have to get through. Thankfully it didn't last long because when it was finally time to get my ass out of the saddle for the t-run things quickly turned around. I couldn't slow down, or wipe the smile off my face! As Kona gets closer I experience more and more flash backs from last years run along Ali'i and the Queen K!
The other highlight of the weekend is how warm and clear the ocean is. I don't know why I even bother going in before August. It sure is easier to enjoy ocean swimming when you can see what is (and is not) under you. Couple that with the 76+ water temps and ocean swimming can be down right fun. Slowly, but surely, I'm getting over the whole leg cramp episode that overcame me during last year's Ironman!
I hope the clear warm water sticks around until I leave for that beautiful crystal clear Hawaiian water!