The weather here in Southern Ontario has been smoking hot and with the humidity, it makes it almost unbearable. I think my favorite channel has now become the Weather Channel as I'm constantly watching it to monitor the ever changing weather. With a long ride (6+ hours) on Saturday, on Tuesday it looked like it was going to storm on Saturday. Yet as we got closer to the weekend, the weather kept changing. Friday-clear, Saturday-storm, Sunday-clear. Then Friday-storm, Saturday-light showers and Sunday-storm. Then, Friday-clear, Saturday-clear, Sunday-storm. That sealed it. The long ride was going to be Saturday.
Several guys from the Markham Triathlon Club were racing in Musselman (upstate New York) while others were not planning to head out until 7:00 am (too late for me). I rode with Lisa and left the house at 5:30 am. The sun is rising later and later each morning and it was a little dark. The humidity was thick and heavy in the air and I knew this was going to be a long and painful day.
The ride was pretty uneventful up to Zephyr and given the differences in our riding speeds, during the long flat straight aways, I rode ahead like a time trail and then looped back or did hill repeats. We reached the corner store but it was still closed so we continued to Udora (love the names of these small towns). We stopped at another gas station but I made the mistake of not refilling my water. It was hot and I was drinking a lot and gobbling down the salt pills. I figured I could reload at the connivance store once we hit Lake Simcoe but by the time we got close to the lake, Lisa wanted to turn back as we'd already been out for 3.5 hours and I was almost out. I had to find a refill and fast as I would bonk fairly quickly in the heat. We headed south and into the town of Egypt where I saw the local community center. I stopped to see if I could get a refill but the doors were closed. I did find a garden hose on the side of the building but wasn't sure if I could drink the water. In some of these little towns, the water is untreated and undrinkable. I took a small sip and it tasted ok. I filled up one bottle and was about to head out when a couple pulled into the parking lot. I asked if they knew if it was ok to drink the water but they weren't sure. They said the water came from a well so that was ok. I reloaded and we headed south back to Zephyr. A quick stop at the corner store and then back home. The ride home was tough and hilly. My legs were on fire from the hill repeats as well as the temperature kept rising. Finally we made it back to Markham and I headed home for a 40 minute run. I felt better than last week's ride but still felt like death on the run. I'm still not sure how I'm going to run a marathon but I'm hoping it won't be as hot or humid as Saturday. I took lots of salt pills and even tried the new salt & caffeine pills. I didn't really notice a difference but Saturday night, I had a lousy sleep as I kept waking up every hour despite been dead tired. Normally caffeine doesn't bother me but these salt & caffeine pills might have done it.
Sunday morning was hot and humid even at 5:30 am. I ran a brutal 90 minute run and was dripping wet by the time I finished. Afterwards, I went swimming for 60 minutes to make up Thursday's shortened swim (the pool changed its hours). I swam a couple of laps when I got a cramp in my toe. A bad cramp. Often I'll do a run and then swim on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Once in a while, I'll get a cramp but this time it was different. It was painful and lasted way longer than normal. It would disappear for a while and I could swim for 20 minutes or so and then it would come back and then disappear. I put up with it for 60 minutes when the last cramp in my shin was so painful, I had to get out of the pool. I'm not sure what happened but I must have been very dehydrated after running in the humidity. I was drinking water all day and actually woke up a couple of times during the night to drink. Lesson learned.
This wraps up the last week of Iroman build. Next week is a rest week and then I guess I have a three week taper. Only 15.5 hours of training.
On another note, I went to my annual family picnic and managed to gain eight pounds this morning. Neat trick eh?