Last week in Kelowna I worked to make the most of my time off in my final build for Ironman Calgary 70.3 on July 26th. Being in the Okanagan was a great opportunity for some serious swim/bike/run training!
Sunday – 8 mile run along the Mission Creek Greenway
One of my favourite places to run in Kelowna is hands down the Mission Creek Greenway. The trail is beautiful and well shaded along parts as you run next to Mission Creek.
The average grade of the trail is about 1%…not enough to make it look like you are climbing anywhere, but enough to make the way upgrade feel a bit harder than it should. It was also much hotter out than I was used to and within seconds I was sweating buckets. I left the ear buds out and just enjoyed the scenery running along the trail. (Strava)
Monday – 90 km bike ride attempt from Penticton to Oliver
The weather forecast did not look great for Monday…overcast with some light showers predicted. I figured light showers wouldn’t be too much of an issue and decided to chance it. My plan was to ride from Skaha Lake in Penticton, follow the lake, climb the hill up McLean Creek Road and ride to Oliver and back.
The climb up McLean Creek road always brings back memories of Ironman training camp and my two Ironman Canada races. It is a short steep climb that always feels like an accomplishment at the top! As I rode on to Oliver the skies started to open up. This was no light drizzle, it was pelting rain! I pulled into a gas station with some fellow cyclists and evaluated my options.
I was only 30K or so into my ride and a new check of the weather forecast showed the rain was still a ways up from slowing down. With the forecast looking better for Tuesday I opted to turn around and ride my 90K tomorrow. (Strava)
Tuesday – 90 km bike ride in Kelowna
My coach’s cousin lives in Kelowna and he was nice enough to give me some suggestions for riding routes within town. I honestly haven’t ridden that much out here and it was nice to change it up instead of driving an hour for my ride. The route was pretty complicated so I created a course in Garmin Connect and downloaded it to my Edge 810. Thanks to DC Rainmaker for the tip on how to get free maps on you Garmin Edge device! That helped a lot…although I couldn’t figure out how to get turn by turn directions?
The scenery on the ride was unbelievably pretty. Orchards, wineries, golf courses and views of the lake…
Many of the roads had bike lanes as well!
The other thing this ride had was climbing. Lots and lots of climbing. 4,734 feet (1,443 m) over 93 km of riding to be exact. I tend to think that I’m not a very good climber on the bike but I really enjoyed the ride and all of its challenges. The views made it worth it!
I had hoped to extend my ride to 100K but I wound up running out of fluids shortly after 80K. I was going to detour by home to get a refill but my parents live at the top of a very big hill. I wasn’t sure I could climb that at both 90K and 100K so I decided to finish up my ride at 93K. (Strava)
I then made my poor tired legs go on a very slow brick run/shuffle.
Wednesday – 3200 m open water swim
Gyro Beach in Kelowna is a fantastic spot for open water swimming with a measured swim loop you can follow. The water temperature was comfortable, although there were a few waves from some passing watercrafts.
Thursday – 70.3 effort intervals on the bike, plus a brick
On Thursday I made my way down to Oliver to ride the roads I had missed riding thanks to Monday’s rainfall. I always enjoy riding past all the vineyards and orchards here! It was a windy day which made figuring out my efforts on my intervals a bit tricky. I also completely freaked out a hitchhiker as I tried to give them a heads up that I was about to pass them (they were walking in the shoulder, facing the same direction as traffic). (Strava)
It was hot by the time I got off my bike and headed out for my brick run. Despite the hard effort on the bike my legs felt really good on the run!
The entire time I had been dreaming about capping my training day off with an ice cream from Tickleberry’s in Okanagan Falls. It was so good!!
Friday – 12 mile long run with tempo intervals
Despite all the work my legs had done so far this week they were still ready to tackle a 12 mile long run along Mission Creek. It was ridiculously hot out and I was thankful I was wearing my super lightweight Oiselle Hail Mary Mesh Tank.
The short 3 min tempo efforts in the final hour of the run were a fun little challenge. Thank goodness my brain and legs were up for it! (Strava)
Saturday – 45 min open water swim
It was back to Gyro beach for another swim today. My goal was to pay more attention to my form and stroke to make sure I was being more efficient in the water. The waves going around the outer part of the loop were quite intense today but I stayed positive and didn’t dwell on it. I really enjoyed my swim today. It wasn’t that long ago that I really disliked open water swimming. I’d often ingest a lot of air and wind up with a big bubble of gas in my belly. I feel like I’ve made huge strides to overcome that and my mental dislike of swimming in the last little bit. My two swims this week felt like huge wins.
…So yeah…a fairly intense week of training on my vacation! I loved it all though. I felt like I made huge leaps in mental confidence and toughness this week. Now it is on to my biggest week of training for Ironman Calgary 70.3!