Yesterday was my 38th birthday! I was born in Calgary, and as my parents like to fondly remind me, it snowed that day. Thankfully yesterday the weather was much nicer than on my actual birthday. It was time to get outside and celebrate!
I kicked the day off with a swim, then headed home to get ready for a bike ride. Tuesday’s weather looked to be perhaps the best of the week as rain is set to arrive and hang around for several days.
My neighbour is training for both the 70.3 and full Ironman in Coeur d’Alene and she had the day off. We decided to head out towards the Road to Nepal for a ride. We parked at Shannon Terrace in Fish Creek Park so we’d have access to bathrooms before and after our ride, plus would make for a lovely spot for a brick run later.
After making our way south on 37th St/96th St we kept straight on 226th Ave. This road has a really nice climb going up it, followed by a very fun descent. The pavement is a bit rough but not too rickety. We rode past fields of cows who were no doubt wondering what we were up to. I would have loved a picture of the moment as it was so pretty, but I didn’t want to stop mid-hill! We were rewarded with a fun and fast descent towards Highway 22. To add on some extra distance (and to make a bathroom stop) we rode on south to Turner Valley. The flat highway was a great opportunity to just get comfy in aero.
We made a quick pit stop at the Esso in Turner Valley and I wound up chatting with a fellow who will be racing his 33rd Ironman in Maryland this year! Wow!! He also raced Ironman Boulder back in 2014 so we had a nice chat about that race.
We got back on Highway 22 and headed north, then turned east on Highway 549 for our trip back. The pavement along 549 here is rough. I think Keith had mentioned that it will make the teeth rattle in your head. That would about sum it up! My hands were going numb from all of the rattling, plus we were riding into a head wind. Fun times! Finally our turn on to 112th street was just ahead, at the top of a big hill.
The ride back to town was fun, with a nice mix of punchy climbs and fast descents. The final bit on 37th Street was a bit dicey at times as the shoulder disappeared and school buses were passing us. All in all we rode just over 90K in just under 4 hours.
I hit the pathway in Fish Creek for my brick run and managed to stay within the shade of the trees for the most part. It was so beautiful out there and I would love to come out and do a longer run here sometime! I ran for 40 minutes…which was supposed to be a test of how well I had done on my nutrition over my ride. I felt really good on the run, had lots of energy and my stomach felt great so I think I did fairly well. I plan to share my fuelling strategy on the bike in the next few weeks once I’ve had a chance to get a few longer rides done first.
After a quick shower at home I met up with Neil at Pr%f, a place that makes delicious cocktails here in Calgary. I sipped on a lovely concoction made with pineapple rum.
All in all it was a great day! There was a good amount of quality training, fun times with a friend, and a lovely celebration with Neil. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way!
What is your favourite way to celebrate a birthday?