– the blog –

Picnic Training - Week 16

April 28, 2019 to May 4, 2019

Sunday - 2.5 hours bouldering at NE Circuit

Monday - Rest Day

Tuesday - 1.5 hour swim (4050 yds)

Wednesday - 15 laps on Mt. Tabor stairs (1,962 ft) and 7.5 miles of bike commuting

Thursday - 2.25 hour bike ride (28.25 mi, 2625 ft)

Friday - 1.25 hours bouldering at NE Circuit

Saturday - 2000 yds open water swim in Columbia River + 2 full laps from Mosier over Seven Mile Hill to Chenoweth and back (46.5 mi, 6333 ft) + Backcountry Ski up past Silcox Hut (2.3 mi, 1218 ft)

Felt kind of worn out this week starting on Tuesday night. The swim was longer than normal, but I think I may have been fighting off a minor cold as there seems to have been a bug going around Portland. Naps were required almost every single afternoon.

Saturday was our last really hard day of training prior to starting our taper, so we decided to make it a three sport day. We also finally purchased our triathlon-specific wetsuits and needed to practice our open water swimming. Let the fun begin!

So, first step was driving to Hood River and doing at least a mile of swimming. The water temperature was somewhere in the 53-55°F range with a solid wind blowing in from the west. The air temperature was only a few degrees warmer, so suffice to say it was neither a warm nor pleasant swim. We survived though and I gotta say my wetsuit helps me float amazingly well. The water is damn cold on my head, but as a whole I feel pretty confident in my ability to swim the Columbia, if the weather cooperates.

Next, we dried off, grabbed food and a hot drink, and drove the 10 minutes to Mosier, where we changed into our bike gear. Our plan was to bike from Mosier, over the top of Seven Mile Hill, down to Chenoweth, and then back. And then repeat it once more for good measure. Thankfully, the sun was out and the wind was blowing, so we had a tail wind for the climb out of Mosier and then joyfully biked into the wind on the climb back up from Chenoweth. The first lap was ok, but the end of the second lap was brutal as the wind speeds had slowly increased throughout the day. I got to the summit on that last lap and was hurting pretty bad. The downhill to Mosier did not alleviate the pain much as the wind was blowing hard enough that even the steeper grades required pedaling and a firm grip on the handlebars.

Our third sport was to be a backcountry ski up the Palmer snowfield from Timberline Lodge. However, we were hurting so much at the end of the bike ride that we almost went home. I am so glad we took the time to refuel and drive up there as the backcountry ski was leaps and bounds better than the swim or bike ride. In fact, I would say it was probably one of my favorite outdoor activities of the year.

The sun was setting and the snow was firming up, but the temperature was perfect (I started in a t-shirt) and the views were spectacular. We only went an hour but everything just clicked. My legs felt better, the mountain glowed, and the ski down felt almost easy. A pleasant end to a very challenging day.