So, we have a tentative date for The Picnic. And going by said date, Saturday was to be our last BIG day before we started tapering.
It only seemed fitting that we take a go at all three sports (swimming, cycling, and skiing) in one day to see how it felt. We couldn’t quite figure out a route that would let us do it without driving, but, oh well.
This was also the chance to test our new wetsuits on an open water swim. We drove out to Hood River with the intent to be in the water between 9-9:30AM (giving the sun time to come out). We arrived to 50 degree air temps, 52 degree water temps, and wind. This is how I felt:
I was attempting to mitigate the cold with double swim caps (both thin latex) and water booties. Paul felt fine, apparently:
We slowly eased into a protected area of water, somewhat near a guy on a boat who was fishing. He promptly told us how we were going to scare the fish away, and informed us, “we needed to share the space”. This was going well.
We swam out about 500ft and decide to head out of our protected area into the more choppy/windy part. Strava didn’t capture it perfectly, but it looked a little like this:
I wasn’t as cold as I anticipated (no limbs seizing up, no cramps, no ice cream headache) but I WAS struggling to catch my breath. I’d swim 5-10 crawl strokes, lose my breath, sputter about for a bit, swallow water, realize the current/wind had knocked back half the distance I’d just moved, and then panic a wee bit. Paul, next to me, was swimming like we were lounging about in the Bahamas on a tropical day ?
Determined, I said I wanted to swim out the island and back. We did it, but it wasn’t pretty. I ended up taking off my shoes when we were almost back, and I think that helped. Still. It was not confidence building. It took us 1hr 20min to go 2000yds (read: incredibly slow, even for open water).
Needless to say, I was glad to be done.
We then drove 10min over to Mosier and hopped on our bikes for another rendition of 7 Mile Hill. Goal this time was two laps (Mosier to Chenoweth to Mosier x2).
It started off pretty lovely, and quite warm:
But by the second trip into Chenoweth, the warmth had caught up with us. We were hot, sweaty, and tired. And we had a headwind for the last climb.
The last lap was pretty rough, and we both put our heads down and pedaled hard. When we got back to the car, we sat on a picnic table in the shade attempting to cool off.
Paul suggested maybe we skip Timberline (was it worth beating ourselves up even MORE!?). I said we should go (maybe the change of sport would do us good?!).
So, we went. And we were so happy we did! Just getting to the mountain brought some cooler, fresh air and lovely views.
It was quiet, not surprising for 6:00 PM on a Saturday night. We headed up in light gear with gorgeous views of the sunset. Our legs got a second (third?) wind, and we both had the most fun we’d had all day. We just went about 1,200ft (opting to avoid a dark ski down) but it was wonderful.
The ski down found Paul’s legs feeling surprisingly good and mine surprisingly sore (a switch from our usual). But ultimately we made it back to the car in very good spirits.
To treat ourselves, we headed back to Mount Hood Brewing and drank up.
It wasn’t a perfect day, but we persisted. And it was nice that the last part of the day ended up being the best.
This wasn’t nearly as hard as The Picnic, but we should have some things going for us to help on the big day (slightly warmer swimming conditions, no full sun on the bike, adrenaline, etc). And both of us could definitely have kept going, so that was a good feeling.
Now, my big goal is dial in my open water swimming issues. I have some ideas, so fingers crossed….
Swim: 2000 yards (1.1 miles)
Bike: 46mi & 6,200 ft
Ski: 2mi & 1,200 ft