Bike Camp, Texas Style

I had to go dark, y’all. I was eaten by the monster that is 140.6 training and decided to kind of drop off the grid a bit. In fact, my mom called me the other day, asking if I was still alive. I wouldn’t say training for Mont Tremblant has been anything terrible, although there have been a few days where I’ve come home from a long ride or run and clipped myself into my Normatecs on the couch, only to suddenly snap out of the coma hours later, realizing I’ve been staring glossy-eyed at Honey Boo Boo or the Kardashian Klan.

There is a Rev3 Williamsburg report in the works (awesome race, new PR, could have sworn the bike course was entirely downhill!) but first wanted to share some from my first “bike camp”, which felt a little like initiation into the fun that is TeamHPB. Everyone was going out of town for the 4th of July but I opted to stay in and make training a priority. I basically told Hillary to throw it at me – and boy, did I get it! I ended up spending most of my break (we got both Thursday and Friday off) riding around Texas Hill Country in the 95+ degree heat.

The interesting thing I learned from five days with way too much time spent on two wheels, is that I’ve gotten to the point where three-digit mileage isn’t earth shattering or eye-opening any more. I almost feel like I'm missing out on the "first 140.6 training experience" -- no tantrums on the bike, no crazy meltdowns... as much as I would love to say I had some amazing breakthrough or other deep experience, it really was just getting the work done and tooling around the Texas countryside.

On that note - I'm still looking for friends to ride with... if you're in the Austin area and like to go long - holla at me! Most of the local rides I've checked out are primarily short, sweet and much much too fast for the long rides I'm doing.

On one of the days, I revisited my favorite ride that I discovered when I rode in the 128-mile Loop Around Lake Travis ride a couple of months back. The only problem is that cycling solo in the middle of nowhere when your first gas station stop is 50 miles away is a little nerve wracking. I prayed to the bike flat gods, finally bought a speedfill for the front of my bike and soldiered on. At a few points, there were actual mirages in the ride as the heat started to rise. On most of the backcountry roads, I only saw a handful of cars and maybe two groups of cyclists.

Next time I do this, however, I'm going to either just do the southern leg to Johnson City as an out and back, or figure out another route, because there was one little section coming back toward Bee Cave that was terribly busy and I didn't feel that safe out on my bike. Highly recommend the route cutting through Pedernales State Park:

map

Without further ado, I give you Bike Camp in Pictures:

Day 1

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Day 2

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Day 3

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Day 4

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Day 5

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Two of my tougher rides done in my new Smashfest kit for inspiration :)

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And then I went to DC for a few days for work and did not touch one bike the entire time!! I started feeling separation anxiety by day three...

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And I've been in denial but I'll be racing my first 70.3 of the year this weekend in Racine... final tune up for the big show!