Friday, August 12, 2011

Smashed in Las Vegas....Girls Weekend

I am sure this headline conjures up many images....drunken nights, shows, strip clubs, gambling, night clubs and the list goes on.  Well this girls trip did include lots of girl times, getting smashed, chugging liquids, passing out....but in a very triathlon sort of a way.



I think we drank 4 beers and 1.5 bottles of wine  between the 4 of us over 3 nights.... Instead of going to sleep at dawn, our goal was to be in bed before it was dark (ie before 9pm) and up before it was hot (ie 5:15am)

We rented a very cool condo in Lake Las Vegas... 1.2 miles from the start of Vegas 70.3 World Championships. Wicked cheap.... amazing the discounts you can get when it is 117- not kidding. We rolled in on Monday night around 5 and it was 117.  First stop- Whole Foods- Beth and I stopped on the way in and ate our way through the store  went shopping for the next 24 hours and headed to the condo where Brandy was settled in.  We could not figure out the gate nor the lock box but managed to get in somehow.   Relaxed night and I picked up Jen at the airport- late night bike assembly and all of us (less Brandy) realized how much we rely on our husbands for this kind of a thing.

Up at 5:15, coffee brewing and GF pancakes on griddle. Riikka, Ian and Brain arrived on time at 6 and after Ian's strong hands helped with the new tire..we were rolling at 6:10 to ride the course. We skipped the swim as there is no do much other than float around in Lake Las Vegas- not set up for swimming.  So here is the recon on the course.....
Bike Course.....beautiful ride, great roads!  Challenging but not a Wildflower or IMSG. 

As soon as you get on your bike you are climbing out of Lake Las Vegas  and then again into the National Park- we had to pay $5 but assuming on race day it will be free.  Immediate left turn to head North, we headed South for a bit because we were completely lost,  to see how the other direction looked.   We righted ourselves and rode on....rolling hills, NOTHING steep or grinding, all very, very manageable- will be very fair and a great ride- VERY fast IF there is no wind....Tuesday was calm and fast, Thursday was wicked, wicked, did I say wicked, head wind going out and a a tail wind for part of the ride back- then shifted again.  I digress..the first 36 miles are in the park on great roads, not technical and allow for lots of aero riding.  As you exit the park, climb out- it is actually the steepest climb of the course, but does not look that way at all.   Down the highway you go and quickly start the neighborhood climbs to T2- 16 miles of dogleg lefts, false flats and views similar to the neighborhoods of St George. This will be the more challenging part of the course...and if you are not careful will leave you wiped out.

T1 and T2 are separate locations....T2/Finish have a lot to offer-Whole Foods and lots of restaurants, hotels and cool spots-

We left T2 and rode back to the condo to cool down...temp was reading 114 outside.  I have to say for as hot as it was....it did not feel all that hot.   Good news.  We chowed down, showered, ate and napped!  AH! Such is the life..... 20 minutes into my nap work called....but hey 20 minutes, is 20 minutes.  Next up we went to the pool for a swim sesh.... really nice outdoor pool for $2.  Downside the pool temp was close to 85 and it was over 110 outside.  A bit sick feeling but we got in a solid 4500yard workout.... We had  our own lanes for 30+ minutes and then swim team came and we had to pile into 1 lane with a really agro dude.  He was NOT happy he had to share, swam down the middle of the lane, sprinting and knocking hands- He ran over e one too many times and the next time we passed I smacked him hard  accidentally hit him with my hand paddle!

Back to Whole Foods for dinner food!

Run Course....not really a loop- but you get the picture
Hitting the run course

Gotta love it.... worked for us.  In bed early and then we slept in....6am.  And off to the run course.  Again I was pleasantly surprised- I heard hilly, hilly...the course is 3 loops which on paper is not too desirable but in theory it is not a loop. You leave T2 and somehow get out of the parking lot, we missed this, but then a nice mile mostly down hill, turn around in a park and back up, past T2 and up hill 1 mile - much steeper climb and then turn around and back.  Loop 1 will be fine, loop 2 not so fun and the final loop just get up the hill and then a nice downhill finish.   Very fair run, spectator friendly for sure and great for seeing your competitors.  I would recommend some downhill running so you can smash that final mile- running down on sore quads is a bit tough.

We swam again without the nightmare dude.....and then enjoyed a nice afternoon.  Hammered out some work and we had a so-so dinner at a Mexican Place in Lake Las Vegas....the company was good!   food- eh,. margaritas not so good.  Early to bed....and up at 5- Pancakes and coffee on deck and out to ride again....

This ride was much different.....big wind changed the course a lot!!!  Hills were the same, obviously....but wind adds to the day. Someone asked me about gearing...I would not say you need "special" gearing-  as in Wildflower but my new motto is better to have too many than not enough.  I will probably roll my 11-27 only because I have it and have only used it for Wildflower.

The other question for the race is where to stay....Lake Las Vegas has some great resorts- Loews, Aston Condos... and a lot of other great condos and you are at the start!  But the finish has Whole Foods :)  We are staying Green Valley Ranch..... awesome pools and spot for some post race RnR. Either way you will be fine!


We did a T run in 114 degree weather, rode over 8 hours in temps well over 100 degrees and it felt like the hair dryer was on high in your face...but it was not horrible- very doable. Dry heat so you are not dripping sweat- and as longs as you hydrate, take salt and get in calories...all is well.  After all it is only a 70.3.

Thursday ride we added on to the Marina....screaming descent and we were all hot and a bit bonky....dreading the climb out we stocked up.
monster rehab, Frito's, frozen snickers, trail mix, gummy bears....please get us up this hill
The only thing missing is the gigantic dill pickle which Jen bought, drank the juice and ditched the pickle.  Jen lives in Tulsa where it is 114 and humid...she knows how to replace sodium!   We had such a screamin tail wind coming up the hill the climb was nothing.... either that or we were super powered.

As for the rest of the time.....the group of girls was perfect!  Beth is an ideal travel partner- always has to pee (like me), always up for a Starbucks stop and is happy to eat bags of carrots in the car.   Brandy, whom I met at the condo just rolls with it.... met us all for the first time and was perfect.  Jen and I have stayed together at races so we already knew it would work.  We all gelled, laughed a lot, bitched praised our husbands, ate like we trained and did not want to go home.  I see another trip like this in the future.... love you girls!



So we are nearly home.....45 minutes. Withing riding distance and we have to make one last frantic bathroom stop. So frantic I cannot find or get to a gas station...exit Old 395 and drive uphill and throw on the brake, turn off the car, open both doors and go.  Feeling 10000% better I hear this odd noise....like a rattle.  Holy Crap I look to my left to see the 2nd 1/2 of a big fat Rattler slinking up into the bushes. Beth nearly climbs in my arms, screams get in the car.....then wants me to back up so see if we can see it.  Talk about the adrenaline shot I needed for the final drive home.

Thanks girls....for the good training and good fun!