Tahoe Ironman is coming up in five weeks (wait did I just say five weeks!) and starts at 6,000 feet. Since we are sea level dwellers, I was game for renting an altitude tent to reduce the affects of altitude on the body but after my hubby did research it was decided we would save the approximate $1,200 (estimate $200/week for 6 weeks) and do our best to get fit and do some training at elevation prior to the race. We will also be able to spend time in Tahoe eight days before the race in order to try and overcome the initial elevation fatigue and get rested up before race day.
On Friday morning I ran 20.8 miles (has anyone picked up that I am OCD about numbers:)) towards work. The night before my husband and I packed up our car with all our camping, bike and running gear as after work we were headed up into the mountains for a weekend of altitude camping and training. We love that about California that in the morning you can be on the beach and in the afternoon you can be in the mountains!
I wore my compression tights all day (under my jeans of course!) to try and ready the legs for a weekend of cycling. After our short drive to Julian we checked in at Pinezanita, almost at 5,000 feet and got camp set up. Matt recently got us two cots from work point awards but we quickly found out that we will be investing in a new tent since the cots hardly fit into our current tent. Good thing it is a hand-me-down tent that is 20 years old.
We discovered a great route several years ago and now Sunrise Highway is one of our favorite climbs. Good thing it is as we were scheduled to do two loops of the Mount Laguna route. Sunrise Highway is an 11 mile climb until you get to the top where all the camping and recreation is. After the climb you get treated to some down hills before more climbing and downhills. According to my Garmin I got in 8,600 feet of climbing yesterday. The second loop I struggled from Pine Valley until the top of Mount Laguna but only added on 11-13 minutes more for the second loop. My husband is a stronger cyclist (or should I say all around athlete) and is always ahead of me but he would come back down (which means more climbing and miles for him) to check on me. When I get in my “dark place” I just need to be alone so he would see I was okay and go ahead and leave me to my thoughts. During those dark moments I think of those that have gone before their time and know my struggles are nothing compared to those that are left behind. We laughed today as we both saw some cows on the second climb that were mooing and I said to him I think they were telling me to “keep moooo’ving girl!”.
After 94 miles we went back to camp and drove to Lake Cuyamaca to do our 40 minute run on a multipurpose narrow horse/hike trail a the Trout Pond trailhead. Matt was freaked by potential rattle snakes but the only thing we encountered were hikers, horses and beautiful scenery.
After being out in the elements for almost eight hours we welcomed a shower and camp side tex mex meal with Reed’s ginger ales before snuggling up in the tent on our cots and reading before passing out.
Sunday morning we woke up earlier in order to get a ride in before packing up camp within the the noon checkout time. We went up the opposite side of Sunrise Highway into Mount Laguna and enjoyed the quiet morning ride and scenery. Unfortunately in July a wildfire went through this area but fortunately a lot of it was saved due to all the firefighters efforts. Short ride but still 3,500 feet of climbing in only 2.5 hours.
Looking forward to coming back at the end of August for another altitude training weekend before heading to Tahoe to tackle 140.6 miles at 6,000 feet!