100 Days to Go

This week marked 100 DAYS to GO to the B2B Ironman! In fact today equals 96 on the countdown. I can't believe the summer is flying by............and so is my training. My miles are starting to build on the bike and the run and my technique is starting to improve in the swim. It's been a big weekend - a track workout after my 40+ mile ride yesterday and 120 lengths (3000 yards) in the pool this morning!

I thought I'd simply add a few pictures this week to get you caught up. I still owe you a report from my Raleigh 70.3 race and I can't wait to tell you about the coming three weeks. I've peeked ahead at my plan and it's going to be a doozy. I'll be doing an 11 mile run this weekend and four hours on the bike! At least it will be flat!

Last week's ride was NOT flat. But I loved it. I was in Raleigh for my sister's fortieth birthday celebration. On Sunday morning, I tacked on a metric century - 62 miles - in the triangle. It included part of the Raleigh 70.3 course and lots of countryside. I'm always surprised at the farms and acreage just a few miles out of population-heavy Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. The challenges, of the course, were the hills; especially the Col d'Lystra. A monster climb for this flatlander. Here's how another blogger described it:

It starts out around the 6-8% range and quickly pitches up to 10-11%. It doesn’t stay there long, leveling back out to around 6-8%. There is a false summit and an easier grade, then some up and down rollers with an upward trend. Overall there is around 300 feet of elevation gain. Not a bad hill for being smack dab in rolling hill central. It was big enough that I think it warrants inclusion in my NC Climbs section.

The best part of the ride was Marian Bergdolt (above). She is a fellow TriStacey athlete, an amazing runner and all-around athlete. She was great company - I loved getting to know her and loved that she pulled most of the way. [Don't tell coach.]

Tis the season for open water swimming. A few weeks ago, Erica, Ace and I jumped in Banks Channel for an excellent out and back. We swam against the current for 25 minutes. It was not quite mid-tide and it was a challenge, but it was a gorgeous day and a great way to find my stroke. When we headed back to the start, we eased up on the freestyle. We floated and side-stroked and made it back to the Seaside Club in only 10 minutes.

A few weeks ago, this little fairy popped out on one of my runs. She was propped against a fence near the boat ramp at Wrightsville Beach. I was in mile nine of ten and she was a sight for sore eyes. She gave me a little boost of energy right before I climbed the bridge and picked up my pace to the end. I went back to take her picture (and prove that she was not a figment of my imagination) and she jumped into my car. Her name is La-A.
[Pronounced:  Ladasha]

And finally, I've been obsessed with the Tour de France. I'm kind of glad that today is the last day. I might get my life back. If I haven't responded in a timely fashion to your email or call, it's because I've been watching Chris Froome and Nairo Quintana climb the mountains of France. I've been working downstairs at the kitchen counter in front of the telly. I even created a spin class -- complete with slides and graphics  -- around the Tour. I've won my Fantasy Tour League and I made dessert crepes on the day the riders climbed Alpe D'Huez! [I bought my first jar of Nutella and have put it to good use.]

Pain & Glory Since 1903

Speaking of.....I best go. I want to go watch the last few hours of the 100th Tour de France. They're riding into Paris at night. Love.