The First big “Stress Test!”

Saturday afternoon marked the first beg Stress Test for the upcoming race as Jeni and Dave embarked on their first “long” workout. Lisa was in Sandpoint and couldn’t join us, so it was just the two of us.

At about 2:00, we began our trek, kayaking in Dave and Lisa’s new kayak. We went 5.86 miles in 1:22. The weather was cool, but calm. The biggest problems were cold hands (dave) and missing grip strength (Jeni) toward the end.

We transitioned to our first running leg, and did Tubbs Hill/Boardwalk (3.4 miles) as our “warm-up.”

Next, we hit the bikes, and did a pretty aggressive 19 miles over Bennett Bay Hill to Higgins Point, back to the college and around the dike road, before heading back to Centennial trail. Along the way, we stopped and did the Centennial Trail Exercise course as well, consisting of pullups, pushups, step ups, dips etc, jogging the whole way.

The sun was setting and it was cooling off as we started the “final” leg: the run. We did 7.6 miles over Bennett Bay Hill non-stop, and it was pretty challenging, but we did a pretty good job of it, finishing in 1:11.

The only remaining thing was the 2 mile bike back, right? Well, that was the theory, until, about a mile from the finish, Dave ran out of Potassium, and got an instant and debilitating thigh cramp that caused him to fall off his bike and lie in the road… The neighbors actually came out to see if he’d been hit by a car or something, and gave us some bottled water. The first cramp faded, and we started out again, only to be beset with the matching cramp in the other leg a 1/4 mile later… I pedalled with one leg, and eventually finished the trek, feeling bad for “weak linking” out with a mile to go, but finishing was the key.

In the aftermath, we didn’t drink as much as we needed, even though we tried. Also, salty snacks and bananas or banana chips are required, or possibly electrolytes. Mostly it was to do with hydration, I think, but we’ll see.

Overall, (except for the cramps) it really went great, though it was demanding, for sure. I feel awesome today, and plan on getting out for another run later. In total, we kayaked 5.86, biked 21 and ran 11, plus did the exercise course, all basicaly non-stop. It was a total “moving” time of 4:59.40, and a combined time (transitions included) of 5:40.

We didn’t really rush the transitions, as we had to load the kayak back up, etc, and clean dry clothes are a real must, especially when it’s about 33 degrees. At the end, you need warm dry clothes, even if you don’t feel that cold, because you are sweaty and tired, and 30 minutes later, you’re shivering!

In all, it was great experiment, and we both feel pretty confident that we could complete the 6-12 hour race now, as we basically did the established distances, and even exceeded the run distance. It was a challenge, but wasn’t unbearable at any point.

We’re going to try to do something like this once every week or two leading up to the summer, possibly even increasing our distances slightly.

Wish you were all here to join us, and we are really looking forward to getting the “Team” here for Bloomsday, or possibly in Tahoe in June! After today, I KNOW we’re going to make it, and I’m really looking forward to completing Big Blue with our team!



1 Comment

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One response to “The First big “Stress Test!”

  1. rickmccharles

    Awesome you guys.

    Had a pretty great day myself today in Joshua Tree National Park. Run, scramble, jike.

    Got a bit sunburned, though.

    Will post details later.

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