First off a HUGE thanks to Charisa & Steven for their generous hospitality this weekend. Charisa invited me down to go for a Saturday ride, my response: "Sure, I'll stay the whole weekend and eat all your food." Its not often you find 2 people willing to let that go on. They rock and their house is RADICAL! Steven is apparently a green thumbed Bob Villa and with a little help from Charisa (when getting a break from training) has turned their back yard into a regular botanical garden complete with veggies, fruits and jumping fish.
Friday night the 3 of us met up with Jonathan for some carbs before the morning ride and we quickly realized we would be getting wet the following morning.
4:45 on Saturday my alarm went off and at 5:45 we opened the garage to find Marit & wet ground. 10mins in and it was pretty much a rain. We met up with the rest of the crew and headed East. Once into the climb towards Ramona, the sun came out and it warmed up. From then on it was great. There had been some talk about a East Grade (Mt. Palomar) climb, but I figured that was one of those things that people say, and then 65 miles into a ride you never hear about again. Well, Kevin and Allen weren't on the same page, and they were climbing it. Charisa was running the full marathon the next day, and Jon had a big day of training on his plate too, so I was left with no excuse. OK... Up we go. In the end I was happy I did it. That is an awesome climb and Kevin kept me honest the entire way. My Garmin threw in the towel after 110mi so I am not sure exactly what the # was, but I know its the farthest I have ever ridden. Call it 120 miles with some real good climbing. I was happy & STARVING!! Steven, being smart enough not to want to hang out with a couple of ravaged triathletes, headed off to golf, and we went and wolfed down some Thai food. I am pretty sure our waitress told stories about how much we ate to the rest of the staff. Full & tired it was couch and Giro time.
Sunday brought a 4:10 alarm (this is getting OLD!!). Steven, again showing his superior cognitive abilities, wisely chose to sleep, warm in his bed as Charisa and I windshield wiped our way down to the Rock N' Roll Marathon. I dropped her off at the start, spent an hour parking the car, walked a mile, caught a cab, and found myself at the mile 6 marker with about 20mins to spare. Right on time Charisa came by and I jumped in. We ticked off the miles one after the other with surprising ease. I was very happy with the way my legs felt. The calf especially, not a peep out of it for the entire run. Charisa powered through with no problems whatsoever. The girl is INSANE!!! After a HUGE 3 week build, and 115mi on the bike the day before, she "cruised" her way to a 3:10 marathon. We were talking and laughing for the entire 19mi we ran together. This is how we looked around mile 23, I think some other girls on the course HATED her!! At about mile 24 I realized Charisa had a real good shot at breaking 3:10 (which I knew was her PR). In fact, apparently we both made this realization and had the ESP working cuz we both began picking it up. At mile 25 however, I spotted the Marine Corps bandit patrol and was forced to peel off. After getting through security, I was on the base and sprinting the last mile to try and catch her. An effort in futility it was however as she stayed on pace and tied her PR. In a TRAINING RUN!! I was super stoked as the 20miles felt great. My legs never really felt that tired and definitely had some life in them even after the Henshaw/Palomar bashing they took the day before. More importantly, my calf kept quiet the whole run!!
The day and the trip was topped off some great Mexican food with all the marathoners. All in all, it was an AWESOME trip that I hope to "do-over" many times in the future. Can't ask for much better training, and certainly NO better hosts! Thanks again guys.