Well kids, we are less than two weeks away now! Ironman Louisville is quickly approaching. And now that we are at the two week mark, it’s time to start my taper. This is my favorite time of the year. I’m pretty sure my swim coaches hated me and my teammates during taper time. I have tons more energy during this time and do my best to be obnoxious :-)
I ended my training on a pretty good note before heading into my taper this week. On Saturday morning, my roommate Staci drove me and my friend Andy (hereinafter “A Ho”) up to Milwaukee, WI. It was an early morning getting up at the asscrack of dawn. And poor Staci didn’t get any coffee before we got on the road. We got up to Milwaukee around 7:30 in the morning and Staci drove right back to Chicago. A Ho and I started our 98.95 mile adventure at Veterans Park along the lakeshore. We headed south along the lake to the Oakleaf Trail running through Milwaukee County. This trail was beautiful. We got some great views of the beach and the lake then went through the woods/forest in the shade for a while too. We saw this pretty big dog walking down the beach too with a big fish in its mouth J It as happy as could be and incredibly proud of his catch.
When we came off the Oakleaf Trail, I pretty much lost track of trail names and where we went. I had directions that should have gotten us most of the way on bike trails but it got to be a little tedious so we just kind of went in the general direction of Chicago and hoped for the best. We tried to stop about every 20 miles and shortly after our second stop around Racine, WI, A Ho had a little mishap. I stopped abruptly as my CatEye cyclometer went flying off my handlebars and he wasn’t quite ready for that and took a tumble. He got a little scraped up and had to continue the rest of the ride without front breaks. We also ran into some unpaved trails around Racine which weren’t very much fun on a road bike! My tires weren’t made for that.
So we pressed on towards Kenosha. But at mile 43.5 just north of Kenosha, we found ourselves in a storm. The wind started to pick up and it began to sprinkle. We stopped at this abandoned building so I could take a look at the map and directions to figure out where to go when it started to hail. We hung out there for a little bit and let the storm pass before venturing out in the rain. After we left Kenosha, I pretty much lost track of where we were until we hit Waukegan, IL. The rain subsided about 10 miles out of Kenosha though so we started to dry off. We made a couple of stops at some gas stations to refuel with Gatorade.
We had a nice little scenic tour while getting in our ride. Once in Illinois and past Waukegan, we entered some really nice areas. When I lost the trail we were supposed to be riding on, we just rode down Sheridan Road. We found ourselves riding by HUGE houses in Glencoe and Winnetka. We rode right by Ravinia too. Steely Dan was playing Saturday night so we saw everyone walking over to the show. The last probably 30 miles of the trip seemed to drag on forever but once we got to Northwestern University, I had a renewed energy and excitement that we were going to make it. About that same time, A Ho was ready to kill himself (or me for making him do this!) As we got closer to home (somewhere around Loyola University) it started to rain again. By the time we made it onto the Lakefront Path, it was a pretty steady stream of rain.
We finally made it home nearly 8 hours after we started in Milwaukee. I originally thought it would take us about 6 hours but we had a few unplanned stops and the fact that I really didn’t know where we were going didn’t help. But luckily I have a good sense of direction and we both were determined to get back!
I felt pretty good when we finished and still had a good amount of energy. That made me feel pretty good knowing that in two weeks, I will bike 112 miles and go straight into a 26.2 mile run. While I don’t think I could have run that far after our ride, I know that I could have immediately started running. So I’m just banking on adrenaline to get me through.
I’m freaking out a little bit now that we are so close but I’m also getting excited. I’m really doing this!