Ironman Lake Tahoe Training · Training

Week 21: Tahoe Weekend!

Photo May 21, 6 13 49 PM

Hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend and took advantage of the day off! This weekend was absolutely perfect in Lake Tahoe training with great friends, new and old. We did some epic swimming, biking, and running, and I absolutely can’t wait to go back again to prep for Ironman Lake Tahoe.

There truly is nothing like Lake Tahoe with the clear lake, mountain views, endless trails, and beaches. Not only did we get some challenging triathlon training in, we also took time to relax on the beach, cook dinner, watch the sunset and stars, and enjoy some good beer and wine. Thank you to Golden Gate Tri Club friends Mark, Phil, Jen, and Mike, and my roomie Alexis for a fun weekend!

Saturday Bike Ride — Circling Lake Tahoe, 72 Miles

A year ago I biked the 72 miles around Lake Tahoe for my 27th birthday with friends. I called it my “72on27”. So it only seemed appropriate to wrap up my 27th year with another tour around Tahoe. I’ll call this my “72toend27”.

Pure bliss
Pure bliss

There’s really only one way to describe this bike ride — beautiful. You have the lake to your right the entire time, the snow-capped mountains straight ahead, and (especially with the low oxygen levels) it literally takes your breath away. It’s also really hard to get lost on this route. You just stay on the main road and keep veering right around the lake. If you haven’t done this ride yet put it on your summer bucket list RIGHT NOW!

Photo May 28, 8 27 53 PMWe started the ride near our cabin near Homewood but you can start at any point (Kings Beach, Emerald Bay, Incline Village, etc). We did the route clockwise which is the better way to do it so you’re closer to the lake.

Mark led us out and Phil was in the back. The boys wanted to “sandwich” Jen and I to make sure we were safe on the roads. Thanks guys! Mark started us off on a nice pace and before we knew it we were 25 miles done. We couldn’t believe how fast that went by. I was actually getting a little sad that the day was going by so fast, I wanted to bike all day!

Mile 25 at Incline Village
Mile 25 at Crystal Bay

The theme of the day was “because I’m happy!” because literally the whole day we all had these huge smiles on our faces. It was perfect. The second theme of the day was “but first… let me take a selfie”, for obvious reasons if you’ve seen all of the pictures!

Emerald Bay Selfie
Emerald Bay Selfie, mile 60

We stopped at the major vantage points for photos but while we were cycling we were pushing a nice pace. I’m so impressed by Jen for kicking butt out there, Mark for using his beast legs to climb hills with ease, and Phil for destroying those last 10 miles (not easy!). I love cycling with people that are faster than me, it really pushes me to work harder.

Photo May 28, 8 24 23 PM
Pointing to the island in Emerald Bay

In total it took us about 4 and a half hours (not including stops) to do the 72 miles with ~4,000 ft of elevation gain. There are 2 large climbs of about 800 ft each. Not horrible but it definitely burned my legs out a bit.

Screenshot 2014-05-28 21.19.08

After the long bike ride we threw on our running shoes and did a quick 2 mile transition run to get used to the feeling of running after a long bike ride. My legs felt so heavy and I felt like I was barely moving, but when I looked at my pace I realized I wasn’t going *that* slow (9:40/mi). I’ve talked about the importance of these “brick” workouts in the past and they are critical to any triathlon training program.

After the run we walked down to the beach to drink a beer and enjoy an ice bath to try and recover our muscles a little. Then it was dinnertime overlooking the lake and watching the sunset. Life is good. Wow.

Ice bath and a beer
Ice bath and a beer


Sunday Runday — Rubicon Trail

We decided Sunday would be our lake swim + long trail run day. After a long sleep, strong coffee, and hearty breakfast we packed in the car in headed down to the beach at Emerald Bay.

The lake was about 55 degrees (or colder?) so we threw on our wetsuits and started swimming parallel to shore. This was, by far, the best open water swimming experience I’ve ever had. The water was totally clear, there was obviously no salt water, and when you look up to breathe you see mountains. It was incredible!! I could’ve swam out there forever.

Suited up and ready to swim!
Suited up and ready to swim!

After our ~40 minute swim we laced up our running shoes and started our 2 hour trail run. We did the Rubicon trail which was about 9 miles with ~1,200 ft of elevation gain. It was a very challenging run but there were gorgeous views along the way. Plus, there’s little fun or reward in an easy run, so might as well make it tough!


The altitude definitely affected me on the run. I could tell I was getting more winded than normal and I felt like I had to slow down to catch my breath often.

If you’re looking for a challenging run in Tahoe, check this one out.

Photo May 28, 8 22 18 PM

Strava map
Strava map

After the run we chowed down on sandwiches and beer and just smiled some more (thanks runner’s high!)

Beers on the beach!
Beers on the beach!

At night we cooked a homemade pasta dinner with salad and just recapped stories from the day. Such a great day!!

All-in-all it was absolutely the perfect weekend and I’m so happy we went. I’m getting a better sense of how altitude affects my pace and hydration, and just getting to know Tahoe better. Next time I go up I’ll bike the actual course for the race so I know what to expect.

EA Decathlon

On Wednesday we had our annual company Decathlon. There were 10 events (obviously) and they were all named after titles of our videogames. It was really clever! Teams of 4 did backward crawls holding a super-soaker (like Battlefield), raced bicycles, danced Zumba, long-jumped, and even played Sudoku with burpees.

Our team name was “Burpees for Breakfast” because my team and I are known for working out in the mornings. We got 2nd place and missed first by 1 point! I’m happy with second, but next year we’re going for the win!


This Week’s Training Log

  • Sunday the 25th. Run. 2 hour trail run on the Rubicon Trail in Lake Tahoe.
  • Sunday the 25th. Swim. 40 minutes in Lake Tahoe.
  • Saturday the 24th. Run. Quick brick run after the long bike. 2.0 miles 9:40/mi
  • Saturday the 24th. Bike. 72 miles around Lake Tahoe. 4 hours 27 mins.
  • Friday the 23rd. Run. 5 miles with negative splits. 8:21/mi
  • Thursday the 22nd. Swim. Masters Swim Class. Drills, pull, and kicking.
  • Wednesday the 21st. Strength training, 1 hour
  • Tuesday the 20th. Swim. Morning Masters Swim Class. Side-kick, drills, and sprints.

Thanks Everyone. Swim. Bike. Run. Eat Plants.

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