Here we are at our last open water practice on Saturday. That's me on the far right in the yellow cap. Coach Kara is next to me on my left.
Here we are AGAIN. Next to me in the white t shirt is Slave Driving Coach Paul. Damn him and his long workouts and sprints! He he. Actually on Saturday we only did 2000. We are tapering!
Everyone in these photos is doing either the half or the full Silverman on Sunday. Actually, the guy in the blue t shirt (lower picture) is Hans, the mastermind behind the Silverman swim course set up. I'm not sure if he's racing or not. He's an excellent swimmer though!
This nasty looking hill shows up at mile 90 of the full iron course, mile 34 of the half course. It is first in a series of three 18% grade, approximately 100 meter long hills known as the Three Sisters. Here locally we call them the Three Bitches. They sit one right after the other. After the last one is completed it is basically a grinding uphill incline for quite awhile, um, basically until T2. YES!
I stole this photo from a stellar race report on Slow Twitch.com. The guy in the photo, Eliot Drake, did the full Silverman as his first iron distance in 2007, and is coming back for more punishment on Sunday. He has a cool blog too, with tons of great photos of a lot of stuff. He also had a stellar photographer/family member(?) following him throughout the race and I could not resist these photos.
Here Eliot is at approximately mile 5-6 of the bike course. Just getting warmed up! LOOK AT HOW GORGEOUS IT IS!
I'm not sure where Eliot is on the course here, I just like the picture.
Um, yeah . . . . . This is the profile for the full 112 miles. The course is a point to point and also an out and back (on Northshore road), with everyone leaving Hemenway Harbor and ending up at the Multigenerational Center in Henderson, the site of T2 and the finish line.
Everyone makes a right turn on Northshore Road and rides out into the hills, turns around, and makes their way to Henderson.
For the half, we turn around at approximately mile 23. As you can see on the profile there are some larger hills beyond that! I've ventured beyond that point myself during the Silverman 5 hour ride. Ahem. It was hard.
The full iron folks turnaround at approximately mile 50.9. Poor bastards.
SO, looking at miles 1-23, and then at miles 79-112, you can see the profile for the half course.
And here is the run profile. One 13.1 mile loop around Henderson.
Last night I did my final significant brick in training: 1:45 on the bike and a :30 run. Since I waited all day to do this brick the ride was done on the trainer, the run outside. The ride was OK but the run was fabulous! I felt smooth, speedy and my HR was smack where it was supposed to be for my half marathon pace. I did not have my gps with me so I don't know my actual pace but I don't care. The point is that I felt like I could run like that all night. The air was cool but not cold and even though I felt tentative the first minute or so, my body knew what to do. I'm so excited and grateful to be at this point I cannot tell you. I tear up just thinking about it.
Silverman is much more than a race to me. It is what started the possibility in my mind of greater things, things I had never done before. From the second I sat at the volunteer meeting in 2006 and heard Frank say they would be adding a half in 2007 I thought
"what if I could . . . ."
2007 was a mixed year that tested my resolve. I had to learn to swim. I had to deal with DFL, DNF and DNS. Had I not really really WANTED IT, I would have stopped. But for reasons I can't quite articulate or explain, I wanted it. BAD. Not just any race. I wanted Silverman. I learned to ride and run on these hills and swim in the often choppy waters of Lake Mead. Through the heat, the wind, and the nice weather. The magic started in 2006 at that meeting and the magic is alive and well my friends.
Six more days . . . .