Sunday, August 28, 2016

Whistler GranFondo and my summer

My first summer in Edmonton is coming to an end. Unfortunately I spent most of it working and studying and wasn't able to enjoy riding my bike, running, racing, and attending festivals as much I would have liked, but I'm sure the hard work will pay off.. one day.
Rainbow Lake post Fondo.
I wrote the MCAT in mid-August and since then have been really enjoying getting fit again on my bike and getting back into running. Last weekend I joined 5 friends for some camping in Jasper and I rode a total of 11 hours (285km) over 3 days. This was by far the biggest trianing block of my summer. It took me the entire week to recover, but I think it was worth the fitness boost for yesterday's Whistler GranFondo, and definitely worth the mental break from work, exams and medical school applications!!

Riding out of Jasper to climb up to the hotsprings.

Standing at the base of Marmot.
The GranFondo, for the second year in a row, turned into the best day of my summer. Nothing beats standing on Georgia street downtown Vancouver at 6:30AM with 7000 fellow cyclists about to ride one of the most scenic highways in the world from Vancouver to Whistler. I rode fairly conservative because after 10 weeks of studying and only 3 weeks of consistent cycling in my legs, I didn't trust where my fitness was at. I ended up pacing myself pretty perfectly because I was able to keep going strong right into the finish (last year I blew up with 40km still to go), and with 8km to go I tried to stand on a climb and my legs almost gave out from underneath me.. good thing I was almost done! The ride included 1700 meters of climbing and 1000 meters of descent, for a total elevation gain of 700 meters. I averaged 31.5km/hr, not too bad all things considered. Hopefully one year soon I'll be confidently fit going into this ride and I can really challenge myself to go faster.  My mom also had a really great ride coming in at 4 hours, 43 minutes, successfully not letting me beat her by more than an hour (last year I beat her by 1 hour 40 seconds)!! I'm sure I'll never hear the end of it, but that's okay she deserves it!

Mom and I at the finish.

At the finish I had the pleasure of handing out free Vega samples to promote the products and got some fun pictures.

These two were a little too excited :)
The rest of the day was amazing as expected. I hung out in the beer tent with 3 of my best friends Julia, Steve and Meghan, drinking beer obviously, and then hung out at the lake for the first time this summer before hitting up a patio in the village. It was an amazing day all around and I'm so lucky to call such an amazing place home!!

Meghan and I on Citta's patio.

Some other photos from my summer:

With my mom in Sedona, Arizona

With Patricia Walsh at the 2012 Paratriathlon Pan Am Championships in Edmonton.

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