One of the things I remembered from conversations with last year’s IronTEAM participants was an odd word called “Piuma”. I didn’t know exactly what it was or what it referred to, but I just know it related to one of the practices. Now this morning, I finally knew what it meant. It’s a road out in Westlake (or in the vicinity of), called Piuma Rd. I checked the the bike route the night before and there it presented itself to me, in the elevation chart. What the! 2,000ish feet climb over the course of 8 miles?! Well, last year, people did this climb before Wildflower, so I can see why people complained about it last year. Yes, it was one crazy climb though! It just would never end! This one made Nasty Grade look like a baby. It didn’t get super steep like Nasty, but it was just super long. The descent was fun, but oh so scary! Imagine going down 30+ mph AND having some turns. I’m not that comfortable on the downhills yet, so you know I was pumping my brakes like crazy! Just when I thought the climbing was over, towards the end of the course, we did more climbing! The heat was coming in pretty strong too!
After all that, I felt surprisingly OK, but of course, my legs were heavy. What was next? A 12 mile run! Oh my! The ride took approximately 4:15, then the run, which were 3 loops around Westlake streets circling the lake, took 2:30. I took a bunch of walk breaks on this one, which will probably simulate what I’ll be doing on raceday. Heavy legs and heat are no bueno! This practice was definitely one of the toughest to date!