Each year, the Salt Creek Triathlon Club has an annual training weekend in Baraboo, WI. For the past several years, this training weekend has been on Memorial Day weekend. I went a couple years ago and it was one of the toughest training rides I’d ever done. Last year, I couldn’t go because I had some medical issues, but I was able to squeeze the trip in this year.
I headed up late on Friday night. It wasn’t ideal, but as long as I was there and rested for the ride in the morning, things would be OK. Unfortunately, I got a little lost on the way up there. The roads are very dark and desolate…didn’t help that I had to go to the bathroom! I kept calling the main office of the place where we were staying, but I kept getting a busy signal!
However, this was about the only thing that went wrong the entire time!
The first day – great group, great weather and the notorious hill (that I nearly cried about 2 years ago) wasn’t as bad as I remember. Though I do have a better bike now, I like to think I have become a little better of a rider since I was up there 2 years ago. We did several repeats on this hill that takes…gee, I don’t really know, but maybe 15 minutes to climb up?!? Trust me, it feels longer than it really is. The route we took is very hilly…I’d say tougher than the IMWI course but not as tough as Horribly Hilly. But it does seem like you’re either grinding it out uphill or flying on a downhill about 90% of the time. There really aren’t many flat sections.
It was a perfect weather day…sunny, warm, little wind. There were these cotton pieces from the trees flying around and they kept sticking to my sweaty face or landing in my mouth which was pretty gross. I think I ate my fair share of bugs during the day’s ride also. The group came back, I went into our cottage and grabbed a water bottle and started to wind down. Unfortunately, I was coerced into going out again for another hour and a half which may not have been the smartest thing I’ve ever done. But…I drove all the way to Baraboo…besides, it was a beautiful day! The second stint of the ride was brutal. The wind had picked up and no matter which way we turned, it felt like we were riding straight into it. I was very happy when we were done.
The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent just hanging out and laughing with the group. It was a good opportunity for me to get to know everyone a bit more or catch up with a few people I haven’t seen in a while. Many people had spouses and family (and dogs) with them, so all in all, we had a pretty large group! I slept like a rock that night.
The forecast for the following day was 30-40% chance of rain. When we woke up, though, it was cooler than the day before, it was dry. Our group was a bit smaller than it was the day before…one person leaving, another spending time with family and a couple others had started earlier in the day. This route started off with a scenic ride right past to Devil’s Lake and it was awesome. While today was supposed to be the “flat” day, I’ve decided there are no flat streets near Baraboo. We even had to go up the hill we did repeats on the day before! Ugh! My legs didn’t quite have the fire in them than the day before, but I was still able to hold my own. I started feeling the burn much earlier in the ride on the second day.
We got a little lost toward the end of the ride, making it a bit longer than planned. This was a tough mental blow – think about doing a marathon and when you think you’re at mile 26 you find out you’re at mile 22…. But everyone pushed through and we were fortunate that the rain never made it out our way. No flats, no crashes, NO DRAMA!! A very fun, successful training weekend in Baraboo!