Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tour Bus on Two Wheels

Besides putting Nutella on nearly everything imaginable, I've been soaking in the French Riviera & countryside from 2 wheels. 

What better tour bus than my Cannondale? It's easy to stop & take pictures, and nothing makes you appreciate the winding roads up to a hilltop village more than actually climbing them yourself (easily, now, because it is race week!) 

On Monday, I checked out the latter part of the #IMFrance Bike course. I road the last 40k in reverse direction of the race and then flipped it so I was able to practice the final descents. A little note, it is steamy hot here! The first day felt like I was in summer in Houston, TX. It cooled off a bit yesterday, but who knows what race day will bring. 

Now, The Ironman France bike course is not one for the "head-down-and-hammer" TT crowd. Heck, I didn't even bring my aero helmet as I'll spend much of the course climbing nearly 6,000 feet and descending switchbacks and such. Time to put on my big girl pants for those descents! 

Love the profile!
The bike course is one big loop. See those 7 mountain icons? Those are the "cols" or "cotés" if you will. I do LOVE to climb and have made so much progress that I'm excited to see what I've got in that department. My goal will be to climb strong physically and then descend strong mentally. I'm not going to write candidly about my descending skills here right now. This is race week, people. I believe in the power of positive thinking. I am a GREAT descender, I am a GREAT descender, I am relaxed and smooth and one with my bike! 
villages and hillsides from the back half of the course...You can see the road cut into the hill in the Bouyon pic. 
On Tuesday, I took a spin to Monaco and redefined my version of the coffee ride...This coastal route still has some small climbs, but all manageable. 
Café ride
I passed through Villefranche sur Mer, Beaulieu sur Mer, St. Jean Cap Ferrat. Forget heaven, when I die, I want to go to Cap Ferrat! 

The run course for Ironman France is at the other end of the spectrum... Four flat loops (10-ish K each) of the Promenade des Anglais, the beach boardwalk path in Nice. 
Promenade des Anglas

One one side you have this....

Men can get an extra "Boost" by checking out the topless offerings while running the marathon.
On the other side, things like this
The architecture here is so rich and ornate, will help pass the time during 26.2. And a good reminder to keep your head UP! If you don't look up, you miss the best parts of the buildings. 

 Other than that, I've been doing a little swimming in the Sea...Holy salt factory! But purrrrrfect temps.
New custom swim suits from Betty Designs, thank you Kristin! And NO, twitter people who asked, these are not what I'm lounging in the beach in- I have proper bikinis! These are for exercise-related dips only!
 And finishing the days like this....

Just one! 

Today I'm taking a full day of rest. Tomorrow will be more checking out the bike course (by car!) with some friends who are arriving. A Bientôt!


Donna said...

I love that you are doing Ironman France! The south of France is one of my favourite places in the world. If you fancy a good sea swim for training, skip Nice and head to Villefranche Sur Mer, the outer part of the cordoned section is a nice long marked course to follow :-) Enjoy a glass of rose and some seabass (loup de mer) when you are recovering before heading back home!

JC said...

Fantastic pics! You will be AMAZING! GO get it!

Melissa Marie Head said...

Wow how amazing - you are one lucky girl

The Mommy said...

Ahhhh, this is gold - pure gold!

Love following your latest journey as a pro, especially when you share the world with us like this. Thank you.

Bonne chance! Good luck!

Traceyo said...

I love reading your posts. Best of luck on Sunday!

Yasi said...

Gah! I'm totally jealous! I wish I was crazy good so I could jet-set off to foreign lands and ride, swim, and run in amazing places (while keeping it casual with amazing mojitos). I LOVE those Betty Designs suits too!

Kick ass Beth!

GoBigGreen said...

Awesome, this is so cool. Now i have to go back to France, I Was only there in the winter in Lyon. Blah, this looks LOVELY! Enjoy everything about your visit, the race too!

rr said...

I'm so effing jealous I might die. So gorgeous. Excellent Secret use, Skipper. You have become the master.

Have a pre-race cocktail for moi.

Rosa Michelle said...

Great pics, thanks for sharing..
That's precisely the reason why I love travelling on 2 wheels.. You can rest, stop, restart, eat, take pics and do whatever you want at your own will..