We arrived up here late last Sunday night, ready for a bit more than a week on ‘The Rock’ – Newfoundland, Canada. For those not quite clear where that is, think Greenland, and then go a little bit southwest – it takes less time to fly to London from here than it does to fly from NYC to San Francisco.
At any rate, we’ve had beautiful weather almost all week long, with only a single day of rain. I’ve been mixing in rides and runs pretty much every day – with the occasional swim tossed in as well. Plus, a bit of random sight-seeing. Though I’ve done most of the local tourist-related items on previous trips. As regular readers will remember, The Girl is from here.
We started off the week heading over to Cape Spear, the most easterly point in all of North America.
Me, The Girl, The Girl’s Sister, and The Girl’s Sister’s Boyfriend:
We even saw a whale go wandering on past us. Thus immediately saving us the $60 a person in going on the whale watching boat-tour (ironically the very whale watching boat floated on by a minute or two later).
I’ll be riding out there tomorrow for my long ride. Should be great since the weather looks promising.
For Tuesday I had a bike-run brick on the schedule. But before that happened we decided to go for a swim in a local pond. There are tons of ponds around here – making it a bit of an openwater swimmers dream, at least if you don’t mind the occasionally chilly water.
Now, when I say “swim”, I mean more of a float. Not really a true openwater swim workout this time. But that’s all good – we had fun (me, The Girl’s dad, and her brother).
The Girl meanwhile decided she wanted none of that.
With the swim complete, it was onto my scheduled bike-run brick. I’d decided to do it all right from the house, making it quick and easy with minimal logistics. The bike was a roughly 30 minute affair before going into a longer run.
First up, the bike. It’s nice being on generally quiet roads – nothing to worry about except the odd moose.
With the bike done I headed out for a run. I was doing 10-minute long interval sets at two varying intensities. The winds here in Newfoundland tend to vary between ‘ugly’ and ‘downright nasty’, and in today’s case it was actually quicker to run uphill with the tailwind, than downhill with the headwind.
Despite the winds though, the run went fairly well.
Post-brick, a BBQ awaited. The Girl’s dad had ribs cooking up… ahh yes, ribs – something not so easily found in Paris (at least good ribs anyway).
Wednesday was our one day of rain. A fair bit of rain. We ended up going out to a little town called Brigus about 45-50 minutes away by car. At least during the time we were there the rain largely subsided. Enough to skip rocks for a bit.
Post-rock skipping (obviously, a heavy calorie burning event), we replenished with blueberry desserts. The town is known for its blueberries.
Given the rain, we pretty much stayed indoors all day. We did end up picking up a few bags of chips at the gas station though for card games later that night. They had a Moose & Maple flavored bag:
Quite frankly, they were horrible. I like maple, and I like moose – but whatever occurred when these two items mated was not a good thing.
Much better was the Sour Cream & Bacon:
We ended up doing a bit more relaxing on Thursday. I had a run that I did with The Girl (a bunch of 800’s), but beyond that we just enjoyed hanging out. Their backyard has plenty of things to enjoy relaxing around.
For example, there’s the flower gardens they meticulously work on.
In between the flower gardens are the vegetable gardens (multiples of them). We had fresh veggies from the backyard every night.
Then there’s the greenhouse her Dad built two years ago. It’s just simply awesome (and that’s ignoring the fact that it’s nice and warm in there – increasing the awesome level).
This past spring he built a root cellar. Yes, you know, just went out and built it, by himself. Bam – root cellar!
Though, one of my favorite areas is up behind the little cabin (yes, he built that too).
It’s here there are trails that meander around the fir/pine trees, with thick moss growing on the forest floor:
Finally, as if a root cellar wasn’t enough for one spring, he also built this entire structure (it includes a secondary BBQ at the back) – including the table and benches. Over time grapevines will grow up the sides and on top.
For dinner we had moose burgers on the grill, and then we finished off the end of the day getting The Girl’s sister’s boyfriend “Screeched In” – and yup, I’ve already done that a few years ago.
I should point out that it’s entirely possible I’ll end up 20 pounds fatter by the end of this trip. In looking at the recipe card holder, it seems pretty clear why:
I headed out for a bit of a 75-80 minute ride. It included 2×20 minute interval chunks in it, all at roughly threshold pace. The Girl’s Dad recommended a nice quiet road, which I did two 12-mile loops off, only saw one car on the first chunk of the road – pretty awesome.
Though, in looking at things a bit later, I may need to re-evaluate my threshold assumptions a bit based on it (upwards).
For those curious, here’s what the wattage comparisons looked like (left to right: Vector, Quarq Elsa, PowerTap G3, Stages):
Post-ride there was a moose appetizer followed by steaks. The steaks were covered in chanterelle mushrooms – which were picked from the forest a few hours earlier.
Finally, that brings us to today. I started off the day with a 13.2 mile run around a local lake.
The path is 2.35 miles per loop, so I did a bit over 5 loops of it – plus some extra.
I was pretty excited about how perfect my pacing was per mile. Albeit not on purpose since it was tied to heart rate zones (Z2), but I was pretty happy with it (especially given the gravel path for the majority of it, which slows things a bit compared to concrete/asphalt).
I did some intervals after mile 12, so the paces are all wonky there…
Post-run, I found the cookie truck in the parking lot.
And once you find the cookie truck – you simply can’t top that. Thus, I’ll end this post here. Hope everyone is having a great weekend – and thanks for reading!