I am absolutely exhausted and yet have never felt better. I have compression sleeves on, a tall glass of water, my feet up, and the tour on. Maybe one of my Team Trakkers friends can UPS me their Recovery Pump???? haha.
Saturday started off with a yoga session. Jennie and I signed up for a 4 week course through the East Grand Rapids rec department. Total fail. No one told us that it was geriatrics yoga. Other than one other woman in her 30’s, everyone else was at least twice our age. After about 40 minutes, the instructor said, “Alright, we are going to start the cool down.” Jennie and I looked at each, “What?!?” Compared to what we normally do we hadn’t even broken a sweat. This was apparently Hatha yoga versus the Ashtanga or Power Yoga that we normally do. Big difference. Didn’t even feel like a workout.
After the yoga and lunch, I headed out on my ride. This was essentially going to be my first ever solo century ride. I did my 100 Miles of Nowhere ride solo, but that was all within 4 miles of our house so it really didn’t seem like a solo ride. For this ride, I was going to do a big loop around the Northeast corner of Kent county which meant that I was going to be on my own for nutrition and hydration. It was a bit intimidating at first, but I survived. I learned a lot on my ride:
- Centuries get easier the more I do them (Which is good because I have another next weekend and possibly a 3rd the following weekend)
- Miles 60-80 never get any easier
- Bib shorts are WAY better than regular bike shorts
- A ice cold Gatorade after 50 miles of drinking warm Perform is absolutely heaven
- After 80 miles of Gatorade and Perform, an ice cold water is a lifesaver
- Riding in the country is crazy awesome – no constant stopping and I didn’t encounter a single overly aggressive driver
- If I keep riding in the country, I need a way to carry produce home with me. Lots of blueberries, raspberries, cucumbers, and zucchini for sale at roadside stands.
- The Garmin Edge 500’s course feature is amazing. Loading a course onto is a sort of a pain, but I never got lost and knew exactly where I was going.
- I think I have my IMWI bike nutrition figured out. A bit more practicing in the upcoming weeks and I should be solid.
At my 2nd pit stop of the day, I was checking out and the guy in front of me (buying cigarettes) admitted to the cashier that he was still hung over from the night before. Lovely. As I was heading out, he pulled up next to me in his car and asked where I was going. I told him Grand Rapids. The following ensued.
Him: So you biked out to Sand Lake from Grand Rapids and are just going back?
(mind you, he is smoking a cigarette in his toothless mouth the whole time, so it was kind of hard to understand him. I had to clean up his English as well.)
Me: Sort of, I didn’t bike straight here though, I did a loop to Lowell and Gowen.
Him: How far are you going?
Me: 100 miles today.
Him: (incredulously) Why?
Me: Because I’m training for an Ironman
Him: What’s an Ironman
Me (in my head): Oh dear, this is just like the videos.
I explained that that it was a triathlon of 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile run
Him: Do you get paid for that??
Me (in my head again): Ha! Do I tell him that I am the one paying?
Me: Nope, I just enjoy doing it.
Him: Well, are you are you training for the Olympics or something then?
Me (in my head): HA! Olympics! I’m flattered but haha
Me: Nope, I’m not that fast.
Him: So you just do this for fun or something? You enjoy doing it then?
Me: Pretty much. I like challenging myself and pushing myself to the limit.
Him: Well, good luck! (Nice of him, but based on his tone I think this translates to: I really think you are crazy!)
Overall, it was an awesome ride. The final 20 miles was painful because I was back on surface streets and there was a lot of stop and go due to stop lights, stop signs, and what not. The good news it that the stop and go stuff is when I my knee would usually start to bother me and it felt great the entire time. Win.
I took a few minutes to recover after the ride before heading out on a 40 minute run. Jennie joined me on the bike and we may or may not have stopped at the Village Cone Shop for some soft serve ice cream. All I can say is that the WTC should seriously consider an ice cream aid station at IMWI. I ran my fastest mile split after a small chocolate/vanilla twist cone.
Sunday morning called for a long
suckfest run. Again, the always wonderful Jennifer accompanied me on the bike. We loaded up with two Nalgene bottles – one water, one Gatorade – for 64oz total. By the end of painfully slow 14.5 miles both bottles were completely drained. We were drinking every mile alternating between water and Gatorade. Next time, I guess we better bring 3 bottles. I headed up to the pool as soon as I finished the run because the Sunday hours are limited and I wanted to make sure I had time to get my workout in. As much as the run sucked, the swim hurt even more. I spent half the time battling foot and calf cramps. Every time I pushed off the wall, my calf would want to seize up on me. I survived though and I feel stronger because of it.
Now, I get to rest and recover the rest of the day before starting a much needed recovery week next week.
Finally, congrats to everyone who raced this past weekend! MattyO and H rocked it Muncie, Tim podiumed in his Duathlon debut, Greg at The Life I Tri for rocking his race, and the crazy fast Chrissie Wellington for a 5th place OA at Roth. Hopefully I didn’t miss anyone! Apologies if I did.
Thanks for reading!