Well, the vacation post is still coming – I promise. I’ll eventually get it finished. In the meantime, I wanted to post about my bike Saturday brick workout.
I had a 6 hour ride scheduled and 45 minute run scheduled. I realized Friday night that I had a typo in the electronic version of my training plan and was 30 minutes short on my bike ride. Normally, I wouldn’t care, but in my searching for a Saturday route, I found an awesome double metric century course. This would required more than 6 hours of riding so I figured that I would make up for lost time and do the longer route. I found the route on MapMyRide (http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/21346740) and it actually started really close to our house. Perfect. A metric century, if you don’t know, is a 100k bike ride (~62 miles). So, a double metric is 200k (~124 miles). This would make it my second longest ride ever (The 155 mile Ride Around Kent County being the longest)
I got up early (7:00) with the intention of leaving before 8:00. Well, breakfast took a little longer than usual to “settle” if you know what I mean so that pushed me back to 8:00. Then, I got on the bike only to find that the course data I uploaded to my Garmin wasn’t working. It took some finagling to get it working and I think I know how to fix it in the future. (If you are Garmin course user: Basically, the MapMyRide GPX export contains way too may data points creating a super large file. In GPSies (which converts the GPX to a Garmin CRS file), I needed to select the option to optimize the number of data points.)
The first 100k of the ride was pretty uneventful. I had some light showers early on, but this was to be expected. I checked the forecast before the ride and there was a 60% chance of showers at 9:00AM but only 10% the rest of the day. After 2 hours of riding, I arrived in Saranac to fill up my bottles. I bought a couple of Gatorades at a gas station as well as a pack of mint gum to hopefully settle my stomach.
As I was leaving the gas station, a group of about 12 triathletes pulled up. I recognized a couple from previous rides and chatted with them for a bit. They were all training for the Steelhead 70.3 this weekend and IMWI as well. Lots of them were veterans who had done IMWI multiple times as well as a slew of other IM races, but there were a couple of newbies as well. They invited me to hang with them, but I was ready to get moving and they seemed to be taking an extended break so I moved on. I go back and forth about training in a group. I’m sure it is fun and helpful to work in a group, but I like the freedom of doing my own thing. What do you prefer? Group training or going solo?
The second half of the ride is where it got interesting. Almost exactly at the halfway point, the skies opened up.
To say it was a torrential downpour would be a huge understatement. There were rivers of water in the gutters and the rain stung as it pelted me in the face. If I put on my sunglasses, it was too dark to see. With them off, the rain drops felt like knives in my eyeballs. I couldn’t win.
I turned a corner and all of a sudden was staring down a massive descent. I held onto the brakes for dear life and controlled my descent as much as possible. I ended up moving to the middle of the lane because the sides were like troughs of water from where the cars wore grooves. Despite laying on the brakes, I was still descending at about 30mph (in a 35mph zone mind you). Still, some d-bag had to swerve around me and lay on the horn. Real safe buddy. Real safe.
At the bottom of the hill, just when I thought I was in the clear, I hit a massive pothole which I will call the Demon Pothole. I didn’t/couldn’t see the pothole because it was filled with water. I hit it at about 25mph and immediately my front tire when flat. The impact coupled with being startled by the impact sent me on a crash course off the road. Somehow (and I still don’t know how), I managed to keep the rubber side down and coasted to a stop just inches away from crashing into a bunch of trees.
If you can believe it, this was my first ever on the road flat. If it weren’t raining (and for nearly crashing) I would have actually been happy to have a flat to get some practice changing one. I impressed myself with how quickly I got the tire swapped out for a first time change. I probably could have gone a bit quicker but my nerves were a bit shaken and I took some time to take the pictures and collect my thoughts.
Question for all of you though. When I put my inflator on and pulled the trigger, the tire valve and inflator immediately froze. There were ice crystals on the inflator and my fingers would freeze and stick to the inflator when I touched it. I had to carry the tire over to a puddle and splash water on it to thaw it. Is this normal?? Did I screw something up?
With the flat taken care of, I got moving again. The rain eased up a bit but I was already completely soaked so it really didn’t matter. To add to the excitement of the ride, I was nearly taken out by a woman in a near-hit who “didn’t see me”. You’ll have to forgive the poor Paint skills – I’m not an expert like Lindsay @ CTK.
Basically, the woman pulled turned left into the closest lane (like she was supposed to), but then proceeded to attempt to turn right from the outer lane in front of me. Thankfully I was up on the horns and cranked hard on the brakes while I yelled “Hey! Hey! Hey!”. I actually ended up skidding sideways because of the wet roads and ended up next to her. I yelled “What the hell?!?” and she just looked at me with hands up like she didn’t see me. Seriously?!?! I was the only fricken person on the road. If she didn’t see me, she should have her vision checked.
Thankfully, the rest of the ride was fairly uneventful. I started to struggle a bit after 110 miles but that was mainly because I forgot a part of the course. The final 20 miles or so wasn’t physically tough but it was a lot of stop and go because of traffic, stoplights and what not. All I wanted to was finish up the ride and be done.
I ended up finishing ~127 miles in 6h42 for a moving average of almost 19mph which is right where I want to be for IMWI.
After the ride, I headed off on a quick 6 mile run. I took a little bit longer than normal between the ride and run mainly because I wanted to hose off my bike before all the grime dried on, change my clothes, and grab a Snickers bar. It probably took 15 minutes or so to transition – not ideal, but this wasn’t technically a brick workout, just a bike and run day.
Jennie came with on the bike to carry water and for support. I actually felt really good once I got started and quickly settled into a good pace. I clicked off the miles and in no time made it around Reeds Lake for a 6 mile run at 8:05 pace. The best part is that I felt like I could keep going. I didn’t though. I have a 2h40 minute run tomorrow that I need to rest up for. Totally not looking forward to that.
Once I was finally done, Jennie helped kick start my recovery with this delicious chocolate milk shake.
And I think I’ll just leave you with that.
Thanks for reading!