Today was my last big workout. The last day that I felt I could improve my fitness before the long taper and repair process begins. My very last ride in my favorite hills. And my first long ride solo.
It was my big pre-race prep. So of course I had to wear my race outfit! And everyone who saw me in my house got a great laugh out of it. It's sooooo dorky but I love it. I highly recommend DeSoto products. Thy are so comfy!!! I took some funny stupid pictures this morning. So here it is mom and dad- the outfit you have to look for in 3 weeks:
I'm still up in the air about the yellow socks...
So the game plan was to ride 3 hours strict zone 2 no hills. I think I've built a reputation with my coach for always doing too much / too hard (I have NO idea how she got that impression...). So my instructions for the first 3 hours had a lot of caps and exclamation points. The last 2 hours I was allowed to hit the hills. It is so hard to ride on the east side on a flat course that is safe! The Metroparks are so wonderful, but also quite hilly. So I begrudgingly rode north in the valley on the same road that I have traversed a dozen times this year during intervals. Mike Honcho (my bike, of course) was quite upset that we passed his favorite hills, and not quite too pleased to pass them again on the way back. I told him it was ok, we'd be back.
There was a small hill that I chose to do to lengthen my route. I was immediately punished for ignoring the caps and exclamation points: There was a HUGE tree that had fallen across the path. Hmmmm... maybe I should listen to these signs. Nah. I hopped off the bike, picked it up, and crawled through the branches to the other side. HA! Just try and stop me, tree!
Then I headed south. Had to do one other hill climb, but it was a steady, gradual climb that stayed aerobic (When I looked at the elevation profile I was surprised at how much of a climb it was). On my way back to hit my hills I stopped to get more gatorade. I was tired of piddling around the valley. My friend Miranda, who is one kick ass athlete told me that the Ironman ride should be the easiest ride of the year. I had a lot of catching up to do in those final 2 hours. I wasn't planning on hitting rollers, I was going to hit the biggest baddest hills I could do until I had to crawl back with my tail between my legs (Really, I don't understand why my coach uses all those caps and exclamation points...)
When I hit 3:00 I was 52 miles in and ready. Sherman was beckoning. The hill is a 4 stage, 0.6 mile hill followed by 3 miles of false flats and hills. The first 4 stages are brutal- climbing out of the saddle in your easiest gear, wondering whether or not your chest wall is going to explode as your heart rate climbs into zone 4- brutal. And then you get to keep climbing for 10 minutes. It is wonderful. So wonderful, that I turned around and did it again.
It was 90 degrees, I still had 1:15 left to ride and I was already wondering how much more I could take. My stomach was not happy with me for my all Powergel diet and 300 mg of caffeine. Gatorade was getting less and less appetizing. But I had 3 more hills to do....
I headed back. When I got to Old Mill, I turned East and climbed it to the top, then turned around, went into the valley, and climbed it coming West. It took a lot of resolve to make myself climb it westbound. The first time I climbed Old Mill this year, less than 2 months ago, I thought I was going to die. I was out of my saddle, huffing and puffing, heart rate through the roof, almost falling over. Today I was able to crest the hill in my aerobars. Not saying I wasn't SOOOO happy to turn around and get to the bottom.
When I got down, I did one more long sustained hill and them limped my trashed body back to the car. Tail between my legs. Just as planned. I did 80 miles with 8000 feet of climbing (most in a 90 minute span) and averaged 16.2 miles per hour. It's not fast, but it was one fabulous ride.
Here's my elevation profile. Ignore the blue tracing...
Here is the Bike course at CdA
Bring it on!
Hydration stats on my first ride in the heat:
6 bottles of gatorade endurance
Not too shabby for a near 90 degree day. 0.5 pounds was probably glycogen, so I only had a net fluid loss of 8 ounces. Sounds like on a very hot day, 24-26 ounces of fluid should be A-OK.
I think after this ride I'm going to have to promise Coach Angela that I won't do my hills again. I'm afraid of caps and exclamation points, anyway
A Few Good Swims
2 days ago