Another holiday, another tour of the Emerald Necklace. We are so lucky in Cleveland to be surrounded by a beautiful, interlocking park system that makes cycling such a pleasure. Here is a map of our parkway:
Every holiday, Shaker Cycling starts from the East side of Cleveland, rides straight through downtown to Rocky River, then takes the parkway through Mill Stream, to Brecksville and through Bedford Reservations. The brave souls continue on to do a century by going down into and through the South Chagrin Reservation, while the rest of us call it quits at 75 miles.
I was a bit worried about my fitness level and my ability to keep up with some of the uber studs that show up to hammer out this ride. I think there were about 15-20 of us in all and I was, once again, the token woman. Being the token woman I feel the need to not be the slowest member of the group so that people don't start rolling their eyes when I join them for their rides. So for the first 90 minutes (mostly warm up), Lanny and I took the lead. This is good because we get to control the pace, but it also means I don't get to draft off anyone, so it's not all that easy.
Then we arrived in the metroparks and the call was made:
All aboard the Shaker Train. Those not in the paceline will weep for your mommies in 30 minutes
I took a deep breath, put my butt 6-7th in line, and pedaled for dear life. Holy hell was that fun. Me without a spedometer could only guess how fast we were going, but when Lanny sped up to put a leash on the studs who were pulling, I got an idea.
"Can we keep it under 29 mph, guys?"
We had a long ways to go and had been holding 28-29mph on the flats for 20 minutes. I was in serious trouble.
I was able to keep up, but was anxiously awaiting our potty stop (and I will officially never live down This ride). Our one real stop happens after a big hill and my legs were screaming for mercy. My butt, which used to be rock hard, but is now flabby goo, was crying with every pedal stroke. To make matters worse, in order to keep up I need to forego that little thing that we like to call eating and drinking. So at mile 46 I had consumed a total of about 18 ounces of gatorade and 2 Gu packets (300 calories). So I quickly chugged 20 ounces of Accelerade and another Gu and was off.
In case you hadn't recoiled in horror at that last statement, it's a really, really bad idea to chug mass quantities of liquid and calories (including protein, no less) and immediately start riding. So now I needed to figure out how to pedal my fatigued muscles with a huge portion of my blood supply diverted to my gut. I would be lying if I said I hadn't considered the ole finger down the throat trick. But alas, I held my cookies.
At about mile 65 I was done. My body had given up the fight. Thankfully we were almost home and Lanny allowed me limp back home to a power shake.
What a fabulous way to end a long weekend! And a great week of training, no less
Mon- 3600 meter swim
Tue- 45 minutes elliptical
Wed- 3300 meter swim + 34 mile ride (hard)
Fri- 3400 meter swim
Sat- 66 mile ride
Sun- 45 mile ride
Mon- 75 mile ride
10,300 meters in the water, 220 miles on the road
I love this stuff
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