Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sprint Triathlon Sunday (not really)

Todays work out plan was to do a "brick" (bike/run) in the morning and then ride the bike with the group in the afternoon.

There was suppose to be a group meeting at the school at 6:30am for the brick so I set my alarm early and did all the usual morning stuff. Annette was doing her long run today of 12 miles starting at 6am. After Annette left, I decided I better check the bike real quick because last night my front tire had been low. Well, as luck would have it, it was flat. So I had to do a quick change out of the tube still trying to make it to the school by 6:30. Got it changed, then I got me changed into my tri shorts and started gathering up all my gear. By the time I got all this done it was almost 6:25. I knew they would leave right at 6:30 no matter what so I figured i'd just catch up.

After getting everything loaded up, I headed down the road only to be surprised by rain. It was pouring down rain! I almost turned back but I thought that it might stop so I went on. When I got to the school, no one was in the parking lot. I looked at my watch and it was 6:32. I didn't see Cindy or Lisa's car so I figured they were either running late or decided the weather was too bad. I had two options, ride anyway or wait till 7am for the other running group to start. I decided to ride, the rain had stopped but it looked like it might start again anytime. I got all my gear on and waited just a few minutes just in case someone else was coming and they were late.

6:45am I was off and riding down 89 towards Furlow. The plan is usually to ride as hard as you can for 30 minutes and then turn around and come back. I figured I would ride till 7:15 or till I hit Furlow grocery and come back. After the 17+ mile run yesterday the bike felt really good. I had mentally told myself not to push it, just have an easy out and back. Then run maybe 2 miles as a recovery from yesterday. I knew the route Annette and Brenda were running so I figured I might head that way but I had to knock the bike out first.

The further out 89 I went the wetter it got. It had rained pretty hard earlier evidently. I was hoping it would wait till I got back to start again. All I could think of was these skinny bike tires have no traction. At about 7 miles out I saw three bikes coming back towards me. I guess someone did show up! It was Robb, Cindy and Lisa. I turned around just as they passed and caught up to Cindy. Her and Lisa had rode their bikes from their house so thats why I didn't see their car. I tried to hang in behind them but these girls are FAST on the bike. I could have if I wanted to but I really didn't want to push it after yesterday so I just held my pace the best I could.

After riding about a mile or so, the bottom fell out. It started raining. Slow at first and then it was like buckets. I was wishing I had windshield wipers on my glasses. All I could do was pedal and hope it didn't get worse. I kept thinking about a car coming by and hitting one of those spots holding water and splashing me. Luckily traffic was light and that didn't happen. I was thinking as I was riding that it was a good thing that you can swim in these tri shorts too, as this was like swimming. My feet were soaked, my head was soaked, at least it wasn't a cold rain. It actually felt good. It was hard to see though.

About a mile before we got back to the school it quit raining. We made the parking lot, changed into our running shoes and got ready to run. Lisa's husband Bob had showed up so there were three guys to run with. Lisa and Cindy are way too fast for me to keep up with so this was nice. I didn't want to run fast or long, I just wanted to have a nice recovery run.

The girls were doing the Candlewood 5K route and they were anxious to get going so they took off. The guys said they didn't really want to run far, one mile out and back would be fine with them. I told them I knew a short cut that would give us just over 2 miles. So we took off. First mile seemed pretty fast, we took a short walk break and took off again. Our plan was to beat the girls back to the school. We had passed mile 2 and was walking in the Church parking lot when we saw Cindy so we took off trying to beat her back. Ended up we all got there at about the same time. I led the guys pretty much the whole way on this run which was unusual for me as I usually end up following someone faster. It made for a nice change and it was a fun short run plus great recovery for me.

Total miles - 12.87
Time - 45:31
Average speed - 16.97 (17)
Max speed - 22.9

Total miles - 2.43
Time - 28:18
1- 10:38
Avg. 11:38

Ok, I had no way to add up the "swim" distance, but it was a lot!! Does this qualify as a sprint tri?

Afternoon Ride
I arrived to meet the group at the Church around 1:15pm. I saw a couple bikers waiting so I proceeded to get all my gear on. A few minutes later several bikers rode up riding from their homes. We had a short meeting to discuss possible routes and it was decided we would do Kerr Station to Lonoke and back down Hwy 31. About a 30 mile plus route. Sounded good to me as most of this was fairly flat and I wanted a nice easy ride. The group today consisted of David, Vicki, Lisa, Russ, James, Patty, Bill and myself.

We started out slowly cutting across Candlewood to Kerr. Everyone was bunched up and talking. A few miles down Kerr, people started breaking away some riding faster than others. I just rode, trying not to push too hard but still trying to maintain a decent speed. I set my Cateye speedometer to show time ridden as I planned on drinking every 15 minutes and taking a gu at one hour.

After a few miles Bill led the breakaway group followed by Russ then James and myself. We were moving along at a pretty good speed, probably averaging 16-17mph. By the time we reached Military Rd, we couldn't see the others behind us. We were not 100% sure of the route at this point but we knew how to get to Lonoke. Russ took off heading east on Military and James and I followed, wondering if we were going the right way. Shortly, Bill rode up to us and said we were suppose to go straight across Kerr so we turned around. We still wondered. We increased our speed trying to meet up with the others. When we turned south on Kerr, we saw some kids playing and riding bikes and we asked them if they had seen some more bikers and they said "yes, they had just passed by here a few minutes ago". Well at least we knew we were going the right way and I knew there was a road that cut over to Highway 15 up ahead. At several points here, I would look down and see we were going 20-21 mph. We kept thinking, we should be seeing them any minute but we didn't.

I don't remember the name of the road but we turned left and after about a mile, we could see the other 4 bikers. By the time we caught up to them we were pretty tired. We rode slow for a little while to recover which was nice. I tried to drink every 15 minutes alternating between my accelerade and water. We stopped at the church at the corner of Hwy 15 and took a quick break.

After the break we crossed over 15 and headed east towards 89. It was here that things started getting tough. The wind decided to beat us up. It was more of a side head wind then anything. It would come in gusts and I could feel my front wheel turn from the force of the wind a little. We had to pedal extra hard just to maintain a decent speed. Everyones speed dropped considerably. This road was flat but the wind made it hard. It was probably 5 miles heading east that we had to put up with this. About all you can do is try to get as aero as you can and keep pedaling. I alternated between my aero bars and the hoods. The aero bars working really well but I am still getting used to them so I usually wouldn't stay on them but a few minutes at a time. It wasn't long till we made the big curve and started up the bridge that headed to the west side of Lonoke. As soon as we made the turn, the wind went away.

We eased into to Lonoke, stopping at Sonic for refreshments. Some got ice cream, I got a lemonaide and took my honey gu that I had. This was a nice break. Everyone got to relax, talk and have some refreshments. We stayed maybe 15-20 minutes and we were off again.

We headed north on Hwy 31. The wind had changed and now appeared to be our friend. I looked down and I was doing 18 mph and not even pedaling hard. 31 is fairly flat with nice shoulders. This was a road to cruise on. It was about 8 or 9 miles to the 321 intersection where we would turn. I used my aero bars many times on this stretch, finding that when I used them, my speed increased at least one or two miles per hours. I'd often look down and see I was going 19+ in the flats. The same group of guys was ahead of me and they must have been riding much harder than I was. I would consciously tell myself not to push it, you want to feel good at the end.

We took a short break after we turned on Hwy 321 so everyone could regroup. Patty left the group as she was headed home the other way. 321 has some hills as you come into Cabot so everyone seemed to be taking it slower on this stretch which was ok with me. I ended up taking the tail gunner position and just staying with David and Vicki. Vic turned off by the water tower and we said our goodbyes. It wasn't long till we were at the hill that I hated seeing yesterday when I was running. Annette called it "heart break hill" because she had to go up it at the end of one of her 20 milers. It wasn't much better on the bike. I tried to keep up with David going up it but my legs were trashed. It probably slowed me down to 7-8 mph before I got to the top. I had to stand up and pedal probably twice which didn't feel really good, but I made it. At the crest I could see the church and the parking lot. Our ride was over. What a great ride with great people. The only downside was the wind, but that was just an obstacle we had to over come. The good thing was no one had a flat!!

Afternoon ride stats
Total miles - 37.34
Time - 02:28:41 (actual bike time)
Avg. pace - 15 mph (wind ate our lunch)
Max. speed - 25.6mph
Calories burnt - 1708

Total bike miles for the day - 50.21!

After today I feel a little better about riding the Big Dam Bridge 100. My nutrition plan worked today and I felt great when I got home. And this was all after 17+ mile run on Saturday. My butt does not even hurt! Fresh legs next Saturday should get me through it. I think I have the endurance. I'm more concerned now about those little aces and pains like neck, back, hands, etc. that may come up in the extra long ride. I guess I will know next Saturday.

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