Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Sunday Ride

With the foot bothering me I elected to not run all of last week. I had planned on biking Saturday but the weather messed that up. Annette ran early Sunday morning but I elected to be lazy and try to sleep. Well, I can't sleep past 6am anyway, even on weekends. So I just piddled around the house all morning. We decided to ride the Cruisers 1:30pm Sunday ride which turned out to be really nice.

This was meant to be a training ride for some of the beginner bikers and was going to be 40 miles, Cabot to Lonoke and back. The weather was perfect other than the wind. We had west winds at about 15-20mph. This would make some point of this ride a pain as we have a lot of open areas we ride through.

The group took off and our first stop was designated as the store at Furlow. We had a pretty large group, I think someone counted 24 bikers which was pretty cool. There were all levels represented. I waited back and let the beginners get going. I figured I would catch them before the store so there was no reason to have to wait a long time. I think there was about 4 of us that held back, so I took the lead after about a 4 or 5 minute wait. When I hit 89 I felt like flying. I had no plans on riding hard at first, but since I hadn't been running, I was going to give a hard effort to make up for it. I don't think we had a tail wind but we did have a cross wind which seemed to give us a little boost. I was not all out, yet I was still doing 20-22mph. Nice! There were no pace lines today, just ride. I caught the main group 2-3 miles from the store and passed the majority of them before we got there. We took a small break and we were off to Lonoke where we had another designated stop.

Hwy 89 to Lonoke definatly had a tail wind. I was barely pedaling it seemed and I was going 22mph. I was liking this, but I knew it would end soon when we hit Hwy 31. I used my aero bars a lot and this helped even more. I have been trying to get more used to them and the only way you can is to use them. Just takes lots of practice.

We hit Lonoke stopping at a Shell Station then Annette and some others wanted Ice Cream at McDonalds instead so some of us rode over there. After waiting in line for a long time, they find out that they are out of ice cream. So we had to settle for a coke. Before we knew it the rest of the main group was passing us on Hwy 31 heading out, so everyone started mounting up to catch them. Somehow, I ended up being the last person to leave. No big deal, I knew I could catch up.
I had to hammer for about a mile or so to catch up soon catching Annette and Brenda. They were the last ones in the back and they asked me to please not go off and leave them. I wasn't going to do that, but I was going to ride hard so I kept riding. I'd get about a half mile or so ahead of them and I would turn around to check on them. Hwy 31 is flat and today it was very windy. After 2 or 3 miles of wind, It was starting to be not so much fun for Annette and Brenda. I used my aero bars almost the whole time on thsi road which really helped me slice through the wind. I rode back once and told them to use their drops. They would some but the drops take some practice and getting use to also. This road just really slowed our speed and the wind made it miserable for some. I was actually still having a good strong ride.

When we got to Mt Tabor everyone stopped to gather back up. Several were heading back to the starting point. A few of us were going on to do the whole 40 miles. Annette and Brenda opted to do the shorter route which gave them right at 30.

The rest of the ride was pretty leisurely. We turned right on Tippit Road then cutting over to Bethleham for the ride back. When we hit Tippit several of us just rode slow and talked. We were actually still maintaining a good speed but we had some of the wind too I think. We hit a rough section of road then Bethleham was smooth. It's so nice when you hit those smooth roads after riding on a really rough one. We stopped at the water department at 31 to gather back up. Vicki decided that the best route back would be down Mt Tabor. Since Annette had went back early, I knew she would be waiting on me so I decided that this last stretch I was going to hammer down.

I was the first one out of the parking lot and I never let up once I hit the road. I tried to stay aero as much as I could, which usually would be about a mile or less, then my neck would start getting sore and I'd come up and change positions. Mad the right on Mt Tabor knowing that the wind and hills were ahead. There are several medium size hills on Mt Tabor but nothing terrible. I never saw the group behind me, but I just kept pushing. I figured Rob or David would be trying to catch me at some point. The wind and hills did make this last 10 miles pretty tough but it still wasn't that bad to me. I knew I was having a good ride and I wanted it to be tough. I was ready to puke at the end if needed. This ride made up for the runs I didn't get.

I rolled into the church to find Annette, Brenda and Jane sitting in the shade talking and cooling off with drinks from the store next door. I talked to them for a few then I wondered where the others were. I had figured Rob and David at least would be riding in any minute. I went ahead and loaded the bikes, changed shoes and went over and sat with the girls to cool off. Still no other bikes. I told the girls surely I wasn't that much faster than the rest. Maybe so. It was close to 15 minutes before they hit the parking lot. They all looked beat up and were complaining about running out of energy and fighting the wind. I felt pretty good at that point. Being the first one in on a 40 miler is like winning a race, but even more so with a big time difference. They asked me where I went and I told them I was just riding till I puked which I was, and I didn't...lol. I could have rode a little harder probably. I did drink well on the ride, and had an acellerade mix in each bottle which may have helped me. I did one Hammer Gel at the water department to get me back in too.

I think the hill training and riding with faster riders is really starting to pay off for me. I can tell I am getting faster and stronger. The first 10 miles I had a 19 mph average and that was not an all out effort. The last 20 miles was very windy and hilly so this cut the time down some but I was still able to average 16 for the whole ride. 2203 Calories burnt and it was actually probably more because I forgot to turn my garmin on a couple times when we stopped. Average heart rate was 157 which put me close to where I would be running a marathon, which on the bike is about zone 4 for me. All in all it was a great ride for me.

Still waiting to get in to see the foot doctor. i was hoping they would get me in early but I have still not gotten a call. I ran about half a mile on the treadmill last night but I could still feel a little pain so I stopped. Now I'm paranoid about the foot so until I see the doctor I probably won't run much at all. Even with not running, yesterday I weighed less than I ever have. 168 and dropping! I think I was about 172 or 173 when I did the Nashville Marathon. Lower weight mean more power on the bike and faster times running. I'll take it!

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