Monday, August 25, 2008

98.1 Part 2


We met at the school at 9am. There were two groups, Gary, Rock and me then Annette, Brenda, Vicki and Michele. We were doing 50 and the others were going to do maybe 25.

Annette and Michele

The two groups went our separate ways, us heading out highway 89 towards I-40 and on to Keo. We decided right off that Gary wasn't pulling and that Rock and I was going to do all the work. Well, Rock started out and we drafted behind her. Let me tell you, that girl has gotten strong on the bike! She had no problem pulling us around. I would look down and we would be doing 20-24mph. We had wind, and there was a lot of cross wind too. It really didn't feel like a tail wind but we had to be getting some anyway. I pulled a few times but Rock was such a workhorse and I think she liked leading. Most of the time I never even got out of zone 3, sometimes very low zone 4. It was just a little faster than relaxed pace for sure. More like a tempo ride I suppose. Rock and I kept thinking, wow, we are getting stronger being able to do 20+ mph for this long. We hit a 20 average before we passed the store at Furlow and maintained that all the way to Keo. We stopped one time under a tree to eat and rehydrate good. It was getting pretty warm at that point and we were sweating a lot.

Gary and me

When we hit the 25 mile turn around at Keo our world changed. All that time we thought we had a cross wind, in reality it was more of a tail wind. When we turned around we could barely go 15mph. We had one of the worst head winds I have ever encountered. It must have been 25mph wind hitting us dead on. To make matters worse, we were in farm country and there were no trees to block the wind. I saw my heart rate jump up in upper zone 4 just trying to maintain 15 mph. How could it be that different?? Well, the wind is an enemy on the bike and it was going to test us today.

Gary and Rock

Rock is training for her 1st 100 miler, The Big Dam Bridge 100 and I told her things were going to be tough for a while now. This is how it feels the last 25 miles of a 100 miler. We stopped again at the tree to rehydrate and make sure everyone had electrolytes. What was a fun 25 miles going out was going to be a test of mental endurance going back. We would hit some tree lines here and there where our speed would pick up to 16-17 but most of the time we were just stuck around 15 and working hard to do that. I eventually had to go down to my small ring just so I wouldn't have to push a bigger gear. It was tough.

I pulled some and sometimes we would just be fighting it on our own but we always stayed pretty close. When we climbed the hill for the bridge over I40 Rock had to stop. She said she thought she was going to be sick. She hadn't been drinking enough and I think the hill there had just gotten the last ounce of energy she had. After a couple minutes she was feeling better and we decided that we would stop at the store at Furlow to get more and cold water as we were all pretty much out.

A couple miles later we pulled into the store. When we went in to get water they told us they didn't have any power so they couldn't sell us anything. Well, I went back in and asked "how about I give you $10 for 3 bottles of water." "Nope, we have no power we can't sell anything." WTF? Why could they not give us a bottle of water? Well, we came up with our own plan. We found an outside water faucet and filled our bottles. Then we saw the ice machine so we just got a bag of ice and filled our bottles. We figured they could call the police on us if they wanted. We were needing water bad and they didn't even offer the outside faucet.

Well, the break must have got Rock feeling better because she took off with Gary in tow. I struggled all the way back. Not sure why, probably because I had done 45 hard miles on Saturday and my legs were just toast. We did have some downhills going back into town but also several uphills which just killed my quads. Our speed picked up since there was now some trees to help block some of the wind. Still a 16-17mph pace was all I could pull out. I was ready to be done. That relentless wind just wears you down and for 25 miles it sucks!

We finished off with 50 miles, and still even with the wind had just over a 17mph average pace. Not too bad I suppose. I burnt another 3101 calories and had a 158 average heart rate. I did feel good about maintaining a 20mph average for 25 miles. Our splits were awesome, there were several consecutive miles where we were at 22mph. And through all of this Gary never pulled one time. We had to save his legs for Ironman Louisville this weekend. We still had fun even though it was a test of endurance and mental fortitude.

Just me

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