As part of my Kona training last year, 100 miles was my biggest training ride and I did it 4 times prior to IMFL. Now I am 8 weeks away from the World Championships and I have been feeling a little unprepared for the long workouts. Mostly because my long rides have been around 60 miles with the Gearlink guys. So, although I have been pushing myself for 40 mile workouts and tough interval training sessions I had no idea how I would feel for 100 or more miles at my own pace (whatever that may be). The goal of Sunday's workout was to practice my nutrition (fluids, gels and bars) and to stay within 120-130 HR zone. Last summer I could barely get my HR up to 120 without feeling the burn due to my inexperience on the bike and a tendency to create lactic at a low percentage of my max heart rate. My HR is much lower on the bike than for running but that is expected. When I started my ride I could barely get above 17 mph. What a bummer to start my workout. I must have stopped 3 or 4 times and checked my wheels for flats or my brakes for rubbing. I guess I can't always blame mechanics it was simply me going slow. After around 45 min. I decided to give a little more power to my pedal stroke and my HR was in around 125. For the wed. night rides I am absolutely at my max and my HR is usually around 150 or so. I checked the speed at my 125 HR and I was cruisin at around 20 mph. Nice! I just focused on my HR and ignored my speed but whenever I checked out my odometer.....20mph!!!! After a couple hours, I was still feeling good. I checked my average speed and it went from 17 to 18 to 18.5 in a matter of a couple hours. Woah baby...I averaged 18 at IMFL and I am pushing 20 mph in a training ride! What a confidence booster! After 4 water bottles of fluids, a couple gels, 1/2 power bar and a few sport beans and cliff blocks I noticed that I was approaching my last 20 miles on the bike. The weather was getting warm since I started at 6:30am and I was getting pretty hot out there. I tried pooring water over my head (which helped) but I could tell that my head was playing a few games on me around miles 80-90. I had one little cramp in my right calf (which has never happened) and after I stopped at the 7/11 for a cold gatorade I felt a lot better. It is good to mistakes in training rides to prevent them from happening in a race. I always do the same things in training that I would in a race so I am physically and mentally prepared. After 5 hours and 29 minutes I was home with 101 miles. Because of my sloooooowwww first hour on the bike, I ended up averaging around 18.5 mph for my ride. I felt really good and I never once felt like the ride was taking forever. I was all alone and I was in my zone. As much as I love training with others, I really enjoy my Ironman training because I can do my own thing and be in my own zone. Those sprint distance tri's are just awful...you have to go fast and you have no option but to push at your max. OUCH!!! :)
After the ride the running shoes (new ones which I bought on friday!!! NICE!) were on my feet and I was out the door for a 20 min. run. It is never a thought to skip the run after a bike. It doesn't matter if it is 2 miles or 6 miles off the bike but I am running. After all that work on the bike it only makes me stronger to give my legs a little taste of what's to come in the Ironman when I hope to run 8 min. miles for 26.2 miles after I have biked 112 miles. Gotta toughen up those legs!!! I had a couple stomach pains around my HR monitor chest strap but it was relieved when I drank water as I was running. Again, probably dehydration. In all, what a great day. And to make things better, Karel finished his race in Georgia and he may have enough points to upgrade from Pro 2 to Pro 1. It is now Monday and I am enjoying my day off from training. Legs are a little sore. Not as sore as my first time riding with the Gearlink guys last summer (I couldn't walk for a week and I only made 2 loops of warm-up on a wed. night ride!!!) but I can tell I need this day off to recover and get strong. I'll finish this day off with a good night of rest, going to bed at my normal time of 9:30 waking up at 4:40am. Seduza is resting and I have no intention of riding her or Blue. I will enjoy my time off today, eat some ice cream later tonight (Yumo!) and get myself ready for another great week of training. As I mentioned before, 100 miles was my longest distance on the bike last summer. So, in an effort to step things up this summer I hope to get in many more long bike rides of more than 100 miles. Thanks for the support everyone....Kona will be here before I know it!