Monday, May 15, 2006

Honestly now.

Another weekend. Another long ride. Another asstaculatar Minnesota Meteorological Moment. Rain again. Wind again. Cold again. Lacking all of the drama of my last long ride - none of it was anything nearly so bad as that day. But there it was, just like it's always been. I swear all it's done here for the last week is rain, and we have several days forecast for rain this week. We haven't hit 70 degrees since April something, and have maybe scratched 60's twice or something. This is kind of how springtime in Minnesota is - lots of wind, lots of rain, lots of volatililty. And it's not like I'm some dandy who can't stand to ride his bike in the rain. But boy howdy it's getting tiresome. It's a long time to sit in the wet and cold. It's really bad for my bike, which requires nearly a complete disassembly afterwards to get the road grime out. Just an all around pain in the ass, and I sure would love a long ride that didn't require my spending half and hour getting dressed in thermal protection before I head out the door.

It was an okay ride. I didn't feel particularly strong, and attribute that to a few things. First, in order to do lunch on time for Mother's Day with my mom, I was out the door at 5:45am, and I didn't get much sleep at all - even with just a training ride, I get kind of excited, I guess, and it impacts my rest. I was on my bike by 6:15, and the world was just turning blue. Our old friend the North wind was, as usual this time of year, just waking up as well - I think it was at 6 or 7mph when I left, but upon my return it was up to 15mph or so. So heading into it, I just felt slow. I had a hard run on Friday, which was not the wisest approach to the weekend, but work has been crazy and I was forced last week to move around some of my workouts. So my long run, normally Wednesdays, but pushed to Fridays, and I took Saturday (normally my long ride) off and bumped the ride to Sunday. Still not enough time to recover though, I don't think, and my legs didn't feel too strong under me. I felt mentally fatigued as well - just not sharp. It got better as the ride progressed, but it wasn't a great training ride out there.

I tried a new route to avoid heading into any larger cities, and that worked great. Usually I head north, then head west until I turnaround. This time I headed north, then west, but then north again for as long as I could. The road took me through some beautiful country and some lovely lakes - and lo and behold some hills! Some real live, bonafide, Ironman Wisconsin caliber hills. Not many, mind, but a few. Enough to work the legs a bit and require some strategic gear shifting...which I realized I'm pretty deficient at. I'll keep this following this road for the foreseeable future in my training rides.

The rain did break for most of my way home today, and coming home I had a kickass tail wind for much of the ride, which was a blast. Food strategies seemed to go great, and I think I've pretty well locked down my IM bike nutrition - 2-3 swallows of Gatorade every 10 minutes, an eighth of a Clif bar every 15 minutes, and GU Gel every hour. Gives me about 350 calories/hour. I'll supplement that at Ironman with whatever - a banana here or there or something - and try to sensibly have a caloric surplus going into the run.

The ride was not, of course, without drama; my on-board computer's speedometer stayed between 23 and 35mph even when I wasn't moving, just throwing out random numbers (my GPS watch kept accurage pace/distance however, so it worked out fine). My cadence monitor on the same computer crapped out at about 15 miles, so I was going by feel all day. Not without its usefulness, but still unexpected. I'm hoping that's just a battery or something. I got ANOTHER flat tire - my 3rd of the year already, and my 2nd shredded tire. What the hell? This one I think was user error - somehow when I put on new tubes and training tires on Saturday I think I mounted the tire wrong, so a part of the tire bead was kind of hanging outside the rim. Live and learn I guess.

5 hours and 85 miles. On a better day I may have tapped 90 miles...maybe next time. I've now reached the plateu of long ride time for my IM training - I'll stay at 5 hours or under until early July, when I bump up to 5:30. I'm hoping to make that my first Century ride of 100 miles...we'll see. Mid August will see my longest ride, an IM rehearsal ride, at 6:30. I'm not sure at this point what to expect of my IM bike time - of course there's a lot more training to do, and riding on the hills at IM is a whole other event than my training rides. But I am feeling a little concerned with my typical long distance times...I usually average right around 17mph. I don't know how accurate that is, as all I've done all spring is fight the wind, but there might be a pretty even trade-off between the wind and the hills when it comes to it. At that pace the bike leg would take me over 6:30, and I'd like to get out earlier than that if I can. So I'm trying to strengthen my legs up, riding in harder cadences in general and especially up hills. I want to be able to cruise a bit better on the bike, but keep my legs fresh for the run.

I've uploaded 3 pictures I took on yesterday's run in the Training pics thing, over on the right (on the homepage). I hope to be able to contribute to the blog a bit more regularly this week and from now on - we'll see how work allows it. But I have some killer new stuff to show you, like my new wetsuit that I got for my birthday, and my official Ironman Wisconsin uniform that just about blows me away. Stay tuned!


Patric said...

This has nothing to do with your blog but I was just going through old pictures and found some pics of us playing SAT Ball at sunshine!!!! Man I miss that game. hope your doing well, I'm moving back to the cities in a couple weeks, we should get together sometime if you can find time!

Todd said...

Please keep all comments Ironman related. Thank you and have a nice day!

Patric said...

Todd if you got a problem with me I suggest you grow a pair and confront me man to man, not through a blog site dedicated to active and healthy living and training for Ironman. Chris I apologize for Todds rudeness on your site. So childish Todd, I'm not mad, just disappointed....