OOHH!! I know!! Let’s spend July 4th morning riding 20 miles farther than I ever have before! That’s a great idea!! AND… to make it interesting… Let’s hang with the big boys for the first 50 and ride 22+ mph in a pack of 30 or more.
…man that was fun!!
The last 5 miles were hell. My legs cramped horribly. I had to do single leg drills and take the cramping leg out of the pedal for over 2 miles because every time it got to the top of the pedal stroke it cramped. Of course, this pissed the other leg off so it decided to cramp in protest. I haven’t cramped that bad since the marathon in 07! The clear message in these cramps was poor nutrition. I only had one bottle of water and didn’t eat anything on the outbound leg. I stopped at the half way point and had a Gatorade, a Snickers bar (it was all they had at the store) a Hammer Gel and more water. This was NOT enough. I have to learn to eat and drink more on longer rides.
The pack riding was fun, if a bit harry at times. The key thing here for me was NEVER miss a shift. You WILL get run over. I did OK this time and always had a wheel to play Klingon with so I didn’t get dropped. I was even feeling good when the metric century riders and full century riders split and the pack dropped down to a pace line of 4 or 5. But when I ran out of fuel, the end came quickly for me. It was like I blew a seal and all the energy went out. My legs immediately got tired and had no power going up hill. Small hills that would have seemed flat an hour before left me tired and winded.
No matter. It was still a great ride and the farthest I have ever gone on a bicycle. Gotta love that! As I was pedaling (slowly… with one leg) back to the end of the ride, I found myself thanking the triathlon gods for letting me talk myself out of a half Ironman this year. I kept thinking “You know… If you were doing a half Ironman… You would only have 13.1 miles (running) to go.” Although I have no doubt that I will eventually do a half Ironman, it will not be this year. I still need to successfully complete an Olympic distance event without bonking. I have two more shots at it this year and then early next year. I’m already starting to look at either the half IM in Branson next year or Club Nationals, no matter where it is. But, who knows. It all depends on the rest of this season and how training goes this winter. Right now I just want to get to (and through) Evergreen and then NEMO. We’ll see how things go after that.