Monday, June 15, 2009

1000+ Miles

Well today I had an awesome training day! I ran a slow 8 miles after shift. I then geared up and went out for a bike ride. I planned to meet a friend at Sleepy Hollow and ride for an hour-ish and then return home. But rather than drive to Sleepy Hollow, I rode my bike there.

I've wanted to do a distance ride (more than 50 miles) for quite a while, but things just didn't add up or work out for it. Today was going to be the day.

On my ride out from home I promptly found construction, and since I prefer not to ride on M-21, I had to improvise my plan. Since this was so early in my ride, I figured that I may not get the 50 miles in, but that I should still exceed my previous long distance of 42 miles.

I got to Sleepy Hollow Park with some mild cramping in my calves. I did have to stop once for a quick stretch of my right upper leg. Once I met up with my training partner, we went out at an easy 18-20 mph ride. Planned on about 20 miles, but took another alternate route that ended up being 25 miles. Finished feeling a little tired, but still had a positive outlook for my ride home.

When I started heading back home I realized that I was only hitting about 17 mph. I tried to push harder, but found my legs to start cramping up again. I decided not to stop, but to just push through and stand up to stretch out. That worked well, but really slowed my pace.

I then decided to go a little farther than planned to get back home... really I had no other choice unless I wanted to ride on M-21 or Bus-27 (Not ideal). So continued to the next north bound paved road, which was 5 miles out of my way. During this 5 miles I found that I seriously had to sort some stuff out in my head. "I'm not going to make this" and "Why am I doing this" were thoughts in my head.

I really had to make the mental effort to think positive thoughts; "I'm more than half way done" "I CAN do this" and "I need this experience"

I kept thinking about how good it was going to feel knowing that I broke 50 miles... until I broke 50 miles. Then I started to think about how much farther I was going to have to go, 60 miles? Shortly after I passed my last turning point to head into St Johns I saw the city hall tower. "That's it, I made it!!!" Or so I thought until I realized that I had gone 5 miles out of my way. Even though I could see the city hall, I would still have to get there.

Again I found the mental challenge difficult. My body hurt. My legs were cramping so badly. I did bring several gel packs, and took all of them throughout the ride. I went through 4 bottles of water (1 was HEED), thankfully my training partner had brought me water at Sleepy Hollow (this was planned as I only have 2 bottle cages and I know that I need 1 bottle per hour minimum).

So at this point all of my gel packs are gone, all of my water is gone. I have nothing in reserve... nothing. I have never 'bonked' before, today I felt like I was on the edge. Could I finish this ride without giving up?

As I continued to push forward I found a euphoria that I've only felt twice before. I've only felt it when I've pushed hard while running. I couldn't feel the cramping in my legs. I inadvertently found myself hammering the pedals. I was cruising at 24 mph. I looked up and saw the city limits sign. I knew that it was over, I did it. I rode through our downtown. I rode slow but still felt that euphoria.

I got to my street and it felt like I had just finished a race. I was thrilled. I looked down at my gps and realized that I had completed more than 66 miles.

Since I am a data geek for training, I needed to log my ride and run. I was shocked to see that my morning run burned just over 1000 calories, my ride burned more than 4200 calories. My total input from gel packs and HEED was less than 600 calories, that's a huge deficit. My total time was 3h 36m with an average pace of 18.3 mph.

As I continued to log my training in I saw that my biking miles to date is now over 1000 miles - 1022.91 miles to be exact. Pure craziness, I love it!


Anonymous said...

GREAT GREAT JOB!! The 4th and 5th part of Triathlon is Mental, and Nutrition! Keep at it!

-Steve Birds

Marni said...

Great blog! Love the layout!
Looks like you have had some good training sessions!
Enjoy the potato tonight!! :)
*if you want some more protein you could add beans or lean meat in with the soup mixture before stuffing the potato.