Friday, May 25, 2012

230 miles, two weeks

I guess this is when training is ALL I do.  Swim, bike, run, nothing else. It all started two weeks ago, after I felt slightly more recovered after a nasty bronchitis that sorta, kinda turned into pneumonia.

My Ironman crew and I headed out for a long ride, like any other Saturday or Sunday in the past 5 months.  Except this time, we decided to do a 100 mile ride.  First of the year.  I found out about an event called BoCo Loco Century ride on a Thursday.  This ride was 3 days later.  We signed up, we showed up, we rode.

As usual,  I focused on sticking to a steady pace, constantly look at my watch and eat on time.  Hydrate and replenish my sodium and electrolytes.  I felt strong.  Apparently, not only did I feel strong, but I was strong.  Felt good. 

The following weekend, I wanted an "easier" ride.  And by that, I mean just shorter, but still sit on my bike for a few hours.  Somehow, without meaning to, I signed up for an epic mountain bike ride.  

I'm not a huge mountain biker, not anymore anyway, but it's fun to spice it up a bit sometimes.  I had fun... although I was scared going downhill. It's always a scary feeling to know that you cal fly over your handlebars and land on rocks.  But I didn't have any accidents and was constantly challenged by the guys.  It took us 3h40m to ride 32 miles and 1800ft of elevation gain.  All in all, a great workout and a nice little break from the road. 

Last, but not least, we drove down to Santa Fe, NM for the Century ride.  We had Kristi and Billy join, as well as Jeremy.  The man-friend's life-time friend.  It was supposed to get hot, and in my eyes, I was up for a fairly easy, but long ride.  

The ride started going mostly downhill, which was a nice warm up... slowly getting the legs going, but not pushing it too hard.  Shortly, the downhill turned into more of a flat with rolling hills. Ah, this is what I'm used to.  The rolling hills, shortly turned into just straight up, big, long climbs.  My small ring was making my gear shifting a hard task since the rear derailleur was not liking it AT ALL.  It was cracking and jumping gears and overall it just made it impossible for me to ride on my small ring.  At the top of a long hill, Jeremy helped adjust it and he fixed it!!  I was a happy camper... since then, climbing became easy.  

That was good, since shortly after our second food stop, we encountered the hardest climb I've ever done.  Luckily, no one pushed it harder than they should've and we all maintained our energy levels fairly high.  

Close to the end, around mile 90, right before the last climb of the ride, there was the best aid station I've ever seen in any race.  It wasn't much of an aid station as it was just some nice people handing out popsicles!!  YES, POPSICLES!  BEST THING EVER!!! I got an orange one and was SO careful to not drop it... saw so many popsicle sticks on the ground close to the tents that I was certain many people had dropped theirs. I didn't... ate it all and it was glorious.  It was OF COURSE the highlight of the event.  In the end, the question definitely was: "Did you see the popsicles?  Did you get one?" and the answer was always: "Duh?!? Of course I did!"  Now I want my support crew to give out popsicles to our crew.  Yum. 

I finished strong and felt great.  Kristi was right behind me.  We both felt strong.  The guys: Chuck and Jeremy, got to the finish 5-10 minutes after us.  Chuck's first century and he rocked it, because Kristi and I were certainly pushing it at times.  And Billy, Kristi's man... came a few minutes after the guys.  Also his first Century.  Congrats guys! You survived some Ironman training.  Lucky them, they don't have to sit on their bikes for a while.  :) 

Santa Fe Ride - Elevation Profile

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