About Me

My photo
Austin, Texas, United States
I'll make you laugh, or break my neck trying. This is usually accomplished with daily bouts of swimming, biking and running. A former "chub-a-holic," I got fit and healthy the good old fashioned way and went from a mid-pack athlete to top age group runner and triathlete. I'm a Writer and USAT Level 1 Certified Triathlon Coach. I guess that makes me part Tina Fey and part Jillian Michaels. Visit my coaching site at www.fomotraining.com

Monday, October 02, 2006

Week 8: Sat 60 mile Ride/Sun Rest

I’m a wee bit removed from Saturday’s workout so some of the post-ride mental exhaustion has finally run its course! I met the T3 group on Saturday morning at 7:30am for a 60 mile ride. We were doing a couple of South Mopac loops, plus the dreaded Dam Loop (SW Parkway, 71, 620, 2222, 360). I don’t often ride with the group, but since it was a long difficult ride, I thought it would be best and safest. The ride started off brisk as we rode in a group of 15 or so riders (20-22mph easy). I was cautiously keeping up even though I was going faster than I would’ve been going if I was riding by myself. I just tried to tuck in and take this time to focus on riding with the group dynamic. It’s also a good way of finding my pace and potential riding partners. I love pushing myself, but was a bit apprehensive knowing we had a long ride ahead.

The wind was coming from the South and very brisk. While it was a beautiful morning, I knew the temperatures and the sun would be on the rise for this difficult ride. I hung tough, but unfortunately got stuck at a light on SW Parkway and fell behind along with a few other riders. The wind was pissing me off, but there was nothing I could do besides pedal. The group met back up at 71 and Bee Caves while we made sure everyone was doing ok. Turns out about 4-5 people missed the light as well as they straggled in for our first rest break. The next leg was one I hadn’t done in a while—620 including Mansfield Dam and Steiner Ranch climbs. Once again, I couldn’t keep up with the lead group and fell back in the middle. Basically, I’m comfortable between the faster riders and the slower riders. The bulk of 620 isn’t bad at all…fast even. You do have to be extremely cautious however of cars whipping in and out of gas stations, restaurants, Home Depots and other stores along this stretch of highway. There is a wide shoulder, but I don’t want to end up laying on it! We also had some reprieve from the wind as we rode north for this stretch. All was going well until the climbs out of Mansfield Dam and Steiner Ranch sapped me of some energy. I knew I wasn’t the only one as I was started to catch a couple of other riders who were also struggling up this hill. Hell, even Coach Maurice had to dismount his bike because his legs were cramping so bad. I wanted to offer help, but it was a stretch of “don’t stop now” or you’ll never get up this little booger. Fortunately, our next rest stop was just up the way at Walgreens at the corner of 620 and 2222. Here, we stopped for about 10 minutes to catch up on nutrition and stretch. I bought a bottle of Gatorade and water and refueled and refilled my water bottle. Unfortunately, I only have one water cage on my bike, so I had to conserve. (mental note: next bike will have at least 2 water bottle cages).

The next leg is the scariest (or most fun depending on who you are). We basically go screaming down a huge hill on 2222. Here, I was thankful for the group because we took up the entire right lane of the road. It’s easy as hell to hit 50+ mph, but I pumped the brakes every so often. A tire blowout would definitely = a head and body blowout.
Here’s where it started to get mentally tough for me. We made the turn from 2222 to 360 South and got blasted with the wind. By this point, my legs were really tired, but my mind was fading a little faster. I was having those random moments where you go from loving the bike to going, “Get me off this f-cking thing NOW!” Here’s where I also started getting my usual bike discomfort. No matter what position I tried to get in, I found it extremely uncomfortable. My inner thigh was rubbing again—oh no. I just tried to shift weight and seat placement as much as possible, which is an incredibly inefficient way of riding, but the only thing I could do. I fought the headwind and the hills of Riverbend Church and Bee Caves. Once again, I was able to catch and pass a couple of riders who were struggling. Coach was also off his bike again and basically said his day was done. He didn’t know what was going on with his legs.

After a long morning, I finally made the turn to Mopac and then Back on SW Parkway before heading my way back to Escarpment. I was riding by myself at this point, either having passed some people of having been passed by others. Still others (I found out later) took slightly different routes back to the start. By the time I was about 1 mile out, my mind was pretty much done, plus I was way behind schedule.

I had to drive all the way home, shower and then head south again to the same neighborhood for a baby shower. Unfortunately, that meant no run off the bike and no stretching...HORRIBLE for my legs!!!

I ended up averaging a little over 16mph, which isn’t bad considering the last 20 miles were pretty brutal and I forgot to stop my Garmin at the Rest Stops!

I took a much needed rest on Sunday as we continued our moving preparations and mattress shopping. While I've been putting in about 12-15 hours per week of training, I must say pleasantly that I feel pretty balanced overall. For the most part, I'm able to go home at night or go out to eat with friends. I'm still able to socialize and have fun (i.e. watch the Buckeyes beat up on their opponents), plus I'm getting a decent amount of sleep. The Turkey Trot is progressing smoothly and the next house timeline is basically out of my hands. All in all, things are in a delicate balance at this moment....For today...for right now...at this moment.

2 comments:

Deb said...

Training is probably the thing that is keeping you sane! Love the comment about your thighs rubbin together...damn those things! ;)

Richard said...

Impressive numbers, Carrie. Some of the GPS software will automatically give you moving-time and rest-time, even if you don't stop the watch at rest-stops; you may want to look into that, geeky as it is. And my 305 is all cleaned up and waiting in my car...