It’s hard to believe that there are only two weeks left before my big century ride. Completing the training for the century wasn’t going to be easy. The first time I started to train I had to let it go, because I began a new job. As everyone knows learning a new job can take it out of you both physically and mentally. I’m three months in and personally I believe it takes about 6 months to learn a job and then a little more to learn it well. So I had to back down and regroup. No time and too tired.
I remember when I completed my first “long ride”. Twenty -eight miles long and I was just wiped out afterwards. Came home and just crashed. By the second week of training I was better, not as tired out and could go about my day afterwards.
Training on the bike is much different then running. It’s funny when I look at the metrics of a run and I see the calorie burn. Once I started getting up into 40 miles I was burning 2K plus calories every long ride. Very strange because I burned about 2K calories when I ran the Rock and Roll marathon in St. Louis. The body burns the fat differently too. This is my observation for my body. I seemed to drop pounds and tone up quicker running than I do riding. Strange all around since the calorie burn is equal to one marathon a week.
This weeks long ride was much better than last weeks. I figured that speed wise I’m going fast enough to finish the race on time. My biggest concern is performance and overall body health. Last week’s speed average was 13.5 which is the highest average I’ve ever had. I’m not focusing on my speed. There are people out there riding MUCH faster than me. People whiz by me all the time. Better riders, bikes and overall athletes. That’s okay. I know what my goal is and what I need to do to complete that goal. If you read the recap of last weeks ride I was hurting around mile 58. By the time I got to mile 61 I encountered a cramp in my right quad that pretty much debilitated me for about 5 minutes. Ensuring that I listen to my body, focus on time and distance needs to take priority.
My cramp was most likely caused by dehydration and overuse of the muscle. During my training once I started hitting 40+ miles I used my house as an aid station. I’ll be honest I didn’t want to drink too much water because there is no where to use the bathroom for a good 20 to 25 mile stretch and ducking behind what they call a bush here isn’t an option. Sooooo….I was careful how much water I consumed. Again though becoming dehydrated riding feels different than running. During the race there will be aid stations around every 10 miles. That will make a big difference in how I consume my water. I will not have to worry about wearing bikers depends. Just kidding.
This week I decided on two things to make my ride better, slow down and consume more. More water, food and the gel packs every hour. I don’t know about you but when I get up at 5 am to make it out the door by 6 am it’s hard to eat and drink something and wait for the body to get moving. I start with cereal or something light, a cup of coffee (a must) and a little water. Try to get all that done by 5:30 so I have plenty of time for everything else. For this ride I was extremely disciplined. I’m very happy about my performance. I took a lot of water and food stops. I stopped and got off the bike. Even if I wasn’t hungry I ate a bit anyway. Just a bite of a nutrition bar and a good sip of water. I slowed down. If I started to feel a burn on a hill or a little light headed I slowed down, not try to power through. This made a world of difference in how I felt towards the end. During this ride I made two aid stops at the house. Used the bathroom, had cut up oranges, chocolate muscle milk and water. Again much better and each stop was about 5 minutes. I stopped and took a power gel every hour. It was a 5 hour ride which equated to 4 gels. I built up to the long ride. Kept track of water and protein consummation. I enjoyed myself. The last one is as important as all the others. Enjoying the experience I was about to have. Heck I even smiled more and looked around at my surroundings. Again making all the difference.
Last week I noticed a ghost bike on the route. This is something that must have just happened because I didn’t notice it a couple of weeks before. The picture isn’t great because of the curb. I wanted to pull my bike up and lean against the railing but after unclipping it just seemed more logical for me to stay on the road. A ghost bike is a monument to a cyclist that was killed on the road, most likely at a spot very close to where the bike is chained. So the bike is painted white, chained and a plaque is usually placed somewhere near the bike. I didn’t see a plaque so I’m not sure of the individual’s name, but I felt that this would be a good place to take my break in solicitude with this soul. There are tons of cyclists riding during the weekends now that the weather has officially “broken”. It’s a shame because Pecos road has four lanes for cars to merge over and a sizable bike lane. People really should pay better attention.
Happy to say this weeks long ride came to 65.01 and now it’s time to taper!! I just love that word….taper.
A successful fun ride. I had fun. This weeks mileage gratefully comes to 82.61. There are 7302.63 miles waiting…Happy Miles To You!!