In short. Miserable day. Miserable ride. And it took everything I had to F#CKEN finish!!! It's a ride I soon won't forget.
I remember doing Kona 23 years ago when I got in on the lottery. That year the race was on October 22. I lived in Winnipeg and had to train in September and October.
I didn't train anywhere near as much as I do now, but I still remember my one long ride at that time (which was only 80 miles) in the most miserable weather. To this day, I've NEVER forgotten that ride. Today, weather and spirit wise, it felt like it matched that 1988 training ride.
This morning, just before I started, it was cool and windy. Alice stepped outside onto the deck and came back in saying, "boy it's cold out there". Then I did the same and said, "Yup, you're right, damn".
On twitter, my local buddies were bailing on today's long rides and opting to do runs instead and ride tomorrow. Even though I tweeted them as "pussies", I really didn't want to ride in the cold and wind today.
Before I left, I made some make shift toe warmers with plastic sandwich bags and elastics. I had to, I lost one of my real ones on my last long ride with Shaw. I had to think of something to break the wind from my feet.
It turns out, they didn't help that much. Less than 10 minutes after I left the house it started raining. Weather wise it was cloudy, cold, raining and winds between 33 kph / 20 mph and gusting up to 50 / 31 kph. Even though it was 17 C, the wind made it feel MUCH colder.
Thirty minutes into the ride, my feet were soaking wet and frozen. I just wanted to turn around and go home. I persevered. At the one hour mark, I was toast, I wanted to call Alice, this ride was brutal. Aside from the "Sh*tty weather", I had NO energy. For the first 3 hours, my average heart rate was only 110 bpm and I couldn't push harder. I was standing on the pedals going up hills the size of "speed bumps".
I wanted to call Alice to pick me up more times than I can remember. In fact, if you added up every time during previous years of workouts that I wanted to call Alice to pick me up, it wouldn't equal the amount of times I wanted her to pick me up during a one hour period of this single ride.
I had a lot of "chatter" going on in the "chatter box" attached to my neck. The first excuse was to stop, it was a "garbage ride", I wasn't able to get my heart rate up, "so why waste my time?" Then I answered by saying, "I'll treat this as a mental toughness ride".
The next excuse to stop was the weather, "my feet are frozen". My reply was, "yup, they're frozen. You should be used to it, you had frozen feet playing hockey outside as a kid in Winnipeg". Then I said, "well, okay, lets go home and you can set your trainer up and finish the ride indoors watching TV". My reply, "I'd rather freeze than have to ride 3 more hours indoors on a trainer".
It was hard enough training in the cold, grey, windy, wet, rainy and all round "crappy" weather conditions, but karma didn't even give me an intersection I could roll through. Every, and I mean every intersection, even in the remotest of place, I had to stop and un-clip my pedals to wait for cars to pass. It was a twilight zone ride.
I also had more "scares" than I want to remember. Most of them came from the wind, as I was descending hills, the wind would catch me and many times I thought I was going to be blown over. I had to hang on for dear life. About three other times, I thought I was going to get hit by a car. It felt like most of the cars didn't expect to see a cyclist out riding. The scariest is when they pull out of driveways and don't look you're direction.
This ride did have a turning point, thank God for my "body". It took over today. About 3 hours into a 6 plus hour ride, my mind said, "okay, lets turn here, we'll head home and perhaps finish inside". At that point, the "mind" was ready for the turn and the "body" kept going straight.
The "mind" was like, "hey, how come you didn't turn?" and the "body" paid no attention and said, "why don't you change your iPhone from the podcast to some music". The "mind" said, "okay, but we're turning at the upcoming intersection". The intersection came, the "mind" said, "okay, turn, turn, turn, you're going to miss it" and the "body" kept going. It didn't take too long for the "mind" to understand the "body" was in charge today.
Another BIG motivator for me today was I had to get in at least 160 km's of riding. If I did, it would be my 21st Century ride (100 miles plus) since January. At the pace I was going, it was going to take the most of the 6:15 of the workout to do it.
My "mind" eventually gave up and agreed with the "body" that we are going to complete this Century ride, but the mind said, "once we do that, we're quitting, even if it means we haven't put in the full 6:15. The "body" said nothing.
Needless to say, I hit the 160 km mark at around 6 hours and the "mind" said, "cool, lets call it a day and the "body" said nothing and kept going, driving around the streets of the neighbourhood until the last 15 minutes were completed. The "body" kicked the "minds" ass today. It was "body over mind".
The moment I got in the door, I had no time to do a full stretching session. I had to shower and get to Carlos surprise birthday party in less than one hour. It was a quick shower and then drive to a restaurant in downtown Toronto, 45 minutes away.
Near the end of the bike ride, I told myself, "I don't care what, as a reward, I'm having some beers at the restuarant, nothing stupid, but some beers, I deserve it after this bike ride from hell".
I have a new T-Shirt Sloan: Qualifying for Kona is awesome, training for Kona in Fall sucks.
Aside from finishing in the face of negatively, the positive is my "butt cheek" is feeling much better. Yesterday's massage REALLY helped. It seems like "the people's elbow" is only good for 6 days of pain and suffering.
Long Ride- 6:16:07 / 165.72 km / 26.43 / 114 avg hr