Q: what does a triathlete do whilst on vacation? A: find a bike club to ride with.
Yesterday, after an internet search came up with a ride with the Tidewater Bicycling Organization labeled "A+++ You Will Be Dropped," I decided that it was the ride for me. Not knowing any good bike routes here, I figured I had to try a group ride- my first since the Watermelon Crit in early June. I miss Rutgers Cycling!
So, sporting my Rutgers kit, I headed out for the 12 mile ride to the place where the group ride was slated to begin at 7:30 AM. Somehow I ended up running late thanks to my Dad... Not really his fault, he decided he wanted to come on the ride to the location, so he left 10 minutes before me on his mountain bike so I could catch him and we could ride together. He left 15 minutes after I had planned on leaving myself though, so I was running super super late. We didn't get to ride together, as I had to blow past him in a ditch attempt to meet the group on time. Knowing that the pace would be super hard, I wanted time to get there, eat a gu, collect myself, and meet the group. No such luck.
I got there as they were leaving, a few hundred yards in the distance, so I put the hammer down and went to catch them. And I never stopped dropping the hammer. They "warmed up" at 22 mph, then the fun started as they got into a pace line and started at a casual 24 mph and going up to 28. Having not ridden in a paceline in a while, it was tough. I was proud- I hung in for 25 min before getting dropped... I might have held out a while longer but was already beat from the fast ride to get there on time.
So I dropped back. It was a bummer watching them zoom off, but I just couldn't keep up. Problem!! What I didn't realize was that I was now totally lost in the middle of nowhere. I didn't know where in the hell I was!
I tried backtracking, and when I saw a couple riders, I was so freaking happy that I sprinted to catch up. My legs felt fine, which was a great feeling. I caught the guys, and it turns out they were some incredibly nice Colombian middle aged cyclists who were out doing intervals and heading back to the main road that I needed to get to to get home. Perfect. They kept it steady at 18 mph and then would hammer at up to 28 mph. I was so freaking excited- I was holding the 28 mph speeds without drafting! Awesome.
They were the nicest guys, totally making up for the entire group of riders who, while I was riding with them, never said a word to me.
In all, a good 2 hour ride, about 40 miles.
Anyway, there's another ride on Friday that I'm going to do, hopefully I'll keep up!
Then, today, I got up at 7 in order to go for a 14 mile run. Unfortunately, my Ipod was dead. I wasn't about to run that much without music in 90 degree heat. So I waited 20 minutes, charged it up, and dealt with some "restroom issues." Yuck.
Headed out, and felt good for a few miles, despite a couple of bathroom breaks. It was a nightmare from then on though. Ugh. My stomach went nuts, and then I was just trying to MOVE. My legs were getting sluggish, and I realized that with the heat and the sun, I needed to drink a lot more. Problem was, the Accelerade that I was carrying was making me nauseous, which was just another addition to my host of tummy troubles. So I had to resort to stopping at water fountains along the way. Yeesh. I was dying!! I've never had a worse long run.
I haven't had a run over 7 miles in about 4 months, so 14 was a pretty big leap, but since I'm heading for a half Ironman in a month and a marathon in November, it's time to start. In retrospect, it wasn't too bad, but clearly I NEED A FUEL BELT OR CAMELBAK. Dehydration sucks. I felt sick for a few hours afterwards, which was a huge bummer, since we went to breakfast and I really wanted to eat my pancakes with apple compote and scrambled egg, but I barely made it through one pancake. And since we biked down, I really was dying... I thought I was about to pass out and throw up if I didn't get a Coke STAT!
At any rate, tonight I went for a 2 mile beach run and felt ok, so all is fine with my legs. Just a matter of paying attention to nutrition and getting some more miles in.
So some good, some bad, all OK just because it's at the beach!