Ironman training has taken over my life, this is week 17, leaving little time for blogging, my apologies for this late post about the fun yet wet and rainy bike ride for Diabetes this past month. Tour de Cure goes on in many major cities and I was privileged to get to participate in the Rochester ride. Thank you to everyone who donated to this important cause and made the ride possible.
My friend Sandy convinced me to join her team for this ride and the two of us set out to reach our goals. She and I have logged many training miles together, both running and biking, and have even gotten a few swim workouts in together! Her first Ironman will be this coming November! I promise to get a pic of us posted here at some point. :) Also happened upon another friend, Scott, at the start of the ride. Sandy, Scott and I set out together in the pack of over 1,000 riders in the drizzly morning weather.
The course was great, many roads that I have biked previously and a fair amount of new ones. The three of us were averaging in the high 17's for the first 25 miles or so and it felt great to be out there riding and chatting away. We stopped at the first aid station for a restroom break and to re-fill bottles on our bikes. This is really just a ride, not a race, no pressure, just a nice long endurance workout and each individual can control their own pace. There are aid stations all throughout so it is fully supported, a wonderful perk! After the first aid station the three of us separated a bit but met up at the stop around 34 miles. So we started off together again. Scott and I ended up pulling ahead and drafting behind this group of cyclists, my first drafting experience. (Drafting is illegal in triathlons earning you an ugly time penalty and your main focus is to keep at least 3 bike lengths between yourself and the rider ahead of you....) ANYWAY, back to the drafting, wow! It was so much fun, we were completely speeding along in the mid-20's with no effort. It was a great ride that went on for a good 20 minutes. Then we were back to riding on our own.
Around 60ish miles the rain had changed from drizzly to a heavy mist and amazingly WET! We were soaked, our glasses were fogged up and stopping just made you cold. I've never seen so many flat tires in a ride, they were everywhere. Scott ended up with a flat a little past mid-way through. (quickly fixed with a new tube) Around 70ish miles the course looped around Lake Conesus which was quite beautiful and gradually the misty rain subsided. I ended up stopping at 4 aid stations along the course and they were all well-stocked. But I rode with perpetuem, gatorade and water and had some GU chomps so didn't really need anything. (except the restrooms!) Perpetuem is made by Hammer and is my preference for long training rides. It has calories, carbs, protein and even a little fat and keeps my energy levels up, makes a huge difference for me on the bike. Nutrition and fueling your body is so important on these long endurance days. I did take in a Luna bar at one of the stops. (They had everything-sandwiches, Clif bars and much more...) I like perpetuem because it's easy on the gastro-intestinal track and seems to do the trick for me.
By 90 miles we were on the home stretch and a road that I ride all the time. Strangely my legs were so TIRED! Ha! But at that point I just wanted to get to the end. My left knee hurt every pedal stroke for some weird reason and I was ready to get off the bike seat! There was a fabulous downhill and a matching uphill climb, good times. :) I was so happy to roll through the finish at 101.27 miles, 6:04:38 for my time (not including stops), 16.7 average mph, and max speed of 38.4 mph.
Here is a picture of my bike racked on the car after pulling back into my driveway at home and a shot of my "tattoed" leg courtesy of my bike chain. The bike needed a good cleaning after an attack of rain and road grit, just what you feel like doing when you get home after a long ride, but I did it!
By the way, the day after this 101 mile bike ride I rested from workouts and my knee pain is completely gone, never came back. I think it was just a short aggravation from the miles that day. whew!!!
Stay tuned...in just two days I have the Musselman Half-Iron Tri in Geneva, NY. It's a great race, I got to do it last year too! I don't know that I can better my time this year, but it's sure to be a fun day and my friend Kim and I can't wait to get there and do it again! Scott is doing it too, his first half-iron tri! A story to come but I make no promises as to how quickly I will tell it! :)