Saturday, July 29, 2006

"That wasn't I35W was it?"

Today's program was close to 100 miles then an hour run. Quite the crowd met in front of the house at 6:30am with a couple of routes in mind. Some were doing the airport 40 and Roni, Jason, Matt and I were linking the airport to the Bluebonnet Route for 100. This would be Matt and Roni's longest ride ever and it was going to be a hot one. For me, I needed a rebound from the bonk last week and I got it as I felt strong all the way.

Once this route gets through Grapevine and out to Bartletville it goes West through horse country on the North side of Lake Lewisville. Continuing West we went under a bridge at about mile 60ish when Matt, whom was riding really strong, exclaimed "That wasn't I35W (emphasis on the W) was it?". After awhile somebody mentioned that we ought to be near Fort Worth. So I pointed out the Fort Worth shyline over on the horizon. I think Matt was a little taken aback... maybe thinking about how far we had to go to get home.

The ride turned out to be only 92 miles and everyone rode strong, especially Roni. Wow, her riding is getting better and she now is pretty confident that she'll catch me in Wisconsin (but not on the bike ;-). That seemed to be reinforced during our 42 minute run after the ride where she also ran strong (with Patty at her slowest pace possible) and I couldn't keep my HR down to anything reasonable so I walked a lot.

Tomorrow is another day, recovery seems to be the great miracle so I'm expecting a good 2.25 hour run. We meet Roni at 5:45am at the Rock.... I'm already looking forward to breakfast.

This week's mileage (yikes! this is peak phase isn't it?):
Swim - 10,200m (3200, 3600, 3400) strong
Bike - 194 (30, 32, 30, 92) strong
Run - 34 (13, 10, 8, 3) strong

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Bonk!! And then... Ba-Da-Bing!

Its only 45 days now. OMG! Saturday the confidence meter fell way left into the red arc, the red lights came on, started flashing and the stall horn was blaring. After only 65 miles in 5 hours, 2 flats and a choking experience the training ride haD hit the wall. Roni and everyone else seemed to have a great ride and dragged my sorry ass in for the run but I bailed for the couch. I blame a failed nutrition plan (implementation) and not drinking enough for a textbook BONK. There’s a long list of excuses but none worth mentioning because its crunch time and things should be going better, especially on the bike.

Sunday was a new day. We needed to get the long run in early so that the whole team could go root for Calley at her first Sprint distance triathlon in Irving. So the plan was to meet at our house at 5:30am. Roni and I had to run 2 hours per our program so we started early. I headed down the road at 5am, met up with Roni for the initial few miles then she and I met the group at our house for the rest of the run. Heading up to Brookhaven I could tell that it was, indeed, a new day. No memory in the legs of yesterdays bonk, got up on a cruise and headed for the soft-track with Roni. After she turned off for her house I ran the first 2-mile loop, then the 2nd 2-mile loop. I think it was finally then, and after seeing my friends go by the other direction on their loops offering encouraging comments for me, that I realized I’m good for the run. I kept Patty and Helene in view and completed 2 hours and 5 minutes as required. Ba-Da-Bing! Confidence meter moving back to the middle and the bells and whistles are quiet.

A quick, but large, breakfast then off to Irving for Calley’s first tri-, the Irongirl Sprint. Calley is a runner extrodinaire so we were there to see her struggle out of the water and onto the beach, wobble down the bike course…. then totally waste everyone in running shoes. She did just that. See
Where she came in at 7th of 83 in age group. OK, so the run matters…. a LOT! Congratulations Calley! Forget the swim but pull the bike up to 20 mph and you can win these things!

The weekend wasn't over for Todd yet who started at 6am our time at IM Lake Placid. Following along in the net we saw that he turned in a great swim, a phenomenal bike first loop, slowed on the 2nd then ran his first ever MARATHON.. Finishing his first Ironman triathlon in 12:38 is an inspiration to all of us Its not terribly clear but his picture at the line is to the right and you can make out the big smile. TODD!!! YOU ARE AN IRONMAN! Todd's the guy in the middle wearing the yellow top.

Onward with Peak Phase….. ed.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Triple (Single) Bypass (Freeze-out)

This one is tough to write about. We were ready, looking forward to great riding, great scenery, and fun at the end. Instead, while the climbing was no real challenge, we couldn't see for the fog and rain and never made the other end. There were rumors of 3000 lbs of wasted BBQ at the finish and hundreds of PBJ sandwiches from an aid stop going to a homeless shelter. Here's why there was a 95% attrition rate at the great Colorado ride.

The state and Team Evergreen agreed to cap the Triple Bypass at 3500 riders. They reached that limit and closed registration months ago. Riders could start at 6-7am so we chose closer to 7 so that it would warm a bit and we wouldn't need much gear (which we didn't have anyway). Very few riders were seen in long shorts and most were in short sleeves though many, like us, had arm warmers. Who knew weÂ’d need all of the above in waterproof versions.

Jane (Tokyo Jane) and David (of theLAF) and I met Jane's brother and nephew and headed to the start. It started raining when we crossed the start line and increased its intensity every 15 minutes. The climb up to Juniper Pass started immediately. Climbing 15 miles proved to be doable at a pretty good cadence but speeds were under 10mph. It felt good, we worked up a bit of heat and we could chat among our group and with the other riders. This ride is going to be wet, but will work out... we think. At the top there's a lodge and I see about 100 bikes laid over and the place is full of riders. We ride on. At the peak aid station, many riders are stopped and shivering as we decide to press onward. How bad could the descent be, right? What's a bit of wind chill to hardened riders? Combine the wet with streets slicker than owl-stuff and a downhill grade for 18 miles and it all became clear.

Going over 20 on the descent was out of the question. It was way to slick. To keep the speed down you needed constant brake pressure or get on and off them frequently. The wind chill froze our braking hands and braking was literally painful. Keeping the bike upright required so much body tension that after a few miles we had pain in the shoulders and tight muscles all over. This was a beating and it continued for almost an hour. I had to stop twice to defrost, stretch and wait on the rest of our group.

At Idaho Springs the road leading to the main intersection was covered with riders on cell phones. At the Bike/Coffee Shop, both sides of the road were stacked with bikes and riders milling around. We had apparently caught the bulk of riders and they weren't going anywhere. I got in a non-moving line for coffee and talked with another rider who was shaking uncontrollably... he said he was going to go on (uh-huh). Our group had made the decision already; we're calling our toe truck. It turned out that they were already there at the Starbucks.

Reports of snow and continued rain at Loveland Pass and Vail pass only cemented our decision. We bailed after 31 miles and almost 3 hours of riding. On the way home we talked of continuing our riding from JaneÂ’s house but it never let up. The rain just got worse.

OK, this was a 1 in 100 event, and we're in it for next year. We'll be there with the waterproof gear and it will be 80 degrees and fair weather.

Now, back to the regularly scheduled training program.