Sunday, April 26, 2009

50-Mile Warm-up?

Saturday's long ride in Macon, Georgia, was nearly a disaster. We were to ride the 56-mile bike course of the Rock 'n Roll Half Iron triathlon that I'm doing end of May and within the first couple miles, my legs mutinied. We are not climbing these hills no matter what you say!

And this course has a LOT of hills, nothing too steep or severe but enough to make me seriously consider turning around by mile 15 (making it the 30-mi ride scheduled the next day), as well as bailing on the 4-mile brick run afterwards. Tomorrow is another day, right?


But as luck would have it, the quiet back roads of Macon are also home to a number of nasty dogs who LOVE to chase bicyclists. Worse than the thought of continuing on was having to pass them again. I had no energy left to do any more pit bull sprints!

So I made the decision to continue no matter how painfully slow. A couple times I dismounted and checked my brakes to make sure they were not dragging. Nope, it was just me who was dragging. Maybe because of the back-to-back 14-milers I ran on Tues & Wed? Or the hard intervals I did on the bike on Thurs? But I only swam on Friday ...

Whatever, poor Dave rode behind me to fend off any more four-legged devils while I was in cycling purgatory. Thoughts of doing an easier May race danced through my head as I spun up hills at single digit speeds and struggled to maintain 16-17mph on flats.

But, I continued to work on my nutrition and a very strange thing happened at mile 50 (over 3 hours later). Suddenly, I realized had power in my legs -- WOOHOO, the spell was broken!!!

The last few miles I was out of the saddle riding up the remaining hills strong. Dave was wondering what the heck had gotten into me. We got back to the hotel and I headed out for the brick run on a dirt path we saw at Macon State College nearby.

Not-so-fun-except-at-the-end 55 mi ride, avg speed 15.7 mph.
Hot-but-fun 4 mi trail run, avg pace 9:12 min/mile.

I'll take them!

The next day's 30-mile ride on the RnR bike course went MUCH better, avg speed 17.6 mph (more like what I'm hoping to see on race day). Best of all, we got done in time to get a second free breakfast at the Hampton Inn :-) Below are some pictures from Sunday's ride and open water swim. Oh, and I'm sticking with this RnR race. My legs and I have made up.


No drafting behind "The Winnebago" (aka Dave :-).



Nice four-legged creatures we saw in Macon.



Bridge at Lake Tobesofkee a couple miles from where the RnR Half Iron starts/finishes.



Willing riding partner, reluctant photo subject.



Trying out my new sleeveless wetsuit for the first time.



The only other swimmer there (rest were waders).



The wetsuit worked great!

PS - If anyone has any ideas on what caused my performance turnaround so late in the ride (or has experienced something similar), please let me know your thoughts. I do often need a longer warm up than most but 50 miles is pretty ridiculous, don't ya think?

22 comments:

Tammy said...

Love the new swim suite!!! Looking great keep up the great work Shirley

Molly said...

Wow! Great job on your ride! You are putting in some serious hard work!!!!

jen said...

Lovely scenery! Congrats on the great rides and other workouts. :)

Petraruns said...

Love the suit and the scenery and the HARD workout. No idea what was the matter with your legs though - you might have been pushing it all hard that week though? At any rate you came through the other end which is really encouraging and a good thing to know for future reference if you feel this way..

Vickie said...

Love the lake! Wish it were warm enough here to open water swim. I don't know what to say about the bike problem except I have experienced it before myself. And I've had the same thing happen on the run--dogging along on the flats, get to the hills and suddenly a second wind comes my way. Maybe that was it, the hills.

Gotta Run said...

Your wet suite rocks! Country roads are great for our four legged friends. I have finally gotten better about using my water bottle to keep them back. Works most of the time.

Great post and pics. Looks like your hubby is getting very slim!

Road Warrior said...

Hmmm. If your nutrition didn't change (you didn't gel/gu up), then my best guess is the proverbial second wind.

Pure and simple: you're an athlete. Though I don't know if science backs me up on it, my theory is that athletes tend to get the surge when the rest of us normal humans are dying on the vine. I think you had it stored from your training and it was just itching to get out at the end.

Great job on the ride!

ShirleyPerly said...

Actually, by "working on my nutrition", I mean I hydrated and refueled as I would have normally had the ride effort been much harder. Dave thinks the easy paced cycling may have flushed out the lactic acid in my legs from the earlier workouts in the week and allowed me to consume/absorb more carbs than I was expending so that I had a net gain in glycogen levels later. Sorta makes sense but curious to see if anyone else has experienced something similiar.

MarathonChris said...

Great job hanging in on that ride!! I like the new suit as well.

DaveP said...

It was the one long ride I thought I had the advantage. Oh, well.

jeanne said...

it def sounds like a fuel thing to me (not that I know what i'm talking about). did you get enough sleep?

great job though!

RBR said...

"No drafting behind the Winnebago" Hoo! That was funny. I am totally guilty of that when I ride with my hubby.

Great ride and no, I have no experience with finally getting a second wind 50 miles in. LOL!

Rainmaker said...

Performance pickup = inverse bonk. :)

Perhaps just the thought of almost being done. That's what usually helps me.

X-Country2 said...

That is one heck of a ride! You're going to be so ready to race.

Bruce Stewart (ブルース・スチュワート) said...

If it had been a race, you might have started a lot faster. However, maybe your body was just saying take it easy for now. When I used to just swim at the same pace, most of the workout was more or less the same. Now that I try to finish strong, I tend to be extremely slow for the first 90% of the workout. However, I always seem to do quite well at the end. Just make sure you are well rested up when the real race comes along.

Runner Leana said...

A 15 mile warm up does seem a bit long... No wonder your legs were rebelling after those workouts during the week though!!

The new suit looks great!

Susan said...

Holy hills!

Kevin said...

Yeah, here in GA, we have lots of nasty bike chasing dogs. I have heard that race in Macon is Hot n Hilly. I wanted to do it, but my recovery from my ankle sprain has been a slow one

Sara Cox Landolt said...

I've been through Macon! We've stopped there on the way to & from Naples, Fl. It was fun to see another side of it. I totally get the dog-chasing comment. I wrote about that on my blog. I call those dogs the Grim. Fun post!

Nobi Fogi said...

Hi, I ran into your blog when I was searching for the map of RnR sprint tri bike route. I live in Macon and am doing sprint tri for the first time. It's very nice to read your blog. I will recommend it to my triathlete friends. We are swimming at Lake Juliette (17 miles from downtonw Macon) to pracitice the swim part in the evening on Wednesdays and are riding the bike route this Saturday. I wonder if we will see you training at Lake Tobe.
Good luck on your race.
Nobi Fogi

Missy said...

In IM training, I find that it takes me 'that long' to really warm up. I feel like I come alive much later than you would think or than you should. It's weird! If you figure out the answer, please share because 20-50 miles is too long to warm up. A 1,000 meter warm up in a pool is bad enough.

Just watched your Evotri video, love it!

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