Mock Triathlon!


Or Most of One at least!

On Tuesday  I decided to do a mock Olympic Distance Triathlon- just for me. This wasn’t to go race pace at all(although I did mix in some surges).

Swim

This started out at the pool, I swam ~2k Meters total.

This included a 400 Meter Warm up, and somewhat of a 100 Meter cool Down lol. This was pretty comfortable and I was able to keep my swimming “mostly” efficient.

Total time :1:10 including warm up and cool down.

Event time: 48 Minutes

I want to bring this down some more before the “main event” because there is a 1 hour time cut off. And I want to err well on the side of caution for this. The Bike and Run both have 90 Minute cut offs(after the the previous event’s cut off). So I feel more than confident that I’ll be fine on time for them.

Bike

Next I drove home and jumped on the trainer for the bike portion.

The first 15 minutes sucked, I could barely keep up speed and keep down my HR. Turned out, I had the tension set too tight on the wheel platform. readjusted this real quick and BAM! I was flying. Since it is a trainer- I feel it is easier to maintain speed, but harder to maintain comfort lol.

Got in the full 25 Miles here!

Time: 1:20

Run

After getting off the bike I felt tired, but still pretty strong. I had kept up my nutrition throughout the ride, and making sure to get more into me for the run.

I ended up only running a mile. This was fortunately not due to me dying off. I had chosen to just run around the lake next to my apartment. Well this was a bad idea as 85% of the loop around the lake was water logged or just straight under about an inch to 3 inches of water. That one mile took forever, but it was a great stretch!

All in all I was impressed with myself. This was not an all out effort, but it was a good steady push. And I passed my expectations.

Knowing that I can do this a month out, with no real taper or major rest beforehand makes me even more confident of my performance come April 12th!

I am excited and can’t wait to see how I do. My goal is to finish. But I want to make sure I don’t finish with a full tank 🙂

Thanks for reading guys. Let me know what you think!

 

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A Long Weekend of Fun!- warning Long Long LONG Post!


So I got a lot of good training in this weekend! It was a rough one and I’m still feeling it, but man was it worth every second of the pain and mental toughness I had to pry out of me!

Friday!

I Started off with a 1 Mile Swim on Friday night. This was a 1 Lap at a time Mile(25 Meters). This is actually the first time I have made myself do an entire Mile, so it was a bit rough.

I am not an efficient swimmer. I’m not a graceful swimmer. I’m a strong swimmer, and as such, I spend most of my time defeating myself by not keeping correct form. I also have a very hard time breathing correctly(with form). Keeping my head low and in the water, under my recovering arm and against my leading arm, is very difficult for me, as I have not yet ingrained the muscle memory. I am getting better though, so one step at a time. I mostly worked on my breathing on this workout. I probably swam too fast to really make it good(around a 33 minute 1600- and the Garmin only picked up 1575 meters, because I didn’t start it on one of the lengths 😦 lol ).

I took about a 30 second to one minute breather each length, to recover. I still have a hard time not kicking too much and my swim technique combined with poor form makes one length of the pool a grinder of trying to breath and keep my heart from not exploding in my chest!

All in all though, it was a great workout! You can see it here.

this workout felt great afterward and I feel it was a bit of an accomplishment. I am not where I need to be for the Swim portion of my upcoming Olympic Distance Triathlon. But I am one step closer 🙂


 

Saturday!

Saturday Pic
At the Beginning

 

Saturday was next on my destination of pain weekend. I had already decided Saturday was going to be a long Ride. So I tentatively mapped out a 60 Mile course. I wanted this to be my longest ride to date- but only by a few miles.

I took Pics often
I took Pics often

So it was basically a 30 Mile out and back Course. Pretty easy. The weather was supposed to be nice so, I got up early, had some coffee and oats, rested a bit, got my gear on and got on the road!

The day was a bit chillier than I really liked. I didn’t wear my thermal leggings, although I did wear some knee warmers and Calf Compression Sleeves. I also left my full finger gloves and shoe covers at home- like an idiot. I was a bit cold, but nothing too uncomfortable and once I got warmed up, I was good to go.

The miles just kind of flew by. I set an alarm to keep me in HR Zone 3- to conserve energy for this long haul. My HR avg was 145, and it only peaked over 150 a few times- usually when climbing a local mountain(bridge) or if I would try to “safely”make a light.

As you can see
As you can see

I say safely, because if there is traffic at an intersection I won’t even think about “making a light”, but if it is clear and I have good line of sight of all directions, I’ll push it :). I did try to maintain a nice high cadence, and came away with an 85 RPM Avg. Which I thought was pretty good, as I prioritized HR over Cadence for this ride. I found even when pushing a light gear, my HR would want to climb when I got around the 95-100 Mark. I figure this is still me getting used to moving my legs this fast on the bike.

And Usually at signs!!
And Usually at signs!!

As I continued, I felt better and better, especially with this low speed and easy to maintain cadence. I took a break at the 20 Mile Mark. I felt great!. I had filled two water bottles, one with water, the other with Heed. I also brought along a zip lock baggie with Perpetuem in it, for later in the ride.  After that break, I closed in quickly on the 30 Mile Mark of the ride. Then passed it. I decided I would do a bit more. And then a bit more. And then a bit more. Before I realized it, I was at 51 Miles!!

 

 

Now the way I mapped the course out, there were several “shortcuts” built into the ride, so if I needed to, I could be home in fewer miles if I needed to.

Whew Made it to Lunch!! I'm still alive!!
Whew Made it to Lunch!! I’m still alive!!

I decided it was about time for some lunch, so found my self a Starbucks. Had a good bite to eat and a latte, as well as finished off my water and Heed bottles. I had also been hitting my normal 10 minute rotation of some sort of nutrition every 10 minutes for this first 50 miles. I brought along enough calories to go twice as long(time wise) than I had estimated my ride would be, so I had plenty. I chilled and rested for about 30-40 minutes. Got in some good stretches, got my water bottles filled, mixed in my Perpetuem, re-organized my nutrition in my jersey pockets- for easy reach, and got back on the road!

As I headed back, I had the option to Take a few Short cuts. At first, I thought I would take one of these, as I was going into a pretty stiff headwind. Although my

This was the city I actually turned around in- at like the 40- something-eth Mile
This was the city I actually turned around in- at like the 40- something-eth Mile

speed suffered greatly, I spent most of the day comfortably in the drops. I kept my HR low and my cadence high and it went along pretty smoothly. I really wasn’t feeling exhausted at any point. I did feel the beginning’s of leg muscle fatigue at around the 70 mile mark. My Longest Ride Ever!! This was my last “big” cut off. I stopped for a few minutes for a breather and a quick Self Evaluation.

How do I feel?: Well, I’m feeling pretty good. I’m not tight and I’m not feeling a loss of energy.

How is my nutrition?: I have about 600 Calories worth of chewable nutrition left, and about half of a bottle of perpetuem(which was mixed about half a scoop too rich- just in case hehe).

Well, what do you think?: Heck, lets go for it!!.

I plotted out the course going back on the exact same route as I had began that morning, this would give me about 10 miles to my next “cut off”. I’d see how I felt then.

So I rolled on, The next 10 miles were fast, with a super low HR and a cadence I was proud of, I flew right through the 10 miles. At this point, I knew it was in reach. I hadn’t given the notion or a fully formed thought of it all day, it was just a slight tickle or whisper in the back of my mind. But now, almost at mile 80, I felt it.

I can do a Century today! I can do it. I can complete this on my own!!

Yep, gotta take a minute to honor our Veterans!
Yep, gotta take a minute to honor our Veterans!

So I continued on my path. At this point I just added one of my normal weekly rides to the course(it was the same road I was on, so it was easy). This course is usually around 25 miles, with  about 1.2-2 of it being from my apartment to where I intersected it with my current course. By combining the cunning use of trig- calculus- and geometry that would make many mathematicians and physicists proud- I subtracted 2 miles from 25 miles and got 23 miles. Then added 23 miles to 79.5 miles- and got about 103 miles!! I know I know, you’re impressed with ma maph skeelz.

At this point it was later in the day and the road were busier. I popped an extra gel, to make sure I kept my sugar with some blood in it(yeah, at this point I was seriously not the sharpest tool in the shed). I wanted to stay alert enough of vehicles on the road, as I was also in a busier section of town. I honestly should have called it quits. But I was not sane enough to make that call lol.

This portion of the course was an out and back loop of about 7 miles total and then another 12 mile loop(6 out and back) with a return loop of around 3-4 miles.

I made this first loop and felt a lot more fatigue than I had thought I would. The last half of this little loop was deep on into the wind again and I struggled to maintain good form and breathing. I got to the 12 mile loop, and decided to take it head on!(remember where I said I wasn’t all there? Yep, here is proof lol). So I slowed down a lot, kept a high cadence, just pushing a super easy gear( I later found I was still doing around 15 MPH- which I was ecstatic about- to explain further. I didn’t want to be emotionally affected with a slow speed. So, to make sure that speed was not a factor at all in this Day’s ride, I removed it from my main screen on the 910xt- So I pretty much never knew my speed all day hehe). About 1-2 miles in, I started to feel great again. Still taking nutrition and water when my 10 minute beeper would go off, and really just enjoying the ride!

I took another break at the turn around for this loop- less than 10 Miles to go!! I hit the head, drank some extra water and partially filled it back up(I was at a gas station- I actually passed this gas station 3 times, including rest stops, for this ride haha). Took a 10 minute breather and got back to it!

Going in the opposite direction, the wind was coming at my back from an angle. I would have the wind to my advantage for all but the last 2 miles of the route. So I sat up, put my hands on the horizontal bars( I call them the tops, I don’t know if they have a “real” name lol) and used my back as a wind sail. I maintained the same rhythm and patterns as the rest of the day, and I felt like I was flying!!  I was only hitting about 16-18 MPH(via later inspection of the route data) but man I felt great! I felt so good, that when I turned back into the wind, I kept up the pace, and pushed that last little bit out!

I crossed the 100 Mile Mark! Threw up a fist in victory and kept chugging along! I am sure a few people saw some crazy dude on a bike, in a Marine Corps Cycling Jersey, looking like a crazed maniac rolling down the side of the street! But I didn’t care! I just completed a Century!! But now to get home!

I stayed in the drops and finished out the ride strong and feeling great!!

I got home and stretched and ate for about an hour or two haha. Took a good bath and called it a day!!

You can see the route data Here.

This was a really big confidence booster to me. As I did not think I could do my first century, and live, quite yet. I also did not think my first century would be a self supported one!

There is a Houston to Galveston Century near the end of this month, and I am thinking of doing it now. This would be my last big ride(and is scheduled to be my last big ride weekend anyway) before I do Kemah on April 12th and then the MS150 on April 18-19th. The first day of the MS150 will be a century as well.

I am feeling more and more confident of my cycling, every day.


 

Sunday!

Next up was Sunday! Now my legs didn’t feel like jello, but they didn’t feel up to much abuse either. I rolled them and stretched them and babied them most of the morning.

In the early afternoon, I decided I wanted to get a short swim in. So I decided on an 800 Meter swim. It was slow. Most of it was the same as Friday night, just breathe. Learn to breathe. Be comfortable breathing. And try to keep my heart from jumping out of my chest!!

This was a lot more rough, as my legs were sore and didn’t want to kick. Although, this ended up being a good thing! Since my legs didn’t want to kick, I wasn’t kicking!! So I wasn’t over or under balancing my body. My strokes were a lot more even. And my breathing almost even felt semi-comfortable…. Almost.

In the future I am going to continue minimizing my kick. This seems to save a lot of energy and allow for a more extended period of swimming! This is just what I need to make sure I can really perform well at Kemah next month!

This swim was a big eye opener and I am really going to keep up using that same technique. It was a bit slower- like 2 minutes for a combined 1600 meters slower, but the amount of energy used felt like a lot less. I don’t know if it was just me not trying to overcome bad technique as much or what, but I seemed to glide a lot more through the water. Making is so much easier to feel more “fluid” in the water as well.

You can see that swim’s data Here.

I got some more stretching and rolling in later that night to really help me relax.

Had some good food to keep things clean and wrapped up the weekend. We will see how things go! I am supposed to do a 10 Mile run tonight- Monday night, and if the weather doesn’t hold out, that may have to be on a treadmill. Which will not be fun.

All in all, this was a great weekend. Lots of activity. Lots of physical and mental testing. I came through it all. And was insane enough to enjoy it!

My over all confidence for April has skyrocketed!

I have a big Trail Run coming up on this next Sunday. It is a supported “free” run put on by Trail Running Over Texas(TROT). It is going to be a blast and can’t wait! The course is to be a loop of about 4-5 miles. You just do as many loops as you can between 6 AM and 1 PM(last loop cut-off is at noon). I am really hoping I can complete this at around a 50K(my first at this distance). Since I won’t really have a lot of training time the rest of the month- as I need to taper everything for next month’s madness. This weekend and next weekend, are to be my big tests and self evaluations!

After this, I’ll mostly just be doing maintenance miles, and easy workouts. I’ll do one “moderate to heavy” workout per week, but that would be like a 6-7 opposed to my current 8-9 lol. With lots of rest before and after it.

This next little bit(including this past weekend) is Testing my over all conditioning, gear, nutrition, freak of nature will power, and trying to stay somewhat sane throughout the whole thing!! April is to be my “Devil’s Three-way” and I plan on making it a memorable one!!

Thanks for reading everyone! Let me know if you have any thoughts or questions- and sorry for the book of a post!!

 

 

 

Rest Days are Tough!


So one of the big parts of training- bigger than any other actually- is Resting. Mostly cause it just takes so damn long to recover after destroying a workout.

And it is so damn hard to do this part of Training!

After this weekend’s suffer fest of fun, my legs felt like jelly most of Monday. Tuesday, I was feeling a lot better. The Legs still felt the weekend, but they were feeling much more rejuvenated. A bit of stretching and rolling and I was feeling pretty limber.

Today, my legs felt great! I had planned on getting out and putting on some miles, but Mrs. NGC and I went out and found ourselves some good trail running shoes 🙂 .  This took too long and we didn’t have the time to get in and get some miles on the legs for the night. But now we can attack the trails without too much worry of bruised feet hehe.

Now that the evening is coming to a close(and I am way to full from dinner to think much about running haha) I am realizing how “tired” my legs were. Not that they were sore, or that they were tight, they were just… Tired? Like they didn’t want to move much, if at all lol.

So now that I am thinking a bit more about it. I have “built in” rest days for training. And I have never been one to push past what I know/feel my current limits are, I’m not so full of machismo I can’t admit I need some time off. But I also don’t really “look forward” to them either.

Between fear of overuse  and wanting to make sure I can keep increasing my training on schedule, I don’t want to lose sight of the goal(making it through April without injury) in trying to make every single work-out the hardest it can be.

With this being laid out, like that, I make my hard workouts-Hard. Like really really hard. Like Arnold is crying hard. My easy days are laughable. Granny rolls by on her 12v scoot-a-round and makes a rude joke about needing to get my training wheels. My medium days or just the this side of the “uncomfortable”.

I don’t want to reach my goals. That isn’t the plan. Or the point. Or the way I do pretty much, anything.

A fighter throws a punch- not at his/her enemy, but through them. They aim past their goal(the contact of the strike). This is my approach to a goal. I look at it, understand it, and know that once contact is made, I must go past it.

In this way, I am aiming past the small stepping stones to what lies beyond them. Will they be easy- Hell No(and if it were they wouldn’t be worth it). But I know that my aim cannot end at the “event” I am training for. There must be something more, something greater, harder, something that means a great deal to me. Only by looking at the mountain can I reach inside and muster the strength to beat the hill.

There will be many hills in my future. But I can see the Mountain and it can see  me. It knows I’ll get there. I’ll have to work hard. I’ll have to work long. It will hurt. I will be exhausted. And I will rest when needed. Push when it is called for.

Now this doesn’t mean that I will always set myself up for something that tests me to within an inch of my life(at least not all the time). However, that does mean that I need to always have something to aim for and that it must be something that “means” something to me. Whether it is emotionally based, physically based, or whatever. The point is to make goals and move along. Rejoice in the moment and cherish it. But we cannot live the moments of yesterday forever. We have to make some new ones.

I always remember to smile after a challenge of any sort, and know that my Will cannot be beaten.

And to look up and let the Mountain know that there is still a challenger. 😉

In conclusion, this line of thought gets me through rest days. Thoughts of how hard the next workout will be. Of how hard the challenges to come will be. My personal and professional goals.

I guess on some level I feel like I use the tough days to “justify” the rest days. And, in turn, use the rest days to justify the tough ones haha.

 

This Weekend- Oh What a Time!


This weekend was a Heavy Training weekend.

Saturday morning it started off with the Wife and I taking a run!

The Beauty!
The Beauty!

 

 

 

We ran a warm up mile. Then ran 3 x 1 Mile Repeats. This was a big day for me, as all three of my “repeats” were under 8          minute miles(7:52, 7:42,7:51-respectively). This had me stoked as I have not been able to do that for a long long time(before      my 3 year fitness sabbatical lol). Guess this shows that something is working right haha.

 

 

 

 

My year long goal is to have a 1:40 Half Marathon Pace. With results like this I can feel that day coming… eventually 🙂

I'm always this ugly. Don't be alarmed!
I’m always this ugly. Don’t be alarmed!

Mrs. NGC also did Great! She had taken a few weeks off, however, you wouldn’t have noticed it as she was flying on her runs!

 

 

 

After this, I went for a 20 Mile Bike Ride.

Half-Way through
Half-Way through

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second half was a rough ride for me, I started to die down on energy, although I was eating and drinking per my usual 10/10 schedule.

 

 

By the time I was done, I was literally done. I did not bonk(which I am proud of), but I did not feel a lot left in the tank for the day.

Yeah, I am as tired as I look!
Yeah, I am as tired as I look!

That night, I splurged and ate an Italian Sub-Sandwich from a local pizza place(toasted). It was great, filled me up and, almost immediately, I started feeling a lot better. This carried on into the evening as I continuously stretched and even “rolled” a few times to help my legs feel less like jello and more like powerhouses! By the end of the night, I was feeling recharged and human again.

 

 

 

 

Sunday morning was a group run with a Facebook Page called “Running Adventures Around the World”. This was a 12 Mile loop that was going to done twice by some, so they could hit 20 Miles for the day. I had only planned on doing one loop, as I had a Cycling Safety Class scheduled for the Afternoon.

Starbucks to start it Off!
Starbucks to start it Off!

This was to be a group run for fun, without any real race pacing or trying to kill each other trying to keep up.

Bridge found in Kemah!
Bridge found in Kemah!

As you can see we had a lot of fun!

We spent a lot of time finding great places to use as photo Ops!

A Sign as Proof
A Sign as Proof

 

 

 

We took our time and enjoyed the run. We all carried nutrition, I brought along my Hydration-Pack, so I was able to offer extra water to those with smaller water bottles.

We took breaks often too!

Even for a Rocky Sock Situation!
Even for a Rocky Sock Situation!

 

As we continued our journey we found a couple of Signs we were able to photo Bomb.

 

I was behind the camera!
I was behind the camera!

We had a Great time! With such an awesome group of runners. At Mile 10 we had a nice stretch!

A picture taken while taking a picture ;)
A picture taken while taking a picture 😉

 

All in all, this was a good experience.

 

We ended up enjoying ourselves too much and by the time we got done, I was late for my class 😦 . there are others, so I will be able to make sure I get my class so I’ll be safe haha.

 

After this, I rested for about an hour and some change. Then went to another Group Run, with Team RWB.

Team RWB Pearland Group!
Team RWB Pearland Group!

I ran with a buddy who does Triathlons like they are too easy not to do. We used a 7 Minute run, 1 Minute walk rotation that worked out pretty darn good. I was definitely feeling it, but I was able to keep up the pace and stick with him(although I am pretty sure he tried to drop me a few times haha). This was a 4.25 mile run and I was feeling pretty good even at the end, although I was tired, I wasn’t totally baked!!

After this we all went to a local restaurant (our usual post run hand out joint for some refueling food). This is a staple of the weekly diet, where I always have a Giro Platter and it is so delicious!

All in all, this was a tiring weekend. I am glad I was able to make it through. This is definitely a a good sign that everything is going well. I am excited about the next few months and can’t wait till all the “race days” coming up.

All though this was a “training” weekend, it was a lot of fun. Being able to enjoy amazing workouts with some really great people is always a good time(even if I want to cry after the workout!).

As always. Thank you for stopping by and hopefully having a good time. Let me know what you think and give me some of those great tips and tricks if you see something doesn’t quite “look right”.

Laters!!

 

A Recovery Bike Ride on a Great Day!


Looking Like an Idiot before the Ride
Looking Like an Idiot before the Ride

First up, I got my Bike Back on Tuesday!!! Woot woot. I took it in on Monday to get it serviced(have about 500 miles on it now 🙂 ). They gave it a good once over and made sure everything was still tight and in the right position. We went ahead and lowered my bars a couple of spacers, as I had noticed I had been riding more and more in the drops. It was just very comfortable. So we dropped the bars and we shall see how that feels over the next few rides. “It’s gettin Aero in here!”. Haha.

I also picked up some new shorts. I think I’ll do some reviews on the other pieces of gear I have over the next week or so- so we can get a baseline of how the gear is performing thus far.

Yesterday was an easy ride kind of day. After a long weekend of riding, and then several runs at the beginning of the week, my legs felt tired and more than a little sore.

My buddy came to drag me as usual(he is way too fast for me to over take him if he doesn’t want me to lol). He kept the pace fairly slow and sedate- compared to what he can do. Compared to what I can do, I still spiked my heart rate a few times(over 165) keeping the pace. I mostly kept my HR low, as my average for the ride was 152.

This was a nice 25 mile ride through a few highway type roads and sub-urban areas. It was great to just spin and let the stress in my legs out. I noticed a few times where my legs really felt sore. However, after the ride, they felt great. Really couldn’t believe how good they felt the rest of the evening.

I only drank water and an electrolyte drink throughout the ride, since it was so short. I had dinner pretty much waiting when I got home.

The bike performed great. No missed gears or jumping up or down gears. Very smooth and solid with no issues or worries. The dropped bars also felt very comfortable. I didn’t feel like I was leaning too much on my hands(while on the hoods) and I still felt comfortable down in the drops. I originally was very afraid of leaning too far forward and being uncomfortable, but now that I’ve gotten some more miles on me, I really like that position. I feel like it makes it easier to keep my back straight and my hips rotated correctly. Keeping good contact on the saddle and my legs feel great. We will see how this goes and adjust from there. I don’t see myself getting too much lower, but I am glad to know that I am still comfortable with a little change.

I figure I’ll start doing my own maintenance for the next service, and maybe take the bike in once a year to have it eyeballed by a professional. I do my own motorcycle maintenance, how hard can a bicycle be?

In the end it was a great day. Sun was out for most of it. The wind was out too, which made for some difficult sections, but nothing that couldn’t be conquered and ridden through!

Afterwards I felt energetic and ready to take on the World! Haha.

You can see the workout by Clicking Here.

8 Mile Run- 2-18-2014


Nothing but Miles!
Nothing but Miles!

I was able to get out yesterday and put in some miles before sunset. Weather was great! A nice 63 degrees with just a little bit of wind.

Funny thing was, I got out there, got stretched and warmed up a bit, then realized I didn’t have my HR Strap. So back to the Apartment I go. Looked around and eventually found it and got back outside. This put me starting about 20 minutes later than I had wanted, but it all turned out just fine.

I didn’t really plan out how far I was going to go. I knew I wanted to put in more than 3-5 miles, just not an exact total. I did bring a pack of gels and had some heed in a water bottle that i staged on one side of the loop I ran. This way I could have some nutrition when needed. At 5 miles I still felt fresh enough to push on.I went ahead and put in another 5k.

By the end of the 8 Miles I felt pretty tired. My legs were starting to feel the distance and I decided that it was time to turn in for the day. Over all I still felt great and even got in some cool down exercises, which I need to do more often.

I ended the Run just before sunset and was able to get a few pics(they were taken while I was running, so no hate please lol).

Beautiful Sunset Across the Lake
Beautiful Sunset Across      the Lake

This is only my second semi-high mileage run on non-man made paths.I feel like I am doing well, and can’t wait for my next training run on Saturday, with the wife.

Today I’ll be putting in a Bike ride, probably around 20-25 miles. I’ll try and keep up with my buddy( I am pretty sure he is the son of flash or something). We shall see how my legs feel after that!

Tomorrow is a rest day, but I may got and get some cross-training plyometrics in. Just get my Heart Rate above 135 and keep it there for a bit. Nothing too strenuous.

Saturday’s run will probably be a couple of 1 mile repeats with maybe a 1-2 mile fartlek at the end. Time will tell, and I’ll let you guys know what Time tells me 🙂

In the end, I was super glad I made it out, even with the problems at first lol. And I was pretty impressed with the decent pace I was able to maintain without feeling like I was dying.

Each day brings me a bit closer to April and each workout prepares me a bit more to achieve my Goals!

You can find my run data by Clicking Here. It’ll show you the course and my slow pace haha.

The Longest Ride…. So far!


Yesterday was a beautiful day, down here in the Houston Area!

I was able to get together was a local Triathlon Group- I’ve ridden with them several times and I really put a lot of my improvement to their credit.

I knew this was going to be a 40+ mile ride. So I prepared by ensuring great nutrition on my rest day(Friday) and the morning of the ride.

I got all of my gear set up the night before. Made sure all of my Gels and Gu’s were in my trusty day trip backpack(it was a cool little birthday gift from Backwoods last year- My wife and I use them all the time haha). Went through and did full mechanical checks on everything( more about this in a little bit). I also got my kit ready, however it had apparently not been washed since my Thursday ride.So I tossed it in the washer Friday night, just before bed. I figured I would try something new, since I was going to be getting up so early, and put it in the dryer on “fluff”. Well this turned out to be a bad idea. Cause at 6:00 A.M. I was pulling on wet and cold kit and hating life for a few minutes. In the end, I was mostly dry before heading out the door and I was dry before the ride started, so no biggie.

With a Roll Time of 7:00 A.M. from my Buddy’s house, I got up at 5:50. Immediately went and started a small coffee and some oatmeal.  Got dressed( with a few curses and and shivers) and got my tires pumped(15 minute drive to the meet up so figured why not air em up in the comfort of my warm home and wet kit?) and then settled down a bit to eat my oatmeal and drink my coffee.

While I was eating, I also got in a few stretches to help warm me up a bit(some injuries have to be babied everyday- and if you treat them right, they never bug you…. mostly).

I took off around 6:35 AM and got to my Buddy’s house right at 7. It was a bit chilly so I opted to wear arm and leg warmers and put a light running jacket on as well. I also had my thermal skull cap. I just used finger-less gloves, as I never “feel” like my hands get that cold as long as I have some blood pumping(and if that stops I have other worries).

I situated my gear with opened gels/gu’s in my right jersey pocket, an extra heed mix packet in my center pocket, and more gels and gu’s in my left pocket, along with my knife 🙂 I open them and have them positioned so I don’t need to fumble around trying to get a gel out while riding. It has worked so far!

I had my water in one bottle and mixed Prepetuem into the other. I had the Heed packet, just in case I finished the Perpetuem and felt I needed more electrolytes.

For my Nutrition Cycle during the ride, I am continuing to use the 10(ten) minute timer method. So after the first ten minutes, I pop a Gel and 2 squirts of water. Second 10(ten) minutes I take 2 squirts of whatever I have mixed(if I am only carrying water I skip the gel on the second cycle). Then I just rinse and repeat this. So basically every 20 minutes I am getting a bit of calories, protein, carb’s, and electrolytes. So far this is working well for me- as we will talk about in a minute. haha.

So we take off from my Buddy’s house and get to the park that the group is meeting up at and we wait as more peeps arrive. On our way we actually pick up another one of the riders in the group. It kind of worked out like you would see in a movie- as the group moves along another one just drops right into place- it was pretty funny and cool too.

Once everyone arrived, we were 9 riders deep. Nice little crowd!

At around 7:45 we head out! The first 15 miles of the route we took I have done before. We stopped at another local park at the 13 mile marker and took a break. This was in a park. This part of the route would not be repeated, as it is a ride in, turn around and ride out portion of it. We all stretched our legs and made sure everything was riding okay. At this point, I took off my light jacket and rolled it up and put it in my center jersey pocket. It is a running jacket, so it packs pretty small, but not as small or convenient as a cycling jacket. There may be one of those will be in my future :).

Everything else was feeling and working fine. I was feeling great. The pace was low enough I was having a good conversation with a couple of the other riders. We took off again after a few minutes and continued our journey.

Just before the 15 mile mark, one of the riders peeled off and turned around- that is what he had planned on doing as he didn’t have the time to do the full ride that day.

So now we are down to 8 :). As the morning progressed, the sun came out and the temperature warmed just enough to be nice and toasty when we stopped, but the air felt great while we were moving.

Since it was such a beautiful day, we saw several other individual riders and groups of riders, getting their own miles in for the day. Good Times!

The roads were busy at times, but we were very visible, as we made sure to keep closely together for the first half of the ride. We also managed to hit every single red light possible. I am pretty sure we hit a couple that weren’t even there(least that is what it felt like haha).

 

At about the 28 mile mark, we had another rider turn around. Again this was planned and we were prepared to lose another one, haha. We made our turn around stop point at the Starbucks on the Kemah Boardwalk. This was about 30 miles in (per my Garmin- I had an extra 2 miles on the rest of the group since I had left from my Buddy’s house). We did quick checks and had a little cup of coffee. A few head breaks and some water bottle refilling and we were good to go. We did chill for a bit and sat and talked. The day was so nice, we couldn’t wait to get back on the road.

We finished up our rest stop, put our gear back together and got out of there!

The ride back was a bit more difficult, as we had a headwind most of the way. What had come from a 18-19 mph ride turned into a 16-17 mph ride fast. We ended up separating into two groups, one at the 17+ mph range(I kept up!!) and one at the 13-14 mph range. The front group did stop often to let the slower group catch up, that way we were never separated by more than a few minutes.

We made it to the 39 mile mark and took our next break! I was still feeling good. This is now 2 miles further than my longest ride! Although I could feel fatigue starting to set in. I was making sure to stick to my nutrition plan, even if it felt like extra effort to drink or eat. This worked pretty good all the way until I couldn’t keep pace with the faster riders. I was already back to a portion of the route I have done before, so I was comfortable riding on. I ended up not making a right turn though. And looped through a neighborhood- which was cool cause it added more miles to the tally!

At this point I was noticing that My chain didn’t like the middle of my rear cassette when trying to shift up, I would have to “click” it twice and it would “jump up” an extra gear. Woot, I have finally ridden my bike enough to need a service!! Another milestone down! I would also like to attribute my failure to make the turn to paying attention to the mechanical issue- newb mistakes 🙂

After contacting my Buddy and being rescued, lol, we got back on course and made back to his house safely. All in all it was a great day and truly awesome ride.

Total Mileage: 53.46 MILES!! This beat my longest ride to date by over 16 Miles!

Although I did have to slow down a bit near the end, I never bonked! This is showing me that my nutrition plan worked pretty well! It also showed me a very good level of fatigue. So I know I have the strength and my endurance is really picking up. I’m so proud and excited to see and feel these gains in my abilities. So often you improve but don’t see it from your personal perspective. This was a great experience and I can’t wait for my next long ride! But that will probably wait for at least next weekend haha.

So for the day we had zero flats. Zero Falls(although I made a solid attempt to fall at the meet up location- but we won’t count that). Zero other mishaps. Excepting my taking a longer route hehe.

The sun was shining. We had great people in the group. We couldn’t of asked for a better ride!

I linked it below if you guys want to take a look!

Thanks for reading everyone! Leave me any comments or questions!

Garmin Connect.