Mission: Spend enough time in the saddle this weekend in order to achieve the appropriate level of discomfort, soreness, mileage and-oh yeah-confidence that I’ll need for some upcoming races.
Friday, August 10th
Did my long run of 14 miles on Friday morning with Amy, Anne, Thon and Mike. It was a surprising large group of people for a 5:15am start time! It was incredibly dark as the moon was only a slither. It was tough to see even the most familiar of dips and holes in the trail. Our route was the Exposition/Enfield/LAB triangle, followed by the 10 mile loop. I personally had an incredibly slow start, but finally kicked it in. With 4 miles to go, Anne and I picked it up for a fast finish. By this point, the sun was up so we could at least see what we were doing. I finished with a progressively faster pace feeling stronger with each passing mile. It wasn’t until the last ½ mile going home to my house that I conceded my exhaustion. Overall pace was about an 8:45 for the run. That factors in some 9:20s at the beginning followed by some low 8:00s at the end. Great effort.
Saturday, August 11th
Sometimes you need a mentor and a little inspiration to kick you into gear. My friend Genny was that person for me this weekend. She was in town for the weekend from Portland with bicycle in tow. She’s an amazing cyclist and was exactly what I needed in order to build up my riding confidence. We decided to ride with the T3 group on Saturday morning which was a 40-50 mile out and back towards Dripping. I haven’t ridden with the group in a while and was slightly intimidated. Will I be last? What if I flat? Thank goodness Genny was up for riding with the group as well. We did much better than I feared. She and I remained in the middle of the pack and decided to keep it around 40 miles since we were going to ride 56 miles the following day. Mentally, I felt strong the entire time. Hydration was definitely the key this weekend as temps soared toward triple digits. Genny pushed me harder on some of the flats than I would’ve gone. It was exactly what I needed.
Sunday, August 12th
The three musketeers of myself, Genny and our friend Katy headed out to ride the Longhorn Tri Half-Ironman loop. I’ve ridden it once with some poor results. That’s the ride where both Shawn and I bonked and he ended up passing out with ½ mile to go. Both Katy and Genny are strong cyclists and I was a little nervous that I’d be holding them back. The good news was that none of us were in the mood to hammer it. It was just some much-needed time in the saddle Plus, Katy was test riding a fancy new Felt bike and wanted to really get a feel for it and I had the map so I had to navigate! The course is definitely challenging in many areas, but also really pretty on the back roads. Again, I felt strong from the start and kept myself hydrated and well nourished throughout. We ended up stopping 3 times to refuel and rest, which was necessary because of the triple digit temps. Replenishing the water supply was a must. We all had our respective moments of strength where we pulled each other through some rough moments. Overall, all three of us were having a great day and no one was left behind ever. Total riding time (not including rests) was about 3:11 for a 17.1mph average. VERY pleasing on this course. I know I could’ve shaved some time off in a race atmosphere. Katy and I will definitely ride it again in the near future and better simulate race conditions (i.e. not stopping to eat, riding straight through and picking up pace).
The only cross training I did was play the freaking Nintendo Wii boxing, bowling and tennis at Mike’s on Saturday night. Apparently, I kick ass in boxing and bowling, but really suck in tennis!!
Went to Jack and Adam’s and it felt like it’s usual “class reunion” self. We ran into Jill, Stacey, Nancy from T3, Stacy Keese and others. Pretty typical for a Saturday morning. I think they need to sell breakfast tacos at Jack and Adams. Everyone would show up after their morning rides! Bike may be on it’s way this week! My fingers are crossed for sure!!
Also went and saw Rush last night in concert and watched Shawn relive his glory days! It was my wedding present to him and he loved it. Great show for a bunch of 57 year olds 🙂