Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Century Club

I've been getting in some quality long rides with short brick runs on Saturday's at the the Budweiser Plant in Cartersville, GA.  This weekend was my last chance to go long out there in the foreseeable future so you better believe I went long.  Even better I convinced Mary, 2-time IM and in training for IM Canada 2012, to join me in the suffer fest.  I wanted to get a 100 miler in before I really cut back and spend a few weeks focusing on Olympic distance racing in preparation for USAT Collegiate National Championships on April 21st.

Saturday was an early and long day.  We rolled out of the parking lot at 7:45 am - it was chilly creating a wardrobe catch 22 - we didn't want to freeze but we also knew we wouldn't be stopping by the cars to drop clothes off anytime during the ride so we would have to hold on to them or trash them if we brought them along.  We both started out in riding shorts and long sleeves.  After 15 or so miles I had mostly warmed up - except my feet.  Darn it toe covers, I always underestimate your importance.  I can't put into words how pretty and peaceful riding around this area is.  There is very light traffic, gorgeous horse farms, and beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  There are also wonderful smells of chicken farms, a few long steady climbs, a couple short steep climbs, and lots of rolling hills.  This was my first attempt at 100 miles, my farthest ride had previously been 86 miles that I did out at the Bud Plant a few weeks earlier.

I didn't know what to expect with trying to ride 100 miles.  When most people find out I rode my bicycle (yes, 2 wheels, pedals, powered by my legs) 100 miles the response is, "I don't even like driving my car that far, let alone riding a bike, you must be crazy."  Well I am crazy, we all know that, but riding a bicycle 100 miles is awesome.  It's therapeutic, it's calming, it's a celebration of life, it's quality time getting to know your riding partner.  This was my first ride out of the Bud Plant with a partner - on previous rides I have met people on the route and ridden 20 or so miles with them before going our own ways.  Having a riding partner was great, I know in an Ironman I will be riding "alone" but not really, there will be 2500 other athletes on the same course.  We pushed each other, we encouraged each other, we laughed, we reminded each other to get nutrition in, and we had a good time.  One of the reasons for riding 100 miles was to really start to nail down my nutrition plan.  I started the ride off with a gel at hour 1 and hour 2, a had a peanut butter and honey Uncrustable at hour 3 and a Powerbar at hour 4.5.  I used water split with minimal powerade during the first part of the ride, then water, and then a bottle of Gu Brew for my liquids.  My stomach did well, I did not have any GI issues during the ride or after during my brick run.  I could have probably done 2 Uncrustables as it was tasty and easy to manage but so tiny, the fun was over too quickly.  To make our 100 mile ride we rode the 66 mile loop, the 31 mile loop and a short out and back to get the odometer to 100 before heading back to the cars.  There is a 100 mile route marked out but we have not heard great things about the roads so we thought the 2 shorter loops would be a wise decision.

Any liquid nutrition tips?  Have you tried Gu Brew?

Dad would have loved the Bud Plant rides.
Following the ride I took in some more fluids, packed the bike back into the car, and got into my running shoes.  I set out on my slightly over 4 mile brick run.  The first mile was hard, at least the weather was perfect.   The one thing I enjoy about brick workouts is my ability to hit my pace and keep it from the start of the run.  When I only run I tend to go out way too fast and have to reel myself in before I completely blow up.  After mile 1 my legs started to feel good and before I knew it I was at the turn around point and headed back toward the plant.  The run route I use is along the straight away that the cyclists are coming in on at the end of all the routes.  There is a steady flow of cyclists to motivate and encourage you along the way and the occasional 1 or 2 other runners enjoying a brick as well.  All in all the run was great - it was actually my fastest on this route out of the 3 brick workouts I have done there.

I wasted no time when I got back to my car and just drove home.  I stopped at the corner gas station to pick up two bags of ice so I could promptly begin an ice bath once home.  I drank chocolate milk, ice bathed, opened my thoracic spine up with my tennis ball trick, and all out recovered on Saturday afternoon.  Recovery did involve some school work - but never again - as I will no longer be a student in a very short time :)

Do you recover well after a long effort on the bike or run?  Do you ever have trouble sleeping after a long training day?

To my surprise I felt great on Sunday.  I wasn't sore at all and needed to get some energy out so I set up a practice area to go through my transitions.  With 100 miles behind my I will focus on Olympic distance for the next 2 weeks, and then drop my length of my rides a bit and build the length of my brick runs to be prepared for the Kinetic 1/2 in May.  Racing season is upon us and it kicks off this weekend for me with in Oly Tri on Saturday and a duathlon on Sunday.  My group ride this evening did show me that my legs are tired and I need more recovery and taper to perform my best this weekend.  But I have had a couple great run workouts both yesterday and today.
"I don't quit when I'm tired, I quit when I'm done."

Have you done any tri's or du's yet this year?  When does your multisport season kick-off?


  1. I use Gu Brew over nuun. I think it tastes a lot better. Anyhow, it sounds like you had a great confidence building weekend and that is always a good feeling.

    Good luck this weekend! My first tri of the season is on Sat. as well :) Also hopefully I get to met you at Kinetic.

    1. Yes, Gu Brew is pretty good. Good luck at Rumpass in the Bumpass! I will definitely meet you at Kinetic if not sooner, I'm back to DC in just 12 days :)