Monday, May 2, 2016

A day in the life of a long bike ride

Hey guys, so back when I was training for my very first marathon, I did a post, "A Day in the Life of a Long Run" and decided to go for it and try again. What is a day in the life of a long bike? Well, let's try it out.

7:10 a.m. - Alarm goes off. Ugh. With all the traveling I've been doing lately, I am overtired and in need of a day sleeping in, however, it isn't going to happen this weekend.

7:15 a.m. - Get out of bed. I set out my nutrition the night before and made my Gatorade, but I needed to finish filling up my water bottles and pack everything in the car. I also took the Gu Chews and Stinger Waffles I planned to eat out of the packages and into plastic baggies. Got dressed, double checked I had my bike shoes, run shoes, gloves, and everything else I needed. Ate some breakfast of Special K Chocolatey Delight in unsweetened almond milk with some raspberries.

7:55 a.m. - Leave the house. Drive the 45 minutes to the Budweiser Plant in Cartersville, GA.

8:40 a.m. - Arrive in Cartersville. Take my bike off my car, put together my nutrition and water bottles. Put on my bike shoes, put on my TomTom Watch and start to find signal since it has been taking a while lately. It immediately finds signal and I get ready to head out.

8:50 a.m. - Wheels rolling! As I pull out of the parking lot, I go to start my watch and when I press the button, it shuts off. I stop and unclip and realize the watch is completely dead. I have a moment of panic and thinking, "I had this effing watch!" and realize I just need to do the next best thing and pull out my phone to use that to track my distance. I'm worried because the battery on my phone has been dropping really fast lately and it died on me the weekend before when I used it to track my run. I am nervous about being out on the road and having my phone die but also want to track the route, so I start my phone and figure I will just have to not check it too often to preserve battery.

I didn't check my watch throughout the route because I wanted to preserve the battery power. Therefore, I don't know exactly where or what miles I had these various thoughts but here is rough estimates.

Mile 3 - This feels terrible. I am going so slow? Is it the wind? Can I blame the wind?

Mile 4 - EW. The cows and the fields smell DISGUSTING today. Is it the heat? Is there something going on? This is horrible and I can barely breathe.

Mile 5 - Oh yeah, don't forget to eat and drink while I am riding. *Eats some Gu Chomps*

Mile 6 - Ugh, my butt already hurts. How does it already hurt? Usually it doesn't start hurting until further into the ride. It must have been from the seat of the bike that I rode on Thursday. This is going to be a long ride. Remind myself that my butt may hurt a lot in the moment but it won't hurt later.

Mile 10 - I actually know this route pretty well now, that's sort of neat! Next landmark to pass should be that fun and winding road.

Mile 13 - Weeeee! I actually really like this part of the ride. Lots of rolling hills and ends with a big downhill. This is definitely one of my favorite parts of this route.

Mile 15 - What. The. Heck. Has this hill always been here? I definitely don't remember this hill. Does my bike have any lower gears? Am I going to make it up? Okay good, made it up. And oh yeah, that's that point where that one time I was riding that I saw a guy fixing his bike.

Mile 17 - Pass the church where we have stopped on past group rides. The route splits here to go left to continue the 31 mile route and stay straight for the 48 route. I know for sure that this is 17 miles into the ride.

Mile 18 - I definitely don't remember this hill either. I feel like I am crawling. *Checks again that I have no more gears left to turn to*

Mile 18.5 - This doesn't even look like a hill anymore but I am still in my lowest gear, what the heck. I am legit crawling.

Mile 20 - This part sucks. When is there a fun part? Are we almost back yet? Oh yeah, and don't forget to keep eating! *Eats some more Gus and Waffles*

Mile 22 - Are we almost back yet? Shouldn't we be almost back yet?

Mile 24 - Okay, there's gotta be something weird going on because it smells TERRIBLE.

Mile 25 - DOWNHILL IS FUN! I am getting so much better at not being scared to go fast and challenge myself to not use the breaks on the downhills and practice my control and steering. It's pretty fun!

Mile 27 - Pass the big church that looks like a mansion and try to bike as far away from it as possible because there are guys in big hazmat suits with spray painters that are painting the picket fence around it black. I do not want any of that paint to get picked up in the wind and end up on me!

Mile 29 - Almost back!!! Almost back!!!

Mile 31 - Return to my car. I finished my first loop!! Pause my phone and see that it took me about 2:15 hours for the first loop of 31. I know that is a under a 15 mph pace obviously, but just figure to do the best I can. I refill my water bottle and my Gatorade bottle and start my phone and head back out.

Mile 36 - Pass the split where there is a 14 mile route to the right and the 31 mile route to the left. I turn to the left and realize that I'm committed now. I am biking this thing again!

Mile 41 - I really know this route well. It doesn't even feel weird to be passing this again, I'm pretty badass. Let me just get past these beginning miles when there are more cars on the road and out to the back roads. Those roads are fun.

Mile 44 - Okay, I still love this part of the ride but it is definitely a bit harder the second time around. Don't forget to capture all the free speed on the downhills!!  But okay, take a break from pedaling on some and just coast a tiny bit and lift my butt off the seat.

Mile 45 - My god, my butt hurts. I think it is easier to just stay seated and hurts more when I sit back down after standing up. Eh, but it still feels good to stand up.

Mile 48 - Pass that church again. I am halfway through my second round! I would celebrate but I remember there are some hills coming up. Let me take a quick pause here at the church to finish eating all of my Stinger Waffles.

Mile 49 - I am running out of water and Gatorade. Dang it. I definitely was thirstier this second loop around. I wonder if that means I should have drank more on the first round? But I physically couldn't carry any more water on the bike so I did the best I could. I guess I will just have to be conservative with this water until I get back.



Mile 54 - See some people up ahead. I wonder if I will pass them. It looks like I am catching them, even though I am not particularly trying to, I wonder if I will. *Catch up and pass them*

Mile 56 - Woohoo!!! Everything after this point is officially extra mileage. I have ridden the distance of the Half Ironman for the first time. I pause to take a picture at the 56 mile mark and check my phone that it is pretty much exactly 4 hours at 3:59:50.  I figure this is about what I estimate I will do in the race. *People pass me again*


Mile 57 - Bike slows down........ Okay, there is too much left to coast to the finish. I still have 6 miles to go.  I'm tired. What if the course is really hard? Say it takes me 4:30 to do the bike. And then the run is super hard and it takes me 3 hours. That would be 7:30 and the cutoff is 8:30. I think I could do my transitions and swim in under an hour, so hopefully I actually finish this race.

Mile 58 - Pass that stupid church again. Why did they spray paint their fence black? Literally every other place out here has white picket fences. It looks terrible. What weirdos. *Pass the couple again I'm playing leap frog with.*

Mile 60 - Sky is getting pretty dark and I start to feel some rain drops. Looks like I might get caught in the rain! That wouldn't be the worst thing, as long as my phone is okay. *Take the plastic bag my waffles were in and turn it inside out and put my phone inside. There!*

Mile 62 - Almost there. Almost there. Almost there. OMG I FINISHED. I FINISHED!

I put my bike on the back of my car and take out the water bottles and lock it all up. I change into my running sneakers from my bike shoes and just throw the bike shoes, helmet, and gloves into my car. My watch is still dead and it is now thundering out and rain drops are starting to fall so I don't want to take my phone.

1:24 p.m. - I just check the time and it is 1:24 so I figure I will just go out and run to the stop sign and back. It is probably about a mile and I'm okay with a 10 minute-ish brick, as I am worried about the thunder (I'm okay with the rain - that actually feels good!)

As I head out of the parking lot, I run into my friend Kathi and her friend who are returning from their run. We pause for a second as Kathi asks how my ride was and I cheer that I just did my furthest ever of 62 miles. They did the same as her friend Karen is training for the same race I am. They did the 48 + 14 mile loops though. She tells me if I don't text her for my next ride, she is going to be mad and to have a good run and not get caught in the rain. I say thanks and head out.

Feel good on the run, turn around at the stop sign and return to my car.

1:37 p.m. - I see my phone says it is now 1:37 so I figure it was probably about 12 minutes of running. I feel a little guilty I didn't run longer, but pack up my things and organize them a bit more in the car, change into flip flops, and pull out of the parking lot as the rain really starts to pour.

1:47 p.m. - Wonder if I should stop for coffee on the way back. I am almost out of water and am so thirsty too. I figure I will wait a little longer. I call my mom and call Brick to tell them about the ride.

2:20 p.m. - Phone calls kept me distracted so I never stopped for coffee. Realize I went East on the highway rather than West. Damnit. Get off the exit and turn around.

2:30 p.m. - Stop at Starbucks then head home.

3:00 p.m. - Guzzle water, shower, and drink my iced latte laying on the floor and stretching. I also scrounge whatever food I have in the house after being out of town and eat some clementines, grapes, carrots, and a yogurt. Realize I am going to need to go out for some dinner.. In the meantime, catch up on my TV shows and watch Mindy Project, Law and Order: SVU, New Girl and Broad City.

3:30 p.m. - Facetime with my mom and have her comment, "Woah, you look tired."

5:30 p.m. - Text a friend to see if she wants to meet for dinner.  Continue to drink lots and lots of water so that I am hydrated for my run in the morning.

6:45 p.m. - Meet at Grub burger with my friend Shelby from the gym. Contemplate a salad or a burger and end up with a burger and decide to split sweet potato fries with Shelby. Well, actually, she orders them and I just eat all of hers. I do manage to resist the urge to get a milk shake, which looked delicious! Skip beer and drinks too, continue with water.

7:45 p.m. - Hang out chatting until the thunder and rain storm that had rolled through eases up a bit.

8:00 p.m. - Return to the couch. Do some blogging. Watch some random television. Do some laundry and clean up around the house. Life is exciting as a single 29 year old training for a triathlon.

10:00 p.m. - Head to bed! Play around on my phone for a bit and read a little, because who goes right to bed?

10:25 p.m. - Receive a phone call from my college roommates who are all in Syracuse for the weekend for a bachelorette party that I unfortunately had to miss. Catch up on some of the happenings in Cuse but excuse myself to head to bed.

10:30 p.m. - Set my alarm to be able to get up and run in the morning. My biggest Saturday of training complete! Woohoooo!!!!

1 comment:

  1. yesss! i was waiting for our shout out! ps: had to google wtf a stinger waffle is - you are so hardcore! love you, proud of you (even though we missed you this weekend) xoxoxoxo