Saturday, August 28, 2010

My first 50 mile ride

Urgh. That pretty much sums up how I feel right now. I just got back from my first 50 mile bike ride. I whipped up a smoothie, settled into my favorite chair, and uploaded my workout data from my Garmin 305. Now I can share my pain with all of you, my faithful blog followers, and yes I know who both of you are.

I rode over 40 miles once, a couple of weeks ago. It was nice, but I rode on the Swamp Rabbit trail and the trail is flat, well as flat as you can find in upstate South Carolina. Even then, I could tell my bike endurance significantly weakened after about 35 miles. Well today's ride was more challenging. I have a 20-25 mile loop that I have been riding for the last year. When I used to do the Saturday morning group rides from the Carolina Triathlon Shop on Woodruff road, this was basically the loop we took. I like it as it is scenic and mostly on rural, low-traffic roads.

So my brilliant idea was to simply do two of those loops or some derivation thereof to get in my mileage goal for today. I knew that it would be tougher than the Swamp Rabbit trail ride because this loop is all rolling hills with some short steep climbs. Nothing that a seasoned rider would have any trouble with, but still tough for this 240lb newbie.

So I knew it was going to be challenging going into it, but I made it more challenging than it needed to be. First I did not eat anything this morning before going for the ride. I usually don't eat before my morning workouts, unless they are over an hour and a half, and since this was a 3 hour ride, I should have eaten something before starting. Also, I have been pushing my legs harder this week than normal, so they legs were already tired.

Well I must have looked pretty rough around mile 46 because a bicyclist going the opposite direction asked me if I was going to be OK, with a serious look of concern on his face. I said yeah, and that I was just tired. I think he wasn't used to seeing someone on a road bike riding up a hill at 5 mph, but at that point in the ride that was what I was doing. I tried to not push too hard on the first loop, because I wanted to ensure that I would finish the ride, and not decide to cut it short. I was determined to get in 50 miles today. I have planned on getting that mile stone for some weeks now, but I kept cutting the previous rides short. I did not really care how slow I was today, as long as I got in all of the miles, not stopping at 33, or 47, but to do a full 50. Now I can work on making that 50 faster.

Well, my wife is heading to the mall to get more maternity clothes, and my daughter just laid down for her daily nap. I think it is the perfect time for me to take a nice recovery nap as well.

1 comment:

  1. Get your rest Tony. I've got to hit a 60 miler tomorrow, as my HIM is only 2 saturdays away. i'm not really looking forward to it.

    i've taken plenty of hills around greenville at 5 mph or less! there's no shame in it at all. but you've got to get used to the fueling needed for race day. eating and drinking enough on the bike is key, especially since it will setup your hydration for the run.