Monday, October 31, 2011

First Annual Longleaf Trace "Century" Ride

Morning temperatures hovered right around 40 degrees - what to wear, what to wear!  I ended up in a jersey, shorts, my Pearl Gavia jacket and therma-fleece tights.  Toe covers with little "hothands" in them, full gloves with more "hothands", an earband and the helmet insert that came with my Giro. I looked like a cycling ninja!!  I was quite comfortable.  Unzipped the jacket partway after about 30 miles and took off the earband at the turn.

Rolled out with the lead group - Sam and Lance (who were turning off at Sumrall) led us out at a nice 23 mph speed.  Yikes.... I was worried - there is no way I can hold that kind of pace for that long.  Thank goodness they pulled off - but the fun didn't end there.  Raland and Matt kept the speed pretty darned fast!  I was able to stay with the group through the section of the ride that went off the Trace.  It was hilly but really pretty.  Lots of horses and cows to greet the morning!

Once we got back on the Trace all was good for a while then I got dropped - probably around mile 45.  When I downloaded the data from my Garmin that is where my speed dropped from 20.6 to 18.6 - boo.  My training partner Lesley's husband Phillip was on the ride too and we rode in to the turn around together - picking up Matt who'd been dropped off the lead group too.  Refueled at the turn with some horrible tasting egg water (soon to be dumped and refilled at one of the water fountains along the Trace).  Grabbed some Nutter Butter Peanut Butter cookies and took off with the lead group again for the return trip.  I'd already decided that I wasn't going to do the section on the way back that went off the Trace (my legs were cooked).   Phillip didn't roll out with us for the return - he'd started his winter lifting and hadn't been riding as consistently for the last 3 weeks and his quads were cramping. 

I got dropped again off the lead group pretty darned fast!  Probably within the first 5 miles and gathered my head around the thought of riding in the 40+ miles or so by myself.  Then - a light bulb moment!!  Hello.... turn around and go find Phillip so we can ride back together - duh!!  So that's what I did.  He wasn't far back and we rode back side by side through the swirling winds and then head wind to The Gateway at USM.   I was pretty happy with our 93 miles, especially since we rallied a little bit in the last 15 miles and held over 18. 

I found out afterwards that the Century was really 104 and the second section where the ride went off the Trace was brutal!  I think I made the right call.  One thing I would have done differently though - I took my road bike and in retrospect should have used my
tri bike.  The effeciency of the tri bike would have helped me a lot when it came to staying with the group.  Live and learn!

Burned a lot of calories which was good because Sunday a bunch of family from New Orleans were coming up to watch the Saint's Game and eat.  And boy did we eat.. and eat and eat and eat.  Food coma soon prevailed.  

Distance: 93.09 miles
Average Speed: 18.3. 
Time: 5:05:06. 
Average Heart Rate 150 - Max 175. 
Elevation gain: 2,490.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Long Leaf Trace Century

Riding the Longleaf Trace Century this Saturday!  If I remember correctly the last century that I rode was summer before last in North Carolina.  I will admit that I'm a little concerned that I'll be dropped by my Saturday roadie cycling friends or worse... bonk! 

My training partners are all being smart and declining the challenge.  The tri-bike is staying at home for this one and Ruby (my Specialized road bike) will be my ride for the day.

I rode by myself last Saturday - everyone was either busy or doing a mountain bike race out of town.   Just before the turn around I came across this little fellow!  I called him and he came across the field to me so I rewarded him with my peanut butter crackers!  He was a very sweet little guy and took the crackers very gently.  One of my friends from Sunset Beach mentioned that he sometimes does his solo rides with a camera.  What a great idea I'm taking a real camera with me next time I ride by myself!!! 

My new friend!!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Off Season

A couple weeks ago I was SO not ready for tri season to end.  Today... I'm feeling a little differently about it.  The weather turned really chilly last night.  I met up with my training friends at the Mighty Magnolia Triathlon course to ride, run and swim a little and it was darn right cold this morning.  I would have liked to do a leisurely bike ride at 9am or so instead of the 7am start time we set.  I'm tired of hammering out every workout, I miss the conversational rides and am looking forward to them this fall and winter.  My friends all use a coach who gives them direction for pretty much every workout and I've been tagging along and obviously reaping the benefits, but this isn't how I've trained and raced for my 26 years.  And honestly I think that my casual attitude has been what has kept me in the sport and racing for so long.  Granted - the direction and coaching works but mentally it's beating me down to have every workout so scheduled.

I met Judy on the trace yesterday around noon for a run - and I thought we were just going to meet for an easy run.  Nope - 4 miles of effort.  I'm tired now.  I'm ready to relax.  I'm ready for the off season.

One more race for me - next Saturday here in Hattiesburg.  The local race!  Feeling a lot of pressure to do well.  Hope I can pull out one more solid effort.