I wasn’t too sure this bike ride was going to happen. My knees get a bit grouchy when the miles start adding up and I have to take it easy. I skipped time on the trainer on Friday and iced them instead. I woke up Saturday morning and they felt alright so I decided to go for it.
It was really important to me to get the distance in not only for the endurance, but for the fueling aspect as well. I’ve only rode 50 miles one other time and it was rough. My legs got really shaky and I felt like I just didn’t have the energy to keep pedaling. I’ve just never really been able to get the nutrition part of cycling down. I always realize I’m running on empty around the same time I hit the wall. Obviously, when I have to follow up the ride in Augusta with a half marathon, that is not an option.
I made my way out to the Suncoast Parkway just before 6am. It’s a bit of a drive but it was still dusk when I got there.
I’d been feeling like I was forgetting something all morning but couldn’t imagine what it was. I grabbed the sunglasses I had with me and they literally broke to pieces in my hand. They’ve been in my car all summer. No surprise they were damaged from the heat.
After getting everything together I got on my bike, then dropped the chain immediately. Man, there just wasn’t going to be an easy start to my day. I got the chain back on and got out on the trail.
About a quarter mile onto the trail and realized what I’d forgotten, my helmet. Clearly, it was too early for this girl. Luckily it was in my transition bag in the car. There is no way I’d ride without one.
For the first time in months there was a cool morning breeze that made the first ten miles fly by. I stopped somewhere around 12-13 and had a GU.
My pace was a lot slower than I would have liked it to be. I was getting really discouraged about it until I just decided to focus on the distance today and worry about the speed later. It’s amazing how quickly we can change our thinking.
The next stop I made was somewhere around 25 and I had some water and half of a PB&J Bonk Breaker.
The next 10 miles went surprisingly well. It really wasn’t until mile 35 that I started to notice I was getting tired. I contemplated cutting the ride to 40 at this point. However, my legs weren’t shaky and I didn’t feel totally drained like I have in the past. So I decided to push through it and continue the last 10 miles.
I stopped around mile 40 and had some GU chomps. The Gu Chomps definitely helped and I actually felt a lot better at then end.
After getting off my bike I still felt pretty well. The Gu an Bonk Breaker sat well in my stomach, which is good because thats what they’ll have on course at Augusta.
I know I still have a long way to go as far as my cycling endurance goes. I’m still not pleased with the pace but am going to continue to work on it. That’s why I’m training after all. No one said this was going to be easy…
If you had asked me when I started training what I was most nervous about I would have said the swim, hands down.
Now, it’s the bike.