Sunday, June 20, 2010

Long Ride Day

So today was my long ride day...   and boy did I ever do a long ride. In fact it was my longest to date.  But before I go into that...  here's a quickie catchup to the silliness that happened after my long run yesterday.

So I ran 13 miles in the morning and then got cleaned up.  Then my friend Andrew and I headed into town to go get some lunch and browse the shops.  At least that was our initial plan...   but then it turned into lets go for a walk.  Ok I thought...  how bad can it be.  I'm a little sore but so what.  Well....  the walk turned into a long walk on this very rocky beach.  Which meant it was a lot of work to get from point A to point B as you were constantly off balance.  It was actually quite a good workout.  Problem being I had already gotten one of those already!  At the end of this rocky beach we took a different trail back to the car to avoid having to go back over the rocks again.  This trail was a very steep one.  So with every step my right hamstring was screaming as it was already sore after my run and all this vertical climbing wasn't helping it any.  And then after we made it back to the truck we drove around the island to the lighthouse on Cattle Point and then walked about there for a while.  Which was about the time I cried uncle and asked if we could stop walking.  My legs were done!  But really though it was all worth it...   as the pictures will show.
So that was the end of yesterday...  on to Today!

I was out the door and on the bike this morning by 930.  A bit of a late start but I allowed myself to sleep in so I'd be well rested for the long ride.  I was hoping to do a 70 mile ride today.  But I allowed myself the option to do only a 50 if I wasn't feeling up to the 70.  There are only so many miles of roads on this island, and sadly they are redoing some of them so instead of a big loop around the island I plotted an out and back course.  The only downside to the course was that part of the out and back also included an out and back to Cattle Point.  Cattle Point is the point on the bottom right of the map.  So essentially I left the house, went through Friday Harbor, around the point and then down all the way to the bottom of Cattle Point and back, and then continued on my route.  So it meant I did the Cattle point out and back twice.  Fortunately that part of the route is rather beautifull.  Even when the weather sucks.  Incidentally the pictures of the lighthouse and the tall grasses above were also taken at Cattle Point.  Heres the map of my route today.

As you can see a lot of it was right on the coast today so there were some amazing views.  I felt really strong on the first 20 miles of the route despite the hills and despite the fact I knew there were some tricky hills and winding roads coming in the later half of the ride.  I think the first twenty miles were also the easiest.  There were plenty of rollers but they weren't that bad.  However after that it got a lot harder.  I headed back out of Cattle Point and towards the western side of the island.  The winds by the way starting at Cattle Point and all the way westward were brutal!  Lots of headwind and crosswind conditions.  As I rounded a corner around mile 30 I was greeted by this massive hill.  In fact I suddenly remembered this hill.  Last time I was out here Penelope and I ran up it.  Its the kind of hill that after you run up it you throw your arms in the air in a victorious manner.  Its a long long hill.  At least a mile, and its dead straight so you can see what lies ahead of you the whole time.  Riding up it was not as bad as running up it but it was a slow grind by the time I hit the top of it.  Fortunately the top has a nice flat bit on it to recover before you start going down again.  And as I was recovering and catching my breath a small group ride of 4 or 5 riders passed me.  Which had I known they were behind me I would have been riding harder.  Anyway...   I chatted with the lead rider and exchanged good mornings and then I sat up and let them pass.  There was a rather cute rider at the back of the pack who rode alongside me long enough to compliment my riding clothes and then they headed off.  I was wearing my Cannondale Red and White racing ensemble today.  Mostly so I could be super visible (its pretty bright!) on the narrown winding roads on the west side of the island).  Anyway she said something about how nice I looked in my Cannondale team outfit.  Its possible she was teasing me... but I'd like to think of it as she was flirting with me.  And since I'm telling the story thats going to be the official version.  I let that group get 20' ahead of me and then I followed their pace.  I didnt' want to hop onto her wheel as I felt that was rude.  Their group then pulled over at one of the scenic overlooks just down the road and I waved goodbye as I carried on.

At this point the roads get really narrow and really windy and you descend for quite a bit.  Its quite tricky, but I had a lot of fun bombing down the hills as much as I dared and leaning the bike over left and right around all the bendy bits.  At this point I was at 30 miles.  I was hoping that this far would get me to 35.  So the last five miles I had to work my way inland to make up.  And there were some obnoxious climbs on those five miles.  Each one followed by a quick descent so that the way back would be just as bad.  I was starting to feel a little tired and the rapid succession of tricky climbs did its best to slow me down and tire me out.  But I persevered.  I was so happy when my watch said 35 miles and I knew I could turn around.

So on the way back I had a bailout location that would cut my route to 50 miles.  But by mile 40 I knew I felt well enough to carry on and go for 70.  The only problem was fluids.  I only had two bottles with me.  So rather than try and wind my way back into town and then out again I decided to just carefully ration my fluids.  Which worked out ok.  I was a little thirsty at the end, but not too bad.  All those lovely descents towards the 30 mile mark meant I had quite the long series of climbs to get back to the Cattle Point out and back.  I fought through those and then I had a blast flying down into Cattle Point.  I knew those roads pretty well by now so I had no fear and really went for it.  New max descent speed of 38.2 mph!  That was FUN!  Theres a fast descent with some nice corners in it with good visibility so I took them nice and wide and FAST.  I was having fun!  Of course this fun turned into suffering when I had to climb back up that descent, but it was worth it.  The rest of the ride passed without too much fuss.  I was pretty tired by mile 60 but knowing there was only ten miles to go helped.  I was really thrilled to reach 70 miles today.  I had considered trying to do a century ride out here, but I think I've decided to save that for the NBW ride.  That way I have a carrot hanging in front of me to reach for that day.  So 70 it was.  Great day today and great ride!  I'm really pleased with how I did.  Of course right now I'm all sore and stiff....  but at 37 I've come to realize this is the price I have to pay for hard workouts.  All in all I averaged 16mph.  Not spectacular, but considering the headwinds, crosswinds, technical route, and the HILLS!, I think thats quite acceptable for my first 70 miler.  So heres a snapshot of the elevation profile.  As you can see theres not a lot of flats out there.

Weatherwise today it was grey and cold.  I was in a bike jersey and shorts but I had arm and leg warmers on and I was borderline cold the entire time.  More so when I was on the exposed west side of the island.  Of course now that I'm inside and typing on the computer the sun is out.  Figures.  Oh well at least it didn't rain.  So here are some pictures from the ride today... the route was so beautifull.  Today was well worth the price to get my bike shipped out here.  So here are a couple shots from today's ride.

The rest of today has been spent eating and resting.  Amazing how hungry burning close to 2000 calories makes you.  Even after eating loads while on the bike.  Keep in mind I'm on vacation but here's what I've eated today so far....

three balance bars 600 calories
4 Powerbars 960 calories
4 Gatorades 500 calories
1 banana 100 calories
2 Cups of homemade granola with milk 250 calories
4 spoonfulls of ice cream! 150 calories
6 Oreos 150 Calories
2 Cheese Quesadillas 700 Calories

Total Calories so far...  3,490
Total Calories burned today 1800

So thats a net of 1690.  Still have 500 calories left for dinner.  Although I'm not even remotely hungry.

Ok...   thats enough rambling for one day...    hope everyone else had a great weekend of training too.  And no...  I don't usually eat oreas and ice cream.  They are never in my house.  But I'm not in my house...   and they were left unattended!

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