Monday, June 04, 2012
So how did it go? It sucked. It utterly and totally sucked. There were no major suckages - no bad falls, no flat tires, no snow storm. But there were so many minor suckages (see photo of pavement I was riding on, for instance!) that it added up to one big bad long day of Suck. Luckily, the motto of the day is "Embrace the Suck", so as I grumbled my way along, making deals with myself like "If you don't call Wayne to come pick you up right this instant, you can grab some ice cream on the way home" (I did neither, thankfully), I tried to believe that getting through this day would make me stronger in the Ironman to come.
So what went right? All the important stuff went right. Pacing was good. I rode 112 miles with 4800 feet of climbing. My intention was to nail the pacing on the climbs, keeping my heart rate in the Z1 to low-Z2 zone for most of it (for those of you not conversant with heart rate zones, for me that means keeping it under 143 beats per minute. That means going easier on the hills than I normally do, and it felt weird. Since I was wearing everything I'll wear in the race, that means I was all kitted out with my dorky Pointy Helmet of Speed on. So crawling along up the hills, I was really hoping I didn't get passed by the Granny Brigade on mountainbikes or something, it would just be too humiliating. Luck was with me (sort of), the day was too crappy and cold for anyone who is not totally Stoopid or Bat Shit Insane to be out on a bike. Obviously, I fall into one or both of those categories.
Nutrition was good for the most part. I worked my new drink bottle systems (Torhans and Speedfil) and took along a 6-hour mixture of Infinit, which is basically like sugary salty sludge, washing it down with water. I also used some Bonk Breaker bars, which they'll have on the course. The one thing I didn't have with me was anything with CAFFEINE, which as it turns out, I desperately needed. So I stopped at this little roadside store. I wish I'd thought to take a photo of the interior because the shelves were so empty that I thought they were going out of business. As it turns out, they're just on such tough times that they're having trouble ordering inventory. They literally did not have Coke. No Pepsi. Can you imagine a convenience store without these things? I felt so bad for them. They had one Dr. Pepper on the shelf and that was it! So I became a Pepper and glugged 10 oz. just for the caffeine.
Now, what went wrong? Did I mention the weather? How can this be June?? I am having the worst luck training for a June 24 Ironman in the crappiest spring that Oregon has ever brought forth. Actually, an 83 year old lady told me the other day that she had seen one worse spring, probably 50 years ago or so. But this is pretty bad. Rainy. Cold. Bleh. I got chilled down and couldn't seem to warm up much, even on the climbs, which were considerable.
The bottom line was that for much of the ride, I couldn't get above 14 - 16 mph due to road surfaces, which made this ride SO MUCH LONGER than I thought it would be. Combined with the craptastic weather, and three days of poor sleep beforehand, it felt like one giant 7-hour bonkfest with constant vigilance for potholes and tree roots, and chatter from the bad pavement thrown in. By the time I got home, I was utterly and totally depleted. But... I did it. And I am stronger for it. At least that's what I'm telling myself.