If you have been following me you know that of the three disciplines in triathlon, the bike gives me the most trouble. Every tri I do I get passed left and right (but mostly left) on the bike. I have found it difficult to improve on the bike for two reasons. One, it takes LOTS of time on the bike to get better. Where running for an 1-2 hours can really help your running, you need to spend at least 2-4 hours on the bike. And two, I get frustrated doing things I struggle at (who doesn’t). I find riding the bike hard so I have a difficult time pushing myself sometimes.
So yesterday I went out to do my longest ride to date, 70 miles. And while the scenery was beautiful, there were some ugly moments. Here are the details from the ride:
Here are the basic details from the ride. Most notable here is the elevation gain (which is very close to the elevation gain I will be doing in St. George), and my HR data. Usually my HR is MUCH higher than this. I am really happy with my HR numbers (I have been avoiding using my HR monitor but yesterday I thought it might be helpful).
Here is the map of where my ride took me. It was a beautiful day. Clear at first when I got to the beach, then foggy when I started my climb up Mulholland. The fog/clouds cleared up quickly and I had lots of warm sun on my shoulders (good thing I remembered the sunblock!)
So here is what went wrong…
One, I underestimated how long the ride would take me. Because of this I didn’t have enough food with me and not the right kind. I had a peanut butter and Nutella sandwich, one Perfect Fit Protein Cookie (which pretty much saved me), and two Gu’s. That was it! I was gone for over 6 hours and was riding for over 5. Plus I only had water. No electrolytes or extra carbs. Needless to say I was under-fueled and was feeling really bad by the end. So bad that I was in tears and if it wasn’t for the kindness of a friend I might not have made it home (I forgot to bring money also). But once I re-fueled yesterday I felt better almost instantly.
Two, I tried something new on my longest ride ever. All the clothes (except for my shoes and socks) were brand new. Luckily only one item of clothing gave me trouble, my new Skins tights. They were rubbing me in a place that was getting pretty uncomfortable and there was a patch of fabric under the knees that was really uncomfortable as well.
All of the mistakes I made are fixable and the fact that I didn’t call for a ride home has me feeling very proud of the ride. There were several places I could have turned left instead of right and got home faster but it was really important to me to do the distance. I am VERY nervous about the ride in Ironman St. George. I need to put in a lot of saddle time to feel more at ease about the upcoming race distance. Luckily I have 18 more weeks to go, and there are miles and miles and miles of roads to ride here!