My last post left you with a description of a half wonderful 90K (56 miles) Sunday ride, ruined by a strong headwind and cold sleet rain the entire 45K return. I also planned to ride another 94K (58 miles), on a much hillier route, the same course I will be riding in 12 days!!
So when my alarm went off at 6 am Tuesday morning I was less than enthusiastic to get up. My quads were still sore from my Sunday ride. I also knew (riding the course a few weeks back), what a tough, long ride I was in for. I also had to drive up to the race location (2 and half hours away) to get the ride in. To top it off, this was my last day of summer holidays. Our school had our first PD day today, so Tuesday was it.
I considered cancelling on my ride partner, but thankfully she was ready to go, and had no intentions of not wanting to do it.
So we drove up there, and it was nearly 10:30 when we arrived and I was already starving (my homemade flax bread and almond butter breaky would not cut it), so we went to Tim Hortons for a bagel and cream cheese, which really helped.
We unloaded our bikes, and after some issues with tire pressure (OK - it took us awhile to figure out how to inflate our tires, Hubs tends to take care of these things, but we were determined females, so we figured it out!) It was after 11:30 when we finally got started.
As we started out, my quad were really sore. I kept quiet about it, since I didn't want to bail on my riding partner. The course is one loop (all 94K), so you really shouldn't ride it alone, especially since some parts are on a highway. I just kind of ignored the pain and tried to focus on what a beautiful day it was.
And it really was a beautiful day. I found myself really enjoying the sites, and as my legs warmed up, the quad soreness disappeared and I felt huge surges of energy. I began to enjoy tackling the hills (well most of them - there are some doozies on this course), and the stunning scenery. It really is a beautiful course. I saw a deer at one point on the course, and the lakes sparkled like diamonds as the mid-afternoon Sun hit the water.
All throughout the ride I sipped water from my Camelpak, and took gels every 40 minutes or so. I also took a Clif Bar at the halfway point (on the advice of a Ironman expert), and although it was tough to choke down, it really gave me a TON of energy for the second half. I will definately do this again race day.
All in all, I felt great about the ride. When we finished we jumped in the lake (the same lake we will do our swim in) and it felt amazing on our quads. I knew I was officially on the taper!! Oddly I felt kinda of sad about this. Having only starting biking two months ago, I am really enjoying these long training cycles. It took me awhile to get used to balancing all my workouts (I really missed running 5 times a week at first), but now I feel like it was the best thing ever I could have done for myself this summer. I really love the variety, and I feel like my stamina has really improved! I know I am not 100% as prepared as I could be for this race, but I now know I can do this, and I am super excited about race day.
After our dip we refueled and drove back home. It was after 8pm when I finally got home, just enough time to prepare for work in the morning and get to bed.
It was a great day, the perfect way to spend my last day of summer vacation!