Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Hot, Hilly Ride

I am pretty sure that my legs are going to be ready to disown me by the time this week is over!  I’ve been working them hard!!  I was on my feet for several hours yesterday at the Calgary 70.3 Expo (which was a blast…more details to come in a later post).  Being on your feet for that long is exhausting though!  That probably explains why I fell asleep on the couch soon after arriving home from my volunteering duties.

This morning I had instructions to ride a hilly 100K, followed by a 45 minute brick run.  It was forecasted to be 30C (86F) and sunny.  I realize that for a lot of you in the south that isn’t very hot…but around here…that’s a scorcher!  Anyhow, this ride was supposed to be somewhat of a dress rehearsal for two weeks from now.  Practice my nutrition, pacing, mental strategies…you name it.  I was able to map out a nice rolling ride that would have a similar amount of climbing to the Lake Stevens 70.3 bike course.  Here’s the elevation profile for the LS bike:Lake Stevens Bike
Fun stuff, eh?  It explains why Angie wants me to ride a hill route as Lake Stevens has about 2260 feet of climbing.

I mixed up my Camelbak with Infinit, and carried an extra bottle of Infinit (good for another 2 hours), plus a bottle of water to dilute it down.  I brought a gel along just in case, but I already knew that I could rely on just drinking the Infinit and I’d be in good shape for the duration of the ride.  I hit the bathroom several times before leaving home, then made my way out the door. 

My first opportunity for a bathroom wouldn’t be until about 2 hours into the ride…and wouldn’t you know that I really, really had to go an hour in?  I started scouring the ditches trying to look for a spot with some half decent cover.  Unfortunately the road was busy enough that there always seemed to be a car coming.  It was all I could think about…  Finally I turned on to another road and after going up a hill things seemed somewhat more secluded.  Marginally.  After letting some cars and motorcycles go past I had my chance…  Relief!!!!!!  It is amazing how much more fun riding is when you don’t have a full bladder.

I had mapped out a route that included a turn down a secondary highway I hadn’t ridden down before.  Sometimes you never know whether these secondary highways are paved or not, but considering how long the highway was I assumed it probably was paved.  Turns out…it isn’t!  No problem, I knew there was a parallel paved road just north that would add a bit of extra distance on.  After 2 hours I made it to Bottrell for another bathroom break, a chance to refill the Camelbak, and an opportunity to get a bottle of Coke!  That stuff is seriously an elixir of the gods…it tastes so good at the end of a long ride!

The road to and from Bottrell is hilly…plus I was riding into a headwind.  Ugh…  My speed was dropping and it was getting harder to get up those hills.  As I turned onto Horse Creek road I knew I had some big hills still ahead of me, but that reprieve would be coming soon.  It was some serious slow going up the final hill…  As I made it on to the bike course portion of Horse Creek the traffic started to pick up.  Folks were obviously dropping their bikes off at T1 for tomorrow’s race and then were driving the bike course on the way out.  Luckily that was the point where the net downhill started so I started to pick up some speed.

Finally it was back on Highway 1A for a nice straight shot back home.  I just had to get Cochrane Hill out of the way.  That’s right.  I routed my ride to include Cochrane Hill on the way home, 56 miles in to my ride.  Riding up this hill I realized how hot it was, but I slowly and smoothly made my way to the top.  From there it was a high spinning, super fast ride back home, in aero most of the way.  Turns out that going aero with a Camelbak on isn’t so bad after all.

Once I made it home I changed out of bike shorts into a running skirt and set out for my brick.  I carried a bottle of Gatorade with me.  I haven’t used Gatorade on a run in a long time, but I wanted to see how it jived with the Infinit.  I’m not planning on carrying fluids on the run portion of Lake Stevens and the aid stations are serving Gatorade.  I figured this was a good chance to see how it worked!  It was so hot out…and it was about 2 pm.  I ran slow because of it (partially on purpose, and partially because my legs were bagged).  I was supposed to run for 45 minutes but that seemed like too long in this heat.  I cut it down to 25 minutes as I just hit a Starbucks and thought a nice iced coffee would be good right about then.  I can only hope that it won’t be quite so hot the day of Lake Stevens or it is going to be one brutal half marathon…

As for my elevation profile for today’s ride?  How does this look?Lochend - Horse CreekAll said, 68.56 mi (110 km) and 2343 feet of climbing.  Incidentally, this was a solo ride.  I had a chance to ride with a couple of my teammates getting ready for Ironman, but I wanted a route that would give me good rollers the whole way since I knew it would be good prep.

Busy day tomorrow… I hope everyone is having a good weekend so far!!


Badgergirl said...

Scary elevation map! But it sounds like you tackled the ride! Good job!

audgepodge said...

Looks brutal - great job, Leana! As usual ;)

lindsay said...

good lord look at the incline at ~mile 56! nice workout!

Wes said...

I did the same thing for Ironman. I knew they would have Gatorade on the course, so I switched to that for my training runs. Smart decision!!

Marlene said...

THat is one intense ride. Awesome job! Great prep for LS. I can't imagine a brick run at 2pm in that heat... good for you!