I realized that if I added .15 miles at the end of my run I could use that title, so I committed to it early on, and then wanted to die and cursed myself for it repeatedly. You're welcome.
All my usual training buddies had the audacity to be busy this weekend, so I was forced to train all alone. I was starting to get pretty paranoid about the Half Ironman. I've done some long rides, and they went fine, but I've never felt like "yippee, now I can't wait to run a half marathon!" after any of them. This was most likely related to my major hydration and nutrition fail during every single one of them. With GORUCK next weekend, a bike ride is out. The following weekend I don't know if I'll be recovered, and then I only have one more weekend before the race. So if I wanted to get this sorted out, it was now or never.
That's right, it was time to get my head out of my ass and start doing some serious eating and drinking on the bike. Then I needed to actually do some real running after and see if it worked.
Problem #1 - I didn't know how to get to my food on the bike. I got this fuel pouch so that I could actually reach my granola bars. I forgot it was pink and got super excited when it arrived.
I brought four of the squares with me, and they fit perfectly. The pouch was easy to open and close on the bike, and I was able to eat them all without a problem.
Problem #2: I couldn't hydrate on the bike. I suck at getting the bottle out of the holder, and I also dropped it a million times trying to put it back in last week. I didn't want to wear my camelback because my back already hurts by the end of long rides.
It was time to stop being a whiny little bitch. If I don't hydrate properly in a 70.3 mile race, my back hurting is going to be the least of my problems. I drank my entire 2 liter camelback today and felt good.
|My bike shoes were in the car. Don't judge.|
Finally, I had a route, and I set out on Saturday afternoon.
My route met all my needs, but I immediately ran into my next problem.
Problem #4: Traffic lights. I live in suburbia, and was heading into the city, so it shouldn't have come as a surprise, but somehow I failed to consider it. I literally was hitting a light every single mile, if not more. I was getting really upset because this constant stopping and waiting wasn't really preparing me for race day. There wasn't really much I could do though, so I forged on.
Overall, the ride was pretty good, even with the never ending traffic. It was pretty cool to realize that I could handle biking in a busy, urban area, and possibly I can use my bike to commute in addition to exercise. I think the tourists were actually more dangerous than the cars. While waiting for a marching band to pass, I got some pictures at Fort McHenry.
|You have to imagine the Star Spangled Banner playing.|
|Riding near water is scary|
I told myself I could plod along as slowly as I wanted, as long as I covered ten miles, be it running, walking, or crawling. After five miles, I checked my Garmin and did a movie quality dramatic double take when I saw I was running at an 8:50 average pace. I took a Gu and turned around. The way out is a net decline, while the way back is mainly uphill, but I somehow ended up with a 9:06 average pace. I did walk up one hill because of a side stitch.
This run wasn't easy. I felt like death at the end. After the first 100 meters or so I couldn't complete a coherent though.
Bright side: I did some math (prior to the run) and figured out I would probably need 12 minute miles to finish the Half Ironman before the cutoff. I honestly had no idea what running would feel like at the end of such a long race, and thought it might involve a lot of walking, so the 12 minute mile thing worried me. I feel much more confident now.
Of course, now I'm wondering how much waiting at the stop lights "saved" my legs and how much this brick really counts. At the end of the day though, I did cover 50 miles on my bike, and it certainly wasn't easy.
This picture doesn't fully show how filthy I was at the end.
Beautiful blurry exhausted self portrait at the end. I read in Runner's World that stretching to Seinfeld reruns is more effective.
The new wide noodle huggers are perfect under a bike helmet. Real or not real? REAL.
- When eating on the bike, only take bite sized pieces out. It's impossible to brake holding food. Or, whatever food you grab, shove it all in your mouth.
- This was my first long ride without a bathroom break. I survived.
- Also my first long ride without any Advil for my back/shoulders/neck. Again, I survived.
- Possibly the four granola bar squares weren't enough, because all I could think about was food for 90% of my run.
- I left the house at 12:40 and didn't get back until nearly 7pm. Damn you traffic lights. I remember when I used to think training for a 50 mile race was time consuming.
If you're still reading, I applaud your determination.