Wednesday, June 2, 2010

My crotch is killing me ... a Memorial Day Wknd recap

Get your mind out of the gutter! This is family-friendly blog!! :) Cycling. I'm talking pubic bone bruising. No one really talks about out ... but I will!

Okay, so it was great weather for the weekend here in Cleveland, Ohio. I had to work a bit on Friday and Sat., and I had my 3 chicklets for the weekend, so it was pretty mellow the first two days. Sunday, my friend Ben mentioned a 5 mi run ... my ears perked up!!! What? Where? Blossom Time Festival in Chagrin Falls. Actually 5.25 miles. And, there's a carnival! Goody, I can bribe my kids!!

We arose early on Sunday - far too early for my poor chicklets, who were awakened between 5 and 5:30 for 3 days in a row now, and would be again tomorrow. We loaded up and headed out to the race. My oldest and her friend, were to be "in charge" of my younger two. This would be a first. I was a bit nervous about that. We had talks ad nauseum about stranger danger, code words, emergency contacts, sticking together and moving as a UNIT. Where to be at the start, where they could be while I ran, and where to be 45 minutes later. Unfortunately, I was all wrong in interpreting the course map so they waited and waited, no one was coming! The finish line was a mile south! UGH. But, they did very well and stayed where I instructed.

It was sunny and toasty! I could feel the sun baking me as we waited for the start. I felt pretty good. I was hoping to run under 40 ... until I remembered the 0.25 after the 5 mile mark, then I gave myself the goal of running under 42. It was a pretty hilly course. I don't have the same visceral reaction to hills on a run that I do to hills on a bike. Much of the course was in the shade. TONS of runners - always good for the mind - chunk off another runner, then another, then another. I hit the 5 mi mark and looked at my Garmin: 40:00. I'd need to pick it up to break my 42! And I did!! 41:42. I was pretty happy. Never mind my name is listed as Jeffary Heirdel on the results page. Someone must have been in a hurry because I've always been told I have neat handwriting!

Now it was time to pay the piper and take those kids to the carnival. I wrestled with all-day pass and tickets. Frankly, in the heat, and with the early start, we didn't seem to have much gas left. Kids finally agreed to tickets, accepting that they had a fixed number and it was their responsibility to ration them. I definitely think that was the right way to go - less expensive and we were on our way home in 1.5 hrs.

Monday - Memorial Day. I had planned to join Akron Bike Club (ABC) in their long ride out to Burton. I dropped kids off at their dad's and headed out to Cuyahoga Falls. We biked ~7.5 miles to the "start" at Hudson H.S. - met up with the group and headed out. I knew this would be a challenging day! This would be - if completed - the longest I've ever ridden. I'm looking forward to completing my first century ride here soon.

The ride out wasn't too bad. Some hills, mostly rollers. Good weather. Nice pace. Felt fabulous. Stopped in Burton for lunch ... and waited. And waited. Seems Cleveland Touring Club (the OTHER CTC) had the same idea. ABC cyclists spread out over 3 restaurants. We chose one - and chose badly. They were totally unprepared for the volume of diners. We sat, I think, for 1.5 hours. Baking in the sun. Getting sleepy. It was nice to meet some new people. Lunch finally arrived - Tuna Melt -and I inhaled mine! New guy Joe had pancakes - I coveted them.

Then, the dark clouds began to roll in. We were last served, despite the fact that we arrived before at least 2 groups. Oh well, the servers were apologetic. We paid and headed back.

The rain began. We opted to stay on course, not short-cut it. The rain grew heavier. We all stopped to shut off our phones. I made a mental note to never cycle without a ziploc over my phone again - pleading with God not to ruin my phone! I am not in the market to be replacing a phone at this particular moment! (It survived!) We pressed on. Climbing hills in a torrential downpour at times. Then, the wind came. I heard Joe say "Ugh. Too many pancakes". That cracked me up and I was kind of slappy-happy by this time. I couldn't stop laughing. I was so tired. So soaking wet. Yeah, next?? Thunder and lightning. There were 5 of us - although the fifth person wasn't the same, but morphed between 3 separate people without my noticing the departure and arrival of anyone - weird. Someone said, "is this safe? Should we be riding in lightning?" Ah, yep!! GOT TO GET HOME! It seemed like FOREVER. FOR.EVER.

I had a complete mental breakdown between miles 34-46. I was having a mental pity party for myself. My BG was all over the place - or so it seemed - I couldn't really confirm it because, you know, we were in a tsunami. I wanted to stop, curl into the fetal position, and cry like a baby. And my crotch was sore. Oh, so sore. WHY, oh why did I CHOOSE to do this??

We got to a point where we could go one way and tackle "the wall" or go another and avoid it. F the wall. I'd have ridden solo if they'd have chosen to tackle the wall - but most were of my mindset, I think, much to Steve's chagrin, and we took the alternative route.

FINALLY, the rain let up. The sun came out. With this, my mental state turned around too. I got a second wind. I could see that we were nearing our return destination. I got a tiny surge of energy. It lasted precisely 14.7 seconds. I was elated to see Hudson H.S. - the most glorious of visions on this day!!

I was bonking. Physically. Mentally. I stopped to check BG. 114 - perfect. Dang, I couldn't blame this on diabetes ... We still had the final ~7.5 miles home to do. I pleaded to get me home the easiest way possible. It felt like FOREVER. As we entered the development, we were JUST shy of 75 miles ... wanting to be able to mean it, we circled around the development streets until the odometer flipped to 75. OMG - the longest ride EVER. Almost 5 hrs on the bike, and 7 since we left. And I think I want to do an Ironman??? I cannot even fathom doing an additional 37 miles, THEN RUNNING A FREAKIN' MARATHON AFTERWARD. I am insane. Truly insane. I see that now. Delusional.

Exhausted. But happy. I built base! I completed 75 miles. It wasn't pretty. It wasn't always fun. But I did it!! And I will say, there were times - several - where I felt euphoric and had an attitude of gratitude. I'm amazed at the swing of emotions that happen out there!

Then I have this great idea ... a hill workout. Tomorrow. On my sore crotch. ABC's Chutes and Ladders ride.

Little did I realize just how bruised my pubic bone was - brutally sore!! People, let's be frank!!! It takes lots of time in the saddle to get used to sitting on that torture device! I muscled through with a double dose of Aleve.

I went in with a good attitude, but felt a little scared. The "lesser" hills DID feel easier to me. But then ... Oak Hill. Or, Oak Hell. I made it ~25% up the hill - at best - before I came to a standstill and dismounted. I walked a bit and tried to move up it again ... I couldn't get the necessary spin to even re-clip on crashed onto the berm. DONE! Walking it. Cursing. Trying not to cry. Grrrrr.

The rest of the ride was still pretty good, and I'm feeling stronger on lower grade climbs. I'm just not ready for Oak Hell. And some other ugly hill that I couldn't complete. Then my right knee started to be a little painful. Uh oh. I've been lucky - no injuries. I saw that my cleat had shifted about 5 mm and hopefully that was the problem. I didn't have the tools to fix it mid-ride, but I positioned my leg to find the sweet spot so the knee didn't hurt and finished the ride. Riverside is the return road, I believe, and that was a fun return route. I backed off the speed a bit, and just had a tempo ride back to the lot. Then a quick 1.5 miles just to practice running off the bike. I don't do enough of that!! That first mile is tough - then my legs find their groove. No knee pain on the run - making me feel a whole lot better.

That's it for the week. At best I'll do a swim or two, and an easy run, but I need to recover from Mon/Tues, as I'm heading to HILLY Connecticut to do the Rev3 70.3 on Sunday.

When I did my first half IM, my goals were: 1) finish and 2) try to go under 7 hrs. I did both. On a FLAT course. As you are finding out, my bike leg has a great room for improvement, so I had hoped my SECOND 70.3 would be to go under 6 hrs. Now that I'm hearing details of the course, I think I need to reconsider my goals. Geoff's words ring in my head: "not every race can be a PR race" I'll stick with: 1) finish and 2) try to go under 7 hrs. Anything else is icing on the cake. The reality is that this weekend is NOT a key race for me, but a base builder. I positioned this race, and next month's 70.3 so that I would be forced to amp up the mileage as I head toward September and my first Ironman race. I must keep perspective. I must work on building fitness, base, and mental toughness. I've made some headway, but I still have a LONG way to go, in all areas.

Peace out!

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