After our run, we stopped at home and got our gear ready for our weekly bike ride. We've really been ramping up the miles. We have 112 miles waiting for us on August 29th and we have got to get ready for it. Our friend and fellow Ironman Canada trainee planned the route. I told him we would follow him anywhere. He said it would be hilly. His definition of "hilly" is similiar to his definition of "fun". Whenever we are getting ready to do something really crazy and possibly painful, we always say "it will be so FUN".
Hilly, was an understatement! We all left from our own houses and met up about 10 miles into the ride. We headed north into Ridgefield, Lacenter and then out to Woodland. About 20 miles into the ride we got rained on. We had another friend, Ron, joining us and he decided to call the ride for rain. He turned to go back and we figured what the hell, we are already out here, might as well keep going. The rain did let up after a bit and the rest of the ride was very comfortable (weather wise). We tackled the hills out to Woodland. Then we did a big flat loop and ran into some wind. Then it was time to head back through the hills to our original meeting point.
Doug had told me about this one hill that he said was his favorite. "Nothing too bad, just a long uphill where you scoot back in the saddle and pedal". Sweet Jesus....this hill was never ending. It was 20 minutes in the lowest possible gear, powering through, with no reprieve. There was a rushing waterfall and creek next to the road and Doug said "your legs are fluid like the water". Every now and then, we'd come around a corner and I would think we were at the top....then, it just kept going. My heart rate was around 169, on the flats it was about 140. Here's the crazy part. It felt good.
Once we reached the top, we had a lot of downhill to get us back to LaCenter. Then we had a few climbs back to our original meeting point. We went our separate ways, trying to find the least hilly route back to our house. We got home, put on our running shoes and did a little 10 minute transition run. I could have kept going. My stomach was a little bloated, I think I was dehydrated. I didn't take enough water for the long ride. Lesson for next time!
We finished up, ate some dinner and hit the couch. Exhausted and content. Today's ride really built my confidence on the hills. I mean, come on, 20 minutes of uphill. 20 minutes of the hardest you can work. It gave me a lesson in managing my effort. I didn't know how long that hill would be or what was around the bend and I think I did a good job of just being consistent and strong with my pedal strokes.
As we pulled into our driveway, I said to Trevor "if we just rode out to Frenchman's bar (an easy ride) we'd be around 110 miles. We both felt like we could have done that. THAT was a good feeling.
We have a marathon this Saturday and three weeks later a Half Ironman Triathlon. Its crazy to think that we spent all last year training for the Half Ironman. Before our last Half Ironman the furthest we had run was 15 miles, the longest bike ride we had done was 4 hours/55 miles (and we only did one that long) and our longest workout day was right around 5 hours. This year we have already done two marathons and have another next week which will make three, we will have done 3 or 4 rides over 55 miles and our longest workout days will be over 8 hours (and there will have been 3 or 4 of those). I feel so much more prepared for this event. Its also crazy to think that was the culmination of all our training last year and this year it will be our first triathlon of the season.
It was so fun to ride this ride yesterday and see my two partners in crazy - Trevor and Doug up ahead of me. It doesn't get better than that. I love how far we've come. I love how far we have yet to go. I am enjoying the ride, enjoying the climb. I am focusing on the uphill battle, not what is waiting on the other side. I really want to enjoy this ride, because if you don't enjoy it, what's the point?