Sunday, November 15, 2009

Last big Push..

This was on the schedule for yesterday: 5000 yard swim, 120 mile bike, 4 mile run brick after bike.  A month ago I would have said that was crazy, never could be done. But as the days of training have rolled on, so has my strength and confidence. Lastly being the B2B half IM, in which my confidence got a BIG boost with a 2nd place finish and a PR. So H & I were on track to do this thing yesterday, even after I obsessively looked at the weather the day before and decided to go with Accuweather, which is not necessarily so-but it said partly cloudy all day-humph! Anyway we knew it could rain anyway so came dressed accordingly.

We learned that the Westside gym does not open until 7:00 AM on Saturdays-are you kidding me? Guess you Westsiders all like to sleep in after a Friday night out...the peeps I know out there do NOT! Ok so we started at 6:00 AM at the Eastside gym, where I guess folks like to work out early on the weekends. We got to the pool at 6:10 and already all the lanes were taken-say what? We were pretty surprised but oh, well off to tackle to 3 miles of swimming. H decided we should break it down into 1000, 500-repeat times 3 after 500 warm-up. This proved to be a little faster, as we knew we had a big day in front of us. 1 hour and 50 minutes later I was in the shower and drying my hair. We arrived at the Westside gym and were off about 9:15. Who should we see but Steve B., who graciously rode with us the first 20 miles or so. He informed us cheerfully that the rain was coming at noon-thanks Steve..See our friend Joe is the local weatherman so Steve has the inside much for! It was cold to start, cloudy but not so bad. I warmed up quickly-that wasn't so hard. Steve also informed us it was goathead season-thanks Steve! More flats to worry about.. We got north to Bernalillo and beyond, heading out to San Felipe or Hollywood Casino. The clouds were all around us, but no rain yet. As we got to the dog part of the ride I saw a dog and we immediately considered turning back.(one of our friends got bit by a dog out there a couple of months ago and is still recovering-scary) Then we saw about 30 riders in a pack going the other way and let them get between us and the dog, who never seemed to see any of us..So got to the casino and H (who is never in a hurry, ever at stops) said Quick let's go-the rain is coming! I gulped down a Red Bull and then by golly I was ready to GO! I had this never-ending hunger the whole ride. I was not tired, my legs never hurt but I ate 3 bars, about 10 powergels, and 4 bottles of Mark Allen drink-and was still hungry from time to time. We shot back to Bernalillo into a headwind-of course..Then came the sprinkles. Nothing too strong, nothing that ever felt uncomfortable so we just kept plugging away. If I was not in such a hurry, I would have taken pictures, it was surreal..Dark clouds all around us and no real rain to speak of..We stopped minimally, just to eat, adjust, etc. By the time we were almost back to the car again-midpoint, the sun was out-yay! So this helped us make the decision that indoor riding for the next 4 hours was definitely out-we were off to head south!! After replenishing drinks, goos and adding arm warmers, extra hoodie, wool socks and warmer gloves I was ready for the next 50 miles at least.

We took off south down the bike trail, where it had apparently rained. The farther south we got, the wetter the road. We were headed toward very dark clouds, hmm, not a good sign..And instinctually, I figured wet leaves are probably slippier so we took it easy over the massive amounts of yellow wet leaves on the trail. It started getting colder..I had no idea what time it was at any point of the ride. I just blindly rode on..We saw at least 2 people fixing flats-not a good sign..One good thing about riding on the bike trail in crappy weather on a Saturday-there were hardly any people-imagine that! We hit the road to take us out to our southern Casino Isleta. I thought I knew a shortcut, which took us about 3 miles out of our way in what appeared to be a not so good area of town. It was an adventure of sorts and we finally found our way out of South Valley industrial land. Still no rain but very dark clouds around us. I felt warm and comfortable though so on we went. Just as we turned the corner to go to the gas station at the turnaround, H says I've got a flat.. Oh sucky bummer! We assessed the situation at the stop and changed the flat, only to have it flat again. Oh shit..after about 4 air cartridges (note to self-do not keep spent air cartridges in Bento Box) and another tube we held our breath and the tube held air-whew! By now it was raining-like real rain...Quickly we took off north on Broadway street that although sounds good in the movies, in these parts is like taking a chance on life..The cars ZOOM by and actually try and scare you as you ride on the not so clean shoulder. I was pretty worried at this point that we may not make it home alive..FINALLY we got back on the trail. It was raining, the sun came out and then I saw it-a rainbow! We were riding toward the end of the rainbow! How cool is that? It was sign-we were going to the end of the rainbow!!! A good omen for sure. Then came the wet leaves again and we gingerly made it through that. I was keenly aware the sun was sure going down fast-still raining...Then it started getting dark..About 4 miles from the car, the rain stopped but so did the light..Finally H said I can't see anything.. Oh-not a good sign. I got in front and tried to guide although I could not see either. About 1.5 miles from the car we turned up the trail, into lights from cars that blinded us. So we walked about a mile until we could see again under the streetlights. As we headed through the parking lot I said We lived to see our car! H looked down and announced 104 miles! We did it! Not the 120 we were suppose to do but with the elements and flats-that was pretty good and we were happy. I could have kept going-that is how good my legs felt. But I was tired and hungry and said I wanted to quit. H said Oh no we are not quitting-we got this far-we are going to finish the workout! This is new for us-I am usually the slave driver. OK, suck it up-I told myself. We gathered our stuff, headed into the gym. I am sure as bedraggled as we looked, we must have looked like hobos or something as we checked in to do our treadmill run. I hopped on the treadmill and to my surprise my legs felt fine. I ran/walked 4 miles in 49 minutes..not so bad.Then H said Look outside..It was POURING RAIN! Wow-we just made it! My legs did start to get tired at the end and man I was HUNGRY!!! There were not enough powergels to ease my hunger..We both looked at each other at the end and at 7:00 PM, we were done!!

Home-quickly rinsed off the oh so dirty bikes, got our stuff inside and I ate and ate and ate dinner. We both felt great-like you do after a race but within 2 hours I crashed..really crashed.I was in bed by 9:15 and OUT! This morning my legs are sore-should have done that ice bath last night but just didn't have the energy after the    day...We are suppose to do a "36 mile recovery ride" which will be done at the gym because it is snowing  outside this AM.

IMWA here we come!!!