Sunday, January 14, 2007

84 Miles

Yesterday was a pivotal day in my triathlon career: I learned to respect (fear?) The Bike.

In my future Ironman plans, I've always felt it was all about The Run. Oh sure, if you want a fast time you'd better be strong on the bike. But if you are "only" interested in finishing an Ironman, then it had to be about surviving the run. I've done two marathons, they suck. And as many people say, "you can always coast on the bike."

Well, I don't feel that way anymore. I did an 84-mile ride with IronmANNIE and it was ROUGH. We were fortunate that rather than being the expected 34 degrees when we started, it was a balmy 44. We did the San Gabriel River trail again, and the first 14 miles down to Long Beach weren't bad. But then we had to turn around. And ride back uphill. Against the wind. We're talking Katrina here. It was pretty bad. We then did a few more loops on the trail, but stopped short of the extra-windy sections.

Around mile 50 I was starting to struggle, and I couldn't understand why. After all, I've done farther, right? The problem is that I did a 60-mile ride one week before my last marathon, so my legs were kind of in decent shape at the time. Not so much now. The river trail is pretty flat, but every now and then there might be a small dip and a rise when it goes under a street - maybe a 15-20 foot elevation change. I swear, on some of them I didn't think I'd make it.

I did complete the ride, and my legs felt like they do after a 15-18 mile run. I wouldn't want to have to walk to the starting line of a marathon after that, and this was only 3/4 of an Ironman distance. So I am now of the opinion that in an Ironman, the Marathon sucks. And the Bike sucks as well.

But the swim must be easy. :)


Blogger Laurie said...

I'm glad you survived your bike ride and it wasn't TOO cold. Getting through training like this is what makes an Ironman.

8:44 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

The race will be the easy part! I'd say come to San Diego to train in the warmth. But we have none of that now. Apparently I didn't get the memo about the impending ice-age.

9:40 AM  

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