My brain has been so fried lately I can't even tell if this was a good day or a bad day.
Last week I rode 40 miles. The week before, I rode 30. I haven't been doing long distances lately, so this weekend I figured I'd start ramping up again and do 60 or 70 miles. But then Rich (who is doing C'oeur d'Alene with me) emailed me asking if I wanted to join him for a 100 mile ride.
This was the last long ride for the crew that's doing Ironman Brazil in 2 weeks, and some of them wanted to do 112 miles.
A group of us left Zuma beach together, some doing a shorter 60-mile ride but I stuck around for the 112. (In for a penny, in for a pound.) We had some headwinds riding up the Pacific Coast Highway. I mentioned to Michael W, who was dong the shorter ride, that I was starting to worry about the Celery fields coming up, which are notoriously windy. He wasn't hearing any of that, telling me to put it out of my mind and yelled at me to just "look at the peaceful ocean!" After a little while the 112 group pulled ahead a little bit and we wound up taking a secret spy road that bypassed the Celery fields together. I don't think the other group saw us make the turn, and I was feeling pretty guilty that they'd be suffering and we weren't. Sorry guys.
After 51 miles, we ran out of road. Basically, the bike path continued for one pseduo-legal mile along the freeway, but that seemed a bit gnarly. I kept saying "well there's no shame in doing 102 miles!" but Stupid Ben made us ride back 5 miles, then turn around and redo the 5 miles and back again so we'd hit 112 by the end. It sucked to be more than halfway finished with the ride and STILL be riding farther away from our cars.
I started to fade a bit around mile 70-75, but we stopped at a gas station and I pumped myself up with Mountain Dew. ZIPPPPEEEE! It gave me a few miles of really good riding.
On the way back, we stopped along the secret spy road at a... rocket park? Not really sure what to call it, but they had a bunch of missiles and fighter planes on display. Very cool.
I was pretty much done after mile 100 and basically limped back to the car. However, it was probably a pretty good ride overall. On typical long-distance rides I maintain a 16-17 mph pace, and my average speed on this ride was 18.1. We had some bad headwinds and some good tailwinds so I don't know which played a bigger factor, but by the numbers I can't complain about the bike.
What I CAN complain about is the run afterwards. I wasn't looking to run far at all. But after my bike rides, I try to run at least 1 mile afterwards, just to get the legs used to the transition. I don't think I've ever felt worse starting a run. Everything felt completely wrong. You ever watch people running in a pool, and notice how funny they look? That's how I think I looked, only I was on dry land. It was like I couldn't remember how to run, and if I could, my legs wouldn't respond to my commands anyway. I did the 1-mile, and finished up thinking "oh dear God how on earth am I supposed to do a MARATHON feeling like this?!"
So who won the day? I have to go with Ben. First, referring to the predicted conditions in Coeur d'Alene this year he told me "have a good swim in Lake Iceberg." Later, after 20 miles on the bike sporting his new stormtrooper-inspired aero helmet, he declared "if you guys are gonna keep up with me the entire ride I'm returning this helmet!" (He'll be keeping it.) Good stuff. Sorry Greg, you just didn't bring your A game this time.