Saturday, June 12, 2010

solo rides are the weird rides

Today's 6 hour ride was not one of my better ones. Neither of the 2 people I ride with were riding long. Ken is in Maryland (I think) for some crazy long swim and Kim is on a rest week. I got some offers to ride with people tomorrow, but I like to get my long ride done on Saturday, and I thought it would be good for me (mentally) to do at least one 6 hour ride solo.

I got started kind of late but.. I work rotating shifts and sometimes I just want to freakin sleep!!! Unfortunately I did not get home til 7 pm because of my late start!

Coach Mary mapped out a route for me on this cool website: It shows elevation, has cue sheets, and other neat things. It also lets you export the map to a Garmin. I own a Garmin eTrex Vista which is a small hiking Garmin, so I sent the file to the device so that I could bring it along (I am notorious for getting lost when out by myself on a new bike route). For some reason, the file kept truncating so I only had about half of the route on the Garmin. I figured "no problem" because the part that it was missing was easy to remember. Well I got to Mendon which is where I typically start my long rides and I could not figure out the stupid cue sheet. It was a simple enough loop (like 4 major roads) but the cue sheet had 2 pages worth of directions (seriously there were like 5 turns in this entire ride) so I just ditched the cue sheet and decided to wing it. Because of this, I don't even know if I did it the right way or backwards (I don't know which way Mary mapped it out for me) because I just wound up following the half-map on my Garmin.

It was like 65 degrees when I started out, and overcast. I had armwarmers on and a short sleeved jersey. Within 20 minutes I swear to god the sun came out and it was 80 degrees. I ditched the armwarmers and proceeded with 6 hours of sweating like a fat man. I headed down 15A going south. 15A sucked. It was just a huge gradual climb with one big downhill in the middle. I thought I was never going to reach flat roads. I was dying from the heat, bees were swarming me, and I was going like 13 mph. I finally made it into the town of Wayland in a little under 3 hrs. Basically small hicktown USA. I stopped at a gas station. I went inside to pee and noticed that my legs were shaking. Yikes. I bought water, gatorade, and a Coke. I texted Kim that I was not feeling so good. She gave me some words of motivation, told me to slow down my pace (if I were to slow down anymore I'd be going backwards!) and concentrate on nutrition. Thank god for Kim. She also taught me the "drink Coke on a crappy ride" trick. I drank half the bottle of Coke. I don't know what it is about soda. I have a serious addiction. The delightful combination of fizz, caffeine, and HFCS make me so happy!!! The Coke totally lifted my dejected spirits. I decided not to make the gas station my temporary home and instead headed back out. Kim had suggested I take the easier route back (I.e. back the way I came) but I could just not stomach going back up 15A. So horrible and boring! So I continued on to Naples.

Can I just say that I did not have good luck with my nutrition today. I had some Clif Shot Blocks and they are now so disgusting to me that I could barely force myself to eat them. So now I will be bringing a box of those to training camp to give away as well. Also, I brought the new Powerbar PERFORM drink with me and it BLOWS! I don't know what they did to the original Powerbar Endurance (which I LOVE) but this new stuff sucks. It tastes like someone pissed in a perfectly good bottle of PBE and then packaged it up. Yummm.. or not.

Anyways, the Coke revived me and settled my stomach a little. I got chased by a tiny dog in Naples and then I saw a personalized license plate that even a certified science nerd (=me) thought was dorky. It said: meniscus. Yup. I SERIOUSLY considered jumping in Canandaigua Lake as I rode by.. fully clothed (or naked)!!!

I climbed the giant KIMWORD hill out Naples. (Kim is a Train-This athlete with a filthy mouth who also sends the most hilarious emails I have ever read - I can't wait to meet her!). I almost got hit by a guy in a truck pulling a trailer. I stopped at the gas station with the Adirondack chairs (to get more Coke - it is an evil cycle once you start drinking it) and some guy started talking to me about Ironman. He told me that he was the "Ironman of smoking cigarettes" ..... not sure I'd be bragging about that.

I finally made it back to my car.. to have to run 30 minutes at 8:30 pace, but no faster. HAH. I couldn't run 8:30 pace after a 6 hour ride if Bin Laden HIMSELF was chasing me with a suicide vest strapped to his chest. Honestly though, the run went pretty well.

I am kind of pissed about having a bad nutrition day. I was nauseous for almost the entire ride (headache and queasy stomach). I still ate everything but my stomach was not happy and I'm suprised that I didn't have to stop and barf along the way.

Kudos to Mendon Ponds Park for having freezing cold water spickets. I almost sat underneath the thing because the water felt so good on my legs.

And now I am home and ready to pass out.

I am sunburnt AGAIN and the left side of my body got the worst of it.. AGAIN! I look like a freak.


  1. Awesome job, Alexa! I'll be in your biking shoes in exactly one year, so keep these long ride suggestions coming!

  2. You did awesome! Keep up the great work....its almost time!

    Kim A

  3. Great long ride!! I ride alone 99% of the time, and really look forward to having folks with me - so I hear ya on missing your buds.

    Happy training!

  4. wimp. heeee heeee heee


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