I had a 5 hour ride/30 min brick workout to do on Saturday. Because of plans later in the day, I was up at 7 and on the bike by 8:15. This was my first long ride since Ironman Coeur D'Alene which was.. 5 weeks ago? Something like that. I was eager to get back out there and build back some of the fitness that I've lost over these past few weeks.
I was determined to overcome my limiting factor on long rides which is nutrition issues. I consistently under-fuel on long rides (and apparently, in long races as well) due to sheer laziness/dislike of PBE after drinking 23987238 bottles of it in the past 18 months/the inability to acknowledge that I am, in fact, not a robot and actually need sustenance to survive.
All of these things are just excuses, and after a major fail at IMCDA and then being publicly shamed, scorned, and humiliated by Mary (ok, not really) on the Train-This google group and her blog, I made nailing my nutrition my #1 priority on this ride.
What am I *supposed* to do on long rides? Drink 1 bottle (24 oz) of PBE per hour.
What do I *actually* do on long rides? Drink maybe 1 bottle of PBE every 2 hours.
So that is half of the calories and half of the fluids that I need on these rides!
I set out from Mendon Ponds Park and rode a really fun loop that Mary had mapped out for me last summer. For you local people, I rode from MPP to 251 W, then went south on 15A, which eventually turns into 15. When I got to Wayland, I took a left and rode N on 21. I followed 21 into Naples (there are 2 left hand turns before you get there), rode up the big hill, and then veered left on 64 heading north. 64 brought me all the way back to 251 in the village of Mendon, and from there it was a short ride back to the park! I highly recommend this loop - it is 88 miles, lots of climbing (ESPECIALLY on 15A), and it's very pretty! (In reality, it took me almost 5.5 hours to do this loop so I was out there a little longer than I was supposed to be, but that's ok!).
The last time I did this loop (also a solo ride) I didn't have a great ride. When I made it to Wayland I remember texting Kim that I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to finish. I did, but it wasn't the best ride of my life. This ride - total opposite. I was smiling the entire time. It was beautiful out, my fitness was still there, and I was totally staying on top of my nutrition.
I was slamming PowerBar Endurance like I was a frat boy pounding cans of Keystone Light. (They are probably both equally as disgusting, as well). I found that I can, in fact, drink 1 bottle of PBE per hour like Mary recommends, but to do it I have to drink very aggressively (i.e. more than every 15 minutes). I spent the entire ride force feeding myself but I did it, and I felt amazing! No mid-ride dizziness, no feeling like my legs couldn't pedal up any more hills, no headaches, no stopping for Coke or eating mini Snickers bars to bail me out of a nutrition deficit!
Literally, the BEST long ride in the history of me doing long rides!
And then the icing on the cake was seeing Mary on the tail-end of my ride! She knew approximately where I was and she rode out to find me to see how I was doing. I told her that I was nailing my nutrition and that I felt awesome. I made her proud and I definitely made myself proud as well!
I know, it seems ridiculous that a triathlete who has been racing since 2007, has 2 Ironman finishes and who has been coached for over a year and a half could be neglecting the most important part of long course triathlon. I just couldn't accept that the fix could be that easy. But.. it is.
Then I did a 30 min T-run off the bike and that went super well also! So.. I am sold on this nutrition thing!
After my ride I had to rush home, shower, and get ready to go to my teammate and good friend Greg's wedding to his fiance Amanda! (Note to self: do not wear a strapless dress when you are a perpetually sunburned and/or tan lined triathlete). Matthias drove to my apartment and we carpooled to the wedding in Victor, which was held at an adorable bed and breakfast. (I feel like I need to stop and make a comment here. Matthias was not my date, he is my friend and he is Greg's friend as well, and I didn't bring a date. Alexa = not dating Matthias!!!). Ken also came so there were 3 Train-This-ers (plus Greg of course) to "represent".
|"well, that's awkward" -Matthias' comment!|
The whole thing was very casual and I just loved it! I HATE the wedding industry. I hate that people spend $20,000+ on things like designer wedding cakes, invitations, DJs, crazy table decorations, and hideous matching bridesmaids dresses. I hate hearing the stupid chicken dance or being shoved out on the dance floor to catch the bouquet. (Please note, I do not hate weddings in general and I am thrilled when I am invited to them - I just hate all of the crap that's expensive and the stuff that is embarrassing, i.e. the whole putting the garter on the leg of the poor woman that catches the bouquet). This wedding was perfect for Greg and Amanda, and I think I get along with them so well because I love stuff like that too!
|Matthias, Ken, Greg, Amanda, me|
The reception lasted til 9:30 or so, and at that point we left, drove back to my apartment, and Matthias went home. I went inside, took the dress off and was relaxing sans pants (as usual) when Greg sent me a text asking me if I was going to go bowling with them. After some internal debate (well I already have my pants off vs. I need to go out and be social) I actually got dressed and went! It was fun! I was out super late which destroyed my ability to do anything on Sunday. I did run.. barely.
I probably should have broken this into 2 posts but both of these things just made for the best day ever on Saturday so I decided to keep that theme going!
CONGRATULATIONS GREG AND AMANDA!!!!!!!