Saturday, June 1, 2013

Tour de cure pHILLy 64.5 mile ride, or how to burn 3500 cals in one day

originally posted on June 1, 2013 at; wanted to add it to blogspot as I prepare and self-pep-talk for my next big race of the summer: the Steelman 5k swim next week!

I survived!
I see you hills of Bucks County,
and spasm-y back,
and 92 degree heat,
and lackluster training,
and I win!
I beat you.
I did it.
Quick & Dirty
  • there was crying
  • miles 20-25 serious hills
  • miles 40-50 WTF incline the ENTIRE time, PLUS hills
  • only stopped at 2 of 4 rest areas
  • race support was great until the very end, when the 92 degree heat got a hold of everyone and every bottle of water at the final rest area
Slow & Painful
Let me start by saying, of course, I did it for a very good cause. And I cried thinking about my late grandmother, and my mother-in-law, and one of my best friends, who have to train and plan everyday to maintain their diabetes. I thought about my bestie on the 35 mile course whom I was sure was rocking it. I thought about my sweet friends who donated and told me to do it for their friends, and I actually even cried thinking of my super-pregnant triathlete-friend who told me the day before:
“Just enjoy it babe!!! I’m jealous!!!”
Now, she is crazy. But she had a point.
An inspiring event is WAY easier than an event where you are constantly checking your GPS pace to make sure you are on track for your forever-recorded-chip-time at that event and on the interwebs.
[although you know I was excited to see I did the first half in 16.1 mph pace. The rest of the ride I didn't stop my timer so it includes rests & stoplights, so I have to piece together my second half pace...]
Since this was a ride and not a race, I felt very at home with my usual philosophy of ‘just trying to finish’ and actually found a lot of like-minded thinkers. There were certainly those who breezed through the course without stopping, and I was not one of them. But I also was not one of those who had to stop at every rest area and at times walk my bike up a hill.

I have the gear now, I’ve logged the miles,
I look the part, and I was in the right group.
20130601-142612.jpg Even though I was surprised to see -there were less than *10* women at the 64-mile start.

Miles 20-25 were filled with hills, just to separate the women from the girls, as it just so happened to ramp up as soon as the 35-mile route and the 64.5-mile route went their separate ways. Total elevation for the 35-mile ride was +1727 feet, and for the 64.5 mile ride it was +3683. Although my bestie is a super athlete, she’s still a newbie biker so I’m glad I didn’t push her to do the longer, much hillier, ride with me. See routes here.

Speaking of newbies, at most events I still consider myself one but I had a couple of comments on my bike and my riding, [literally: "nice riding!!"] which made me chuckle and so I guess I’m getting better. My neck was definitely the most strained at the end of the day, so I think I was tucking in rather nicely and finally getting better form.

Lost my religion somewhere between miles 40 and 50. They were beastly, and I was alone for much of it [stupid Bucks County mansions and their fountains. I am going to jump in your effin fountain!!]. And the heat was NASTY!! Sticky sticky icky HOT. My main motivation in skipping two of the four rest areas was so that I would have a glimmer of hope of finishing the ride before 12.

Tried to take a pic of this pretty covered bridge three times on approach and exit. Stop pix-ing and biking, idiot!!

But alas, my sunburn seethed and my thighs seized in those last 30 minutes it took me past 12 pm. I have never experienced a heat cramp!! Interesting!! And, of course, awful. And I almost tried to ride through the fact that my right thigh turned to stone because I was already at mile *60*!! But I’m glad I pulled aside at a shady driveway and a woman behind me joined me. I told her what was up and she said to eat something and offered me a graham cracker. As I tried to converse with her I realized the heat really was setting in because I couldn’t get words out. I told her I had ‘fuel’ and I ate the rest of my peanut bar. She said water alone was not going to help the cramp. And it’s amazing how in less than 4 minutes the food took care of me. My stomach had been growling but I didn’t really pay attention. I had 3 Gu’s, 2 halves of a banana (so yes that’s one whole banana geniuses), my usual raisin bread at 6 am, a tiny bit of coffee, some coconut water, and regular water.
No shock: could’ve used more coconut water ;)
I’m getting picky with my nutrition and I passed up on the Gatorade (especially red yuck!) and candies and overly processed granola bars and even the end-of-ride lunch with turkey sandwiches.

I’m not saying I’m getting healthier [see below]!! But I’m learning what works for me.

This was kinda nice about 2 hours post-ride:20130601-142637.jpg
Well actually I only got one sip of the coke down before tossing it, but the cheeseburger went down juuuuuust fine.

Not to be outdone my hubby kept his winning streak going: one nap per race, as soon as I get home and settled…
Work that nap, babe. You can do it!

All in all, that was harrrd. Might have to cap myself at the half iron distance. And I’m ok with that. I might not be disciplined enough for more!!

Although the side benefit is that I woke up weighing a pound less this morning!! I’m sure I’m severely dehydrated, but even with water weight ups and downs in the past few weeks, I’ve never seen that number. So I’m logging it. And I’m gunning for more!!


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