Saturday, February 16, 2013

Long Ride. Speedy Run.

by Meghann on February 16, 2013

Three cheers for a great morning ride and run!

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Ahhh.. so much fun! It’s crazy the difference between riding solo and riding in a group. Not only does riding with a group push me to go faster and farther, but the group is so much more entertaining than going solo. They make cycling fun!

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We were all at the trailhead at 9:00am this morning ready to ride. It was a little chilly, but nothing unbearable. Rumor has it the lows are supposed to get down to the 30s tonight, so I’m glad we chose to ride this morning and not tomorrow. 🙂

I have fast friends- and though I love them all to pieces – I’m always a teensy bit nervous riding with them. The bike is my weakest sport and I pretty much resemble the little-engine-that-could when I’m on the trail. Luckily my friends told me up front they weren’t going to leave me in the dust. They were going to take it easy and stick to my pace. Have I mentioned how awesome my friends are?

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This was only my second trail ride on the B16 (I think the name is sticking). I’ve been riding her on and off on the trainer in the garage, but all the good trails are a 20-30 minute drive away and it’s simply not safe to ride my bike on the roads that surround my house. This was also my longest ride on the B16. We did a two hour ride, which covered a little more than 32 miles. After 32 miles on the seat, I’m ready to take her back for my final fitting. They didn’t cut the aero bars when I was there last because they wanted to wait until I settled on the bike. The bars haven’t been a problem since I’ve mainly been riding on the trainer in aero position, but I realized today that my knees hit the bars when I ride the bike in an upright position. Ouch. My knees were tired of being hit so they started pointing outward when I rode. I’m no bike expert, but I know that’s probably not a good thing.

Our group kept a steady pace on the way out and I mainly concentrated on becoming comfortable on my new bike. On the way back we practiced riding in a line and worked on intervals. The whole reason I’ve been scared away from riding with any cycling groups around town is because riding in a line scares the crap out of me. You’re basically riding right on the wheel of the person in front of you while the person behind you rides right on your wheel. I’m not a great rider, so my big fear is I won’t be able to keep up or I’ll miss something important and crash.

Riding in a line scares me because my experience is limited. I need to practice in smaller group settings to build my confidence before I can dive in with a big group. This is why when my coach recommended practicing riding in a line, I was scared as hell, but excited to get some experience and build my confidence.

There were four of us and we each took the lead for 30 seconds at a time. I learned that you never want to hit the brake while riding in a line (or have the person behind you come crashing in to you), you should only be in the aero position if you’re in the lead, and you need to be really, really close to the person in front of you to reap the benefits of their draft. I was antsy and nervous through the whole process, but was proud I was facing my fear of riding in a line. It really wasn’t that bad and the constant change of lead to back kept the ride interesting. I was even proud of myself for keeping up with the line as long as I could (we increased 1 mph every minute) and was okay when I had to drop. I gave it my all and pushed as long as I could.

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After our ride, we changed into our running shoes and went for a run. I thought we were doing an easy 2 mile jog, but Felipe had other plans. He’s a big believer that you should follow all bike rides with fast runs to really build endurance and speed. So, in his logic, it’s better to follow a long bike ride with a quick and speedy 1 mile run than a 6 mile jog. Honestly, that makes sense to me. The first mile off the bike is the worst and really where you should be concentrating your training.

We did a .3 mile warm-up, then Felipe set up a rough .4 mile loop. He wanted us running 4 loops as fast as we could and press lap on our Garmins each lap to see our final splits (we ran all 4 lap straight through – no rest).

I can’t tell you the last time I gave a run all I had and boy did it burn. I went out way, way, way too fast and suffered in the final laps. I think my first split average was 6:45 and my last average was 7:40. Not good. Not good at all.

It’s been so long since I raced a 5k for time that I forgot about that nasty habit that used to plague me. Some bad habits are just too hard to give up. This morning’s run was a nice reminder to watch my first couple of miles during my 10k next month and NOT go out too fast. I’m going to mix up my speed training in the coming weeks in hopes of avoiding that.

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(That was actually 2.3 miles. For some reason DailyMile prefers to round down with miles.)

We hit up a nearby Starbucks after our run and I cashed in my free drink reward for a caramel frappuccino.

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I love saving free drinks for long rides or runs. 🙂

I also drank my weight in water.

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Megn? That’s new.

The amazing burger I had when I got home went down so fast that the camera missed it. Whoops. What can I say? I was hungry!

Now I’m wiped, but in a good way. Today’s ride and run was exactly what I needed as I continue to build my base for Ironman Florida. Any ride or run when you finish with a smile on a face is a good one. 🙂

Have you ever rode in a group line? Were you nervous the first time you joined one?

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