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90 Miles Later

by Meghann on September 14, 2013

Holy moly.

I just rode 90 miles.

And I survived.

Whoa.

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Derek and I ate dinner at 5:00pm last night.

I had ridden 30 miles that morning, which was followed with a ridiculously hot and humid 5 mile run. Instead of eating every snack in sight that afternoon, we decided to go to an early dinner. We were done by 6:00pm and I was happily in bed by 8:30pm. Apparently, when you’re training for an Ironman, you turn into an elderly couple.

I haven’t been getting a ton of sleep lately thanks to training and work travel, so going to bed at 8:30 was amazing. If I could, I would go to bed at 8:30 every night and be the happiest girl in the world. Thanks to that early bed time, I had no problem hopping right out of bed when my alarm went off at 5:30am.

I made coffee, made pancakes (I <3 pancakes before long bike rides!) and took my time playing online and getting my gear ready. I was meeting a friend (Meghan) and a co-worker (Stef) at a trailhead at 7:00 and got up a little earlier so I wouldn’t feel rushed.

I was nervous for today. Not exactly nervous about fitting the miles in, but nervous about how long it would take me to do it. I was predicting I would finish around 6 hours (average 15 mph) and that’s a LONG time to spend on a bike! I’m starting to feel mentally worn down on the bike, which is why I begged for someone (anyone!) to ride with me for at least a little bit of the ride. I hadn’t ridden with another person in MONTHS and needed some company.

Luckily Meghan and Stef stepped forward. Meghan had two hours on her plan and Stef had 45 miles on hers. I warned them I’m slow, but neither seemed to mind.

The first couple of miles were rough. My legs were tight from yesterday’s brick and needed some time to loosen up. Once we got in a line (and I caught Meghan and Stef’s draft), I began to feel better. It took a few miles, but I finally started to feel like I was getting in my groove and was happily hanging on to their pull.

An hour into the ride, Meghan had to turn around while Stef and I continued forward. A pack of riders had caught up to us at this point and we ended up latching on to their line for 8 or so miles. I knew the group (A-Train) and was originally too nervous to ride with them for fear I would get dropped. I was more than pleasantly surprised when Stef and I rode with their group for a good 8 miles without a problem. Actually, I felt pretty good riding with them. It’s amazing how much of a confidence booster catching a group’s draft is. I felt like I was flying out there!

We lost the group at our turn around. I stopped to use the bathroom and we both filled our water bottles up.

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Stef and I rode side-by-side on the way back and I pushed myself to keep up with her. There’s no way I could have averaged the 17mph+ if she wasn’t there pushing me (well, the tailwind didn’t hurt either!). I dropped her off back at her car at mile 45 and turned back around to make the exact same ride all over again. Gulp.

Honestly, I think I preferred the double out and back, rather than riding 45 miles out and 45 miles back. The trail gets kind of hilly and lonely the farther you go on it, it’s nice to ride where the majority of riders are. It was also nice to break the ride up a little bit. It gave me mini goals.

Unfortunately as soon as I turned around I was hit with a nasty headwind (damn that tailwind I had been enjoying so much on the way back!). My pace slowed and my shoulders began to ache. I had to stop halfway on the way back out to stretch and massage my shoulders a bit. I was mentally done, but I pushed through.

I hit the turn around point again and refilled my water bottles for the third time (I also added the electrolyte tablets I had in my bento box). Oh, and in case you’re wondering about nutrition, through the course of the 90 miles I went through two Clif bars, one PowerBlend, 2 packages of Gatorade Endurance chews, and two bottles of gatorade. (about 1100 calories!)

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The way back was better thanks to the tailwind, but I was mentally done at this point. I rode for a little bit with a lady who was also training for Ironman Florida. She was doing a double brick (30 mile ride/ 5 mile run/ 30 mile ride/ 5 mile run) and I did not envy her in the least. Ouch.

My handlebar wrap started to unravel the last 10 miles and it was all I could think about. I basically spent 10 miles trying to make it stick again (you start to do crazy things when you’re on a bike that long).

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Finally, I got to single digits…

then less than 5…

then less than 1…

I WAS DONE!!!!

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The good news is it didn’t feel like I had just ridden 90 miles. I felt good! Now, running a marathon afterwards? Eh. Let’s just say I’m glad I wasn’t doing that today. 😉

These long rides are really good for me because it does remind me of what I’m capable of. 90 miles seemed so CRAZY at 6:00am this morning, but now that I’ve done it, it doesn’t seem quite as crazy. It took a lot of time, but it was doable.

The long rides are giving me the confidence I need to push me through 112 miles on the bike on November 2nd. I guess that’s what training is all about, not only are you building strength and endurance, but you’re building confidence in your abilities to meet your goals.

This is just the tipping point for how insane my training is going to get. Next week is my first of the TWO centuries I’ll be completing before my Ironman. I’m still nervous, but not as nervous as I was this morning. I can do this. Bring it.

So what does one do after they ride 90 miles?

They buy a smoothie that’s as big as their head.

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A pineapple/kiwi smoothie with peanut butter! Yum!

Nap on the couch with this cutie.

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And stuff their face with homemade nachos while watching the FSU game.

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Derek made these nachos and I have to say they were pretty epic. My husband makes a good tray of nachos!

Oh, and they prepare to run 15 miles in the morning.

They may also go to bed at 8:30. 😉

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Julie @ RDelicious Kitchen September 14, 2013 at 5:56 pm

wow, you are so amazing .. I can’t even fathom running a marathon after that!!
Julie @ RDelicious Kitchen recently posted..All About: Apples

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2 Megan (The Lyons' Share) September 14, 2013 at 6:05 pm

You are amazing! Such an inspiration!!
Megan (The Lyons’ Share) recently posted..Fall Chicken and Kabocha Casserole

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3 meghan @ little girl in the big world September 14, 2013 at 6:36 pm

Awesome job! I’m glad you hung with Pete’s group for a bit. They’re fun to ride with and definitely help a lot in keeping pace up! You did great with pace, and I’m so glad your ride today boosted your confidence so much! Sorry I was only good for an hour. Have fun on your 15 miles tomorrow. I’m nervous for San Antonio…
meghan @ little girl in the big world recently posted..I signed up for Ironman Chattanooga

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4 Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs September 14, 2013 at 6:38 pm

I’m so impressed! Way to go Meghann — an amazing accomplishment!
Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs recently posted..High Five for Friday!

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5 Sara @ LovingOnTheRun September 14, 2013 at 6:49 pm

So impressed!! I thought my run today would be long I can’t imagine knowing I would ride 90 miles!! you are AWESOME!
Sara @ LovingOnTheRun recently posted..My Training and Marathon Selection

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6 Runner Girl Eats September 14, 2013 at 6:52 pm

90 miles still seems crazy to me! Congrats! I just got back from the FSU game and wish I watched it from the couch. It was HOT HOT HOT!!
Runner Girl Eats recently posted..Where have I been?

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7 Molly @ There Goes Molly Rose September 14, 2013 at 6:56 pm

You are so amazing!! It makes me want to go out and bike! (But something closer to 30 miles not 90 🙂 you go girl, you’ve got this ironman! Once again, I love following your progress.

Those nachos do look amazing….GO NOLES! 🙂

Ps…do you ever ride on the Suncoast?
Molly @ There Goes Molly Rose recently posted..Fitting Fitness Into A Full-Time Job

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8 Meghan September 14, 2013 at 7:49 pm

Wow awesome! Do you have padded bike shorts ??
Meghan recently posted..It’s called carb loading…

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9 megan w. September 14, 2013 at 7:49 pm

Seriously amazing!!! I cant even fathom!!! Great job today!

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10 Caroline September 14, 2013 at 8:22 pm

You are crazy but I love it! I’ve never done a tri before but I have big dreams…especially after volunteering at one this morning! Too bad tri season (in new england at least) is coming to a close. I guess that means I have over half a year to train? Watch out…!
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11 Caroline September 14, 2013 at 8:25 pm

Apparently I cannot type the name of my blog correctly…could you delete my previous comment? I also did not write the post it linked to. Regardless, my comment still stands:
You are crazy but I love it! I’ve never done a tri before but I have big dreams…especially after volunteering at one this morning! Too bad tri season (in new england at least) is coming to a close. I guess that means I have over half a year to train? Watch out…!
Caroline recently posted..This Week Brought to You By Peanuts

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12 Sara September 14, 2013 at 9:04 pm

Wow, congrats!! I just bought a road bike so I’m excited to start riding.
Sara recently posted..Roasted Kabocha Squash

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13 Sybil September 14, 2013 at 9:30 pm

Wow, amazing! Great job!
Sybil recently posted..What Have You Done Today That Scared You?

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14 Caroline September 14, 2013 at 9:32 pm

Congrats on hitting 90 miles! My longest ride has been 40 miles, so thinking about doubling that and then some seems crazy to me! Enjoy that run on tired legs!
Caroline recently posted..Thankful Thursday

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15 Caroline September 14, 2013 at 9:32 pm

Congrats on hitting 90 miles! My longest ride has been 40 miles, so thinking about doubling that and then some seems crazy to me! Enjoy that run on tired legs!
Caroline recently posted..Thankful Thursday

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16 Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner September 14, 2013 at 10:08 pm

Holy shiitake mushrooms, you’re awesome! I can’t even imagine doing that.
Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner recently posted..It’s Complicated

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17 Ashley September 15, 2013 at 1:36 pm

AMAZING ride!!! To say you earned those AWESOME looking nachos is probably the understatement of the century! I’m getting anxious for you and the IM! It’s so close!
Ashley recently posted..A Weekend of Football and Running!

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18 Genna September 15, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Congrats on 90 miles! That is pretty fabulous and to end with a confidence boost! That is def. the best way to end!
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19 Courtney September 15, 2013 at 5:45 pm

Do you stop your garmin when you take bathroom breaks/water bottle refill?

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20 Michelle @ Running More Than Errands September 15, 2013 at 6:06 pm

90 miles?! Amazing! Speaking of amazing, those nachos…. 🙂
Michelle @ Running More Than Errands recently posted..The hills are alive…

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21 Amber September 16, 2013 at 7:15 am

While I can somehow imagine riding 90miles, I don’t think I could do anything else after but rest, eat and drink. Congratulations and can’t wait to read up on your progress. Just found your blog recently and I’m looking forward to future updates.

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22 egb September 16, 2013 at 8:29 am

Congrats on the epic ride! It’s so great that you had others to ride with and help break it up! Keep up the awesome work!
egb recently posted..Marathon Training Week #8: It’s Halftime!

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23 Sheila September 16, 2013 at 9:26 am

Congrats on the big PDR! Sounds like Ironman training is going perfectly if you’re turning in at 8:30. Let’s face it, some nights I want to go to bed at 8:30 and I my hardest workout of the day was walking up the stairs!

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24 Coco September 16, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Your a beast!! Way to go girl!
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25 Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed September 16, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Oh my goodness, you are a boss! Congrats on your 90 miles!
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26 Heather September 16, 2013 at 5:25 pm

This is so crazy impressive! I’ve never even run a marathon (the most I’ve done is a half) so I can’t even imagine adding OTHER sports on top of that. Congrats on the 90 miles, though, you’re amazing!!!

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27 [email protected] September 18, 2013 at 6:59 pm

You deserved that head sized smoothie. Holy Cow!
[email protected] recently posted..The Inaugural Disneyland 10k aka Running In Wonderland

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