Monday, March 31, 2008

Strawberry Century (Ironweek 13)

I learn't my lesson yesterday at the Strawberry Century - keep the HR down, or pay the price!

The event itself was very similar to last year's - same course, same SAG's, pretty much the same windy end as well. So you can look to the link of the description of the '07 race to get the picture. The difference was...my race-buddy Excel Man showed up this year.

If you don't already know, Excel Man is the consummate over-distance trainer. 130 mile weekly bike rides are nothing to this guy. This Century - yawn... So I was a little bit apprehensive as to what he was going to do to me on Sunday, and all I can say is, well, he done it. Yes, I will blame him for my woe's.

We started out in the realm of sanity. HR was under 140, actually in low 130s some, and we were not drafting at around 19 - 20mph. Cool. Then we get to the first SAG at around 19 miles, and we are all alone for a while. I say a while, cause in a couple miles, along comes this train of 20 riders hauling serious butt. Curt jumps on and I tag along for the ride.

These yahoos were cranking along at 23 - 24mph, in a fairly organized draft line. The problem was that this course has many, many 4 way stops, Rail Road crossings, and major intersections with street lights - so lots of slowing (to like 19) and then mad sprints to bring the line back together. The accordion effect was insane! Every time the sprinting would ease off, and we'd get into a draft rhythm, with my HR back into the low 150's (yea, I know, way too high even), we'd find another track or turn or stop sign and do it all over again. This was my world from mile 20 to mile 63. By the time we got to that SAG, I was TOASTed.

Nice...those 63 mile roadies went in to get some chow, most of them done for the day. Curt gave me that look - like, "you aren't really gonna quit on this century, are you?" - honestly, if he wasn't there, I probably would have called it a day. 38 miles to go, already wasted, was not the day I was looking forward to. With stops, we had averaged 19.8 to that point - it felt a LOT faster.

Nicely, the wind picked up and it was pretty lonely out on the course for the final part of the ride. I tried to lead out, but after 5 miles or so, Curt got tired of my slowness, and jumped ahead of me. Of course he didn't say anything, but I wasn't arguing either - I was grateful for the wheel! I'm admitting for the world to hear - I sucked that wheel for the rest of the ride - had I not, I may still be out there! 101 miles total and with stops we averaged around 17.5 mph. So, lesson learned, by all means, keep that HR down below 150, heck even the low 140s for the Ironman ride, no matter how good I feel! Hey, it's done, as is IronWeek 13.

Speaking of Ironweek 13 - I had my highest training volume week ever this past week, with a total of 14hrs and 40 minutes of swimming, biking and running. The only negative was some serious knee pain on my "long" 9 mile run on Saturday. It didn't hurt when I ran, only after, and hurt it did - enough to wake me up a few times that night! I was fine to bike in the Century the next day, but it does give me cause for concern for future long runs.

As March comes to a close, I think I also had my biggest bike volume month ever, with over 500 miles logged. I'll have to look to confirm, but going into St. Anthony's I feel pretty good about my training for a change. Top 10 - it could happen!

13 comments:

JohnnyTri said...

I'm with ya on the HR..
mine has been way too high these last couple of rides too but these Vegas hills are no joke either..

Let's just keep plugging away..

rockon`

Supalinds said...

That is one hell of a training week!! Way to go. And it sounds like you learned a valuable lesson, now just don't forget it.

Every swim I did this week I thought about your 4 mile swim, and I almost puked.

1HappyAthlete said...

re "keep that HR down below 150, heck even the low 140s for the Ironman ride"

GOOD PLAN!!!

Lana said...

Dang - what a ride!! Way to finish it out even if you were toast! That has got to be good for IM training.

TJ said...

Better to learn that lesson now.
Awesome training week!

Bolder said...

i had the same experience on my last Ride The Buff century.

(i'm wearing my Ride The Buff shirt in my profile pic)

not only are the peletons dangerous with tri bars, but, they also are hard intervals to keep up with... not to mention, when you go to the front and pull.

you did well.

thanks for linking write2fight.com

i so appreciate it dude, you have no idea how supportive of a guy you are, and i look forward to meeting you at CdA.

Fe-lady said...

Get ice in/around/under/and on that knee! Good job on the century! I need to kick it up a notch with cycling here soon...damn, March is OVER today, isn't it! Yipes!

Brent Buckner said...

Nice numbers!

S. Baboo said...

Well, the IM training isn't all about the mileage it's also about the lessons. Great work man!

Green Eyed Lady (aka GEL) said...

This is too funny because last week when I was at Flatwoods, I overheard a couple of guys talking about you. They were so grateful YOU were there to catch the wind ;)

excel man said...

Hey Dude - Thanks. I had a good time. Sorry about jumping onto the back of that group....there was just something about seeing a tandem pass us that didn't sit well with me :^) I was tired too! You left out one stat - max speed....my computer said 31+. LOL

Dan Seifring said...

Nice ride.


What is an "SAG"?

excel man said...

SAG is an acronym for Supply and Gear. Food, drink and bike repair.