This weekend was the T-minus 3 week mark until Eagleman- my first Ironman 70.3 race. According to the training schedule I made for myself several weeks ago,
this weekend was to be my highest mileage volume on the bike and run before I begin to taper the miles down to have totally refreshed and recovered legs for race day. My legs and I are happy to announce that the miles are logged and the hardest part of the training is over.
This weekend taught me a ton about what to expect and how to plan for Eagleman. The course is hot, unshaded, windy and totally flat.
Whitney and I set out on a 14 mile run on Saturday morning. 14 miles is the longest I have run since marathon training and it was also the warmest weather (it was 85 and sunny here in DC on Saturday) I have ran in since last summer. We logged 13.75 miles in 2 hours and 8 minutes which means our pace was 9:08 min/mile. I finished all 4 bottles in my fuel belt (2 of water, 2 of EFS), as well as 2 additional bottles that I refilled when we ran past a water fountain. I also had to stop and walk a few times because I was not used to the heat. I know that I was dehydrated going into the run because I did not hydrate properly on Thursday and Friday. I am jaded after training for a marathon- I thought to myself “14 miles wont be bad”- who am I kidding? 14 miles is still a long ass ways! I’ll hydrate properly before Eagleman for sure! I’ll also most likely run the half marathon portion of the race with my fuel belt just so that I can have water whenever I want it instead of waiting for the aid stations.
Saturday night was a hot date with Phil that involved eating a mass amount of food and laying on the couch. It.was.glorious.
Saturday morning I picked up Emily at 7 am and we headed across the Bay Bridge to Queenstown, MD for a 70+ mile ride.
|packed and ready for ridin’!
I chose this ride because it was only about an hour away and it was the exact terrain that I will be riding during Eagleman- flat, hot, no shade, lots of wind. (thanks for the info, Ray!) Queenstown is on Maryland’s eastern shore as is Eagleman- but the Eagleman course is 2.5 hours away- a little far for a day trip. After I mapped the ride, the sidebar showed this:
A-MAZING! Eagleman practice!
The course was totally flat. Like as flat as my feet kind of flat. It was also windy. And no matter which direction we turned it was either a headwind or a nasty side wind in which I had to hold onto my aero bars for dear life so that I wouldn’t be blown off the road.
|flat open roads
I am so glad Emily was willing to do this ride with me! I learned that riding a long, totally flat course is HARD. It was harder then I expected, actually. You never ever ever get a chance to recover like you would on a downhill. The wind made it impossible to stop pedaling without drastically losing speed. Our little legs pedaled the whole time. I am very glad I got to experience this before Eagleman because I think I would have been in for a rude awakening on race day.
Ps- Smucker’s Uncrustable PB&J sandwiches are the PERFECT ride snack. nom nom nom. Go buy some now.
I never felt super hot because of the wind- however, I drank a ton of water and EFS and used all of my Gu (4 gels!). In fact, I drank my whole double aqua cell AND the extra bottle I was carrying on my bike frame. AND we stopped at a gas station at mile 62 to pee and get more water!
|yes, we are thirsty!
Even though I didn’t feel overheated, I was definitely using a ton of energy pedaling on the flats into the wind and the sun was indeed beating down on us as there was very little shade the whole ride. I thought the double aquacell would be overkill for Eagleman but from what I learned today, it most certainly isn’t. For the race I will have the double cell filled to the brim and use the bottle exchanges when I run low on water.
Emily and I covered just over 73 miles in 4:24:57 which is an average speed of 16.5 mph. I was pretty happy with this speed given the distance, the conditions, and the fact that I think both of us could have pushed harder. We were able to chit chat for most of the ride (its awesome to ride on roads with no cars and ride side by side!) which tells me that we could have pumped up the speed a little if we wanted to. I do have to admit that I felt pretty shitty between miles 35 and 42ish but I got a second wind and finished the ride strong.
I am ready for Eagleman!
After the ride we obviously stuffed our faces with pizza.
I would also just like to point out my sunscreen fail. I rode in a sleeveless jersey and shorts and it appears that I missed two huge spots on my shoulder blades. FAIL.
Off to hang out with these two goofs for the rest of the evening! I hope everyone had a great weekend!