Monday, March 7, 2011

Hills Yes...Thanks for the Memories Continental Cycling Classic!

Another training weekend is in the books! For a rest & test week, I sure did work hard!
I had a great long run on Saturday and was very thankful to have no arch pain. Yay! I got up super early and had to run alone b/c I was supposed to have my carpets cleaned BUT stupid Blackman Mooring kept calling to tell me they would be later & later (my original appt time was 8am). Their final call brought word that it would be 2pm and did I mind? Umm, you clearly don’t know me. Hell to the yes I mind so don’t bother coming. Now I must research another good carpet cleaning service. Annoying!

After running my heart out, I got my bike & bike gear organized for my long ride Sunday. I have found that it helps me tremendously to get everything ready to go by 4pm on Saturday when riding Sunday. This gives me time to pick up any missing essentials and allows me to spend the rest of the day relaxing. The Continental Cycling Classic was being held yesterday and that’s how I would get my long ride in along w/ many of my awesome teammates.

I went to bed at about 9:30pm Saturday and sat up for a short bit reading “Born to Run”. After a great night of rest, I was up early, walking Leia. I was out the door in record time and made it to the ride site shortly after 7am. I was thrilled not to rush as we had an 8am start time. We set off on this hilly ride looking forward to rest stops, a perk of supported rides! After not eating breakfast last weekend, I was sure to eat Sunday morning and it paid huge dividends, especially the first part of my ride. I maintained my set HR zones very well with the exception of the hills. I was having a blast and feeling great! I really enjoyed one of the rest stops as we were buzzed by a crop dusting plane. Wish I had my camera ready for that one! After the rest stop, we were off to our next stop in Anderson, Texas. Let me tell you, the hills into Anderson are big by Texas standards and challenging to those of us who are spoiled by flat, flat, flat roads! Either way, I was thrilled with my improvement from last time I rode this course and noticed a huge difference! As you head into Anderson, there is a huge hill, a short plateau and then another hill up to a stop sign. At the stop sign, you hang a Ralph (right) and there was my Oasis…rest stop! The half pb&j Sammie that I enjoyed there was like music to my taste buds. My teammates will tell you I seemed to like that Sammie a little too much (right Lynn?). Silly me, I thought we were done w/ the big hills! Bonk, wrong answer.

For those who don't know where Anderson is in relation to H-Town

Ahh, much appreciated rest stop in Anderson!

Setting out on the second half of our ride, I learned that the hills leaving Anderson were almost as punishing. I think they seemed harder than they were because my legs were tired from the other set of hills. I dropped back a bit from my group to maintain my HR but wasn’t too worried as I could see everyone just fine in the near distance. That was until I got a ridiculous cramp in my foot. Really? Now? I decided to ride through it and try to stretch it out on the bike but it’s pretty tough to stretch in those rigid shoes. Dangit. We passed the rest stop in Richards but I knew I wouldn’t make it to the next one and so told myself I would pull off when I found a decent spot. The pain would disappear and then come right back so I waited a little while longer and then hopped off the bike for a stretch. That was just what the doctor ordered as that stretch felt like heaven. Almost as good as pb&j. I caught back up with Misty (who was kind enough to pull off at the 50 mile rest stop). Yay, I would have company for our last 20ish miles. We set off and then stopped again at 60miles for another quick stretch. There was one last hill, the final mile of course. That’s just cruel. I must admit, after the hills in Anderson, this hill was nothing and Misty & I passed lots of folks heading up it. Go us!

Pulling in to the Montgomery County Athletic Complex, I couldn’t be happier….that was until Coach G yelled to me to get ready for my run. Umm, huh? There was no run on my schedule. I chose to ignore her and then slowly got my bike loaded on my car. She of course came right up to me and told me to hurry it up and get my run done. “Are you crazy” I asked? Ok, maybe I didn’t ask it that way but you get the picture. Coach G wondered aloud why she wouldn’t make me run and then remembered it was a rest & test week so no brick for me. I got my dry clothes on which included my cute shirt that said, “Hills Yes”. After everyone finished their ride and/or brick, we headed to Sam’s Boat on Lake Conroe for post race grub. Given that I’ve been trying really hard to be good and drop a few more pounds, I was going to bypass the beer…and I was successful! Well, then Gena ordered the delicious sounding Bloody Mary and I caved! I was SO glad I did too b/c that was the yummiest Bloody Mary I’ve had in awhile. Perfect amount of spice and yummy snacks in it! A great, great ride topped off by food with friends.

A few things I learned from this ride: (1) I am SO thankful the Anderson hills are not on the IMTX course. Whew! (2) I need to continue to focus on pacing so I can avoid going out too hard and conserve energy for the end.

This week will be another busy training week bringing another first….my first 16 mile run and my longest run ever. I’ll be jumping from 11 to 16 which I’m ok with. I’m excited to knock this run out and see how it feels! Sunday will bring 85 miles in the saddle followed by a 30minute run. Galveston & IMTX are steadily creeping up on me!

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