Don’t get me wrong, I was thrilled my numbers! 104 miles at an average speed of 22 mph and total time of 4:42 represented the best long training session of my triathlon career! What I wish I could say is that I felt great the whole way and had no problems recovering…..(hence, the “whoops.”)
The day was grey, no real sun to speak of but the humidity was ridiculous. I started my ride about 7 am which is a little bit later than usual. I had frozen my water bottles the night before and figured I had about one hour before they would be ready to drink. In hindsight, I guess that was first flawed thought…
The wind was blowing like crazy and it looked like the sky would open up at any time. I was riding from my house in Nashville to my grandmother’s house in Bowling Green, KY. My route was to be 90 miles and I paced myself accordingly. I was riding hard and sweating hard and feeling strong for the first 3 hours. Somehow I missed a turn and soon thereafter was finished with my water bottles. Mile 70 to 85 was absolutely miserable..I found myself on a 2 lane country road that was constantly going up or down. I was absolutely killing myself and feeling more depleted with every passing mile. At one point, I pulled into a guy’s driveway and asked for a coke (I was in bad need of sugar.)
I finally made it to a gas station and walked immediately to the cooler for a Mountain Dew. Ahhhh……but I am not proud to admit that I let my body get to that state. I got back on my bike and found that I had overshot Bowling Green by 15 miles. I know I was thinking straight at this point because I decided to take the interstate to backtrack!! What the heck was I thinking?? I got off I-65 as quickly as I could but when mile 100 rolled around, I could barely hold my head up.
My heart rate was hanging out in The North Pole! It was so high that I was beyond trying to calm it down. My only thought was “get to the house, whatever it takes!” I was in bad shape when I finally pulled in my grandmother’s driveway. I spent the next 30 minutes drinking 60 ounces of fluid. It took me nearly 2 hours to recover, wow! I guess the whole idea of “mind over matter” will only get you so far!
My long ride this weekend was still a valuable experience and my confidence for Ironman Louisville is high. This ride was simply another reminder of how crucial proper nutrition is for long course racing!