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New long ride - newly reduced goals

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New long ride - newly reduced goals

Old 07-03-13, 12:20 PM
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New long ride - newly reduced goals

Had a really good ride today as my last long ride tune up before the ACS Bike-A-Thon a week from Sunday.

I started this cycling adventure in early May and wanted to get to a level of fitness where I would supplement my running. Shortly after starting, I decided to sign up for the ACS Bike-a-thon hoping for a metric century ride.

Things progressed quickly and I started to get visions of grandeur... upping the goal to the full 102 miles of the longest route after I easily did a 50 mile ride a few weeks ago.

Well... today was to be the acid test before the ride. I planned out a 70 mile ride at the South Jersey shore. We are staying in Sea Isle City for the week and I planned to ride north into Ocean City, then over to the mainland and south all the way to Cape May, heading down to the Atlantic Ocean on Beach Street and then following the Ocean Drive all the way north back to Sea Isle City, passing through Wildwood, Stone Harbor and Avalon along the way.

I knew it would be a challenge, because about half of the trip was directly into a 10 - 15 mph wind. Well, about 35 miles in, roughly 25 miles in the southbound leg into the wind, I decided to cut it short... I headed directly over to Wildwood and then back up the coast (with the wind at my back) leaving Cape May out of the mix. Total distance was 58.5 miles in just over 4 hours moving time. This gives me a lot of confidence for the metric century option of the ACS Bike-a-Thon (recommended average pace of 12 - 14 mph).

I finished strong... averaging about 16 mph on the trip back north, but overall pace was slowed by the 13 - 14 mph into the wind, and my legs were drained by that effort.

I planned this ride to be my real test - and it showed me that I'm overreaching to go for 100 miles next weekend... and probably overreaching to try for a half ironman length duathlon in October. I might be able to get to the October 6th event and finish, but I don't think I'd enjoy it because to train up for the 56 mile bike at the pace I would want, my running training would suffer.

The great part of the ride today, is that I'm really confident in my fit on the bike, my hydration and fueling strategy, and my overall pace now. I had no problems with hand soreness or numbness, no problems with saddle soreness and I had no issues with cramping or bonking despite being in the saddle for over 4 hours.

So the new goal is the old goal - my first metric century ride will be the sunday after next.

Then I have my first sprint distance duathlon on August 11th (2 mile run/12.5 mile bike/2 mile run) and I'll plan on the international distance duathlon in october (4.2 mile run/29 mile bike/4.2 mile run).

Century rides and half iron man duathlons can wait.

I appreciate the advice and support from everyone. I'm new here, so I'll let you all know that this is sort of what I do when it comes to fitness goals... I set goals, and if it looks like they might be easily achieved, I ratchet the goals up... and eventually reach the level where my body tells me what it is capable of at the moment... and then re-adjust back down.

That's where I find my best motivation... reach for the stars, but be happy with flying in the clouds.

Anyway... new, more reasonable goals... and a lot more riding to come. This was a really fun day... being out on the road all alone. Riding through unknown territory. Stopping and meeting a few folks along the way. Lots of fun and good motivation to get out there more.


Last edited by wombat94; 07-03-13 at 12:23 PM. Reason: added detail about the good points of today's ride
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Old 07-03-13, 12:57 PM
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Other then the wind, how did your body feel? Still have energy, sore butt? That is near the wall for most riders, in that 60-70 mile range. I think rocking out a century should be no problem for you next weekend. Just remember to save some I the tank for that last hour on the bike.
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Old 07-03-13, 01:03 PM
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Well, as you pointed out you had a nice head wind for the first half. All centuries are not created equal - if the one you're doing is easier than that 58 mile ride you just did you can probably finish it, but if it's similar or harder you might struggle. Don't write yourself off just yet!
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Old 07-03-13, 02:31 PM
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Thanks for the support guys.

jsigone... I still had energy overall, but the legs were pretty spent. I could have probably gone another hour if I needed to (getting to the original 70+ I had planned) but another 3 hours would have been out of the question.

TrojanHorse... Apart from the unpredictable wind, the course next weekend should be roughly the same as the one I rode today... flat, mostly with reasonable roads to just sort of cruise down.

I think the hesitation on my part is twofold - 1) I really want to enjoy the day... and I want to be in good shape when my family meets up with me at the last rest stop to ride the final 5 miles in and 2) I don't feel strong enough to overcome adverse conditions yet.

As I said, there's time to get there.
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