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Monday, November 29, 2010

The long and winding road, and windy

Wait windy isn't part of that song is it ?

Friday and Saturday proved to be non training days, PERIOD !
That wasn't totally planned out that way, but that's why I always say In my life, "you never know".
Don't get me wrong if it is closer to a race schedule, I will be extra creative and some way make it happen. That being said, I may do a 10k in a couple of weeks. Other than that HB 1/2 mary is my main goal, and although I have a number inside my head I want to hit, my main goal on February 6th is to finish strong. My main focus has become running, but cycling is near and dear to my heart, so I try and still put in 75 to 100 miles a week.
This has been made up of 2-3,20-25 mile rides midweek mornings and 1 weekend 30-40 mile ride. I had an offer to do a brick with a local Tri club this Sunday but opted to do my own thing at  and on my own schedule.
This proved to be the best strategy after Saturdays full home work load of putting up several hundred Christmas lights, un packing many,many tote box's full of inside decorations etc..

But I did manage to get cracking Sunday morning for a decent ride.To look at the weather it was awesome. Clear, clean and crisp.
I chose to ride in cycling shorts without knickers or leggings due to the fact the I haven't been able to do a ride without those in several weeks now. I figured the sun was out and I was going to let the quads breathe.

Headed south with a couple of ideas in mind. I wanted to hit anywhere from 35-50 miles. My warm up to the coast turn is about 2.5 miles and once I made that turn and headed south I was in heaven. It didn't hit me until about mile 9 that I was in the sweet presence of a strong tailwind. Almost effortless steady pace of 24-26 mph tucked and cranking.
Then it hit me: long ride! I should have went north first and ended my ride with the tail wind. Well I was too far along now. Just be thankful you have the opportunity and physical ability to be doing this and prepare for the future hell to come.
When all that mental craziness settled I figured I would step it up and throw in a nasty hill to boot. So I furthered on down PCH to Newport coast drive climb. This should prove to be a great test, a couple of miles uphill to a grade I really don't know. Patrick from once called it 8%, he could be right, it just seems steeper. That being said with this climb and side gusts up to 20 mph kicking in, it was nothing but pure JOY !!!
I had picked up a couple of riders on the way, and when we stopped at this light I told them I was turning up. They said they wanted nothing to do with that today and wished me luck. Ha, quitters.
Picture from the base. It looks so calm from here. And it it is until you make the curve right, then left, then back right again, all the while clawing you way up the glorious hill with wind blast wanting to launch you into the curb.

Finishing that climb has a couple of rewards. First; your done. Second; it is pretty tough, and it is a true mental and physical accomplishment, throw in the wind and there's extra bonus points. Third; you get a fairly long down hill that easily gets you up past 40 mph. Even into a head wind I reached that speed.

However, once I got through all my back patting and ego massaging I realized that all that fun getting there was now over and It was time to pay the piper.
There is a few miles of pretty wind guarded road to get back to PCH to head north. I used this time to eat a few Chomps and wash it down with about 7 oz. of lemon lime Nuun's to prepare for battle.
Making that initial turn northbound back on to PCH was really a huge wake up to what I had in front of me. And that was going to be for about 20 plus miles, so dig in superstar and get ready for the mind games.
When I say it got ugly, I'm not embellishing. It's the first time I actually thought about stopping and taking a break. And I almost justified that in my mind. But I then thought of what people go through at Kona, and recently AZIM etc..  Don't get me wrong I don't place myself in there category at all, but I'm a very strong willed competitor and have a huge heart when it comes to pushing through. Thinking of them merely helped me push on.
Top speed in aero with max effort at times 12 mph. Sometimes you could catch some guarded areas and get up to 16 mph. Everyone I would bridge up to would only stay due north for a bit and finally turn inland to get out of the direct wind. Needless to say I was still way to far away for that option. I finally got within 4 miles left of PCH to my turn and I made the choice to turn inland. It definitely helped, and although it was slight, it helped keep my mind sane.
I finally weaved my way home, trying to keep my max effort up until the end. When I arrived I had zero food or liquids left. I drank about 10 oz. of water so fast I thought it was all coming back up.
I rested for about 15 minutes, then when back out to my garage to thank my wonderful bike for helping me through the misery.
All in all,  it was in the top 5 toughest rides of my life. I put in 45 miles, included a nasty hill and endured some world class wind.
No morning session today, but I will do a 5 k recovery run tonight. And a 4 mile tempo run Tuesday morning.
I hope your weekends were equally blessed.

Swim,Bike,Run,Rest, Eat and repeat.
Does it get any better :-)  


  1. Sick ride. They say the winds will taper back today and tonite. It may have sucked for 70-80 mins, but I betcha it feels good now.

    "Windy" is a song by The Association I think. The same 60's smooth as syrup LA guys who gave us "Never My Love".

  2. Sounds like a cool ride. Extreme weather can give us some of the most enjoyable workouts.

  3. Great ride and great accomplishment. Nothing is impossible and you realize that when you push yourself to and past your limits.

    Thanks for the description too....felt like I was riding next to you. I also would have thought....QUITTERS!!!!!

  4. There worst thing about a killer headwind like that is the scratching sound in the ears. It drives me insane!

    Yeah, go North first, then you get your reward. Nice job on the climb!

  5. I have so many lights to deal with for outside and havent started that yet -UGH!

    soooooo jealous of you guys and your ride capabilities out there