Saturday, May 23, 2009

Lake Henshaw Loop

If this post is a bit rambling, you'll have to forgive me. I'm about 20 minutes away from falling asleep, but that's pretty normal for me at this point in my training.

What wasn't normal - was my bike ride today. I knew something like this was coming. I just knew it. After hearing Mer's account of her 7-hour Ironman training rides, I figured that something akin to that would appear on my schedule.

Sure enough, it did.

And that day was today.

Last week at the pool, Charisa had mentioned that she was going out on the Lake Henshaw loop - a 112 mile and approximately 7-hour ride. Perfect! I barely contained my excitement... Someone to ride with for 7 hours! Jackpot! AND, someone FAST and STRONG to ride with for 7 hours! Double Jackpot!

So - because I'm literally nodding off, and for your reading pleasure - a few observations from my ride today...

-Rolling out my front door at 5:30 and climbing UP right away. There is something so wrong about hitting zone zz and watt xxx so early.

-Meeting Charisa's neighbor at 5:45 am, who happened to be up and about and NOT on a bike. And then seeing the same neighbor 7.5 hours later. Odd.

-Joining up with fellow ride buddy, Jon in San Marcos - who I met for the first time on the ride. And then staring at the GIANT IRONMAN tattoo on the back of his calf. When things got tough, when my legs felt like they wouldn't turn over, or whenever I felt I was having a moment of mental weakness, I made myself focus on his tattoo and get back on his wheel. It worked - for the most part.

- Watching in amazement as Charisa hammered through the ride - AFTER having ridden 50 miles Friday morning. She. Is. Amazing.

-Stopping at a GREAT store somewhere between Julian and Mt. Palomar, just off the 78 and 79. I was very tempted by the Julian Pie Company - but decided to stick to my training nutrition. (small sigh).

-Climbing up the 78 into Ramona. The pass is BEAUTIFUL, but more importantly, I remember driving down that exact same pass with Nathaniel and my Mom back in late March. At the time I thought it would be incredible to bike up. I had no idea.

-Riding through not one, not two, but THREE swarms of locusts somewhere between the 76/79 interchange and East Grade road on Palomar. It. Was. Disgusting. And while Charisa was nice enough to call them grasshoppers (which sounds sort of nice and hoppy-like), I knew what they really were. Thank goodness they weren't swarms of bees - which is what we first thought as we went barreling through. I was actually okay with feeling the 'pings' off my helmet, legs, arms, and side. NO stings! PHEW!

-Saying, "Good Morning Cows!" to the baby cows along the route. I think I scared one, though.

-I commented that Charisa was just about the only friend that I knew who would run a marathon "for a fun training day".

-Charisa remarking that I was just about the only friend that she knew who would respond with "GREAT!" when told of a really big, steep, and long hill ahead. And I meant it.

-Discussing ostrich eggs, after passing an ostrich farm. I do believe that one ostrich egg is the equivalent of 18 chicken eggs? But I could be wrong... hhhmmmm....scrambled eggs....yum!

-Getting in aero and focusing on the white line when things got tough, hard, icky, uncomfortable, long... I discovered that sometimes you just need to shut off the brain and ride... No thinking, no commenting - just ride. One pedal stroke after another.

-Seeing a cycling team riding hard up a hill while the three of us descended. Twenty seconds later, we came across two individuals from the same team who had dropped off the back. "Oh man - that sucks!" Charisa commented. I couldn't help agree, all while hearing Phil Ligget and Paul Sherwin's voices in my head... He's cracked and gone off the back! The elastic has broken and now, well, our boy is in trouble!

-I miss Phil and Paul's commentating for the Giro. Cycling just isn't the same without those two...

-Descending the bottom slope of Mt. Palomar and seeing two riders biking up with a car following behind. Later I learned that Floyd Landis and one of his teammates were doing the climb. Nice! Wouldn't we ALL like to have a support vehicle behind us? Yeah - that would be great!

-Realizing that I LOVE my bike saddle. The Adamo ISM is the best saddle ever. And the fact that mine is pink? Even better.

-Sometime after 6:30 on the bike, realizing this was the longest time EVER I had been riding.

-Returning home to Nathaniel, who - after eating at The Leucadia Donut Shop last weekend after the Encinitas Sprint Tri - found his love donuts. I had a fresh cake donut with white icing and sprinkles waiting for me when I got home. It was the second thing I ate - after my recovery bar. Solid food - yum!

And with that, I'm literally falling asleep. Jon and Charisa made me work hard, and it was worth every minute of it. Tough, long, hilly - but totally and utterly worth it.

Happy Training!


Beth said...

Oh yay for such a great ride Marit! 7 hours in the hills - you guys are animals!!! That just seems to incredibly long to me. Actually half of that seems really long. GREAT JOB!! You are so, so strong Marit!!!

Jennifer Cunnane said...

I am wiped out just "reading" about your long ride. Great job!

Maijaleena said...

I can't believe you rode 7 hours! That is amazing! You are going to kick butt at your IM! I like that you said hi to the baby cows, I like to say hi to the animals on my rides too :) you so lucky to have such a great training partner to push you.

Jennifer Yake Neuschwander said...

Nice job. That's a great training ride for CDA. You will love the bike course there. You are going to have an awesome time.

Anonymous said...

You ROCK Chica!! And aren't great training partners the best :-) It's so nice to have someone to share the ups and downs of such a LONG ride with - sounds like Charisa is a total stud!!! I am glad yours went well... I was thinking about you during my measly 4.5hr ride.

runningyankee said...

i wish you could bottle up your attitude and ship it east :) my favorite part (besides your gutting thru the tough parts!) was the treat nate had waiting for you. what a guy!!!

D said...

Doesn't Charisa just make ya sick? So awesome all while pulling a "real" job. Can't hate her though cuz she's such an awesome person... I can't wait to finally meet you guys!!

kerrie said...

wow - you are solid!!! you are going to be so ready to crush all of the baby hills at CdA...i can hardly wait!

Missy said...

You're just making me tired reading this...and I was complaining about riding three days in a ROW, pfft.

mmmm donuts, not to be denied!

CdA is so close, very excited for you. Oh when you're feeling 'down' or low and you're out training just think of your name on the loud speaker...YOU are an Ironman. Get's me going every time.

Mama Simmons said...

Sounds like an awesome ride! You'll be glad you did that at CDA! :)

I thought of you yesterday... as I was finishing my 30 minute brick run in 27 minutes... normally I totally would have stopped and called it close enough, but thought, "Marit would run an extra 90 seconds down the road to get in the whole 30 minutes..." So that's what I did. Finished in 30:01. ;)

Molly said...

What an awesome ride! You've already got me thinking and worrying about where to do mine :)

Charisa said...

I think you are going to "CRUSH" (wait, wait, that's not the word I'm looking for . . . ) IM CDA!! Thanks for a great ride - it's great to have fun training partners. And EWWWWWWWWW those bugs were disgusting!! I hope we do not ever ever ever see them again!! But glad they were not bees stinging us!! :)

jonathan said...

Love your ride report...I love that we passed an ostrich farm, a pie shop, a lake (or 2), a biblical swarm of locusts (it gets bigger each time I tell someone about it), Floyd Landis, cows, horses and who knows what else all in just a morning! And its not that the tattoo is so huge, its just that my legs are so small :) I don't think I need to say it but I know it's great to hear so I'll say it anyway...You are going to do AWESOME at CDA!! You hung tough on some legit climbs all day long, WAY TO GO!!

ADC said...

Nice job -my 7 hours are coming this weekend :((( You are so right about Paul and Phil - Giro is just not the same.

Kim said...

the hills got nothing on you marit! you are born to climb. great job!

Runner Leana said...

Wow Marit, that sounds like one epic ride! Congratulations!!!