IM Louiville

IM Louiville
Bikes racked at Ironman Louisville 2010

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Training Ride

OK, so I'm a little late in posting this, but things have been hectic this week. Then I had a little problem with internet access recently. But everything seems back in working order, so I wanted to get down my thoughts on a recent ride I went on.

I met up with some Apache women. We met out in Winfield to ride the course of some race that several of them are participating in this weekend. While I waited for them to arrive, I watched some other male cyclist go around at least 7 times. I figured he must be practicing some technical part of the course. He finished up, came over and introduced himself as the race director and yes, in fact, he had just completed 10 laps of the most difficult part of the course.

And what were we about to do? The same thing. They kept talking about this "hill". When you start riding up, it doesn't look too bad. I switched into an easier gear and got to what I thought was the crest. Just before where you make the first turn, the hill gets brutal and it feels as bad as that really tough hill of the IMWI course. It brings your speed (well, at least MY speed) all the way down to non-existent. By the time I was making the turn, my quads were burning and my breathing was out of control.

Now after you finish that hill, you're in for some nice downhill, but if this was a race, you wouldn't exactly be coasting down this. And you can really gain some speed just before you have to make the next turn, so it seemed to me that the race would be difficult. After 5 loops, I decided to sit out and wait for them to finish. I, too, have a race this weekend, but it doesn't include hills, so I didn't want to wear myself out.

Once they all completed the 10 loops (and made it look so easy!), we went on what they called a "casual" ride. Very nice riding out there with some rolling hills (which I would get dropped on EVERY time). I felt like a real cyclist as we rode in a pace line and took turns pulling. I got "coached" by the others as to what and how to do things. Triathletes ride very differently than cyclists, so it was good for me to try and learn what to do and what not to do. I still have a lot of learning to do, but these people were very supportive.

At times, our speed got up to 28mph and I would be struggling with all my might to stay on the wheel of the person in front of me. I would pray that a hill wasn't just around the corner because I knew I'd be dropped. We stopped very quickly for a "photo shoot" and headed back.

The way back was no picnic. Sporadially, these guys would just take off! I guess this is what you call "attack" in bike racing. And you had to decide in a split second, were you going with or were you going to let yourself be dropped? Well, I have the reaction time of a turtle and found myself trying to catch up only to be disappointed. There was no way I could catch these little rabbits. As fast as I could pedal, as hard as I could push, I could only watch them get smaller and smaller in the distance. With sweat pouring down my face and my heart rate completely maxed out, my only relief is when they would get caught by a traffic signal. Then I'd think "Ah, I GOT YOU NOW!"

Yes, I was very happy for the ride to be over. But I was also happy to get out there for the experience. I hope to join them more often.


RunBubbaRun said...

They have hills in Illnois. Let me know what race that is when you get a chance or a route. I need more hill training.

They might be faster on the bike, but can they swim like you.

bernie said...

nicely done mj.

i have a question for rbr though.
how come the guy in your rbr photo appears o be running a cross country race with a bike helmet on? no disrespect intended, i'm genuinely curious.