March 14, 2009

Round and Round

Fifty miles on the trainer is not something one generally looks forward to. Every day this week I checked the hourly forecast trying to figure out if I'd be able to do even part of this ride outside. Sure, the temperature was expected to gradually rise and eventually land in the upper 40s, which is lovely for a neighborhood stroll or leisurely pedal around town, but not for a serious ride. I would have been frozen in 20 minutes and I'm sure it wouldn't have helped this lingering virus. So I sucked it up and did the ride indoors.

Long rides on the trainer are all about distractions. I started with a hands-free phone call to my parents that lasted the first 10 miles. Next I tried to watch a movie, Wall E on Blu Ray. It looked amazing and was very entertaining, but the lack of dialogue made it hard to watch while biking. After the third rewind I called it quits. I then had a five-mile TV-less stretch and realized being that alone with my thoughts just wouldn't cut it so I resorted to the old standby and watched two Kona broadcasts - 2007, my absolute favorite, and 2002.

There isn't much to say about a long trainer ride other than it's uncomfortable (to put it mildly) and fairly boring. But I did have one minor distraction. I was testing out the IMNO 70.3 nutrition plan put together by my coach based on my sweat test. I had to consume 25 ounces of Gatorade Endurance every hour, which equates to one bottle plus a couple mouthfuls of another. Thirty minutes in I had my first gel and then another every hour. It seemed like a lot, especially since I've historically underfueled on the bike, but it worked. My energy level was steady and I wasn't hungry, which was a definite first for me. I made the executive decision to replace my last gel with an Uncrustable simply because after riding for three hours, I was craving solid food. I think the most amazing thing about this approach is that I wasn't ravenous immediately after finishing. Sometimes I can barely make it off the bike and to food, but this time I felt fine. I had my usual post-workout chocolate milk and didn't eat for almost two hours.

This was my long brick for the week so immediately after finishing the ride I did a 4-mile run. I've never done a brick this long so I was worried it would be slow and painful. Not only was it not painful, but it wasn't slow either. I did a 7:46 on the third mile and kept it in the low 8s for all but the first mile. But beyond that, it was fun. It reminded me of the pure joy of running. I caught myself actually smiling for much of it. And at the end of the day, isn't that why I do this?

Distance - 50 miles
Time - 3:40:34

Distance - 4 miles
Time - 32:43


  1. I wouldn't make it even 5 miles without TV. 50 miles on the drainer is amazing.



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