Today kicked off that little schedule of fun fall activities I shared the other day. When you're training for an Ironman, you rarely get to do anything on the weekends just for fun. Even a half Ironman steals away a good training day. So I'm filling my early offseason with the fun events I usually hear about others doing and wish I could do myself.
Today's event technically could have qualified for "training" if I had shunned the muffins, cookies, PB&Js and other goodies served up along the route. I rode the Escape New York metric century with my friend Jonah, but since we live in Brooklyn we rode 87 miles. On dead Ironman legs. In 87-degree heat. But since it was purely for the joy of being on the bike, it was perfect! It wasn't my finest long ride, but given how recent my race was it also wasn't so bad.
The ride started and ended by Grant's Tomb and included a ride over the George Washington Bridge (my usual weekend route), North through New Jersey and back into New York state. We followed another route through New Jersey home. Some were roads I've been on and many were new so I got to explore a little.
So how did it feel to ride 87 miles on not-so-recovered legs? I felt great at the beginning. We had a 16.7 average with a fair amount of climbing and my energy was good. But about 45 miles in I got tired. Then the leg pain started. And the lower back pain. Even my triceps hurt! I was mostly just uncomfortable in the saddle since aside from the race, I've barely put more than 2 hours in during a single ride in the last 3 weeks. But riding just for the joy of riding is something I haven't done for awhile. It didn't matter how many miles we managed to get in, what HR zone we were in, what nutrition we took in (see above) or how long it took. It was a gorgeous, hot, sunny, late September day and I spent 6 hours of it pedaling just for fun. What could be better than that?