Monday, March 3, 2008

Training Monday, 3/3/08

With the weather reaching up into the 50s this afternoon, I actually made it out on the bike for my longest ride so far, an estimated 35 miles. Grabbed a sandwich before heading out, then got dressed with bike shorts, tights over top, a cycling jersey, turtleneck, and windproof jacket over top. Temperature wise, it was just fine (although next time I'll skip the cotton turtleneck, all it did was soak up sweat and keep it there).

Started out heading north to the lake, where I felt really strong the first couple miles and averaged around 22 miles per hour. When I turned east along the lake, I quickly understood why -- there was a strong 20 mph wind from the south. Heading east, I had to fight the wind a bit, but for the most part it didn't come into play. Enjoyed the scenery, sun, and the warmer weather for the first 16 miles or so, stopping at the Pultneyville Pickle Company for a piece of pepperoni pizza and a slight breather. The Pultneyville Pickle Company is actually a small convenience store / deli that seems to be a favorite crossroads for cyclists (motorized and otherwise) due to its location on a scenic, relatively flat favorite biking road. By now I'd gone through my first bottle of Gatorade, and probably should have refilled at the store, but thinking I was basically at the halfway point, I didn't refill, trying to be frugal for the 2nd half of the journey.

From there, I continued through Pultneyville a mile or so, stopping to take a picture of Lake Ontario, before turning south away from the lake (again encountering the wind). By this time I was experiencing some numbness in my left foot, as well as the beginnings of some numbness in my left hand. I couldn't do much about the foot (I'm pretty sure my shoes are too tight), but I started playing with a bunch of different hand positions to get feeling back in my fingers, a battle I kept fighting right up until the end of the ride.

Heading south, my initial route planning was a bit off -- the crossroad I'd hoped to take when I turned back west toward Webster turned out to be a railroad track -- not really navigable on a road bike. I continued south to 104, hopping on the four lane briefly until I came back to some smaller roads that would take me home. It was on these stretches of relatively quiet roads that I saw some of the friendliest cows ever. As I road by the farm, five or six cows started following me, coming to the fence to see what was going on. Two of them even 'jogged' after me for a hundred feet or so. And folks say California has the happiest cows -- I'd have to say these seemed pretty darn smiley to me, at least as far as smiley goes in critters of the bovine persuasion.

About the time I hit mile 25 I really started to sag. I was running out of water, the toes of my left foot were completely numb, my left hand was so numb it was a bit tough to apply the brakes, and my right hand was intermittently going numb. If I'd been thinking, this probably would have been a good time to hop off the bike for a minute, take a picture or two, and give myself a breather. Not thinking, however, I figured I'd keep going and really push the training aspect of this ride.

Started feeling better again around mile 30, and was even tempted to continue on past my planned 35-mile route to add a well-traveled 12-mile route to the day's journey, for a total of 47 miles, which would have crushed my previous distance best. Around mile 32, though, the weather changed drastically, and a much colder wind started blowing from the southwest, gusting hard enough that maintaining control of the bike was difficult in a few places. The wind, numb extremities, and lack of fluids made me re-think my strategy, and I skipped the extra 12-mile loop, ending my ride with a grand total of 35 miles and an average speed of right around 16 miles per hour. Not too shabby for early March, but a LONG ways to go to get to 100!

Distance: 34.94 miles
Total Time: 2:11:17
Avg. Pace: 3:47 / mile
Avg. Speed: 15.8 mph
Max Speed: 28.2 mph
Avg. Heart Rate: 162 bpm (85% of max)
Calories burned: 2297

  • Breakfast -- large decaf coffee and a Fiber One oats/chocolate bar
  • Lunch -- chicken sandwich on wheat
  • Dinner -- grilled chicken breast, mashed potatoes, broccoli
  • Other -- 32 oz. Gatorade on ride, 1 slice pepperoni pizza

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