Friday, February 27, 2009

Let the biking begin :-)

Ok - so I'm starting the biking thing now.

My write-up from last Sunday:

We are all about pushing the limits - seeing where they are - traditionally for me this has been to see how fit I can get and how fast I can go at that fitness. Well today was a little different. Today was a test of how hard can I push myself totally unfit - haven't had a good workout routine in 3 months - the aerobic engine is in a bad state right now - a minimal amount of swimming helps a little but still. The "race" was a biking fundraiser with course options of 4, 20, 46.5 and 55 miles (which one do you think I picked). Now I did about 1 week of biking 5 days that week back about new years. I intended to get in some spin classes this week to prep the legs a little but that didn't work out - so I figure - what the heck - I'll do the bike race anyway and see what happens.

Goal - sub 3 hrs for 55 miles - double marathon distance - surely I can go twice as fast riding as running.

After looking long and hard I discovered I was NOT the only one at the race with a Schwinn Bike - I found 2 others among the thousands of Treks and Cannonballs(oops - Cannondales) and Giants ....... And there were even a couple others out there with toe clips and regular shoes too.

Off we go - no gun - no starting line - just kinda a slow wavish kinda star. I'm feeling good and a little impatient among all the 10 mph bikers so I move my way up - after a while I find there is a certain protocall for passing - a "on your left" shout-out to the biker being passes - also I was told in no uncertain terms I should NEVER pass on the right. The miles click off for a while - then 20 miles or so in there is a big headwind. I learn to draft - much simpler than pushing thru the wind myself - when a group of bikers would come by I'd try to jump on the back end of them and get pulled along - conserving energy - after a few miles of this I find the group I was behind at the time is too darn fast for me - I drop off and I'm stranded with no one to draft behind - that is some tough mileage into the wind.

After several miles of this wind we come on a rest stop about 1/2 way thru the race.....bikers actually do rest at rest stops - not like in a marathon - swoop in - grab a cup and go - they stop, get off bikes, chow down cookies and drinks - socialize - I badly needed a rest stop - biker style and I took full advantage - in fact I lied down for a good 10 minutes trying to get my heart rate down. Interesting thing on heartrate - I was kinda expecting ~150ish since I run marathons 160ish and I've always heard biking heartrate is slower - but a sign of how out of shape I am - I was riding nearly the whole first half in the mid to higher 170s. At one time I even went higher than what I thought was my max heartrate. I badly needed that 10 minute break - truth be known - I wanted to quit right there but I had the small problem of being 25 miles from my car.

I move off that nap-time break and start riding again - all mojo was gone and I could barely maintain a crawl - after 5-6 miles of this I see the covetted words I'd longed to see "Starbucks" - I pull out of the race and go in to get an extra large ice water and call and wine to my wife for a while as I drink it down (slowly). She provide playful mocking words to my torments. Time to go - as it turns out in a 1/4 mile there was another rest stop with bikers all milling around - I skipped it and kept going. Somewhat rejuvinated I'm able to ride a steady pace to the next rest stop where I get off do the biker style rest stop - I'm kinda getting used to this. 15 miles to go - I'm just trying to keep moving. A biker told me a secret trick at these rest stops - eat pickles - who am I to argue - I did - I felt so much better after that rest stop.

Off I go - in pain for the last stretch of the ride - it felt no different to me than miles 20-26.2 of the marathon - just plugging along - in pain.

So I finished - didn't get sub3 - but I did get sub4. Finished in 3:25 minutes of riding time and 30 minutes of stopping time - but I finished - felt good to push thru poor time I think I'd like to be a little trained for it..

Time to Gear Up

Ok - time to go SHOPPING!!! Found some biking stores and I'm starting to gear up - got the gel gloves, the shoes/pedals - searched around for a used bike and got an incredible deal on an awesome barely used bike. And now I get to post it ----- bike porn:

A Giant TCR2 road bike (Carbon fiber seat post and forks) with less than 200 miles on it with computer that I picked up for a song (about 1/3rd the price of new).....I'm off to get it all adjusted to me at the bike shop today - looking forward to giving it a spin this weekend....