Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend 2008

I knew this weekend was going to have to be big months ago. Eagleman is two weeks away, and Chima's wedding is this weekend so I'll be off my bike for a few days. I wanted to go out and have a monster weekend, but do it in a smart way so I don't kill myself. The following is the account of my Memorial Day Weekend, Friday through Monday:

Friday: Drove out to Eagleman course in the morning to meet Joe. He had the 2nd fastest bike split there last year, and 3rd fastest at Columbia last weekend. The plan was to ride the course pretty hard. The weather was alright, very chilly though - cold enough to warrant arm warmers, so about 60 degrees. Sun was shining though and I did pick up some sunburn. It's also super windy out there, which I knew already, but wasn't ready for it. We rode 20 minutes easy as a warmup, then went into an hour steady-state at a comfortably hard pace. I was riding my Cervelo with my Ksyriums instead of the Reynolds wheels, and Joe wanted to average 300 watts. After the hour we had covered 25.5 miles and Joe's average was 307. We were both pretty pleased with this. It was a hard pace, but I was able to talk the whole time. We then chilled out for about 5 minutes, and then went back into another 35 minutes. By 2 hours we were at 46 or 47 miles I think, pretty quick. We chilled out the last 30 minutes, which was still hard and I feel like we were crawling as we headed straight into the wind. We still finished the whole course in 2:30, which is an average of 22.4mph and faster than most people will ride at the race.

After the ride we headed out for a quick run. I started my watch presumably behind the line, and our first mile felt jerky. My legs were wobbly, the worst I've ever experienced, but our first mile wast still 6:30. We slowed down from there, running 7:00/mi for the next 2.25 miles or so. It was a great workout, especially just a few days after Columbia. My piriformis was not feeling great though, and the drive home was tough. I stayed in Friday night to recover for Saturday's ride.

Saturday: Woke up at 6:45, headed up to meet OJ and Benda at Meadowbrook at 8. We left to go to TriSpeed and rode with them til we got to the church. I did not feel good, as in I wasn't really up for a hard ride or to ride over 100 miles. I had just done the hardest, longest effort of my life the day before, after all. Not to mention we were heading into the wind for probably 3/4 of the ride. And it was chilly, I had my arm warmers on until at least Leone Spring I think. Maybe longer. When we got back to York, we finally had a friendly wind. The dude that was riding with us on his tri bike took off, and OJ and I just pedaled it in. I was not feeling riding hard. We still averaged 17.4mph for the ride, which, at 101 miles, is almost 6 hours in the saddle. By the end, my left knee was killing me - really stiff and I figured I shouldn't have done that much today. It was like doing a marathon the day after a half marathon race. It warmed up a little and I got burned again, and went to watch Alex race at BikeJam. Then I went out with the old roomies in Bethesda, which was fun, but I didn't get home until 1:30. Went to sleep and prepared for Sunday's ride.

Sunday: OJ comes over at 9:30, and has to fix a flat. We start going and I feel like death. He's already taking off. A few miles in he has to stop and fix something and tells me to keep going. I soft pedal for about a mile and a half before turning around and not seeing him. I rode back down 40 and find out that he has another flat. I give him a tube, and it goes flat right away. He was ready to throw in the towel, and wanted to just ride back and go for a different ride. I wasn't riding home, because I never would have gone back out. I told him to ride home on his semi-good tube, change wheels and then meet me in Bel Air. I was now riding sans tube, but didn't really care. It was a nice day out, albeit a headwind out 40, but it was sunny and I was starting to feel better. In Edgewood, the wind seemed to change routes, and as the road becomes more conducive to riding fast up to Aberdeen, I let it roll. I came across 22 into the cross, and came upon OJ. We started crushing it once we got onto 24/Rocks Rd. We let it rip for 7 or 8 miles, down into Rocks and then up out of it. I was killing it. Made it up to the gas station and stopped for lunch, I was at 56 miles. It was nice out and I figured I had 30 good miles left before going into soft pedal mode til we hit 100. Whatever road we were on is difficult for a few miles, it seems to just go uphill gradually forever, but then it rolls. And for some reason we picked up a favorable wind and again just let it go.

I couldn't believe how my legs were responding, and how good I felt. We just killed it, all the way down to Hydes. We got some dirty hose water at the church and then dropped into Loch Raven. I crushed it up that hill and out into Towson. We were over 80, so I was ready to call it a day, but he kept pressing, and then we rode some other good roads and just kept stepping on it. We crushed the Princeton hill, then Bellmore, before finally cooling down through town. We had to add on a little to get him over 100, but all in all it was a great ride - 104 miles, 17.4 average. Another 6 hours in the saddle, and it felt like it took all day. I was mostly amazed that I was able to come back after the Friday ride to ride 101 yesterday, and THEN to come back today and ride 2 miles fewer than my longest ever? Insanity. I felt better today but was burned and dehydrated. Had a good bbq at night at Claire's and then went to sleep. Monday would be no 100 mile day for me.

Monday: The originaly OJ plan was to ride another 100. No point. I was okay with 40-50 to get over 300, but I woke up and didn't feel up to it, so I didn't. I didn't do anything. It was the nicest day of the weekend and I sat around. Went to Kip's pool for a little, which was ice cold, and then to FHR. I thought I was going to crush it, boy was I wrong. We did Shady 7 aka Gwynns Falls, and I could hardly move. I was getting dropped and was not happy. And oddly enough, I know it was a holiday but town felt empty. The Harbor was crowded I bet, with the game and all, but there were no cars anywhere. And it was warm and had that summer sun. In fact, this whole weekend was quiet. Friday, Saturday and Sunday were quiet rides on fairly empty roads. Nobody is driving cause of gas prices I bet.

Ultimately I put in 261 miles in 3 days, which surpasses last Memorial Day by 46 miles. I may do 30-40 on Wednesday to try and get to 300, but am not hellbent on it. Tonight's track workout was harder than it should have been, and while I feel strong, I also feel very tired. 14.5 hours on the bike in 3 days will do that to you.

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