I'm pretty proud of my friends and associates lately. They appear to all be manning up in a serious way. I don't hear complaining, I just see hard work. At the mere suggestion of a 5 hour ride, people used to cringe. Now they're doing them like whoa. Today was another Herculean effort for Alyssa and Stanford. Alyssa had run 27 miles yesterday at Susquehanna and was going to be upping her cycling ante by 30 miles over her previous longest ride today, while Stanford was fresh off a 130 mile weekend last weekend, including his longest ride ever at 78.
I had that solid workout on Thursday, but it took a little bit out of me. Enough so that I went out to watch the Magic game with Ben on Thursday night and stayed out pretty late. Friday was a little bit of a cluster during the day, but I got my bike fixed and then went out Friday night with intentions of going to the baseball game but we didn't get there til the 5th inning and I didn't want to spend $27 on tickets for 3 innings.
I wound up running home from Fed Hill (a little over 4 miles) and got home just before 2am. Probably fell asleep around 2:30 and woke up at 5:30 to head up to the race that Ben and I were timing. It looked like a nice morning to run, fairly cool but sunny. After the race headed to our team picnic, which, like everything else in my life, had a few hiccups but all in all it was a pretty sweet time. By the time I got home it was 4pm, and I didn't want to ride so I figured I'd run.
Until I fell asleep for about 2 hours. I'm pretty psyched as I never take naps and I definitely needed this one. I went back out for a little, actually, a while, as I got home again around 2:30, and woke up this morning to rain. For a minute I was pretty psyched. I wanted to continue sleeping and figured our 8am ride wasn't going to happen. Oh but the rain went away and the threesome went out at 9 with intentions of a 5 hour/80ish mile ride. It was the first time for either Matt or Alyssa riding on Route 40, which I'm sure was an interesting experience for them.
It was amazing out, cool temp, maybe 70 degrees, a little breeze, lots of shade. We passed through Edgewood and then headed up to Bel Air and toward Rocks State Park, one of my favorite places and definitely a well-kept secret of Maryland. As I put in a little effort for close to 15 minutes through the park and out of it, we found out Alyssa had flatted. Took care of that and continued on the roads. The next 16 miles are tough - generally uphill and now we were receiving the heavy brunt of unfavorable winds. I also couldn't get comfortable, my taint was killing me.
Around 55ish miles we stopped at a church for water and were invited to partake in a bbq. While the notion was tempting, we were in a little bit of a time crunch and I knew if I ate something I wouldn't start back up. We descended into Loch Raven and then I was going to put in another effort up and out of it. I let the two know that Providence road takes you out of the park, but neglected to say that you have to turn right to do so. After a minute or two with no sign of them, I rode back down to look. They had continued straight down to Cromwell Bridge Rd, and so then I made them turn around and ride back up the hill.
They were both riding well still at this point, and I can only imagine for Alyssa going about 2.5 hours longer than she's ever ridden she had to be pretty tired, especially with a 27 mile trail run just yesterday afternoon. The way home isn't really that easy, you still have a bunch of hills to go up. I was feeling pretty good, which I guess is a good sign. I can tell I still have some work to do and desperately need to get my bike operating smoothly again.
We made it back right at 3, so minus the 30 or so minutes of stopping for the flat and some food/water breaks, about 5.5 hours. I'll have to map it as none of us had operating computers, but it'll probably shake out to somewhere between 80 and 85 miles I'd guess.
Then it was run time. Since I didn't do the long run I had planned this weekend, I wanted to get the biggest bang for the buck. Thursday was only the 2nd non-race brick workout I've done this season and one thing I did more frequently in college was run off the bike. Even if it was short - 3-5 miles was more than enough - I felt it kept me sharper for racing. I recall the days in college when I'd do my 3 mile campus loop off the bike in 17:00 or just under, and the day I ran Hyattsville (5 miles) in under 29. Today's run was going to be my 9 mile Wednesday Night Run loop. The temp was maybe in the 70s at this point, very sunny, but a good temperature. I left the house and was again surprised to see a quick first mile: 6:15. It felt super easy and I decided to keep running that effort until I couldn't anymore.
I made it to the Harbor in a very quick 30:40, so probably averaging around 6:20 I'd guess, but I was in crucial need of water. I went into the bathroom at the Harborplace and was sad to have only warm water coming out of the sinks. Whatever, it'll have to do. I continued on my merry little way, now starting to feel the effort. I backed off a little and ran pretty easy back to the Square, which I hit in 52:20 something. I had slowed down considerably, but it was still a decent day, so I tried to run my last mile pretty quick. My legs could only muster a 5:55 and then I was done. The thoughts I had of going to the pool evaporated and I simply crashed on the couch in the fetal position, feeling shivery.
It wound up being the most I've ever run after a ride, and a pretty long ride to boot. I realize I'm two weeks away from Eagleman, but I've got the following time goals in mind for now:
Swim - I'd say I'm in a little better than 1:30/100m shape, so assuming the course is accurate and there is no absurd current, I'd like to be able to go 29:xx or better.
Bike - Hard to tell what my race fitness will hold. My first two races weren't stellar, but I've started to come around. I don't think I feel as good as I did last year, but I am pretty sure on race day I'll have it. 2:15 was my goal last year, which is an average speed of 25mph. That'll be the goal again this year. I'd accept 2:18, but I would be displeased with anything slower.
Run - Geez, where do I begin? Obviously the first thing is to not allow what happened last year to happen again this year. And by that I mean it would be a victory just running the whole thing. By Boston I felt like my open half speed was indicative of a 1:17 or better. While Eagleman is the flattest possible 13.1 miles, it's also sunny and hot. Do I believe I can run 1:20? Sure. Do I think I'm going to? No, and I think it'll be stupid to go out there with the intention of running that. I've felt good off the bike this week running in that 6:10 range (1:20:50?) but I think that would get old by 7 or 8 miles and I'd be cooked. At the same time I think if I go out slower, I'm still going to come back slower. 1:25 therefore seems like a good goal, that's 6:30/mile and should be reasonable. If I can go faster, great.
Adding up the splits, that would be about a 4:09 without transitions, so maybe another 4 minutes. 4:13 would be unbelievable. I don't know if that would be fast enough to win the age group, but it would certainly give me a shot.
But for today, the champions were definitely Stanford (who was playing flip cup like a champion last night) and Alyssa who both rode the longest they've ever ridden, and Zero who rode over 100 yesterday on his tri bike.