Saturday, December 28, 2013

New gear makes even the worst ride better!

This morning I set out for the Silver Comet trail to ride 40 miles. The Channel 2 Weather guy predicted a high of 55 with some sun through mid-day but rain starting at 2:30. Well, he got it HALF right. @@

I was so excited to try out my new Christmas gear! Not only would I be wearing my new cycling jersey and using the top tube bag on the bike to carry my fuel, but I would also be using the leg warmers that I bought myself as a treat!

Don't I look cute? I mean tough?? :D

I didn't want to wear a jacket because I wanted my jersey to show. Sure, it was going to be chilly at the start, but with sun and 55 by the time I was finishing, I figured it would all work out.


For one thing, it was not sunny, and that makes a big difference. And it was 41 degrees when I started. And that is really, really cold on the bike. But I was expecting that big warm-up, right? Yeah, right. When I got back to the car 3+ hours later, it was a balmy 44 degrees. Yep, 3 whole degrees. And it wasn't sunny at all. I was literally freezing. I couldn't feel my toes at all. My bottom felt like it was made of ice cubes.

The ride itself was miserable. I was cold, as we have already determined, but I was also feeling crummy. I think it was the later start time and the fueling involved with it. I had the same problem yesterday with my long run. By the time I finished each of them, I was starving and feeling awful. I guess I need to figure out how to fuel long workouts that don't end before lunch.

I did finish, however, and there are a couple of silver linings with the workout. The first is that I found out that less than half a mile from my usual turn-around point, the place where it feels so isolated and somewhat scary, is a trail head with a bathroom and a clear view of a divided highway! LOL Who knew?!? And the second is that this ride turned into 43.4 miles, which is officially my longest ride ever. I decided that since it was going to suck, I wanted it to at least suck with a PR.

The new gear worked out pretty well. The leg warmers fell down about 15 miles in. I fixed them, and then at my turn-around I pulled them up much higher and they didn't fall down again. The bike jersey fits perfectly and I really love it. Having the big pockets in the back was a big help. I carried my cycling gloves in case my hands got too hot in my regular running gloves (Ha Ha) and later I put my Honey Stingers chews in another pocket for easy access. The top tub bag is pretty cool but not nearly as easy to open as I was expecting. I cannot open it with one hand, which means I can't open it while I'm riding. I hope that it will open easier the more I use it. I also bumped it with my legs a few times at first, but later I didn't even notice it. I'm not sure if that's because I didn't bump it, it didn't bother me, or perhaps I'd lost all feeling in my legs. LOL I did learn that it is NOT water-proof as it was full of water after the long drive home in the rain. So if it starts to rain, my phone will have to come out and go into a baggie or something to keep it safe.

During the ride, I was pretty much thinking that doing the Half Ironman was not going to happen. How could I go 16 more miles feeling so crummy, and then run a half marathon after that?? But I guess I shouldn't make decisions based on one bad ride.

It sure would be nice to make a decision, though! ;)

Last long bike ride of 2013 is done! I never would have thought I'd be able to ride 43.4 miles on the bike by the end of the year! I'm so pleased with how well my base-building is going!! Just a few more workouts left, and one nice rest day tomorrow, and then it's 2014!!

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