Today was my last super-long bike ride! My intention with this ride was to do one more race simulation, this time to test out my new nutrition plan - Generation UCAN!
Today I ate half a bagel with peanut butter at 5:45, on my way over to my Ironman Friend's house. Last week I had trouble with my belly feeling "empty" and now that I know I will have a few hours between getting up and my wave start, I think I will need to eat breakfast at the hotel before I head over. So my friend and I rode down to the ride together. She was supposed to be doing the 100 miler (century) but with her injury taking her out of her full Ironman and really basically out of training much at all, she chose to do the 30 mile route and then to wait on me to finish. That was SO sweet of her to do that!
We arrived at the venue and it was really jumping! Lots of participants and the volunteers were some of the most helpful I've seen. I registered this morning on site, something I rarely do. But it was a last minute confirmation that I would be able to do the ride, and the registration + active fees would be just about the same as registration on site. I'd rather give that money to the charity rather than to active. They didn't have any small shirts, but I got a medium and I'll wear it today and give it to my hubby to wear after this! :)
I mixed and drank a packet of Vanilla UCAN with protein 30-45 minutes before the ride. I think I like the vanilla better than the chocolate. I suspect that is because I refuel with whole chocolate milk, so anything else tastes watery and my body doesn't like it!
The ride started and I took off to do my thing. I wanted to come as close to pacing in Augusta as I could without this being the same course. I did a pretty good job, maybe a little faster. I mistakenly tried to power up a hill and my left hamstring started to give me grief. I wasn't sure what was going on since it didn't feel like pain, more like twinging or a pinched nerve or something. It was weird. I was afraid that I would need to drop down to a shorter route. But it never hurt, just twinged, so I kept going. When I stopped at mile 31 for the rest stop/refueling and got back on the bike, everything was fine and continued to be the rest of the ride!
I had had one bottle full of Nuun and another full of water when I started the ride. I finished the entire bottle of the Nuun, but only about 1/4 of the water bottle. I put a packet of Orange UCAN and 10ish oz. of water in the bottle that had had the Nuun, and topped off the water. This turned out to be just enough fluids for this mostly sunny day. I'm really glad it was a sunny and humid day for me to practice with. I was able to drink the UCAN on the bike just like any other drink. But then I was left with an empty water bottle the rest of the ride. I'm wondering about stopping at another rest stop during the race (if there is one??) or if I should practice chugging my UCAN while I'm stopped and refilling my bottle with water/Nuun? Something to think about and practice...
After my rest stop, I noticed there were a lot of people with flat tires. I know there were at least a dozen in a very short distance. One of the last ladies who was changing her tire said something about tacks on the road. I assumed that was some sort of code phrase, but my Ironman friend told me that people do put tacks on the roads before/during bike rides (as well as turning signs like they did at the Covington Century). Not sure what sort of person would do that. They could have really hurt someone.
I felt like there were maybe 4-5 significant hills and then a bunch of hills that looked awful but didn't feel too bad to me. I was surprised when Garmin prompted me that I had set a new elevation gain record of 2519 feet! It was hot, humid, and windy - but the hills didn't seem that bad. Either I'm getting better at them, or my brain was playing some good tricks on me! LOL
I have decided that tomorrow is a rest day. I haven't had one yet in this build cycle (14 days so far) and I'm very, very tired. We usually swim at the lake on Sunday but with this being Labor Day Weekend, my training buddies assure me that the last place we want to be is at the lake trying to swim. I was thinking of hitting the pool instead, but I'm just really, really tired. I think my body will be better served by getting some rest before this last week of PEAK training!
4 weeks to go! And on Monday, I can start saying that I have a Half Ironman "this month!" WOOHOO