with the santa barbara tri coming up, i felt it was of the utmost importance to get in a really long, solid brick this weekend. this week has been a pretty hefty week for training, so to cap it off with a nice bike/run would be perfect.
i set the alarm for 4am saturday night and actually woke up a couple minutes before it went off on sunday. i forced myself to sit up and that was all it took to let the bladder take over the process of keeping me awake. i ate, staged gear, got all my fluids and fuel together and was out the door a little after 5am. as i hopped on the bike, i thought for a second about going back inside and getting my tire levers. i waffled for a second and then popped back inside to retrieve them from my pack.
off i went! the plan was for a long clockwise loop through santiago canyon. the route includes a speedy, flat section along irvine blvd on the way to the climb at jamboee, several challenging climbs through the canyon and then a long, fast 10ish mile downhill back to the house. as i headed out toward irvine blvd through the pre-dawn darkness, i felt sluggish. riding was hard. everything felt difficult. yeah, i had put in some hard workouts during the week, but that wouldn’t make me feel THIS bad, would it?
at 2.5 miles into the ride, i just plain felt flat. and then i realized why. my rear tire had been loosing air and finally gave out. duh. i patted myself on the back for getting the tire levers as i quickly changed the flat and hopped back on the bike. amazing the difference a fully inflated tire makes.
the pre-dawn dark gave way to a marine layer grey sky, but as i climbed up into the canyon, the fog gave way to a brilliantly blue sky and a bright sun. i cruised along in the sun, enjoying the cool temperatures and tackling the hills without much difficulty. at the top of the final climb, i shifted high and really dug into pushing it as hard as i could on the downhill. it was great to fly, nearing the end of my ride as most cyclists were just starting their ride and climbing the first of many hills.
back home after just under 39 miles, i switched into my shoes, grabbed a fuelbelt and headed out for a the run. i planned just a simple out and back along the paved san diego creek trail. the run portion of santa barbara is all paved, so i felt i needed to get some more road under me. i set out with a goal of just enjoying the run, keeping a pace within myself and not pushing so hard that i wouldn’t have any energy left for the rest of the day.
at the 5 mile turn around, i snuck a quick peek at the garmin and saw that i was comfortably below an 8min pace. woohoo! i kept focused on my form and staying relaxed while continuing to put fluids in my body. i ran the returning miles home feeling, for the most part, comfortable. i could tell i was getting a little tired by the time i hit mile 8, but i really felt like i could have cranked it up and really hammered the last miles if i had desired to do so.
i rolled back home and finished the 10+ miles with an average pace of 7:44. woohoo! i had just completed about 50 man powered miles! successfully putting in a workout longer than the race course is a great confidence builder.
i can’t wait to race in a couple weeks. it’ll be my first tri in a year. i’m not sure if i’m in better conditioning than last year, but i FEEL good, and that’s more important than anything.
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