Thursday, May 17, 2007

Ironman Training Camp Day 4 and Wrap up

Today is the day, the day to see the entire bike course all 112 miles of it. I got up about 6:30 and started loading up some stuff into my car as I was planning on checking out and driving home after the long bike ride. Took a little while because I brought way to much stuff, mostly all my wet riding gear that went unused as the weather was great for the entire camp. Left the gear I was going to ride in inside the room and went to breakfast. (its still worth what we pay for it)

Got underway about 8:20 or so to all drive to CDA this time (no riding the 40 minute ride there to start a 112 mile ride).

Everyone got their bikes out and shoes on and were just generally getting ready to go. We took a group photo and set out just after 9 am (9:08 to be exact).

What a beautiful morning, not too much wind but it was warm and getting hotter. We were pretty close on the first section through a residential area, but once on the centenial trail out to the first turn around it started getting thinned out. Made the turn around and started back into town. Cal and Luke (our coaches) were great they were out chalking the course and setting up aid stations for us throughout the day.

Once back in town we made a little detour to the official route because Government Way is so busy, we turned up 15th street and made out way north. What a great decision, very little traffic and only a couple of lights and stop signs.

Now out into Hayden Lake area we started the climbs again. I was riding close to a few fast riders and would see them up the hill ahead of me and then once I'd make it to the top it seemed like they were gone, but I'd see them on the next climb (way up in front of me).

I skipped a couple aid stations and stopped 4 times during the ride. I passed some faster riders at an aid station and they'd get me after a while.

After completing the loop once and back along the lake I made a facility stop and then passed the faster riders taking a break at the higgins point turn around, they caught me at the next aid station where our special needs bags were. I switched out my bottles for the couple I had in my special needs bag and took a little break. I think these breaks will help in the race too as I found myself a little refreshed and could feel my toes once again. After about 4-5 minutes I was back on course and headed up 15th street back into the county.

The hills hurt a little more the second loop but I was still going up them at an ok pace, until my toes started to hurt too much, I'd really feel it on the climb and then wouldn't really want to pedal on the downside, so I lost some time there. I'm going to do my next long ride in my other bike shoes and see if it makes a difference.

Finally made it out the where Lukes aid station was and took another nice 5 minute rest, refueled, re-filled my water, and had some good conversation. Both Cal and Luke are great!

Luke was at the corner where we go on an out and back section about 15-17 miles long and my feet were fine for the first 10-12 miles, but really started up again coming back up the hill to the aid station so I stopped again for another 5 minute stop and some coke.

Back underway felt great as I saw 93 miles at the aid station so it meant I had less than 20 to go and it is south which is always downhill right? My feet/toes did ok all the way back into town. I had to make one stop though as I stopped when my GPS hit the 100 mile mark. My first century so I had to take a picture, what a great feeling.

Rolled into the parking lot and was off the bike and had my running shoes on pretty quick. Boy o boy was it a nice feeling to be in the running shoes and not the cycling shoes anymore and I think I ran a bit too quick for my tranistion run, but I'm not complaining.

Total bike ride was 106.4 miles and 6:18:25 moving time (does not include the muliple rests).
Extrapolatingg out I think I can do the 112 in 6:30 moving time (with my race wheels) and add 15-20 minutes of breaks so am thinking a 6:45-7:00 IRONMAN bike ride is in the cards for me.
I was extremly salty looking but felt great, so think my nutrition was good.

I jumped in the lake and wipped off most the salt and changed and was in the car for the next six hours, found the perfect exit for coming west, exit 221 in Ritzville has a Shell, McDonalds and a Starbucks so I stopped at all three. Made one more stop along the way and got home right at 11 pm, what a great long day!

I must say that Cal ran an awesome camp, excellent training and on course support, marking the route making sure no one got too lost. It really was great, I hope to do it again someday.

If anyone has a chance to go to a Critical Speed training camp (he puts on a few a year) do it, you will get good training, great support and meet some awesome people.

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