WEEK 16 – April 11, 2016 – April 17, 2016
The highlight of this week was an awesome group ride in Dixon, Illinois. It was the first time that I had driven to my long time pal Dave’s house and joined him for a ride. We were missing one of our teammates who couldn’t join us, and we had one Gunner dealing with a sore back. We were however, joined by a young man from Germany named Malta, who impressed me with his riding even after traveling the previous couple of days.
I almost doomed the ride for myself by forgetting my bike computer, my heart rate strap, my sunscreen, and my little head covering that keeps the sweat off my brow and covers my bald head. But I had my phone app to record the ride, and all my other stuff that I needed to at least ride and run afterward.
The day was awesome for mid-April. Mid to upper 70’s, barely any clouds, with a slight wind from the southeast. I was amazed at the farms and the rolling hills, and upon cresting several hills I would almost want to stop and take in the scenery. We saw a huge hawk, several horses, some cows, some pigs roaming around, a barking dog who Dave says barks at him every damn time, and a snake sunning himself on the pavement. Dumb snakes. Later on the run we even saw a couple of deer.
I loved to fly down the rollers, but I learned quickly that I better be a little more careful riding an unknown route as I launched one of my bottles filled with Gatorade. Fortunately for me, Jeff decided not to overdo it with his back issue and let me have his for the rest of the ride when he turned back early. He was also kind enough to pick up my bottle on the way home. Thanks, Jeff! I needed every drop of Gatorade from that bottle.
Dave mentioned that we should turn around around 1 hour 25 minutes into the 3 hour ride because it will take us longer riding back home into the wind. Truthfully, I hadn’t really noticed the wind much, but Dave is pretty keen about those things. Sure enough, when we turned around the wind was right in our face and it seemed that it was going to take us much longer to get back. But we kept on moving and got it done.
One thing I noticed about Dave’s route is that it was very much like the Ironman Wisconsin course in terms of rollers and wide open spaces. Good place to train for Wisconsin or Lake Placid. No wonder Dave is a cycling god.
I also relearned the same lesson that I always learn when I ride with my buddies. That lesson is – I SUCK!!! Okay, that’s being a little harsh on myself, but every time I ride with my buddies I get reminded where I sit in the hierarchy of cycling ability in our group. And that is low on the totem pole, way off the back.
But it’s kind of unfair to say I suck instead of acknowledging how good my buddy Dave is. And the kid, Alex, well youth is definitely on his side. I shouldn’t be comparing myself to someone 31 years younger than me. He’s also outstanding.
In reality I have improved my cycling a bunch, and I think I am at a much higher level of conditioning on the bike than in the past.
The rest of the week also went well. I finally got in the three swims this week and felt good about it. Running was also pretty good. Ended the week with an 11 mile long run at about 8:12/mile pace.
Glad that summer made an appearance this week, and I hope it sticks around for awhile.
WEEK 16 TOTALS:
Swims: 3 total, 3 hours, 9000 yards
Bikes: 4 total, 5.75 hours, 96 miles
Runs: 7 total, 5 hours, 36 miles