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Long Bike Ride a Success

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Yesterday I was scheduled for a 5 mile run, but I decided to do a long bike ride instead - 31 miles. I'm trying to balance marathon and triathlon training. The bike ride would allow less stress on the joints, and it would still be a tough work out.

The weather was great - around 50 degrees and overcast when I started. Being in Florida it got a bit warmer towards the end, but not by much. I think it was about 65 by then. I'm certain the cool weather made my energy level stay high.

I mapped out a good trip, trying to stay on riding trails a good portion of the time, and I did okay on that. Of course, I still had to ride in traffic a lot, but I felt more confident this long ride. I guess one just has to kind of trust the car drivers to pay attention as you ride in a portion of the traffic lane. Also, I use that time to ride faster and push myself along with the cars.

This time, again, I got passed by another rider. This time a young guy on a mountain bike pretty much flew by me on the riding path. I didn't attempt to keep up with him, but maintained my own pace.

By the way, I did get another bike for myself. I still have the Walmart special which I also train with. I got a Windsor Bristol from Bikes Direct online.

It's certainly not a high-end bike, but still expensive for my budget and mindset about spending money. It's lighter, has thinner tires and has triathlon bars and pedal cages. Just a better bike for triathlons. I can't justify paying a lot of money on a tri-bike, especially at my training level and age. I just am not that fast that I need to gain a few seconds per mile at the cost these nicer bikes go for.

I've read lots of advice on purchasing tri bikes which agrees with me, that many people get into the triathlon scene and have to have the best bike and equipment, when their level of fitness does not require such sophisticated equipment, and they fail to gain any significant advantage from what they have paid for. But, having said that, if you have the money and want the best, why not get the best? I do understand, and yes, I do admire your bike when I see it. So, good for you.

For now, my Windsor Bristol did a good job for me. I did get a flat tire, though. I have gotten a few before, too. Probably going to have to get some better tires. These tires are prone to puncture easily. Anyway, the flat was in the rear. I had my new tube and equipment with me to make the change easily. It gave me a chance to rest up a bit, too. I still have trouble with the little hand pump I have. I'm not quite sure how to use it, as sometimes the air doesn't go into the tire. I have to adjust the presta valve on the tube a couple of times to get it to seat correctly. But eventually I got air into the tire, and was able to mount the wheel correctly on the chain, which proved to be easier than I had anticipated.

That was about halfway through my ride. I had some hills and some flat roads. Didn't really ever feel tired, which was encouraging. I am very intimidated by the 56 mile distance I must complete in my upcoming 70.3 mile triathlon. This ride immediately will follow a 1.2 mile swim, then ride the 56 miles, then run a half marathon distance. I am trying to be realistic about my expectations. I do sometimes think I signed up too soon. I have only done 2 sprint triathlons so far, and am new to this, but it's a done deal now, so I'm going to do it.

I understand I will be a back of the packer for this competition. Even when compared to marathons, there are fewer guys and gals in my AG for this type race. I know it's going to be very difficult, even fewer folks my age ever attempt it. So I've decided to 'just finish'. That will be accomplishment enough for me. As usual with me, I do have my moments of feeling not up to the task, but I always give myself a talk and tell myself this is not beyond me as long as I continue to train hard and smart. I remind myself that barring a genuine injury I certainly am capable of 'finishing'. So I train on.

The bike ride went well compared to my last long ride. I felt better afterward and still had some energy. Later in the evening, I got inner thigh cramps. I did some stretching and took ibuprofen and they went away. I'm really glad I decided to do this bike ride instead of the run. I got plenty of exercise, and feel great this morning.

I have a 10 mile run on schedule, so I have to go do that now.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!


Member Comments About This Blog Post:
FANGFACEKITTY 1/16/2014 3:53PM

    "Just" finishing is a major accomplishment and I have no doubt you will do much better than that!

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HOBBESIS49 1/11/2014 1:20AM

    emoticon emoticon


From 'GO the Distance' team

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BUTTERFLY-1976 1/10/2014 12:01PM


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MASRITE 1/10/2014 10:45AM

    I just love reading your accomplishments. You're so passionate about your training and it always puts a smile on my face when I read about your workouts. You're going to smoke your tri!! No doubt about that!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 1/9/2014 10:12PM


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STRIVERONE 1/9/2014 9:29PM

    I'd like to recommend Continental Gatorskins as replacement tires. They are recognized as being pretty close to bulletproof and are quite light. I got a pair this year and am using them with thornproof tubes. They got about 800 pretty hard miles on them and no flats or problems. They are a bit pricey but you can shop them online and do pretty well. Amazon has them in stock.

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JACKIE542 1/9/2014 7:30PM

    Happy to hear that you are still training, sounds like a good day too. emoticon emoticon

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STEPHM-ARATHON 1/9/2014 2:00PM

    Good luck with your training and upcoming 70.3!

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RAINEMARIE214 1/9/2014 12:22PM

    Great ride and your new bike looks/sounds great, too!

I really want to start riding my bike outside again (once it warms up and theres no snow on the ground)! It's been over a year since I've ridden my bike. I dont know how to fix a flat, though, so I definitely need to learn!

Thanks for always being such a great inspiration/motivation!

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NATPLUMMER 1/9/2014 11:17AM


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ONMYMEDS 1/9/2014 10:51AM

    You'll do it.

Did you mention which tri you are doing? And your next marathon? If so, I didn't get the memo.

I'm still looking for my next marathon. I might do Des Moines in October, but would also like to do one earlier in the year, May or June perhaps.

Keep up the great work buddy!!

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I_CAN_AMY 1/9/2014 10:23AM

    All I can say is WOW!! You are amazing and sometimes when I'm out on my "long run" (for me, hee hee) of 5 miles, I think of you and how it would feel to run 18 miles. That though helps me push a little more and strive for a few more kilometers.

Your bike looks great! I have a mountain bike that I use as a road bike, because of the cost of a new bike. I plan on buying on this year, but I probably won't have one before my duathlon in May. I will probably be the only one there with a mountain bike, but the point is- I AM THERE!! So, I totally understand the bike thing.

Lastly, aiming "just to finish" isn't a bad thing. The 1/2 marathon book that I bought says the goal should be to finish upright, with a smile on your face, wanting to do it again. I am still very overweight and I am NOT a fast runner, but sometimes I find myself calculating how fast I can run a 10K or finish my duathlon if I could speed up my mile pace. But I have to stop myself and ask why? We are competitive creatures by nature and if we can go faster we try, right? But it may not be healthy or wise. There's nothing wrong for shooting for FINISHING! Think of all the people that didn't even start!

I wish I lived near by, I'd be there on the sidelines, cheering you on!

Keep being you!


emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WILEE323 1/9/2014 10:15AM

    I haven't done a tri yet, but I am a veteran cyclist. A piece of advice that I get often is to work on my cadence and not focus on speed. Find a gear that you can comfortably spin at 85-95+ rpm. I have a computer on my bike that tells me my cadence - a nice feature. I tend to be a grinder, but spinning is easier on the knees.

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ROXYZMOM 1/9/2014 10:14AM

    "Just Finish"?? Are you kidding me? Just having the guts to sign up, train your butt off and get to the start line is huge! You are an athlete. You are training very well. You are going to rock this thing!

And, on top of that, you are such a great inspiration to all of us!

Your bike looks great! I have no doubt that you will enjoy it and get your money's worth out of it.

I am glad the weather is good down there. My husband and I are traveling to Captiva Island next week. We are looking forward to our 30 mile bike ride through Captiva and Sanibel. We rent cheap bikes so it is always a nice work-out!!

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SEABREEZE65 1/9/2014 10:05AM

    Very good ride! My guess is - you will do fantastic at the next tri!

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BIGPAWSUP 1/9/2014 9:27AM

    You never cease to amaze me. You are extraordinary. Thanks for being a const inspiration and proof you can do what you set out to do.

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