Monday, July 15, 2013

Day 157 - The Really Long Ride, Finally!

July 13, 2013      238 lbs

Today was a big day as far as training goes. I did the longest ride so far. As my regular readers know, I was to do a 70 mile ride last Saturday but I didn't do it because I was feeling pretty burned out.

But today, even though I was pretty busy and started much later than I wanted to, I was determined to do it. Even if that meant riding long after dark. So off to Arcadia I went.
I started the ride at 2:43 pm which is pretty late for a five hour ride but that is the way it went down.

I rode from the golf course to the end of the Santa Fe Dam following the reverse route.


 Then from the the end of the dam, back down, off of the dam and onto the San Gabriel River Trial.


I followed the trail all the way to Long Beach.

I noticed that the trail was showing a lot more green on either side from the recent rain. Amazing considering it rained for a day. . .maybe!

Something very strange happened at one point. I thought I heard something close behind me so I looked in the rear view mirror on my helmet and there was a crazed looking dude furiously riding up on me. Literally inches from my rear wheel. The expression on the guys face is what startled me the most. Well, that and the fact that he came out of nowhere. So I poured on the speed! I looked back after a few seconds and the guy was gone. Man, was that strange. I remember thinking as I sprinted away, that I was surprised I had the energy to ride that fast and also, WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON!!!

My left knee was still bugging me during the ride. By the time I got to Long Beach, my butt, back and knees were sore and I was only halfway! I got behind on my nutrition and starting feeling weak. I also needed more water as I had almost emptied my Camelbak and some electrolytes. It was hot on that trail!

There was some kind of kite contest happening at the beach.

I rode around until I found a store that ended up being in Seal Beach. I bought a large water and small Gatorade. I put the water in the Camelbak and drank the Gatorade. I immediately regretted it. As soon as the liquid hit my stomach, it tightened up. It didn't exactly cramp, but close. Something that doesn't happen with my Skratch Labs Hydration Mix. Now, I know I talk about it a lot, but I want you to keep in mind, I don't get anything from it. I buy my own. Problem is, I used up what I had left on the way down and the way I was losing water, I thought it was necessary to get the Gatorade. If I was to do it again, I wouldn't! But if I really needed to, I would cut it with water 50/50. My stomach didn't feel normal again until I was ten miles into the return trip and I had to ride sitting up! The Skratch Labs product uses a better quality sodium that doesn't irritate your stomach.

The entire way down to Long Beach, there was a headwind that made it feel like a quarter of my effort was wasted. I though of Kona and how difficult the entire bike course is due to the strong crosswind there in Hawaii. I couldn't help but look forward to having the wind at my back on the return trip. Sure enough, it felt like I was being pushed all the way back to Santa Fe Dam!

On the way back, I was more careful with my nutrition, eating some of the raw energy bars my wife makes. I have read that guys like Rich Roll eat 200 calories per hour to fuel during a race. I think that is a good example for me as well.

The return trip seemed to go by much faster and soon I was at the Wittier Narrows Dam.

From Whittier Narrows Dam, it is eight and a half miles to the Santa Fe Dam and my turn towards Arcadia.

At one point, I was standing up as I crested a small rise on the path and I was a little surprised and pleased that I still had the energy to do it.

I neared the Santa Fe Dam as the sun was setting to the west. Recently, the sunsets have been really nice.


I made it to the dam and turned west for the remaining three and a half mile ride to the Arcadia Golf Course happy to be finished. I was checking my watch to see exactly when I passed the seventy miles mark and as soon as I did, I felt pretty good.

Here were the final stats. 73.25 miles. 5:21:17 time. Elevation gain 2753. Calories burned 3085. According to Strava, I got thirty-five personal records.

When I sent my coach, Chris Hauth, a message about completing it, he responded with "Great! Next one will be 80 miles."

I'm ready.

Until tomorrow my friends.

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