Tuesday, June 2, 2009


So after tapering for a week, follow by getting sick and not having the energy to do anything for a week, I decided this past weekend enough was enough. I did a little (note very little) open water swimming on Saturday, and made plans for a long ride on Sunday. Some how I convinced fellow KS 70.3 and IM WI triathlete Robert to come out and ride with me....which he will likely never do again...

So let's start at the beginning. The over ambitious plan was to do 70'ish miles on Sunday. And not just any 70 miles, but a serious butt-kicking hard 70 miles (from the Monona Terrace out and around the IM loop and back). I think mistake #1 was sleeping through my alarm for an hour and not having time to eat breakfast. Duh. I know better than this. I scarfed down part of a Clif bar as I frantically packed my gear which I had fallen asleep without packing the night before. I realize that is another poor decision I made in epic riding preparation.

So I, shockingly, make it to the Terrace only 10 minutes late (which is quite a feat as I had woken up only 35mins earlier) and get ready to ride. This ride was also going to be the beta test of some new sunscreen. Not to digress here, but no matter how well I slather on the sunscreen in the morning, by the time I wriggle out of my wetsuit it seems to be all off of my pale flesh and I inevitably fry. And of course I don't want to wast precious transition time drying off and reapplying sunscreen, hello! So I thought I would check out one of those spray on sunscreen do-jobbers. I did some serious spraying too. I thought I was being so careful and well prepared. Until I saw my burn lines. Turns out it works....where you spray it. Insert exhibit A:

That would be one of the many places I failed to hit with the spray sunscreen. But if you look closely you can seen I sprayed in the area. I am speckled. And I have a wedding to go to this weekend....do you think I can wear compression socks to cover my stripe? Or perhaps leg warmers? No, this is not the only place on my body this occurred, this one's just the worst.

As if oversleeping and no breakfast wasn't omen enough, I realized that the rides I had saved to the Garmin weren't there. If it wasn't for a competent copilot there would have been no ride, because, well I am directionally inept. I am. I accept it. Oh, and I forgot my old fashioned paper cue sheet (which I can't actually follow anyways). Awesome.

Anyways, back to the ride. So we left and headed out. I warned foolish riding companion Robert that I wasn't feeling 100% and it would be a long slow ride, but I don't think either of us knew what was in store. The first 15-20m were slow, but it felt really good to be back on the bike and moving. And that's where it ended. Our first stop was my beloved Verona BP so that I could blow my nose for like a year. I was still feeling kind of ok at this point.

I still haven't figured out my saddle position so sitting on the bike, not my favorite, but I was trying. Trust me, this blog would not be rated PG if I went into much more detail than that here. Let's just say, ow!

And then there was the ride to Mt Horeb. Before we headed out 92 Robert says "you take the lead, I need to work on pacing." Translation, "put the slow girl in front and it will make me ride slower." This just made me giggle. It was sort of like when my coworker rode hills with me and told me "you didn't almost stop and tip over on any of the hills today and like 3 of them were kind of big." So the slow girl rode in front for pacing purposes....until we were almost to Mt Horeb and I don't think he could handle my snails pace any longer. It was brutal.

Stop #2, the Mt Horeb Kwik Trip. I sort of feel like I am cheating on the Verona BP when I stop at any other gas station while on my bike. But when you gotta blow, you gotta blow. Your nose that is (remember, this blog is rated PG). This was the point of the day where I started to feel like I was in trouble. We were ~30m in with the hardest miles yet to come and I already felt spent. There was nothing in the tank.

We rode on.
I actually felt a little better after our brief stop in Mt Horeb. Slow but uneventful all the way to Cross Plains. This is when I warned Robert it was going to get ugly. And it did. Those hills. Those dreaded awful painful hills. I am ashamed to admit that I walked 1/2 way up the next 3 hills: Old Sauk, Timber AND Midtown. Old Sauk it was like the half way point where I just couldn't breath, my nose was running down my face, and my legs were cramping. Walk a little, swear a lot, be humiliated, get back on the bike. Repeat. Timber I was like 3/4 of the way up when I started to tip over. That's when the old guy chugged past me and said "don't worry, you'll get 'em next time." I. WAS. MORTIFIED. Let's repeat that same story on Midtown, only with less passerby-ers.

(My face saving note here is that I have in fact made it up those hills on other occasions. If we overlook the mini-tantrum during the April Duathlon I have made it up those hills every time I have ridden them.)

Ok, the worst of it behind me, still moving at a snail's pace I thought I was going to be ok. We stopped for some refueling in Verona. Culver's: the food of all good athletes. Right. And home it was. Nothing to taxing, maybe 20miles, piece of cake. Right.

There had been PLENTY of stops, a ridiculously slow pace the entire ride, and a few hills walked. That was the reality of it. I was feeling pretty frustrated, kind of down and out. Then came a little hill on Whalen. I never even realized it was there before. Well this was the hill the broke the Katie's back. That's right. Less than 10m to go and this is where I lost it. Again, 3/4 of the way up the hill I started to tip over. My legs were cramping, I couldn't breathe, my nose was dripping...and I was bawling. Full on ugly-crying in front of a relative stranger. Insert meltdown here. This is where I realized that an entire season of training can really go down the drain really pretty quick. I had nothing left in my body. I had been running on reserve since Mt Horeb. I didn't walk that hill, I calmed down and got back on my bike. God bless Robert, you can tell his has children. His patience was never ending (and I do believe I tried it).

After getting back on the bike the last little bit was slow, painful and seemed to take forever, but I made it. By the last 10m I was so sore from my saddle that I couldn't sit any more. All that extra movement (really the whole ride, but especially the last chunk) lead to really sore hips that were starting to cramp.

It was probably way too ambitious of a ride to start with. And it certainly was poorly executed on my part. Live and learn.

Still sick. Still sore. I'm trying to find a better attitude and keep going.


Anonymous said...

We were out on the loop Sunday. We parked at Hometown Square on Main St in Verona. I think we started our ride around 9am. Plan was to do 2 loops, but the weather was too nice for all of us (there were 6 of us riding) and none of us wanted to give up a gorgeous day of weather to ride another loop. So 40 it was...so congrats on finishing up 70. Nice work!

Good luck in Kansas...

robert said...

You are a funny girl. Having been there I could only laugh reading your report of the situation. Hope you're feeling better. Regardless of how ugly you feel the ride was, you still got it done, and from my perspective it was still better than riding alone.

I'd be happy to ride with you again, see you in Kansas.

g said...

My husband is very patient. It is a somewhat learned behavior from having kids, but he also has to deal with me. I test his patience constantly. We also have a puppy. Anyways, I DID tip over on a hill with him on the loop last summer. I wasn't sick, I was fueled, I was trained. Luckily - he was too far ahead to see it happen. From the open water swim I sucked through on Thursday - I learned how much the mental game really affects performance. Let this one go. You were sick, obviously not fueled enough for that kind of mileage, and obviously not as rested as you needed. Let yourself get better. I keep telling Robert that Kansas isn't his A race, don't forget that there is something bigger. All of this is meant to make you mentally stronger. As sucky as you felt it was - you went 70 miles. That is how you need to look at it. Sucked - but who finished? You did. And if it makes you feel any better, all he said about the ride was that it was good, but you had a rough day as you were sick. SO - it wasn't brutal from his standpoint.
g (robert's wife)

IronBri said...

You kill me! I wish we were in the same area- pretty sure we'd have some great rides. Or at least some great sunscreen stories to share with people.

Sorry to hear it's been a rough couple weeks for you. Chin up- these times make for great stories at happy hour in later months!