This past week, the kids had both Thursday and Friday off from school as a combo Yom Kippur/Columbus Day long weekend. Off to the beach we went, with Joey's friend Zan in tow. The weather was supposed to be iffy--calling for rain late Thurs/Fri, but clearing up and windier on Saturday. It worked pretty well that the kids had those days off since the Ironman Florida and Arizona girls had a fun century ride/brick planned on the Eastern Shore on Saturday.
I was super excited to find my new bike had been delivered to the beach house on Wednesday, but I couldn't get it put together at the local bike shop until the compact crank came the following day. Thursday turned out quite nice, with the kids spending most of the day on the beach. They even swam in the ocean and pool. This is Zan and Sophie:
Around 2pm the crank was there! I loaded my Kestrel, new crank and bike in the car and took off to the local Conte's--only for the mechanic/bike fit guy to say he couldn't have it put together until 5pm. So much for that Thursday bike ride....but then I spent 2 hours on the trainer with him later that evening during the fit. While warming up, the gears on the new bike kept slipping. Turns out the brand new Dura Ace chain was broken! Argh. On with a new chain, and of course I needed to pay for it. He tweaked quite a few things from my fit and I was wondering how Saturday was going to feel--luckily I had Friday to give it a go.
The weather Friday had turned overcast, with some intermittent drizzle, and much more wind. Joe took the boys to the Go-Carts, Maddy had developed a fever and was lounging/reading in bed, so off I went for an hour and a half ride around the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. I'm glad I only rode that long. The new saddle that came with the bike was PAINFUL! At just 10 minutes into the ride, my pubic bone was screaming, and I knew something had to change if I was going to ride 100 miles on Saturday. Back to Conte's I went after my ride. Luckily they had a saddle that would do the trick and SCORE! it matches the bike beautifully! (If anyone out there wants a white Fi'zi:k Arione Wing Flex saddle, let me know!) That evening, my poor Maddy was feeling lousy and was running a fever, so we put all the kids to bed pretty early. Before I hit the sack, I tested Joey's blood sugar, since he was at the lower end of his target range before bed. He was dangerously low (35!) so I stayed up pumping him full of juice to get his blood sugar back up before hitting the sack. I was due to get up at 5am for the drive up to the Eastern Shore to meet up with my TriGirl peeps.
I forgot to set the alarm on the cell phone to ring on the weekend. Ooops. I glanced at the clock around 5:10 and, thinking it was probably just a few minutes off, thought I may as well get up. Nope, the clock was right. After scrambling around getting dog and crap and bikes together, I kiss sleeping kids and husband goodbye and drive off with breakfast in my lap. I don't recommend driving across the bay bridge/tunnel at 6:30 am when it's windy while trying to eating yogurt and granola. I got to the cabin at Kiptopeke State Park with about 20 minutes to spare before everyone was headed out. Whew!
This was the third TriGirl-organized century ride from Kiptopeke, but my first visit there. The cabins--built in 2007--are great! Ours slept 16 people in 6 bedrooms, with a comfortably furnished main room with full kitchen and 3 bathrooms. They even had all the beds made, and towels provided. The park is on the bay side of the peninsula, just 3 miles from the southern most tip of the eastern shore. There is a swimming area, playground, places for campers or RVs, and even yurts! According to the website volunteers capture, examine, weigh, band and release resident and migratory birds each year and observe and band hawks, kestrels, osprey and other birds of prey from September through November.
Our century route took us up the eastern shore on flat, mostly well paved (the first and last 15 miles were pretty BUMPY), and very scenic roads from Kiptopeke to Onley and back. We got to see lots of interesting sights, like turkey vultures picking at a dead deer, tidal marshes, tomato fields, old falling down farm houses, and fields of green and yellow. On the way north, we had some tough head/side winds. We stayed in a pretty tight pace line--tight enough that at mile 48, my front tire got clipped by Heidi riding in front of me in a gust of wind from our right. I over corrected, and ended up lying in the middle of the road. Ouch. Luckily Charlotte riding just behind me was able to avoid me, and there was no traffic coming right behind or ahead of us. I lay in the middle of the road for a while trying to figure out how bad I hurt. After a few cars went by asking if I needed an ambulance, I decided I would be ok and slowly got up. Road rash on my elbow, a contusion on my ankle, and one hip that will surely turn a beautiful shade of black/blue soon. My helmet was ok, and luckily my beautiful new bike was relatively unscathed.
The next 10 miles to our turn around/rest stop were tough. I maintained a good distance behind people in front of me, and staying aero hurt my elbow. At the rest area, I was able to buy some Tylenol and gingerly rinse off my arm. Walking hurt, more than pedalling. I figured that if I crashed during Ironman, I'd want to do my best to finish the race, so I looked at the second half of the ride as a test. If I can get through this, I can get through Ironman. We were happy to be headed with the wind though, and were able to maintain an 18-19 mph pace for most of the way back.
Then Shawn announced we would rotate the lead in a pace line in 5 min increments...
Shawn led first, then Sharon, and Patty. Those three girls kept us right at the 18-19 mph pace. The rest of us thought the purpose was to push hard for those 5 mins up front. Heidi pushed on, and then Kate G. I was working hard to keep up with Kate, not realizing everyone else was falling back. Then it was my turn. I got up front and pushed really hard. After 3 mins it hurt, and I kept checking my watch for my turn to end. I had not moved my bike computer over to the new bike, so I had no idea how fast I was going. At the end of my five mins, I started dropping back. But there was no one behind me. It turns out I apparently was going about 25mph! I had stopped, thinking the other girls had stopped for some reason, then they caught up and flew by me. Now the shoe was on the other foot, and I had to catch back up. But by then my legs were shot. Those last 15 miles were really hard. Heidi, Kate and I stuck together after that. We were so glad to see the green house indicating our final turn back to the cabin. After the ride, we grabbed the Sophie monster and ran for about an hour. This is us before the run:
Those showers afterwards felt great, as did the beer! Karen, who is in her hard-earned "taper" for HalfMax in Las Vegas, made the best dinner of meat loaf, mashed potatoes, and mac and cheese. We gorged ourselves on the good food and promptly went to bed at 9pm. We repeated the gorge fest at breakfast...mmmm mmmm!
Home now, I am feeling quite stiff, and tired. I am still in love with my new bike.
So let the taper begin!
Many congratulations to Rachel Ross, who placed 3rd in her age group at Kona this Saturday. Amazing!