Well I must say I wasn't sure how todays ride/run was going to go. I didn't get much sleep as I was out late babysitting and I woke up super early with a headache. My head was totally stuffed up from the allergies, hence the headache. Ah the joy of allergies. Oh well, I wasn't going to let that stop me from getting out there. This was going to be my last hard ride before GWN and I wanted to test out some Hammer nutrition.
I've been having troubles figuring out what to use for fueling - the gatorade/gel combo works for short distances, but for longer it really upsets my stomach because of the high sugar content. Leslie had been trying Hammer products and had success so I was going to give it a go. I was hoping if I had a hard ride then did a run after that I could determine if I could use it next weekend.
Four of us met up for the ride this morning. It was pretty grey out there and some of the clouds looked like they could be holding rain and lightening. Yikes! No worries though, I wearing my spiffy new club jacket. The new jacket is a very very very bright neon yellow. It is sooo bright I'm sure we could be seen from the Hubble Space Centre! It definately gives you the confidence that you can be seen when riding on the road!
We did the Horse Creek loop, but as we wanted to get in at least 50 km today we started out from the soccer fields. The first part of the ride was as usual...it always takes me some time to get the cadence/speed thing happening. Finally I got into a groove. No need to dodge prairie dogs this morning...I think they were hiding from the cool weather too.
It seemed like no matter what direction I was going, there was a headwind. I just kept telling myself it wasn't a headwind but my great speed on the bike that made it feel like there was a headwind, haha! Hey, whatever you have to do to get through it! Even with the wind though I was able to keep my speed in a range I wanted and I think I did well with my cadence too. I had a great time out there! Towards the end of the ride the sun even came out. This was a very good thing as my toes were starting to get really cold!
Along with the ride being awesome, I also mastered the high velocity evacuation of mucus (H.V.E.M) also known as, the farmer blow. Now I know there are some out there that are thinking 'Ew!' right now. All I have to say is, don't knock it till you've tried it! I used to think that too...but as a gal with allergies who rides past farms with mass quanities of hay - of which I'm allergic - it can get really annoying sniff, sniff, sniffing along. Some may suggest a tissue. I've tried this - but it's really hard to peddle, try and keep speed up, extract tissue with sweaty hands, and blow. Then what does one do with said tissue?? So now I use the N.V.E.M method. It was a little tricky at first - not to mention messy - but I've learned a few tricks to help with the process.
One, always determine the direction of the wind. This is very important! Depending on which way the wind blows and the way you are blowing, you may end up with gooey right back on you. Two, make sure you have a good seal of the nostril opposite of the one you wish to evacuate. No seal, and again we have a mess. Third, always make sure the people you are riding with are not drafting you....that's just a courtesy thing. :) Today I managed to remember all things and didn't get any on my new spiffy jacket. Leslie would be proud!
The ride turned out to be about 54km done in 1:58 h. I think my average speed was about 27km/h. I got some great speed on the hills up and down! After the ride was done I went for a short 20 min run. My stomach felt great during the ride and I was hoping it would stay that way during the run, even if it was short. I'm happy to report that it did. Yay! So I will use this fueling for GWN next weekend and hopefully I don't have the GI issues from last year. Ick. I'm starting to get really excited for the race!!
Note to Jenn: Definately sign up for IMC 2008!! It's not only race itself that is exciting and fulfilling - it's the journey leading up to it!