Hillbilly Ironman – Bike

Bike : 5:06:03

(4:44:15 ride time, 4 minute ½ way stop to get food, refill water, 2 minute stop fixing a wheel issue, 16 minutes waiting at lights and signs)

The weather turned out to be near perfect for this type of event.  It was cool and cloudy most of my ride with a mix of rain or misting to make sure the roads were fast.  I timed each ¼ of the ride.  I was thrilled with how the bike was feeling.  I borrowed a Zipp Sub-9, aero helmet from a friend and I geeked out with shoe covers, TT bike, Zipp 404 front, etc.  Although I am sure I looked like a total dork, I knew it was going to be a long day and I didn’t see any reason to make any part of it longer than it should be.  I was thankful I was out on the bike at 6 AM on a Sunday and the weather looked pretty sketchy.  It kept most of the riders and cars off the road.  I think I saw a total of 100 riders all day and I didn’t get passed by a car in the first 40 miles of the ride.  It was actually really cool to be out riding around in clouds as fast as I could at dawn. The dire felt apocalyptic or something considering how deserted the roads were and the dramatic weather.  The 3000 feet of climbing in the route didn’t really register too badly.  There were 4 climbs on the route that I consider worth note and only 2 that took more than a minute.  The following is a breakdown of each quarter of the race in total time.

  1. 75 minutes on the first ¼. I was very happy with this since I was fighting a slight headwind and my legs were not woken up yet. I don’t usually have great luck in the mornings riding hard. And I was feeling some grogginess. I was thrilled with how the bike was feeling. I borrowed a Zipp Sub-9, Aero Helmet from a friend and I geeked out with shoe covers, TT bike, Zipp 404 front, etc. Although I am sure I looked like a total dork, I knew it was going to be a long day and I didn’t see any reason to make any part of it longer than it should be. The biggest problem was that it was so humid and foggy that I lost visibility on my visor constantly. I was sure to have a light on the back of the bike for safety reasons, but I couldn’t see too well. Thankfully the roads were so empty this early in the day.
  2. 73 minutes on the second ¼. Heading back I decided to take it a bit easier than I had been going early on. I was looking at a time of 2:20 total ride time pace as I headed back with a slight tailwind and decided to slow down a bit. I’ve heard plenty of stories about Ironman folks going too hard on the bike and then not completing the marathon. I struggled later on in the bike, so maybe this was a good idea or it could have been worse. I couldn’t run at the end and I am pretty sure it has to do with my lack of training than my bike leg.
  3. 83 minutes on the third ¼.  I felt pretty good still and wasn’t surprised by slowing down a bit.  This time includes a 4 minute stop to get food and a 2 minute stop to diagnose and fix my wheel.  So without those two special stops I was about 2 minutes slower than my 1st ¼.
  4. 75 minutes on the final ¼.  I was starting feel a bit odd with my stomach.  I hadn’t been riding my TT bike much in the last 7 years and the position was definitely getting to me.  The good thing was the wind was picking up a slight bit and I was feeling a bit more tail wind than I did on the 2nd ¼.  At about mile 90 I really started wanting to get off the bike.  I haven’t been training much and I can’t think of the last time I rode 100 miles.  From mile 90-100 I was really struggling with riding.  I couldn’t hold my position and I just felt awful.  I really wanted to stop riding my bike.  I slammed some gels, Gatorade, and electrolyte tabs to see if it was diet.  Then at mile 100 or so I began to feel better and the rest of the ride I was able to haul.  I felt great again and was getting pretty excited to finish the ride.  I was looking at going sub 5 hours, but got caught on two really long lights.  Bummer, but I was still feeling good about my ride.

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