Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Wind Sucks.

While we were camping, we had two of our longer rides for our Century Training, 48 and 53 miles.

We had decided to head north on 23 toward Cheboygan for our first ride, 24 miles out, 24 back.  Sounds simple enough.  Heading up there wasn't too bad, there are some fun downhills on our way to a roadside rest area with a beautiful view of Lake Huron.  The wind was seemingly steady, but on our way back to the campground it was much, much more windy.

First 7 miles Elevation Profile

I don't know about you, but I prefer to do my 'into the wind' stints while I have fresh legs, whether I'm biking or running.

The first ride, all in all, wasn't bad.  Rough at the end of course, but there are two brutal up hill climbs in the last 10 miles back to the park.  One of which has no downhill, which is LAME.  It is the worst of the two by far, it's about three tenths of a mile long, and almost straight up. I had to use my 'sissy' (smallest) chain ring.  I have three, and I was so glad to have that.

You see the giant drop at 10.5 miles?  That is the WORST climb coming back and notice that it's completely flat at the top? Ugh.

If you just reverse the profile, it comes to the total 49 miles we did that day.

By the end of the ride I was exhausted, and a little loopy.  We got back to the camp site and were hanging out in my parents' camper with the fam.  Zack (baby brother) let me have one of his Gatorades, which was a great thing after the long ride, wonderful.  The loopy comes in when I opened the Gatorade and dropped the cap (of the bottle) on T.J. (the black lab nut job my parents have).  I stated that I had dropped the cap on the dog and immediately dissolved into a fit of giggles that quickly became full blown belly laughter that took my breath away.  Because I dropped a cap on the dog, geddit? Geddit?! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!!

Isn't the lake be-yoo-ti-ful?!

I get rather giggly when I'm tired.  Eventually I stop being able to breath and I am laughing so hard that I'm silently rocking back and forth with my mouth open and tears streaming down my face.  Of course, it causes me to laugh harder, it's a vicious (and fun!) circle - and a great ab work out!  Fortunately I took a nap and that saved my abs from exploding. Can you imagine the mess?!

Our second ride we went the same direction because the elevation profile between the State Park and Alpena is insane.

 Miles 6-8 here, would suck on the way there, but awesome on our way home...

This makes my legs hurt just looking at this. They're screaming "NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!" 

Although we wouldn't have gone all the way into Alpena, the first two profiles would have definitely been on our trek and since Adam isn't supposed to be taxing himself and I am not physically or mentally prepared for a climb like that, as you will see shortly.

We decided to move up our longer ride from Saturday to Wednesday because we didn't want to spend our last day at the Park on the bikes.  Which turned out to be a good decision since it rained the last two days at the Park and we wouldn't have been able to get in our ride anyway.  It also was raining when we got home and on Sunday.  It was a good decision for that reason.  Otherwise, it was a rough trip.

First, as I mentioned earlier, I prefer fresh legs for riding into the wind.  This worked great, until the final 2.5 miles before we turned around at the half way point.  It was *almost* completely open.  We had been battling a vicious, and I mean absolutely brutal, head wind steady at 17-18 mph, with gusts up to 25 mph.  BRUTAL.  Riding the 2.5 miles back to the rest area was great with that kind of tailwind.  I mean AWESOME.  We were maintaining 21-22 mph, piece of cake!

Windy, windy, windy!

Then I almost killed myself getting off my bike, my right shoe wouldn't come un-clipped (I need to tighten my cleats).  At this point, I would like to point out that it was so windy on our way up that I never actually was damp with sweat.  All I had as proof of perspiration was the dried salt on my face.  It felt really weird!

A little red in the face, but not as bad as I could have been with that wind. Yiiiiikes!  I hate how Adam looks like he hasn't done any work.  Damn my dilated face blood vessels! 

We rested for 15 minutes and hopped back on the bikes.  There was a little concern that I had pulled a muscle un-clipping my stubborn right cleat.  But in the end, my butt just hurt a lot.  We stopped so I could stretch some more and we took it a little slower to start out.  My championship husband generously pulled for much of the ride home, which is good, because I had a break down a little less than halfway back.

You see, despite having the wind at our backs, it still liked to gust around and come at us from the lake.  Having not gone on such a long ride before, this was a little demoralizing.  I had chosen to ride into the wind for 26.5 miles so I could have a kick ass ride back, and now I was fighting through pain in my butt, my left knee and anyone who rides long rides will tell you, no matter how seasoned of a rider you are, your neck/shoulders/upper back will start to try and murder you for leaning forward for so long.  The best tenth of a mile of the whole ride where I sat up and stretched out.  It was amazing.  As I have explained previously, I cry when I am over-tired, frustrated, exhausted, overwhelmed etc.  So for approximately a mile or so (or at least it felt like it)  I was crying and riding and just wanted to stop and call my parents to come get us.  The fricken wind was the worst part.  I can deal with the pain, I've pushed through worse, but the wind was taking away my joyful, fun, tail wind speed ride.  The jerk.  The stupid, jerky wind slammed me right up against the wall of my physical limits and I was defeated.

The only way I managed to push through was the support from Adam.  That man is a marvel, he's my rock and my biggest cheerleader.  The entire time I was crying and saying, "I can't, I can't" over and over, he was riding next to me, rubbing my back saying, "Stop saying that, you can do this."  If I had been riding by myself, I would have stopped and called my parents about 5 miles back to the Park, I'm almost certain.  He was pretty sure I hadn't reached the point where I was absolutely serious about quitting.  But if he had, he would have said ok, no problem, even though he could go on.  He's amazing.

Of course we pushed on and I once again used the 'sissy' chain ring to get myself up the hill at the 10 miles to go mark.  I believe I was going 6 mph when I finally got to the top of the hill.  I didn't go very fast for the remaining time either.  I was in survival mode at this point, just chugging along.  I really wish I had had my ear buds and music, but anything to distract me would have been great.

We got back and I ate and drank and napped and showered.  It was really weird with all of the dried salt on my skin.  I scratched my face and it came off under my finger nails. Bizarre!

Dad, stop reading for a minute. Other males who are squeamish about female monthly cycles also should stop here for a bit.

I must ask a question of other female distance cyclists about riding on your period.  Do you forgo a pad and undies and just wear a tampon?  I went the pad/undies route and I was very sore up front down there.  I'm worried about wearing a tampon for that long, though.  I will take any suggestions, except not riding.  That's not allowed.

Dad it's ok to start reading again.

Century training is not for the faint of heart.  But the changes I am seeing in my body are crazy.  I still have a gut, but my legs are definitely thinner.

And head winds SUCK. Or blow, whatever you prefer.

<3 Bikes!


Dave said...

Jenny,where do you find those elevation charts?

Dave S.

Jenny said...

@Dave http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/ it's a great site that is based off of Google Maps. They just updated a ton of stuff so you're coming in at a great time!