Wednesday, August 10, 2011

So, When Is Summer Over?

Photo: Mikael Colville-Andersen, Flickr Creative Commons

My run or bike ride yesterday (I couldn't decide which I was going to do), was cancelled by a huge thunderstorm that came in suddenly just before I was going to go out. My work schedule has me getting ready pretty early in the morning, so I get my workouts done in the evening when the sun is no longer hitting me directly. Sure, it's been 92 degrees at sunset lately, but the dimmer light seems to make it more bearable. I had skipped the day before as I've been on an unofficial every-other-day schedule so I felt a little guilty for missing a second day and set my alarm for 5 a.m. I was going get my 5 miles in before I had to stick my oatmeal in the microwave and take a shower.

Then the alarm went off and I looked out the window. It was still pitch black. It wouldn't even be gray outside until I had to be in the shower and I live way out in the boonies. They don't put up street lights this far out from anything resembling a neighborhood. I could have still gotten up, found my headlamp and gone anyway, but I used the excuse to reset my alarm for a later time and go back to sleep. I should have gotten my ass out of bed and gone for a run, but I'm slow to wake up in the mornings and a bed is REALLY convincing at 5 a.m.

As for the cycling, it's less than a month until I'm supposed to ride 103 miles around Savannah. I normally do 17-21 miles anytime I go for a ride, which means I need to build up my endurance. Toward that end, I went out for a 40-miler this past weekend. Let's just say that I really hope that the end result was from the heat and not from the distance. I'd gotten up a little later than I had intended Saturday and by the time I'd eaten breakfast and gotten myself ready to go, it was 10 til 10 in the morning before I got up on my bike. That meant, after taking into account my short rest and food break in the middle, that it was a good bit after noon before I got back to where I started. Unlike my normal evening rides, the late start meant that I pushed through most of my ride with the sun beating down directly from above. I was fine for the first 20 miles. I was fine for the first 30 miles, good enough even that I chose the longer option of the two second-half routes I had planned for the day. Somewhere around that 30th mile things fell apart, though. I was exhausted. Miles that I normally complete in 3-3.5 minutes were suddenly taking four. I couldn't keep my cadence steady for any significant amount of time. I'd pedal for a bit, coast, and then pedal again. Normally, I pedal pretty steadily for the entire ride, only coasting on the backsides of the tougher hills.

When I finally finished the ride, I even called my wife to come pick me up in the truck so I wouldn't have to walk the 1/2 mile to the house down the sandy road between us and pavement. It took me hours to get back to feeling like myself. I don't usually require any real time to recover from a ride and never more than 15 minutes to get back to being myself after a hard run, but this time I was spent.

In case you're bad at math, 40 does not even equal half of 103. I'm going to be stepping up my bike distances every weekend until the big ride and if I can't manage at least 75 miles by the weekend before the ride, I'm definitely going to cut back to a shorter option in Savannah.


Courtney said...

Well, doubling your mileage will wear you out. Hey, at least you have a solid goal to shoot for.

Mickey said...

103 miles is a lot. I used to not think it sounded like a very big deal until I rode 37 back in the spring. Granted, I hadn't been on a bike in months and I'd never ridden that far, but it nearly killed me (only a slight exaggeration, as I felt like death) and it gave me a new appreciation for cycling.

Good luck in your preparation.

Julie said...

That's a really long ride and it is really hot out. I think you're crazy but as long as you're having fun, I suppose it's great.