Biking, More Biking and Running.

So this weekend was a pretty low-key weekend which was awesome.  Well, ok maybe just Saturday was low-key… but it felt like a relaxing weekend due to the fact that there was no travel for work, no races to go to, and I could just kick it around CNY.  

Friday night a group of us went to check out our friend’s band Hold the Air at Limp Lizard.  I just love going to watch them play – they perform acoustic versions of all sorts of popular music.  The band is really good, and its always a fun show because of the variety of music!  If you’re in the Syracuse area and looking for something to do, you should definitely check out one of their shows sometime!  (And if you’re a CNY runner participating in Runapalooza – keep an eye out for them along the course!)

On Saturday, I didn’t have any major training on my schedule other than an easy flat 1:15 bike ride.  My friends A and C were planning a bike trip near Oneida Lake and asked if I wanted to join in, and I couldn’t say no – it’s fantastic when training and hanging with friends can align.  We started out a bit later than planned Saturday morning, so we decided to ride from C’s house around Sylvan Beach and then hit up a diner on Rt 31 after the ride.  It was a great morning to get a few quick miles in and then enjoy some breakfast at Flo’s.  (I totally approve of this diner based solely on the giant chicken statue and the advertisement for $0.10 coffee….) 

Behold Flo’s Diner.

After we ate our breakfast, which was actually brunch since we finished up around noon, we came outside and saw these bikes:

Crusin’ in Comfort

Looks like a few guys have the whole bike touring thing down.  And it also appears that they know how to ride in comfort.  These seats on the bike look pretty amazing!

After leaving Flo’s, C asked us if we wanted to check out a new bar, The Whitewater Tavern, which he had discovered the night prior.  He was giving us rave reviews about the owners and the beer selection, so of course there was no turning this down…  and there was no disappointment here.  The owners are very friendly, the bar has a great hometown feel and they have a fantastic beer selection.  We went in and talked with the owners for a bit, they were super friendly and a lot of fun to talk to – I definitely would make the trip out Rt. 31 again sometime to hang out.

After I got home from our biking adventure, it was time to head over to Bike Loft East to investigate a new bike seat for my TT Bike.  I had a big ride on Sunday and I had no interest in attempting to ride on the seat that came on my bike again.  I worked with Andy who works at the shop to try out some various test models and took one out on rental for the week.  It’s fantastic that they have the rental program – definitely an advantage to having to commit to purchasing a seat then finding out that it’s not a great fit for you once you’ve put a few miles in.

Saturday night ended up being a impromptu campfire night.  It was SO nice out and the weather was prime for hanging out by a fire.  Plus, I’ve been dying to use my new fire-pit since I bought it last week.   I invited a few friends over for a small bbq where we ate some amazing cheeseburgers and grabbed some salads from Wegmans.  It was great to have a few people over and just relax for the evening.

A Little Campfire Action.

Yesterday (Sunday) was a big day for me.  I had a LONG workout on the calendar that I have been dreading since I saw my coach load it on my schedule a couple of weeks ago.  I had a brick workout on the schedule where I was to ride the 70.3 bike course (56 miles) and then run 10 miles as a Race Simulation.  Fun, right?

Basically I’ve been like this for the past two weeks:

And then there was a little of this action:

Why the freakout?  Well, first of all, that’s a planned 5 hour workout covering 66 miles total.  Second, I rode the 70.3 course about 3 weeks ago and it was not a very pleasant experience so the thought of riding it again and then having to run 10 miles immediately after was pretty daunting.  Seriously, I was scared of how my body was going to react.  Last time I could hardly walk by the time we finished the bike, let alone try to run 10 miles.  I will admit, most of my issues stems from having a poor bike fit and a terrible bike seat that I have been rocking on my Felt, but hopefully that will all be fixed soon… in the meantime, I’ve just been suffering through.

Anyway, back to the task at hand – in order to give you all some idea of the intensity of the course, I thought I’d share my garmin elevation chart from yesterday with you.  I forgot to turn it on for the first mile, but you get the idea.  The first part of the course is stupid hard with that climb up 173, Sweet Road, and Rt 91.  The only thing I’m hoping is that I can ride it a few more times before the race so that I can fully prepare my legs and my mind for what I have to take on during the race!

However I am happy to report that even with the poor bike fit, and the challenging course coupled with some high winds and nasty rain clouds, Sunday’s ride was much better than a few weeks ago.  I think the different bike seat really helped even though I don’t think I’ll be buying this one.  I want to try something else out as I believe I could find something that might work even better for me.  I guess all I can do is trial and error for the seat, so it’s a good thing I can take advantage of that rental program!

I was also pleasantly surprised by my run coming off the bike.  I started out pretty strong (too strong, as always) with a couple 8:15 minute miles – unfortunately, after the first couple of miles the 56 miles of biking started to catch up to me and I did hit a bit of a wall on the hill climb during the mid-part of the course.  With a little more practice and some more attention to hydration and my food/calorie intake during the event I should be able to conquer the run without too many problems (I hope).

All in all, yesterday’s workout was crazy.  The 56 mile bike took me about 3:30 and the 10 mile run was 1:30 – as promised – 5 hours of total workout time.  That is definitely the longest workout that I have ever booked! Craziness.  (I’m not even sure if this qualifies as a workout, it seemed more like an event…)

After completing the run, getting home and taking care of a few things (like showering…), A and I grabbed some Dinosaur BBQ, a couple of celebratory beverages and chilled on the couch – a nice relaxing ending to a seriously intense Sunday…. (Remember when I said I had a low-key weekend??!  I was actually referring to the before and after of the workout portion of my weekend… just in case you didn’t figure that out.)  Even though I had some pretty tough moments both mentally and physically on Sunday, I felt so accomplished (and tired) afterwards, it was totally worth it.  Plus I know that I will appreciate the fact that my coach had me run thought that race simulation come June 23rd.  At least I know I can handle the course now and I have some idea about how long the event will likely take from start to finish for me – which is mentally reassuring.

Today I have reloaded my workout board with this week’s schedule.  Another intense week of training is coming up with another go at the bike and run course, and the potential for an open water swim (OWS) if I can find any takers on Friday or Saturday. I think it’s about time to check in with my buddies at the CNY Tri Club to see if anyone else has interest in an OWS this week so that I can start getting used to being back out in a lake!

5 weeks to go – Workout Schedule!

How did everyone else’s weekend go?  I hope you had some time to enjoy the weather and have some fun!  
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