Monday, June 13, 2011

What a day for a ride...

Monday, June 13, 2011  at 12:15 PM
Yesterday was an incredibly beautiful day for Michigan.  It wasn't freezing cold.  It wasn't blazing hot.  It wasn't extremely windy.  It was just perfect, and that was good because Josh and I were planning on riding the Steelhead Half Ironman bike course.  We had ridden a solid section of it on our century ride  a couple weeks ago, but we wanted to get a strong feel for the hills and road in general.  We had heard that it was a "Cattle Trail" and really rough roads, but that didn't seem to be the case except for one section.  Here's what the course looks like, and I'm sure it looks familiar to many of you...(Kevin & MattyO) and will look familiar to you, Mary, in 61 days.

We loaded up the bikes on the 4Runner and drove to Jean Klock Park.  Since I'm cheap, we surely didn't pay to park there inside the gate, but just found a nice spot on the road out of the park.
It was only about 60*, so we were a bit cool, but after a quick prayer, a pre-ride picture, we were off.
I had written out a cue sheet from the Steelhead website about every turn that we would need to take.  It was fairly accurate except for the SECOND turn!  We had ridden about a minute and were lost already.  4 miles later, we finally got on the right road and went for it.  I told Josh that I wanted to push it a little more today than on our usual long rides.  He was up for it, so we pushed the tempo a bit.  Since this was a training ride, there was no drafting allowed, but I always like riding next to someone anyway.  The course was pretty awesome, and I was pleased with the road except for one spot that is pretty rough.  There were a couple hills that I've tried to make a mental note of in order to be ready for those babies on August 14.  I plan on riding this course a couple more times since it's so close to my house.

At the end of the ride, we ended up riding 59 miles at 18.7mph.  I took the first four miles out because it was super slow while we were searching for the right road, which left us with 55 miles at 19.1mph average.  I think that's respectable for a solid training ride.  After a post-ride pic, we drove the 15 minutes home and enjoyed some good food and rest.

This ride was a big confidence booster and a whole lot of fun.  Last Wednesday, I did a solo ride of 50 miles in 97* weather.  It was a blast except that I got lost and ended up going a long way out of my way.  I drank plenty and didn't feel too bad at the end.  I'm so excited about Steelhead in a couple months that I almost forget that I'm doing an Oly tri two weeks from yesterday.

I've enjoyed reading all your race reports and what you've got going on in your lives.  Thanks for reading, and have a blessed week!

6 comments:

Jon

You are going to ROCK Steelhead, my friend! If you are putting these kinds of numbers up now, I see good things for you in August. Keep the momentum going!

Matty O

Great ride man. You have better practice than we ever did haha. Your bike leg will crush mine, so expect a good overall time if you can figure out good nutrition to hold you over on the run.

Keep up the good work!!!

Ironman By Thirty

Nice work!

I highly recommend checking out the run course before hand if you get a chance. If you can't find a good map, let me know and I try and help you out. There are a couple of hills that are killer and it would probably be good to see them ahead of time.

DRog

Great ride and excellent photos! Keep at it and ur training will payoff. Keep pluggin away

D

Colleen

Sounds like a great ride. Gotta love days like that... we had a similar one in Ohio!

Julie

Sounds like you are going to be ready for the oly and Steelhead!

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