Saturday, June 4, 2011

Lessons Learned over 49.9 Miles

I headed out yesterday shooting for a 50 mile ride.  It was 15.5 miles out to Avon and 15.5 back.  I already knew it was 11.5 miles from there down to work, so I realized around mile 31 that I'd be hitting about 54 miles for the day.  Why not tack on an extra mile or two to hit that full 56 miles?!  Right?

Well, apparently my bike took the original idea of doing 50 miles and never really signed on because at 49.9 miles, the back tire blew out and I walked the last few miles home.  

So what did I learn on my 4 hours out on the road today?

- My "normal" setting is more along the lines of "Let's kick this into overdrive!"  I have to race with a coach mentality - "Hey, take it easy and don't kill yourself in the first ten miles."

- Clif Shot Energy Gel in Citrus tastes delicious!

- All energy gels are in a packaging that is too big.  It takes two hands to get all the gel out, but on the bike you really only have one.  They should repackage those things!

- GU Roctane, in comparison to the earlier Clif Shot gel, leaves your mouth dryer, requiring more water to wash it down.  The Blueberry Pomegranate wasn't bad, but the GU Mandarin Orange I had in the Hartford Half last year was much better.

- It's funny that a consumables company that took its name from the consistency of its main product got off the ground, GU.  The only other food I can think of to do so is Gummy Bears.  Think about it.  If you had no idea what a gummy bear was, would the description of it as "gummy" really be an appetizing thought?  I don't think so.

- It was a mistake not to search out a drinking fountain after finishing the first 15 miles.  I was down to maybe 1/3 of a bottle of water and wasn't able to fill up until mile 42.  I need two bottles approximately every 15 miles (about every hour).  

- i didn't feel anything after having taken the Clif Shot gel or the GU Roctane.  I'll do the next long ride without gels and see how it goes comparatively.

- It gets more difficult to shift after 40 miles.  My right hand gets tired from doing it so much.

- Two gels, two pb sandwiches, and four bottles of water is not enough to keep my stomach satisfied over 50 miles.  I need more food!  Good lesson to learn before the half iron race. 

- I need to do more speedwork on the bike.  Everything I do from 5 mile to 50 mile rides ends up within 1 mph of each other.  I've got some endurance, but I need more speed.

- I need to carry an extra tube and either a frame pump or CO2 and an adapter.  I'm going to talk to the guys at the bike shop about those today and get myself prepared for the next flat tire.  Thankfully it was only 3.7 miles away and not 15!

- I need to learn how to change a flat tire!  It's simple, I know, but I've never done it before. Amanda, where were you to save me today?  I didn't see ONE single squirrel out there.

- Fifty miles tires you out!  I had played with the idea of doing a short (2 mile) run after getting home just to see how my legs felt, but once I got the flat, I knew my legs would have too much time to recover so it wasn't worth it.  Next time!


1.  What have your athletic adventures taught you recently (or in the past)?
I discovered I have zero cycling speed and that I need to carry gear for changing a flat.

2.  What's the most inconvenient incident you've had happen to you out on the road during a workout?
Mine is either a flat I had 6-7 miles from home or my ITB tightening up too much to make my own way home.

Stay fit.  Stay healthy.  Stay safe. 


Carlee said...

I was thinking of writing a post like this now that I've started biking. I'll have to share my lessons learned sometime soon.

So scared of getting a flat cause that is one lesson I have not learned!

My Boring Triathlon Blog said...

Last summer I had eight flat tires so I got fairly good (quick) at changing tires and wouldn't you know it? I got a flat in my HIM. Changing it was a breeze but I still lost time

Ransick said...

1. If you skimp on calories on the bike during a HIM, the run is going to be rough.

2. I turned around and took a different route once because I didn't want to test my pepper spray on a big pit bull.

Go with CO2 for your pump. They are small and easy to use.

Jenny Davidson said...

I don't think it's overkill to have CO2 and tube in a saddlebag and ALSO a frame pump! Sometimes the cartridge doesn't latch on quite right, but also you then have a pump to help out yourself or someone else on the road.

TriGirl said...

If you want you can try Hammer gels. You can buy a whole bottle of gel and pour it into a refillable squeeze bottle. It's pretty handy and it cuts down on waste :)

Unknown said...

You should think about carrying a gel Flask. I got mine from 1st Endurance. Love it. has equivalent of 5 gels in it. You can also get a big jug of Hammer gel and use that is a gel flask as well. Less sticky, you can open it up with your teeth with one hand!! Problem solved. I feel slow this year too. It will come with more biking Im sure!! :)

Unknown said...

Changing a tire is easy peasy - there are youtube videos to show you.

Lately I've been using clif shot bloks instead of gu and I like it. It seems more fulfilling actually chewing something. Worth a shot..get it..haha.

ajh said...

I got some Honey stingers at an Expo recently - like cliff shots - that I really like. I have a hard enough time with Gu on a run. I can't imagine it on a bike.
I've learned I can do a brick and practice makes it easier.

Coy Martinez said...

After reading all this it looks like you've learned tons! In fact, I think I've learned tons too! You're right about the GU. The orange is better. Now, I havent tried the Cliff but I'll give it a shot! Why not!? Every time I eat one of those gels I have the worst time trying to keep it down. I wanna throw up. Yuck!

Richelle said...

I will have to revisit this post once I start riding my bike more. I learned a lot from you because you learned a lot by going through it. Thanks for writing this!

I caught a gastrointestinal bug three weeks before the Nike Women's Half-Marathon in 2009 and missed out on a week of training. I stuck to the treadmill for my first run back, but my second run was outdoors. Long story short, I had to go and had to wait until I found a porta-potty. So uncomfortable.

Cari Mugz said...

GU is hard for me on a run too with both hands... On a bike would be hard! I don't love them.

Just starting races I've learned it's hard not to start out so fast with everyone else.. and when you do it's harder to settle into a more comfortable pace.

Michael said...

I think falling off my bike and doing my workout bleeding is probably the worst thing I've had to deal with. I am so afraid of the whole flat tire thing. I have the extra tube, CO2 etc with me, but I'm sure I wouldn't really have any idea what to do with it. I also really need to learn how to change a flat. My day is coming.

Great job on the 50 miler!!

Unknown said...

Oye ve... I've so been there. ON Monday of last week I was 99.5 miles into a 108 and my hubby flatted out and I sat back with his bike while he got the car (the spare tube we had was faulty). So annoying.

BUT... if you learn something from it... it's all good! :)

Matthew Smith said...

Great Ride...other than the flat tire. Still, you logged some solid mileage. Nice work!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

I suggest 2 tubes, 2 co2 cartiages in a bag that fits under the back of your bike seat