Sunday, September 18, 2011

Hit that Line, Hit that Line. Keep on Going!

Post 65 mile slaughter on my legs!
I'm tired.  Body is aching.  I can hardly lift my limbs.  This couch is the only place I belong right now.  But, this is the good the good kind of hurt.  Yes, hard earned PAIN.  Some might wonder why one would "punish" themselves in such a way.  But if it is possible to feel exhilarated by your exhaustion, then that is how I felt today after completing 65 miles for Bike the Beach from Jennings Beach in Fairfield.  And THAT is why I endure the pain.  For 3 years now I have done 1 or 2 crazy long rides each year on my bike.  I love them.  I still can't imagine doing a full century, unless I road more often, but with no official training regimen I'm pretty amazed that I can complete as far as I've gone.  It feels like an all day adventure.  The movement of pedaling feels more than natural after a while.
And today was PERFECT for riding.  It started out a little cool and I wore WAY too many layers as usual but throughout the rest of the day, it was a sunny, breezy mid 60s fall like day.  The ride went along several of the beaches from Fairfield to Darien and then took a climb up into the hills and winding roads of New Canaan.  I mapped what I think the full route was here: Route.   For the most part it wasn't too challenging except for a few climbs half way through.  The wind gave us a run for our money, especially near the water.  But I road with a bunch of guys who did a good job keeping a pace line going for the most part.  I found myself repeating the Razorback Fight Song in my head as we rode, having just watched the game the night before.  I'm just glad I kept up!  We road along the beach, past McMansions, under railroad tracks, OVER railroad tracks, past my house, up into small town wooded neighborhoods, through a couple of high trafficked towns, busy churches and on around back down to some pretty inlets before heading back along the shore the way we came.
The WORST part was the last 5-10 miles.  This seems to be the case with all of my long rides.  Your legs just run out of steam and you've run out of food fuel and you're way past the last rest stop.  All you have is the short distance to the finish and it seems twice as long as the entire rest of the ride was.  They were the SLOWEST 5-10 miles.  This is probably the worst shape I have ever been towards the end of one of these long rides.  I think it was a mixture of the type of fuel I used (mostly sugar/gels, no salt) and the fact that the wind was against me and I had lost my pack.  I broke away with one guy in our group, kept up with him for a while and then lost him as my legs started to give.  At that point I was left behind our lead guy and somewhere ahead of the other 3 who road with me.  It's a long, lonely road as a lone rider on the final stretch.  I passed by a few other cyclists on the ride, but my focus could not be deterred.  I was a lone rider, repeating "Don't pass out, Don't pass out" over and over in my head.  The first thing I did when I arrived at the finish was sit down on the ground, take off my shoes and lean over in exhaustion.  If the rider ahead of me hadn't come up with some salty potato chips, I don't think I could have made it to the food tables.  Almost immediately I started to recover..even though my legs were tighter than ever.  In the end we finished in a  little over 4 hours (5-6 if you count rest stops).
Post ride we hung out around the cars and had some cold brews, subway sandwiches, cookies and hummus and recounted the GLORY of the day having forgotten that we were all most likely cursing ourselves 30 minutes prior. And I made sure to stop on the way home to get myself some more treats.  Custom Fro Yo, it's been too long :)

The kind of Guinness you can drink after riding a bike all day
Every topping imaginable!

So, on the cooking front, I did not really do much of today..frankly I didn't do much of anything except ride a bike, eat and lay on the couch.  For the first time in a LONG while, I indulged in a nearby restaurant take out.  (Might be regretting the Indian I drink Ginger tea..)  
BUT to indulge you, because I can.  Here is a small dish I tried from a recipe over at The Gracious Pantry.  It's basically baked sweet potato and apple, glazed with an agave, orange juice and clove sauce and topped with almonds.  Very easy to do and the first time I ever used an Apple Corer!
I see you! Through this sweet fuji apple
I boiled the sweet potato for about 45 minutes, then pealed the skin off.  I skinned the apple and de-cored(word?) it.  Sliced them up and baked for about 20 minutes as I heated up the sauce on the stove. One potato and 1 apple ended up making 2 side servings.  Tasty!

Layered food is always the best kind of food, am I right?
Until next time.  Enjoy the happy times my friends/family, many of you I will see soon.  Also, keeping with the theme of creating things from scratch.  Head on over to my pal Cassy's site, Knit the Hell Out and see her grand early Birthday creation she made for me!  <3

1 comment:

  1. SIXTY FIVE MILES? Your athleticism continues to wow me. I feel like jello after going to Lake Fay around and back.