Week 45: Pacific Coast Bike Ride

Not gonna lie, my Ironman training motivation is severely waning. Is it race day yet? It’s been really tough these past few weeks to stay motivated and on top of the training plan especially because I’ve put in so many 100 mile bike rides and 18+ mile runs this summer/Fall that I already feel ready for race day. I know these last big sessions are important but it’s just hard to keep powering through. Does anyone else feel that way?

I have a slight foot injury (likely bone bruise) so I’ve been dialing back my running quite a bit this week. Hope it heals soon!

This week I also dropped off my bike at Sports Basement for Tri Bike Transport which was kind of an odd experience. I just hope it arrives in Mexico in one piece! And tomorrow we find out about the Kona lottery selection from IMLT. Exciting! OK here’s what happened last weekend…

Coastal Ride — 107 Miles

First Half, Feelin’ Good! 

Saturday was my peak bike ride for Ironman training so I joined Team Cozumel + Friends for a scenic ride along the Pacific coast. The views were amazing with waves crashing against the rocks, vast blue ocean, and mountains in the distance. The weather was warm and sunny and I was surrounded by some pretty amazing people from GGTC.

We started in Montara and the route was simple — bike ~3.5 hours South on Highway 1 then turn around and come back. I almost made it to Santa Cruz before turning around.

The first half of the bike ride was fun, happy, joyous, gorgeous, etc. I just loved it. I had the ocean to my right, Krista and Carmen nearby, and plenty of fuel. What I didn’t realize was that we also had a significant tailwind which made the first half amazing. I was cruising and didn’t think too much about pacing because I was feeling pretty great.

Team Cozumel + Friends before the coastal ride
GGTC Team Cozumel + Friends before the coastal ride
Heading South! Feeling great!
Heading South! Feeling great!

Headwinds & Bonk

After 53 miles I decided to turn around and come back. This is when things got pretty tough.

The headwind coming back wasn’t horrible at first, but after 53 miles I was significantly over it. Cozumel will have its share of headwinds, but luckily it’ll be broken up by sections of tail- and cross-winds, too.

I kept on cruising North and saw the boys at a local market (mile ~60) so stopped to refuel and say hi. They shared my frustration with the wind but they zoomed past me, seemingly effortlessly. I told myself that I could stop again at mile 75 (gas station) for a drink and snack. I like breaking up rides like this because it keeps me focused on smaller goals.

At the gas station I had the most heavenly Coke and Picky Bar, re-filled my water, and stretched out. I was starting to feel depleted, even after the refuel, with ~35 miles to go.

I kept going and gave myself a goal of reaching mile 95 before stopping again. Didn’t even come close.

At mile 85 there’s a very long hill that I had to conquer first and this was truly the lowest part of the ride. My new TT bike is tough to use for climbing because I’m positioned farther forward, so I felt like I was pushing up the hill at max effort with very little progress. Then there was the headwind trying to knock me down. And the cars. And my water bottle rattling. And feeling alone. And being on hour 6 of the bike ride.

When I got to the top of the hill I did something that I’ve never ever done during a training session… I cried. I wasn’t in pain or anything, I think I was just bonking and feeling extraordinarily frustrated with the day. It was one of the hardest rides I’ve done and I think a lot of it had to do with riding my tri bike on hills, something I hadn’t done before. And of course fighting the 3+ hour headwind wasn’t fun.

I almost called a teammate to come pick me up. But I didn’t want the ride to defeat me. I kept going and a few miles later I dug myself out of the nasty funk I was in. Half Moon Bay was really crowded to bike through (note to self: start the ride farther South next time to avoid this area) but I was laser focused on finishing the ride.

Do you see my shadow? :-)
Do you see my shadow? 🙂

Made it!

The sun was starting to set over the ocean and I tried my best to enjoy the view and make sure I didn’t take it for granted. Once I reached mile 106 the bike lane suddenly disappeared. I didn’t want to share the road with cars so I hopped off my bike and started walking on the shoulder.

I thought it was a mirage, but right at that moment I saw Chris A standing next to his car pulled over. I was SO relieved to see him. It meant he could drive me back to the parking lot and I could stop walking.

It was definitely an emotional and roller-coaster day on the bike but I’m happy I didn’t quit at mile 85 when I was down in the dumps! After the ride the group went to a nearby cafe for a massive dinner and laughs 🙂

Gorgeous sunset at the end of the ride
Gorgeous sunset at the end of the ride
Strava Output
Strava Output

Sunday — Swim & Run 

Sunday was yet another mentally tough training day. I made my way down to Aquatic Park for an open water swim in the late morning. I decided to ditch the wetsuit again and WOW the water was a lot colder this weekend than last. I was able to do about 30 minutes before calling it. I was so cold when I got out of the water I had to sit in my car with the heat on full last for 15 mins before I could start my run. Oops.

When I started running it didn’t feel great. I felt very unmotivated and was having some hamstring and foot pain. I also just felt depleted and frustrated from the weekend in general so it was hard to keep focused and feeling strong. I tried to just take it slow but I knew I wasn’t going to be able to put in the high mileage I was supposed to.

I ended up doing 7 miles at a ‘marathon’ pace. Definitely not the best, but I also didn’t want to risk any further injury to my hamstring or foot. Wouldn’t that be horrible if I couldn’t do Cozumel because I pushed myself too hard 3 weeks before the race!? No way, no how, that was going to happen.

Blanket of fog. As seen on my run.
Blanket of fog. As seen on my run.
Famous "Hoppers Hands"
Famous “Hoppers Hands”

Articles

This Week’s Training Log

  • 9th. Run. Post-swim 7.0 mile easy run. 9:34/mi
  • 9th. Swim. 30 min Aquatic Park swim no wetsuit.
  • 8th. Bike. Long bike ride along the coast. 107 miles. 6 hours 49 mins.
  • 7th. Swim. Morning swim. 2,050 yards.
  • 6th. Swim. Morning swim. 2,250 yards.
  • 5th. Run. Morning tempo run. 7.0 miles. 8:16/mi
  • 4th. Swim. Morning swim. 2,000 yards.

Thanks Everyone. Swim. Bike. Run. Eat Plants.

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