Yesterday's training involved an "extended brick workout" for the upcoming 70.3 in Austin at the end of the month. Originally I had planned to do it early on Saturday morning, but I realized that if I tried to get out the door by six in the morning, I would be riding in the dark of night still as the days have slowly gotten shorter. On top of that, we got our first freeze in Colorado on Friday night meaning that early morning temperatures were around 26 degrees. And since discretion is the better part of valor, I wisely chose to postpone my brick until mid-afternoon.
Lately, I've been reading a lot of chatter online about how rough the bike course is down in Austin. The conversations seem to range from the "worst road I've ever ridden" to "really not that bad." So just to be on the safe side, I decided that for the first part of the brick, I would plan the day's ride on one of the rougher roads nearby: Highway 96 towards Wetmore. This highway climbs west past the Pueblo Reservoir and is characterized by varied pavement quality. Some of it is decent shape, but there are many areas where it's cracked, uneven and just downright bumpy. There is also a slowly deteriorating strip of wheel wash along several miles which can be near impossible to see at times (more on that later).
|The Road Surface has varying degrees of "crappy" for much of the ride towards Wetmore.|
When running off of the bike I'm always a little uncertain as to how fast I'm actually moving. Usually it feels like a crawl, but often it's faster than what I perceive. This afternoon, I'd decided just to run with my phone and since I didn't want to keep turning it on and off, I only looked at it about three times during the run. The run broke down like this:
Lap one: (23:40) I was feeling very strong on this lap. In the back of my mind I was trying to remind myself to take it easy as there was still a fair amount of running to do.
Lap two: (25:06) Still feeling good , but my pace had started to dip just a bit. I was also running without any water and had long burned through the energy provided by the sport beans.
Lap three: (27:29) The last mile of the run was a good 10 minutes long, mostly because I decided to hike up the last hill instead of running it. My stomach and gut were also a bit distressed due to the combination of a lack of water, only a few sport beans, and the fact that my last meal was breakfast consisting of eggs, beans, potatoes, green chili, and coffee. Having eaten at 9:00 a.m. that morning, it had been a good 7 hours since I'd had anything to eat (guess that won't be my pre-race meal for the 70.3 race). By the end of the run, I was entering into a pretty major "bonk" that would have really decimated me, if I'd had more running to do.
|Comparison of the elevation profiles for Austin 70.3 and my Brick Simulator Loop|
- Bike pace feels about right: Somewhere between 19.5-20.5 mph seems very doable for the bike ride. While another 16 miles is still quite a bit to ride, I felt strong enough on the bike that I think I can manage the speed. Throughout the ride, I worked on not pushing harder, so that I would have something left in the legs for the run.
- Run pace off of the bike is faster than it feels: My first three mile splits on the run were 7:30, 7:56, 8:14. During the 70.3, I hope to run somewhere between about an 8:15-8:30 pace/ mile. This means I need to pay attention to pacing early on so as not to go out too fast.
- Need to take on more nutrition/ hydration during the race: I burned approximately 3000 calories during this brick. However, I only consumed less than 200 calories and one 20 oz. bottle of water during the 3+ hours. Way too low. Whether it's liquid nutrition, gels, shots, etc. I need to consume more during the event if I'm going to have enough energy to make it through the day. Same goes for H20. Yesterday the weather was cool which helped me from becoming too easily dehydrated, but some extra water would have made a huge difference if I was still looking at another couple of hours of actual racing.