REALLY long bike ride

So the cool term in training is that you have a “build” week or a “down” week. I have learned the hard way that is important to STAY CONSISTENT when it comes to Ironman training. Saturday is the long bike ride day. I did a few 40, 50, then 60 mile rides. So far so good, as long as I was getting them each in Saturday in a row. Consistency. I had a few set backs. I went out of town and did not get in a long ride and then I pulled out my back so that put a kink in my plan. Therefore, I went 2 weeks in a row without doing a long ride. I did my other workouts but missed the long bike ride. Today I did 75. WOW! I could tell a difference. As long as I kept up with the “build” my long rides were not too difficult. In the words of my coach “key to Ironman success is consistency.” But what a difference it makes if the consistency is not there. The ride was so much more difficult. My arms felt like jello, mainly my wrists. I am trying to figure that one out. I know I need to do more strength training and that should help. Its funny how your perspective changes. A 30 mile ride used to seem long now it is a “down” week.
I am amazed at what our body is capable of when we train it.
Heres to more miles on the bike….

Nutrition: post workout

If your car runs out of gas, you cannot go any further. Not only can you not go any further but you can damage the engine. I know this experience too well. I am the worst when it comes to getting gas before it’s too late. I have run out of gas on the side of the road and had to walk to the nearest gas station. Good times.
An important aspect of training is fuel, also known as nutrition. I admit I am not always perfect when it comes to nutrition. I try to do my best, maintain balance, etc…
After a workout you have approx. 60 minutes to get some nutrients back in your body to recover properly. Recovering and rest are just as important as training. There are many options. After much research I have my go to recovery drink. Chocolate milk. I make it myself, 2% milk and a touch of chocolate syrup. I get nauseated very easily and I am often not hungry after a long workout. This is a quick and simple recovery option and it seems to work.

The right equipment (the bike)

After my last 50 mile ride my arms and wrists were so sore it was as though I had done an intense full upper body workout. My upper body has always been my weakest link. It is amazing how much upper body strength and balance you need when riding the bike. And of course endurance is key. I knew there was something that was causing the unusual pain in my arms and wrists. The aero bars I was using were not very comfortable. I bought them from Performance Bicycle on Southside Blvd. They have a great return policy. If you buy equipment from them and are not satisfied they will take the item back and you can exchange it for something else. So nice!
As I have stated before this whole triathlon thing can get expensive. You get what you pay for. I found an awesome set of aero bars but they were much more expensive than what I had before. I returned the first set and changed to different bars. WOW, what a difference it made. My next ride was 60 miles and I had no pain in my arms or wrists. I was also more comfortable and stable on the new aero bars. A special thanks to the husband for encouraging me to get the nicer bars and not be cheap. 🙂

The Cateye is a great tool mounted to the bike that tracks my speed, distance and time. Its a great gadget to have.

The Bike

Fear can be very crippling, literally.

When I was 12 I was hit by a car head on while riding my bike. I was blessed that I walked away with only some bruises and a broken arm. It took me a long time to get back on a bike. I could handle a beach cruiser but that was about it. I remember when I first tried to ride a road bike. I was so nervous I could not even pedal. The positioning on the bike and getting used to the brake system made for high anxiety. The skinny tires, tiny seat, and brakes were all hard to get used to. The thought of wearing the clip in shoes terrified me. I trained with regular pedals for most of my IM 70.3 training. Two months before the race I switched to clip-ins and wow what a difference. I have fallen many times but thankfully I was usually stopped when I fell. Remember, if I can do this anyone can!!!
The whole road bike and tri bike market is not cheap. I borrowed my first bike and that worked just fine for my first triathlon. I then found a nice used bike and rode that one for IM 70.3 Miami. We got a great deal so I did not feel as bad spending more (way more) than the usual $100 Walmart bike.
Then, for my birthday in May the husband bought me a beautiful full carbon bike, Kestrel Talon road bike. She is a beauty. He tweaked a few things, like the seat, aero bars, cool water bottle holders and some other gadgets. And again, I have already fallen off the bike so I have some lovely bruises on each knee. I got the falls out of the way so now its time to look like I know what I’m doing.
We bought the bike from Bikes Direct at the St. Johns Town Center. Nathan was our sales associate and he was so helpful and nice! I appreciated Nathan’s honesty about what I needed and the fact that he did not try to sell me something I did not need. I have since been back for fittings, help with my seat, etc. Great experience. We have visited other bike stores and there was one particular bike store that was not too pleasant. They were not interested in helping me because I was not buying the $5,000 bike and pretty much treated me as though I was unimportant and wasting their time. Lesson learned. Customer service is key.

Nutrition: a journey

photo credit, TriMarni Blog

I have gained an abundance of nutrition information from the one and only, Marni Sumbal. She is wonder woman. Her resume of endurance triathlons and athletic feats is quite impressive. I met Marni several years ago. We worked together through a Spa to provide a nutrition and a fitness aspect to overall wellness. She was in charge of the nutrition. One of the many things I love about Marni’s approach to nutrition is that it is super simple. She does not buy into gimmicks or fads. She believes in eating real food. One item she got me to try was natural peanut butter. I LOVE peanut butter and I had always used Jiff. After I started eating natural peanut butter I did not like the taste of regular peanut butter. It is amazing how once you start eating real food you cannot stomach the highly processed stuff. I would be lying if I told you I always eat healthy. I do eat cheeseburgers, fries, and pizza, however I strive to maintain a balance.
Another piece of valuable information Marni taught me was everything in moderation. She gave me real, practical advice that I can apply to everyday meals and that I do not have to change my entire diet over night. She says it is a journey, change one thing at a time. What simple step can you take today?

Check out Marni’s website for more nutrition information.

Try natural peanut butter from Smuckers. It does taste a little different at first but I bet you will not go back after you try it.