Sunday, August 15, 2010

New Math: 1inch = 7minutes over 50miles

After a truly hellacious week at work I was instructed by multiple people to really enjoy myself over the weekend. Being as this is my peak volume week, "really enjoy myself" involved a long BRIC on Saturday. I had been crammy extra workouts in here and there all week and arrived at Friday with 8.5hours of my planned 15hours in the bank. The BRIC plan involved a 50 mile ride followed by a 1 hour run. Last weekend was my first (non-trainer) ride on my new bike and I averaged 16.6mph over 56miles. I remember coming up to the 50 mile mark of that ride pretty close to 3 hours, maybe less than a minute later. By this weekend I was feeling more used to the position and the bike in general so I wanted to go 3 hours for the 50 miles. I set the bar low (fair) for the run. 1 hour = 6 miles. I have never actually run a 10:00min/mile pace but I figured that this goal would allow for some walking if I was really suffering or bonking (and would prevent me from quitting if/when my pace fell off).

So on Friday I attached a bunch of new accessories to my bike (saddle bag, frame pump, extra bottle cage). As I was finishing up I decided that I wanted to toy with the saddle just a bit. I moved my saddle forward a smidge less than an inch. Tested it out for a few pedal strokes on the trainer and decided that it seemed workable. With my multitool in my new saddle bag I figured that if the position was terrible I could make an adjustment mid-ride.

Saturday morning I slept in (til 6am!) and then got myself in gear. James had to go for his run early so I ended up heading out the door a few minutes before 7. I had major fuel in tow. 400c carbo pro in 2 water bottles, 1 gu, 200c swedish fish, 1 clif z-bar ---just for the ride. It was 55F out. What a wonderful change! My feet were actually cold for the first 15 miles as I rode on shaded roads. Like the first ride I kept it in middle gears for the entire ride. I was super tempted to hammer but I resisted knowing that the run was the point of this workout, not the ride. First hour 17.1mph. Second hour I got off the winding rolling country roads and hit a straight (slight incline) stretch with a wide shoulder. I don't know what clicked in my head but I settled into the drop handlebars (is that what you call them). It felt amazing! My speed jumped up and my RPE settled in nice and comfortable. Second hour 17.6mph. Third hour I knew I was on my way home. Its also a busier stretch of roads, heading through towns with lots of traffic lights. I packed in a lot of calories in that last hour, knowing that I would want as many on board as possible and having fallen a little behind given the cool temps and my limited confidence in riding onehanded on the new bike. Arrived back home in 2:53 for 50 miles! 17.3mph average. I have never averaged out of the 16's before, this made me very happy. (Fantasizing about long rides on the 18's eventualls?!?!?!) I'm convinced that it was the 1 inch saddle position change that made all of this possible. I think I was just too stretched out before.

I gave myself up to 8 minutes for transition. I had done my ride in proper cycling shorts and shirt so I made a full attire change. Was back out the door in just under 5 minutes...Reminded myself of the plan for the run. 10min/mi average. Any faster was gravy, but caution in the first miles. After about a quarter mile I checked my garmin as it was reading 9:20 so I figured that was good and I settled into an easy breathing pattern. When my watch chirped the first mile and I looked down to check the split it read 8:19. Whoops! I felt ok though so I didn't get worried. Because the run race course for the FIRMan is supposed to be flat I've been granting myself the pleasure of doing parts (sometimes large parts) of my long runs on the local track. I headed straight there on this run. Mile 2 was 8:04! Mile 3 was 8:06!! I felt good. What was going on?...No complaints though. Things slowed down when I took my 3 mile chocolate outrage Gu and then proceeded to puke about half of it back up after a downed a little too much water with it (Pukey award???) Somewhere around mile 4 (8:25) I started wondering whether I might be able to hit 7 miles in the hour. At mile 5 this seemed totally within my grasp (8:29). Mile 6 I started feeling much less springy (8:34) but I was only at about 50 minutes so I felt confident I'd make it. Often I like to push it the last 2 laps of any run on the track. This time it didn't really happen. Mile 7 (8:35). I wanted to pick it up for the last lap but only my brain kicked in -- I managed to do the last .2mi @ 7:30pace.

I then, classic Rachel, collapsed on the artificial grass, saw spots for a minute or two then got up to walk the 1.3miles home. Drank my remaining water too fast, got queasy and puked just a little more. About 2 minutes into the walk home I realized why my transition had been faster than expected. I forgot to open the garage and put my bike away. It was just sitting out there in plain sight on the street!!! I resisted the urge to all out sprint home. I told myself that if it was going to have been stolen that it already happened and the next 10 minutes was not going to make the difference. I was able to maintain the walk until about .4mi from my house and which point I broke out into a somewhat painful (but faster than expected run). Turned the corner and saw him leaning nonchalantly against the garage. Phew!

All in all, a HUGE SUCCESS! This was supposed to be the test for whether I was ready (in terms of my endurance) to do the FIRMan in 4 weeks. I think I passed. I can't really imagine running for another hour after what I had done but given that I held an 8:20 pace and my race goal would be 10:00 (2:11 sounds fine for a first HIM run split -- frankly I would tolerate a 2:30) I think it should be manageable.

HIM prep BRIC stats:
50.5mi ride in 2:55:00
7.2mi run in 1:00:00
1.3mi cooldown in :16:00
Total time: 4:11 -- Longest training session EVER!


  1. Awesome brick – I don’t know about your weather but 55 sounds FANTASTIC!

  2. Awesome run! I am at the point where I can ONLY run fast off of the bike. You are going to do great @ your first HIM!

  3. Great job! You are getting very strong! I think you could run faster on the HIM. Do you know about Jessi's triathlon calculator? Google it. It has you input tons of info and then tells you what you could aim for in a race. Fun and accurate (I heard)!

  4. Nice job with your brick! You did awesome! You are going to do great in your tri!
    Oh..I would have totally freaked if I would have forgotten to put my bike away...yikes! I'm glad it wasn't stolen!

  5. Nice brink and yes you get a pukie, congrats!!