Sunday I got in my long ride for last week, doing a Kona-esque 114 mile ride in the heat and the wind. Starting out at 7am the air temps were already at about 78' (the typical low down here!) with the winds out of the ENE. While the terrain is quite flat, if the winds are kicking up, it can make for some difficult riding, and even to the point of hoping for some hills to break things up! With the lack of the hills as well there is no hiding from the wind and not much variation in gearing or body position. This necessitates getting out of the saddle more often than usual and doing some variable gear sets to mix things up and use the muscles to create force in different ways. I had hoped to ride out to and through Camp Lejeune, to continue on towards Cape Lookout and the southern point of the Outer Banks, but I was shot down by the young Marine sentry at the south gate to the base. I was hopeful that I would be granted entry as I was permitted to ride all through Camp Pendleton out in California two years ago, but it wasn't meant to be I guess. Starting out on the ride, I was dealing with a cross shifting over to a tailwind out to my revised turnaround point at the Duplin County line, but then of course on the return I was now dealing with about 23 miles back into the wind and it was certainly heating up now as I was approaching 10am. Hello Queen K flashbacks.
The highlight of the return trip was stopping at a very rurally located gas station, and trying to convince the incredulous clerk that I was actually in the middle of a ~110 mile bike ride. A close second was on my third water stop (I was drinking about 30% more on this ride than a typical training ride), where I filled up two of my empty water bottles with ice water, making the last 20 miles home the most comfortable of all, despite the now 87' heat.
Monday I attempted an eight mile run with my brother Chris, but made the mistake of waiting to start the run at 10am, and then the secondary mistake of getting caught up in a fraternally charged, running ego dynamic, starting at sub seven minute mile pace right out of the gate. Towards the end of the run, at 5 miles, when we were about to pull the plug, the paces were slipping drastically and the heartrates were completely out of control. Not good things at all. So the rest of the day I hydrated as much as possible and then had a surprisingly solid swim with Jocey that evening at a local gym that provided a bizarrely distanced pool of 24.5 meters.
Tuesday morning I did my long run for last weekend, or to start this week I suppose (Sunday is the long run day), and I started at 7am to avoid making the same mistake as the day prior. I also made it a point to start slow for the first couple miles, observing a HR cap of 145-150 bpm to let my body settle into the rhythm and adapt to the heat. This appeared to work and allowed me to accelerate through about 14 miles to average close to my goal IMHI marathon pace, however in my last two miles again the heat played the spoiler and the cadiac drift set in again. In the end though, I finished with 16 miles and the overall experience was much more satisfying and promising than Monday's run.
Wednesday evening the storms rolled in and ruined an attempted swim, but I got in an upper body strength session and worked some wall pushups and pullups so it wasn't a total loss. Today the storms again foiled mine and Jocey's long ride (for this coming weekend?) plans, but we snuck in a quick swim on tired arms for the first session of the day. Hopefully I can get in a run tonight if the storm stops and before dinner, but so far it has showed no signs of abating. At least this gives me an opportunity to do some blogging though! We will try again for the long ride tomorrow before leaving Saturday morning to start the long drive back to da Burgh. Next weekend is Ironman Louisville spectathloning and training camp, and the countdown to Kona continues! Cheers from Topsail (Top-suhl)!