I was thinking of the title of this post on my ride today but thought it best to leave the song smithing to other more capable bloggers and I’ll just stick to forging iron. I have been eager to get back into the swing of iron training in preparation for Silverman, which is just two short months away. I have been considering the course that lays ahead and trying to devise training that will prepare me to face a courts that has 9700 feet of climbing on the bike followed by 2000 feet of climbing on the run.
I haven’t ever done that much before though I thought I saw somewhere that the IM Louisville bike had something like 6700 feet of climbing and that was a pretty tough bike. I know I will need to get some long shallow climbs in for Silverman, something like 10 mile climbs at 2 to 3% grades and that means the mountains for me but today I decided to hit some big rollers and steep climbs because there are some jagged rollers at Silverman and that requires a bit different riding style. I decided to call today’s ride the Placitas Punisher because the name says it all, location and route description.
All in all I got in 109 miles with 8815 feet of climbing. I’m a bit disappointed with my overall time, which was 7:42:09, a sluggish 14:15 mph average pace but I console myself with three facts…I was unfamiliar with the route so I spent a lot of time slowing down to get my bearings (it is a very winding route during the climbing sections), my total time includes two pit stops and a 10 or so minute breather at a convenience store and also another 10 or so minutes screwing around with the GEEKGRL’s cell phone when I was receiving calls while riding uphill into a stiff wind. Oh yeah, I failed to mention that it was very windy for large chunks of the ride and at one point I was riding in a rain storm and I also ended up doing a bit of distance on dirt roads, not more than a mile or so but enough to suck down another few minutes considering I was going slow and wondering how well my tri bike would do climbing and descending rough dirt roads.
Anyway, the tough thing about this ride is that the first 13 miles or so is almost perfectly flat (the long straight line area, that's the first 13 miles...the narly area, I did two laps of that and that is where all the climbing is), all the climbing is packed into 83 fun filled miles. The area I rode pretty much contains the largest foothills of the Sandia Mountains and well as some far fling foothills of the San Francisco Mountains. The area is also rural and very scenic with huge vistas…views of the mountains, the high desert mesas and the Rio Grande river valley.
Saturday I did my run. My run and bike schedule are flipped from the usual Saturday ride, Sunday run so that I can get in the best quality runs and rides possible. My training doesn’t need to be focused on running on tired legs right now it is building as much climbing strength as I can and dropping as much weight as I can. Anyway, I did 18 miles mostly cross country on sand and dirt with a few stretches of pavement. The total elevation gain was 1492 feet and my time was 2:56:40, w whopping 9:48 per mile pace! I was very happy with those results especially since I felt pretty good after the run and just took a quick ice bath and then went out and ran errands. The conversion to running nothing but hills is paying off.
So, as I said, Baboo’s got bank! I am packing away those miles to draw on come November 11th. I am already seeing some good improvements. Last weekend I did the same run route but only 15 miles and my pace was a pained 11 minute mile. Last weekend I also did a shorter 65 mile version of the bike I did today and by the time I hit mile 60 I just pulled over into a convenience store and laid down right on the sidewalk and closed my eyes for like 15 minutes. My weight is also creeping downward. I am sitting at 213 right now fully hydrated…that’s 10 pounds down from IM Louisville. I am taking it easy on the dieting so as not to interfere with recovery but I think I have cut out a lot of the “Hey, I NEED to eat this because I’m training for an Ironman B.S.” and I’m eating light during the week and eating for recovery on the weekends.
Extra! Extra! I just loaded the Placitas Punisher into my Motion Based account and it reports 10, 195 feet of climbing! Whoo Hoo! almost 500 feet of climbing more than Silverman in a shorter distance! Unbelievably my steepest climb was a 23.6% grade...holy smokes. I love motion based.
On the other hand my run was only 1303 feet in gain...oh well, still plenty for Silverman prep.