Yeah, so we did the "race-plan-testing" ride/run in Cartersville today.
I packed all of the items mentioned in the previous post and we stopped at the clean and tidy truck stop near the Budweiser plant to potty. I also purchased and ate one of a two pack of cinnamon pop tarts. Doug ate the other. Nat had brought her own. I totally copied her because I had to buy something while we used the potty at the stop.
Upon arriving at the Bud plant, we (Nat, Doug and I) suited up and sallied forth into the winds. You could smell the wort from the brewing on the wind. Yummo! : ) That, and the fact that they let us park (for free!) in their parking lot made me really love Budweiser today. On the ride, I felt terrific for the first two hours. My Accelerade tasted awesome and I took a shot from my Gu flask every 1/2 hour. We stopped once to pee, but I didn't stop my watch. Doug was keeping the pace to see if I could hold 17 mph for a ride that long. Until the two hour mark, it was easy. I yelled "whee" down the hills and took in the sights on the beautiful ride. I saw a hawk at the Hawk's Heaven subdivision and a swan in someone's pond and mooed at lots of cows.
However, as we passed the crazy bike-chasing dog (who picked me to chase, by the way) and entered our third hour of biking, I faded fast. Doug had my third bottle of electrolyte drink and he was way ahead of me. I couldn't catch up and spend a lot of time saying bad words and thinking bad thoughts about myself and my riding. It was the Valley of Darkness. This happens to everyone in a race or during training but it happened in a big way today. I kept telling myself that it was just the fueling but upon further reflection, my fueling was fine until the 2 hr point and I still had plenty of Gu and water. Doug slowed and passed me my bottle at about 2hrs 30 mins so it clearly wasn't the fuel. So, the new plan is to (a) start the 3rd bottle of drink promptly upon the start of the 3rd hour and (b) bring some kind of treat to look forward to to help me avoid that bad place. I tried many things but I think an external stimulus (food) is probably better for this than what I tried. So, next bike I'll bring some Fig Newtons or pretzels or ginger snaps to help me snap out of the funk. I even thought about writing my kids' names on my handlebar tape. Maybe just their initials.
Then, even after the new bottle of drink, I got a cramp in my abdomen. Ugh! It could have been the fueling, gas, stiffness at so little change in position for nearly 3 hrs or the constant snot-rocketing that my headcold was requiring. I'm thinking it was the cold or gas. TMI, I know. Sorry.
So we finally finished and I tried to stretch out while Doug (thanks Doug!) loaded and locked the bikes onto our car. We started running and I let Doug and Nat run on ahead while I tried to hold a 9 min/mile pace. After about a half-mile I was able to drink some of my Nuun and even eat one of my run Gus. Therefore, I think the cramping wasn't a tummy issue. Doug and Nat turned around at the stoplight and I planned to follow them after reaching the truck parked on the shoulder. I had even identified a potty location on the way back. Then, I noticed that we were back at the truck stop. Da DAAAAAAAAA! I ran in, took advantage of the clean potties, washed my hands and ran back out, waving to all of the truckers as I passed. Whoo!
There is no way that I'll be able to do my whole race without a potty stop, even with the immodium. It's high time I came to grips with this. So, rather than feeling bad about it, I'll use it as a rejuventation break. Just like the Gallaway method. Perfect!
I was able to hold close to 9min/mile for the rest of my run and even talk myself into going beyond my planned 6 miles to an even 60 minutes, and then exceeding that to get to a good turn-around place. I ended up with 7.01 miles at about a 9:16 pace. Not too shabby. Using my perceived exertion, I could have continued at that pace for a good while.
We learned a lot today. I'm hoping that Doug and Nat got as much out of it as I did.
The girls had a fabulous time with Meghan today. Didn't miss us a bit. They are, however, exhausted from this week so we will all be going to bed shortly.