“This is totally doable! I can doooo this!” I squealed on mile 52 of my 80 mile bike ride on Saturday. I was in good company with Clare and John, it was a perfect 70 degree day with a few clouds to give layers of contrast to the rolling landscape, it was like riding in a picture perfect postcard.
Then we turned onto Stage Coach Road, which was the second time I visited that road that day. Stage Coach Road is like riding on an earthquake. It’s bumpy and downright painful after your butt has been on a saddle for 4 hours. Once we rounded the corner my story changed, “I take it back, I’m opting out, this is not doable!!”
I pedaled on, fatigued, sore bum… It took a little over five hours, but I completed the toughest portion of the Ironman bike course twice. When my ride was finished I expected the very act of lifting my leg over the frame of the bike to be excruciating. It was surprisingly an easy enough maneuver. Easy enough to lose sanity for a moment and throw on my running shoes to see what it feels like to run after five hours on a bike.
It felt like my knee caps would slide right down to my ankles.
It would be too easy for my weekend of workouts to end here. I woke up to a 14 mile long run on Sunday. The route I took included the bulk of the Ironman run course, and it’s terrifying to note that this was the worst long run I’ve had all year. I started off all happy and chipper, see?
And then the wheels, they came off. It was after shuffling myself over the mountains on Observatory Drive. I got cranky, I yelled at John, (poor John, it’s not his fault there are mountains on Observatory Drive!) Then I made the biggest mistake of all, tried a Gu Roctane gel, because that’s what they serve on the course on race day.
Folks, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
There was immediate discomfort in my stomach, which quickly led to GI distress, which quickly led to tears of frustration, “I JUST WANT TO RUNNNNN, BUT I CAN’T, BECAUSE I HAVE TO POOOOO!!”
The last two miles of my run were at a high school track where I’d run one lap, use the porta-potty, run another, repeat, until the damn Garmin read 14 miles.
I will not be using Gu Roctane gels on race day.
I will get through rough patches because it’s doable.