Monday, May 07, 2012

More weekend riding and a goal for Boise

I'm a little more than a month out from Boise and I *think* I finally came up with a goal.  I'm extremely hesitant to put down a time goal.  I have something in my head (beat my Galvestion 70.3 time from last year) but Boise is a different animal and I'm not sure its a good idea to compare this race to Galveston. 

Galveston: flat, hot, and windy.  fairly predictable.
Boise: hilly and windy.  Could be hot, could be fine, could be a torrential downpour.  who knows!

Basically, my time will be dependent upon what Mother Nature decides to throw at us.  I'm not sure a goal time is practical given the history of this course.  So, instead of hanging my happiness on a certain time (although, you can bet I will be estatic if I PR) I've decided to base my goal on how I feel coming off the bike.  See, in 2010, I believe I said something like "that was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life" after my 4+ hours on the bike in 28-35 mph head and crosswinds.  With hills that I was not used to riding.  What I was most proud of from that race was that I ran the whole run.  It wasn't fast running, but it generally resembled running.  But damn, that bike hurt.

That was 2 years ago.  In that time, I've done another half ironman, a full ironman, and moved to Colorado where in 2012, I ride hills pretty much any chance I get.  After the bike for IMTX, I felt awesome, and I distinctly remember telling Will that the bike (which was my furthest and longest ride ever) felt like just another training ride.  What I meant by that was that I felt great.  Legs felt great, mind felt great.  I owned that course rather than it owning me.  I'm holding onto that feeling every time I ride my bike this year.  I will OWN the Boise bike course.  (and yes, I probably just cursed myself.  I will get hail, wind, and torrential downpours and I will have to work extra hard to stay in my happy place).  In 2010 I was scared by the bike.  Even had nightmares about walking.  Now, I'm visualizing climbing those hills and owning them.  Cool, huh?
Really, I only have 4 hills.  The second one is "attention getting" as a friend would say.
I just need to focus on getting up 4 hills.  That's it.  I can do that.

Here's the hill repeat from my swim/bike brick on Saturday (ok, I only repeated the hill once, but it was QUALITY).
It doesn't look like that much, but it was 1327 ft of climbing in 26 miles. 
Thsi is the same amount of climbing as Boise, only in 1/2 the distance
I do this ride nearly every week.  That second hill that's at mile 15?  It seems like its a near exact replica as the Boise "attention getting" hill.  Normally, I do a loop and I only go down this hill, but Saturday I had a feeling I needed to ride back up it to see what it was like.  After seeing my ride data, I think I need to focus on getting up that hill.  Saturday, it was windy and this hill is very exposed.  I was in my easiest climbing gear and wasn't going very fast, but my effort wasn't crazy high (heart rate maxed out at 166).  And I felt good climbing.

I've been getting twitchy about not getting the course distance in.  Last month I was supposed to ride 60 at Palmer Lake and I left my legs at home and only went 45.  Two weeks ago I rode Boulder and got in 53 miles, but they were a relatively easy 53 miles.  I need to get in some HARD 60 mile days.  The goal is to train on some hard stuff so that those 4 hills in Boise are cake.

We have a local HIM called Harvest Moon (at Aurora Reservoir) and its a pretty hard course - wind and hills.  So that's where I rode yesterday:
Yes, I may as well have been riding in Kansas.....
Funny thing.... at mile 5 you turn north and into a headwind.  And I was FLYING at 18-22 mph INTO a headwind.  This road was FUN.  We needed to pick up extra mileage so on the way back to the truck, we did a 12 mile out and back on this road, starting at mile 41.  You know, because it was so fun the first time.  Turns out, it was fun because I was going downhill.  Coming back was interesting, even with a tailwind.  My legs were pretty well toast at the end.  I probably could have run if I needed to, but I really didn't want to.

Elevation gain: 1,779 in 60 miles.

Hmmmm.  I thought it was more elevation than that.  Still, the hills come on strong at the back end of the course, so it is a good way to train your legs when they're tired. 

I've got 4 more weeks before taper and 2 more long rides planned.  Saturday is the Boulder course.  Then Memorial Day weekend (Sunday) I'll probably do Harvest Moon again.  I think I'll train a bit more aggressively than I took yesterday's ride, just to push the effort a bit.  I want to put a hurt on myself so Boise will seem easy by comparison. :) 

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