Century Ride + 5k with Double Stroller

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After last week’s post on the demons I have been dealing with, I have tried to focus on what I can control each day while not freaking out about things that are still weeks away (less than 5 now!).

Saturday was scheduled to be my longest ride {so far} in my training for Ironman Lake Placid.  My plan was to ride at least 5 hours (which would put me at 85-90 miles), but I knew in my head that my real goal was to hit 100 miles.  I wanted to see those three digits.

Took me 5 hours 45 min (17.4 mph).

100 miles

It wasn’t easy and at points, really not fun, but it’s one more long training ride that is in the bank that hopefully will pay dividends on race day.  I rode continuously except 2 minor stops – at mile 31, I stopped at my mom’s to refill water bottles and use the bathroom and at mile 63, I returned home to breastfeed and pump.

These long rides are important for three major reasons. The first two are the obvious ones – they are physically preparing me for the 112 miles I will be tackling in 5 weeks and are allowing me to practice and learn SO much about my nutrition and fueling needs that will be crucial on race day.

The third is the mental aspect.

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Riding for six hours is mentally draining.  I’m used to the ups and downs that I often experience on a long run – I’ve been through that roller coaster a hundred + times before and have gotten pretty good at pulling myself out of the lows.  But my longest runs never go last more than 3 hours.  Saturday was almost double that. So, there were a ton more roller coaster emotions that I had to fight off.

I call it my dark place – the point in a training run or ride where things get really, really bad. I enter this place for a myriad of reasons – I might be starting to feel fatigued, or I could have thought about how much longer I have, or I am just really drained from how long I have been going.  Whatever the reason, the dark place is much worse than the low of the roller coaster that comes and goes.  It often lasts longer and it takes every ounce of my mental will to keep going.  There have been times when the dark place wins and I have stopped the workout.  Sometimes it appears to be the best decision for my body.  But there have certainly been instances when I just call it quits when I could have pushed longer.

I reached the dark place twice on Saturday.  The first was 15-20 miles in to the ride.  I started off feeling great – my legs felt loose and I was okay with the slower than expected pace of 17. 2 mph. I hit some hills early on and wanted to start slow.  But by mile 10, I was expecting to be able to pick up the pace. I felt I was pushing too hard to go faster.  My 5 mile split for miles 15-20 was my slowest of the day – 16.2 mph. It was a huge knock to my confidence. My legs felt heavy and I began doubting what I had planned for the day.

My legs feel so tired. Did I start too fast? Did I push too hard up those hills? Crap. I hate this. I suck at the bike.  It’s going to take me so long to get through 100 miles at a pace like this. I’m going to go to my mom’s and call it a day.

I was {this} close to making a detour to my mom’s house (she lives about a mile from where I was at the time).  I somehow convinced myself to drink more water, have another few energy blasts and not stress about the pace.  100 miles is 100 miles.  My next two 5-mile splits were the fastest of the day (at that point): 17.3 mph and 17.9 mph.

The second arrival to the dark place happened when I was expecting it to – miles 80-90. It was a hot 85-degrees, I had been riding for over 4 1/2 hours, and I was tired of being on the bike. My pace was starting to slow and I wanted nothing more than to take a cold shower and sit on the couch.  I pulled over to the side of the road, forced myself to drink a ton of water and ate 1/2 powerbar.  I convinced myself to just keep pedaling.  I put the bike in an easier gear and just focused on keeping my legs spinning. Once I hit 90 miles, I knew I’d  make it to 100 and just began counting down the miles.

splits

I finished the bike, stopped in the house to grab my running water bottle and fuel belt, changed shoes and began the 4 mile run. Despite my legs being a bit tired, I couldn’t slow them down because they were used to the fast spinning on the bike. I’m not sure if I should force myself to go slower or just go with what feels comfortable. Realistically, I will not be running 8 min/miles on race day. I’m hoping for closer to 9 min/miles.  But should I force the slower pace or just let my body dictate the pace? I decided to take the hillier option from my house as training for race day (the Lake Placid run course is notoriously hilly).  The miles flew by and I maintained a pretty consistent pace for the 30+ min. Splits: 8:01, 7:52, 7:41, 7:46. 

100miles

Smiling because it’s OVER!

After the workout, I spent about 20 minutes in the ice bath. I haven’t taken an ice bath in years but decided it was worth a try since I had a 5k the next day.

ice

Sunday: Love Kills Cancer 5k

Sunday was the 5k to support my cousin’s daughter battle with Leukemia in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.  It was more of a walk/run than a race (no awards, course wasn’t certified).  My husband, boys, and I all went and I decided to run with the stroller rather than have my husband and kids watch.  They both love the stroller (when we are running), so it was the perfect choice.

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It was my first “race” with the stroller and was SO much fun. We finished in 20:37 BUT the course was really short (over .15) so as much as I’d like to claim a sub-21 5k with the double stroller, my heart is telling me it’s not right. I think we would have finished just over 22 minutes if it was the full distance – which is about a 7:15 pace. My legs felt fairly good – especially considering the 100 miles the day before.  My upper body felt a bit sore from being in the aerobars for so long, but I was overall really happy with how my body had recovered.

Thanks to Jenn for coming out to the race and for taking some action shots for me =)

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After the race, we spent a few hours at the after-party: a ton of yummy food, cold drinks, and lots of chances to win some fun prizes (we ended up winning TWO baskets – that NEVER happens!). I also got to catch up with Laura, one of my college friends, who is back at West Point teaching.

love5k

She’s a MAJOR in the US Army!

Did you race this weekend?

Ever ride 100 miles? 

Have you ever won a raffle before?

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    25 thoughts on “Century Ride + 5k with Double Stroller

    1. Congrats on your century ride. Way to talk yourself out of your dark place several times! I like the idea of setting auto-splits every 5 miles. I hadn’t set up any autosplits on my bike so far because I didn’t want the constant beeping. I think I’ll have to do that. And how fun that you all got to run together at that 5k! Your husband is speedy too! How much does he run?
      meghan @ little girl in the big world recently posted..I’m ba-ack!My Profile

    2. Great job pushing through on that 100 mile ride! And way to go with the stroller run, even if it was short still a great little tempo workout and an awesome pace to boot! I did race this weekend! Had a great PR and win! So fun:)
      Sarah @RunFarGirl recently posted..A PR and a WinMy Profile

    3. That is amazing!!!! Way to go! I can’t believe you did that 5k with your kids after such a hard workout!!!
      I have heard the quote “I am getting comfortable being unconfortable”….kinda true! :).
      I am so excited for your ironman! You got this!!!!!
      Jen recently posted..One of the many reasons I LOVE summer…My Profile

    4. I think that ride was perfect for you b/c just like in a marathon, you are going to have those low points during the IM ride. Now you know what to expect and how to get through them. On that course in particular, I found the back half of the second loop to be the tough spot. I remember thinking I would never be able to run after, but you know what? It felt great to switch up muscles. Keep that in your pocket if you need it!

      Congrats on an awesome stroller run, too. It makes you so strong to be able to push that much weight and do it fast! Love it.
      misszippy1 recently posted..Feeling a bit like CinderellaMy Profile

    5. Hey woman- I know those dark places on the bike. It’s so hard when they hit early into the ride. Congrats on your first century ride- that is a big feat! And then you made it a brick… bravo. Great 5K w/ the double stroller as well. I want to do a race w/ the stroller one day, just to see what I can do!

      Random question-what’s your game plan for breast feeding/pumping on race day? Too personal? Maybe I should have emailed this question! haha.
      Lindsey Hein recently posted..Training Updates – Muncie 70.3My Profile

    6. You continue to motivate me during this pregnancy and for after the baby is born. A burning question I’ve had though: HOW are you going to handle the breastfeeding/pumping during the IM? Will you stop and pump?
      Tiffany recently posted..In Honor of HazelMy Profile

      • Hey Tiffany! How are you feeling? I am going to go into a bit more detail in a post when the time gets closer…but yes, I will be pumping during the Ironman. I’m not 100% certain at which points yet (although I’m leaning towards after the 1st loop of the bike and during T2) but it will definitely happen at least twice. I could breastfeed him on the side of the road, but he gets so distracted these days that pumping will be much more time efficient =)
        nycrunningmama recently posted..Century Ride + 5k with Double StrollerMy Profile

        • I’m GREAT! Thanks for asking :) And thanks for replying. I really respect you for continuing to breastfeed all the while training and running, and your commitment to your kids first and foremost. I hope others see that it CAN be done. I look forward to cheering you on!
          Tiffany recently posted..In Honor of HazelMy Profile

    7. you are AWESOME. its so great that you post when things are bad and are “real” with us.. I’m glad I am not the only one who gets to those dark places too. In comparison my training is nowhere near as intense as yours, but i am SOOO motivated and inspired by you! I look forward to all your instagram/blog posts :) Love following you through your training! Keep up the AMAZING work!! You’re killing it !!!!!

    8. I cannot believe you rode 100 miles and then did a sub-8 minute pace run! That’s awesome! I’ve done a century ride before, and I remember that I didn’t want to sit down from about mile 80 on because my butt was so sore. I also remember eating like a horse afterward!

    9. I don’t think I’ve ever done 100 miles in my lifetime :) haha!

      You are amazing!

      That stroller is as big as you are & You’re still kicking butt! yep – amazing!

    10. Wow – impressive mileage on the bike! I’m working my way up over the 20 mile mark, which seems pidly next to your miles! I need new cycling shorts… once I got to 22 miles, that was clear. Must invest before I go further…
      Run With Jess recently posted..Fighting with Mother NatureMy Profile

    11. Nice job this weekend. Those 100 will feel just a bit easier as you add on the additional miles next time. My first 100 miler SUCKED but last week I made it to 110 and it was really hard but was great at the same time. I reach that dark spot on many rides and it is so not fun, but I keep reminding myself that we need practice having those lows. Because it will be SOOOO worth it!!!
      Robin recently posted..Have You Made it to Your "One-derland"?My Profile

    12. Way to push through that bike ride! It’s amazing what our mind can do when we feel we have nothing left to give. I ran a silly race last weekend (a beer run!) which was a good time. :)
      Brittani recently posted..the weekly rundownMy Profile