Sunday, September 20, 2009

Wet Practice Ride

This morning I made up for yesterday morning's laziness and got up and went for a bike ride. This wasn't really about going the distance, this was more of a test ride for Westchester and trying to figure out exactly what I'm going to wear and how it will work out for the ride. It's sort of silly to say this, but I actually got all ready for the bike ride and then I got into the shower and got wet wearing my tri gear that I plan on wearing under my wetsuit. I then put on a long sleeved shirt and my biking vest once I got out of the shower and then we headed out to the park.

My hope in doing this was to simulate the race conditions. When we left the house, the weather said it was 55 degrees outside. But, it was really sunny, which made it feel a bit warmer to me. The weather forecast for the day of the race is currently 68 degrees as a high temperature and it says "clouds and occasional sunshine." That does not sound ideal to me and in my (limited) experience, biking while wet is a little chilly.

On the ride from the apartment to the park, I thought that I had made the right decision by putting on the extra clothes. Especially any time that the wind blew. We got to the park and started on our way. My cadence monitor still isn't fixed, so I just had to go by feel and instead I kept an eye on the distance. I imagine that I'll keep it on the distance on race day even if the cadence is fixed, so I'm thinking that it's not a huge deal at the moment. It's still a bummer, but not a deal breaker.

On the first time up the Harlem Hill, I blew by Drew and beat him up the hill. I'm pretty sure that hasn't happened before - or if it has - it was maybe only one time. I still thought it was a fluke and that maybe he was just tired or he was just letting me do all the hard work today and he was just out for a joy ride. When we got back to 72nd Street, I decided that I thought that the park was getting a little too crowded for my liking and that we should cut off the very lower loop of the park that is always the worst part and just cut across 72nd and head back north.

I don't like my 2nd water bottle holder on my bike very much and I don't think I've ever actually used it while biking before. Sure, sometimes I bring two water bottles, but I generally tend to switch them while I'm stopped instead of using the second one actively while on the bike. Today I forced myself to practice with it while biking since I am fairly certain I'll be needing it at Westchester (since I certainly don't plan on stopping that day!). It actually went much better than I would have anticipated and I actually think it's harder to drop the bottle in and out when I'm standing next to it then when I'm actually on the bike. Who knew?

So, we got around to the Harlem Hill again and I beat Drew up the hill again! What in the world? I have no idea where my little legs got all their super powers today. To beat him twice in the same bike trip seemed like maybe it wasn't a fluke the first time. I don't really know what happened, but I was certainly quite proud of myself!

When we got back down to 72nd Street the second time, I asked Drew what he wanted to do. I sort of wanted to keep going, but I knew that we had a lot of stuff to get done today and that he also had to go to work. I didn't want him to be stuck at work forever, so I figured that we should just head home, which is what we did.

We reached the exit and checked our stats before hitting the real road to ride the rest of the way home. My distance said 10.99 in 43:43 (15.08 MPH average) and Drew's said 11.17 in 43:43 (15.13 MPH average). We've known for a while now that our distances never matched up. The funny thing is that I used to make fun of Drew for not riding in a straight line and for riding so much longer than I did. However, it turns out that it's my distance that isn't counting correctly. It seems like it's about 0.10 miles off for every 6 miles. Not a huge difference, but enough.

I think I'm going to be good with my outfit choice for race day. I was definitely still wet after the 11 miles today (shorts and shirt). I know that my tri top will be less likely to dry if I put these other clothes on top of it, but I'm hoping that will help keep me cool on the run. I was definitely never hot today, even with the sun shining down, so I think on race day it'll be the right choice. Of course, there is really only one way to find out.

Calories: 488
Maximum HR: 181
Average HR: 158

Oh, yeah, and my arms? Pretty tired from yesterday. I'm guessing it'll be worse tomorrow. The good news is that it'll be better by next Sunday. I just need to remember to take it easy this week!

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