I’m back! I’ve been wanting to write all day, but I told myself that I couldn’t sit at my computer until I’d gone for my bike ride this evening. In keeping with the bike themed week, I topped off my weekend with a 2 hour ride. It was slow, but I was dodging people the whole time. I guess everybody wanted to get out and enjoy the night.
Wisconsin’s Ironman Brick Adventure was an amazing weekend. Steve and I got out to Madison on Friday evening and met up with some fellow bloggers for supper. It was great to be able to hang out with fellow Ironmen in training and with people who have finished IMWI. Robby B, Thomps, and Simply Stu are all from the area and were very welcoming.
Saturday at 8 am, we all headed to Fireman’s Park in Verona for the start of our ride. The parking lot was full of cars – our own little transition area for the day. Boy did I have a lot of bike envy! I think we had about 13 people in our group when we started our ride. Robby B, Iron Wil, TriSara Tops, Elizabeth, Thomps, Runbubbarun, and several others were all there. I was a little nervous at first that I wouldn’t be able to keep up and they’d all leave me in the dust. Luckily, the guys kept the ride really relaxed. Although they could have easily left us behind trying to figure out the course for ourselves, they were always waiting to make sure no one was left behind, pulling one of us up a hill, or explaining parts of the course to us. I really can’t thank them enough for all of the time they spent with us. I know I got at least 10 times more out of my ride because they were there, they knew the course, and they were tons of fun!
We had decided on Friday night that instead of doing two loops, we would start in Verona, head up to Madison (normally the last 15 miles of the bike), turn around and head back to Verona (normally the first 15 miles of the bike course), and then do one Verona loop (there are two in the race). The course is often described as a lollipop. The ride we planned comes out at 70 miles.
The stretch between Verona and Madison isn’t actually too bad in terms of elevation changes, but there is one really good sized hill a few miles before entering Madison. When we got to town, I could not wipe the smile off my face. It was so exciting to see the lake and the Terrace and to picture myself there in just over 60 days. I must have looked like a little kid at Christmas. After a near collision on bikes between one of our crew and a local (we got cussed out!), we turned around for the next 55 miles of our ride.
We biked back to Fireman’s Park to refuel and get ready to do the loop. It lived up to its reputation of being hilly, especially when we got to the rollers. Toward the beginning of the loop, Wil had a nasty spill at about 15 mph and landed on her left shoulder. She has a huge raspberry on the shoulder and a lot of bruising on her hands, but that girl is tough as nails.
The hills were tough. I’m not going to lie to you, but they honestly weren’t as bad as I had imagined. I think that all of the talk that I have been hearing led me to believe that they were humongous and somehow impassible. There were some pretty big ones, especially toward the end of the loop, but I just threw my bike into granny gear and never even had to get out of my saddle. I am sure that the hills will be much tougher during the race, especially when I’m on my second loop and have already completed the swim. After seeing them this weekend, though, I know what I’m up against and how to prepare myself for them. I just may be able to pull this off!
Thanks to Robby B and Thomps for providing course directions and knowledge, Simply Stu for providing the music through his singing up the hills, Elizabeth for her endless energy, TriSara Tops for providing us with a prime example of what someone should look like while riding the bike, Iron Wil for providing the action through her spill (and for arranging the weekend!), and everyone else for making it an awesome ride!
The day was warm (about 85 degrees) and a little windy, but September 10th could be warmer and windier. It was a day of full sun. Thank goodness for sunscreen, although I still managed to burn the BACK of my calves and thighs?! I have no idea how it happened. I didn’t even think to put sunscreen there. Looking at me, you’d swear I had ridden my bike upside down or something. Overall, it was a great day for some recon in Wisconsin!
Things I learned this weekend:
1. I am stronger than I have been giving myself credit for.
2. I have the most supportive husband in the world!
3. Ironman is a very strong bond. I commented to Steve Friday night after supper how great it was that I had never met any of these people but felt so comfortable around them. Plus, they were TONS of fun. I haven’t laughed that much in a long time!
4. My nutrition plan is getting better. I love Carbo Pro and Gatorade endurance!
5. I ate over 4,000 calories on Saturday and didn’t even feel guilty.
6. Put sunscreen on the BACK of your legs too.
7. Downhill is crazy fun. I maxed out at 39.7 MPH. I really wanted to hit 40, but I guess it wasn’t time yet.
8. The hills are not as bad as I thought they would be. I’m pretty sure they will be worse than I remember on race day, though!
9. Stu singing Mr. Rodger’s song up the hills is great motivation.
10. Madison is a beautiful place. I can’t wait to go back.
Riding Strong: Another Bike PR!
1 day ago