Longer rides, longer runs, fast swims

Part of the Irish Blessing states, “May the road rise to meet you, May the wind be always at your back.”

For my past two long rides the wind has not been at my back for long. I must be building strength because it seems as though the wind has been head on for the majority of my rides. On one morning the wind was a crosswind at 18 mph and gusting up to 24 mph. Tough rides!

The long rides are now 3 and 3-1/2 hours in length. In the middle of the rides I am supposed to ride anywhere from 30-60 minutes at a higher cadence, 90-100 rpm. My bike computer died so I had a new one delivered this week.  

In addition to the increased rides, I am trying different nutrition concoctions. I have tried Infinit, both men and women’s specific. The men’s was too much for my stomach; the women’s was okay. On another ride I mixed some Skratch Labs electrolyte mix with Carbo Pro with a little bit of Salt Sherpa. That mixture was way too sweet. I have also tried Stinger Waffles, Skratch Labs fruit chews, and Lara Bars. I prefer real food, and brought my Feed Zone cookbook and may try some of their recipes.

I think the days of riding with a bottle of electrolyte mixture and another of water are gone for awhile. One of these mixtures is going to be the winner for race day.

My runs are increasing as well. This week my long run was 1-1/2 hours, and I ran/walked 8 miles. The shorter runs include intervals and more speed work.  

I have been swimming in the bay in front of our cottage and doing okay, but not doing any speed work. On Thursday, I went into town to the pool. It is a 25-meter pool, most days no lane ropes. I chose to go at the Adult/Senior swim time at noon. Oh my goodness, it was a fossil fest, and I was the only fossil swimming. There were about 35 senior citizens in the pool floating on noodles or just standing in the water chitchatting. In all seriousness it is great that the seniors in this little town have someplace to go and get a little exercise and socialize.

There was a lane rope designating an actual swim lane, and I swam with a swim team kid who was doing laps of the butterfly stroke. My swim was short, but hard, a warm up, 16x25 meters FAST, the 300 meters at race pace, and cool down. I need a lot more work on my swim.

My coach is here for a week. I'm using this opportunity to ask him questions and have him help with my swim. He told me he is training me to do well not just finish the race. At this point I think the swim is going to be my biggest hurdle, but it is still early.  We shall see!