Well, Vineman is less than 3 weeks away and I am working to keep a positive attitude. Some days I feel like “I’ve got this” other days I think “OMG, I’m not going to make it out of the river!”
This past weekend was especially trying because of the holiday. Plans for an open water swim and my long ride just didn’t come together like they normally do. On top of that, HS and I stayed up way past our bedtime on Friday night hanging lights in the backyard and mounting a TV by the bar-b-que. When we were all done, we sat outside watching TV and enjoying the relatively cool evening.
|HS did a great job hanging the lights!|
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to recover from our "wild" night so quickly and ended up sleeping in until after 6am on Saturday! Crap! I wanted to be on the road by this time because I was worried about holiday traffic. After rushing to get our stuff together, we managed to start riding a little after 7am.
The route I had planned was a hybrid of sorts. We were going to ride from Stockton to Armstrong Rd and head east. At this point, we were going to use part of the Tour Delle Vigne route to get us to Linden. From Linden, we were going to do the Center for the Blind route and then head back home. Depending on our pace, this was going to take roughly 5-1/2 hours (the ride time on my schedule).
Even though I had included HS in a group message earlier in the week about possible routes, he didn’t look at the route. When I stopped to check the map on Escalon-Bellota Rd, he started asking about how far we were going, how long it was going to take, etc. I filled him in on the details and he didn't seem very enthusiastic about my plan. I consulted the map again and said “Look, we can just go straight through on Carter Rd instead of making this big jog. The event people probably threw that in there to get the mileage up.”
I figured the short cut would save us 3-5 miles. We crossed over Henry Rd and continued east on Carter. Eventually we came to a sign that said “Stanislaus County” and then a little further down the road another sign that read “Pavement Ends”. Pavement ends? WTF?
HS rode to the top of the hill and looked down. I rolled up next to him and thought “Crap! Now we are going to have to go back and go the other way”.
HS: “So, you want to try it?”
Me: “Uh. I guess so.”
HS: “Ok, watch out for the big rocks and don’t go too fast”
Yeah, right. I would not be doing anything that resembled speed. For the next few miles we rode along the dirt and gravel road. There was no trace of former pavement or anything like that. It was sandy and dusty and I bounced along trying to avoid the big rocks like HS recommended. At one point I heard him say “Car back” and I responded “Are you serious?”
|Would have been much more fun on a mountain bike|
Sure enough, we got passed by some guy in a Crown Victoria. I figured he was some sort of serial killer and we were going to be chopped up and stuffed in his trunk and no one would ever find us because who would ride their nice road bikes on that road? Thankfully our potential killer kept driving and left us in a cloud of dust.
|My mom sent me this and all I could think was "I don't ride on trails".|
Well, not until last Saturday.
Eventually we reached 26 Mile Rd. I looked down and noticed that my cell phone had nearly bounced out of my Shiv’s storage compartment. I pulled the phone out so I could grab the map and realized that the orange sheet of paper that I had saved from the original event had bounced out somewhere along our off road adventure. Great, now I have no map and only a vague recollection of the route we took back in February. At that point I suggested to HS that we just head back…no sense in getting lost.
We headed bag to the “jog” in the route we had originally tried to avoid, past Woodward Reservoir and then back home. What we noticed immediately was that there was a definite head wind (didn’t notice much headed the other way LOL). This made the rest of the ride quite challenging. We stopped at a mini-mart in Farmington to buy some Gatorade and Skittles. We each refilled a bottle and drank the rest.
Unfortunately, we didn’t consider the toll the wind and heat was going to take on us for the duration of the ride. With an hour to ride, we both realized we were out of Gatorade. Ughhh!!! Needless to say, the last hour was miserable. We rode head on into the wind all the way back to Deries Rd. All I could think of was a nice glass of ice water when I got home.
My idea of a taper is to immediately stop all this craziness and reduce my work load by at least 50%. Coach K apparently doesn’t share my belief in “less is more” LOL. Sunday he had an 18 mile run scheduled for me. I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of 18 miles, but it sounded so much better than last week’s 22 miler.
Since HS and I planned on going to our church’s picnic, we opted to go to the second service instead of the early one. This gave me plenty of time to complete my run. I decided to challenge myself and NOT look at my Garmin. I was successful for the first 12 miles. When I eventually took a peek at my pace, I was a little dismayed at how slow I was going. Were my legs really this tired? Was it because I really didn’t eat before my run? Who knows…I just kept running. My pace was still probably better than it is going to be on race day.
Because of his usher duties, HS knows a lot more people at church than I do. He also regularly attends a men’s small group. Obviously he has talked about my training for Vineman because people that know me only as HS’s wife will come up and ask me about my race. Questions like…
- So, when is your marathon?
- How far is your marathon?
- So you have to swim and bike in your marathon?
I will usually say something like “Well, actually I’m doing a triathlon” only to get a response like “Yeah I know, a friend of mine is doing a half marathon.” Alrighty, then.