Last night I was sore and strangely sunburned from yesterday’s amazing (and amazingly difficult) workout. Today I have some funny leftover lines and a little soreness. I had my first brick yesterday (bricks are workouts with two or more sports).
We rode from Fletcher Cover in Solana Beach to Lake Hodges in Escondido as a team today with some wonderful alums tagging along for support, encouragement, and assistance. There is no “easing into” this ride… it’s an immediate uphill climb and it’s a climb that last for 12 miles.
Well, kind of. The ride is mostly uphill, but includes some “delightful” rolling hills in the middle near Rancho Santa Fe. These rolling hills saved me in some parts as I was able to utilize my downhill speed to propel me up the following hill. Sometimes it was enough to get me all the way or even halfway up the next hill. Every little bit counted! Plus, even when the momentum couldn’t get me all the way up it gave me the momentum to pedal with ease in my big chain ring (which equals greater distance and power to get up the hill faster).
Unfortunately, the rolling hills only last the first six or seven miles and then it was the big climb on Del Dios Hwy. Pained and exhausted, I slowly climbed the hill as the hot sun beat upon my back. When I reached the top, I allowed myself to take a breather and douse myself with water. I stopped to do this as I wasn’t entirely certain my jello legs could balance while I was pouring water over myself. Unfortunately, my jello legs weren’t capable of standing either and I toppled over immediately beyond the asphalt. The shift in road coupled with tired legs did not equal positive results. I survived the fall though and so did my gear. Coach Robbie saved me with a gel once more. I hydrated and continued down the highway, up the last section, and ultimately zoomed down Rancho Rd toward Hernandez Hideaway (I hear they have great margaritas).
After 12.5 miles of riding, I refilled my water bottle, put on my hat, and took off on the run with Cat. We’d gone through most of the bike fairly closely and it was great to have that company on the run. I started to get a bit of a sideache and so I slowed down to walk with Catherine while Cat continued to run. Catherine and I ran/walked the three mile route because, as Coach Robbie said, “This is a nature RUN not a nature hike,” while passing us.
We made it back from our three mile run; I refilled the water bottles once more and put ice in my sports bra. What instant relief from the heat! It’s rare that women have an advantage and that’s definitely one we win over the guys. Then, it was back to the bike for a 12.5 mile trip back to Solana Beach.
The ride down Rancho Rd steep and quick, but meant that it was steep and difficult going back. Nearly all of my team members walked their bikes to the top of Rancho Rd before riding again. Cat and I tried to ride, but it was so difficult. My knees were killing me and unfortunately that feeling continued for much of the return trip. While riding to Lake Hodges I felt great most of the time, surprised by the ease with which I was overcoming the hills. I only stopped twice and each stop was brief. While riding back, I felt awful. My right knee hurt and I stopped five or six times with the length of pause varying at each stop. The uphills were worse than the downhills, but even the flats were rough. Plus, for a ride that was nearly all uphill on the way to Lake Hodges, it felt extremely uphill on the way back too. Uphill BOTH ways? No thank you.
I made it back though and I am so glad that Coach Robbie and Catherine were there to help me and encourage me on that trip back. I’ll be doing some experimenting on the bike and with my positioning to figure out the cause of this sudden right knee pain. It was not pleasant.
In the end, I rode 25 miles and ran/walked 3 miles yesterday in a workout that lasted nearly four hours (1hr 23 min ride and transition to run; 50 min run; 1hr 30-40 min (lost track) transition from run and ride). Then I showered, giggled at the strange lines the sun left (despite every effort to lather myself in sunscreen), and spent the afternoon with my sister. Overall, it was a good, though long, day.