A blog for (semi) athletic middle-aged men (and women) holding on to (the last vestiges of) their youth
by training for and competing in running, cycling, swimming and triathlon events!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Vineman Retrospective Part II. The Ride

I was so pumped about finishing the swim two minutes under my goal. And as I ran to my bike and headed to the start of the ride, my personal cheering section of my wife, two daughters, brother, sister-in-law, and two nephews were screaming at the top of thier lungs. Needless to say, when I got on my bike the adrenaline was flowing!

Right at the start of the ride was a short climb up from the beach to the main street of Guerneville. I stood on the pedals and sprinted up and never looked back. I was off on a 56-mile roller coaster ride through the vineyards of Sonoma County -- Korbel, Stonestreet, B.R. Cohn, Chalk Hill -- are just a few of the ones I recognized.

I had given Leslie some estimated times of arrival at various checkpoints along the route and my entourage planned to set up at one point when we crossed under Hwy 101 at mile 28.4 in Geyserville. But I was riding much faster than I anticipated, averaging 18.5 mph in the first hour! So I passed the checkpoint about 20 minutes ahead of schedule and missed them entirely.

I consciously backed off a bit in the second half of the ride knowing I still had to climb Chalk Hill and then run 13.1 miles! But Chalk Hill turned out to be a little bump in the road compared to the hills I ride every time I leave my house in Castle Rock. As I neared Windsor High School and the end of the ride I was still averaging 17.8 mph -- about one mile-per-hour faster than I'd do.

The entourage was at the school when I arrived 4 hours into the event -- still holding a 20 minute lead over my goal. As I have told many people, I was only racing myself in this event. So my thought at this point was "I'm racing myself and kicking my own butt!"

I took my time in the transition from the ride to the run, sitting down to put on my running shoes. I was holding a 20-minute lead over my goal and felt I'd earned it! Little did I know that every minute would count as the heat and my feet would conspire against me on the run threaten my ability to finish under goal.

But I'll save that for tomorrow. Now it's off on a walk with Leslie. I haven't felt like running or riding yet...and may not all week!


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