Saturday, February 23, 2008

Day 6 - long ride

Today was the last day of camp and we had the choice of riding 85 or 65 miles with either the "fast" or "faster" group. It was cloudy and cool with a 40 mph wind; not the ideal riding conditions. My coach Terra told me to ride quality over quantity today. My legs were tired to start and I knew it was going to be a day of slogging through the miles, none of which would be particularly high quality no matter what the distance.

Guest coach and Olympic cyclist Rory O'Reilly rode with my group and he gave me a few tips. He said don't rely too much on my power meter instead learn to know how my body feels at certain effort levels so I can dial those in without any technology. He showed me how to descend efficiently on a rough surface. He showed the group how to effectively ride together into a 40mph headwind to help each other as much as possible.

About 50 miles in, we stopped for a lunch of Clif bars and Clif shot blocks. Attack of the sugar bombs. I wasn't feeling great and all I could think about was eating some real food like a nice omelette... or steak (I'm a vegetarian). I was in need of something besides sugar and did my best but then about mile 55 I melted down emotionally and started crying, which is a sign of nutritional bonking I have learned. I couldn't keep up no matter how hard I worked. Rory helped me get up the steep climb we were on and then I stopped at Jill's van and she gave me some cheese, soy milk, and nuts from her own personal stash. It didn't take long and I felt better. This gave me just enough energy to get to the 65 mile point, at which I bailed out, put my bike on the van, and rode the rest of the way back in the nice comfy van with Jill. This was the happiest moment of the day and I know it was the right decision for me. My legs were done. One other rider bailed with me.

Hunter had to leave camp a few days early because his mother had a stroke and it is good that he did because she passed away today. She was the cook at last year's camp in Bedford.

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