Getting ready for the big game

This was a good training weekend. Another weekend of new adventures and a new personal distance record on the bike. I was a little worried on Friday when I cut short my planned workout because I was tired, thought it was better to ease off so I would be more fresh for Saturday. I had planned to do 40-45 miles on the bike Saturday morning, or at least that is what I told everybody. As Saturday dawned I was feeling fresh and thought I might as well see what sort of distance I could get in, hoping for at least 56 miles.

I decided to cut off the portion of my route from last weekend that took me through Jax Beach up to Atlantic Boulevard, too many stop signs to contend with on that stretch. As I passed Sawgrass on my way south I had covered just over 16 miles. I only needed 20 miles south and then 20 miles back to get me to 56. As I sailed down Ponte Vedra Boulevard and turned onto A1A South I was collected up by a couple also out for a ride. They encouraged me to fall in with them. Riding with Mary Ellen and Bob was pretty fantastic, certainly broke up some of the monotony of clicking off miles by yourself. The weather threatened in a few places on our way south but held off for the time being. We turned around in Vilano Beach just north of the bridge and headed back up for home. Unfortunately the forecast indicated wind out of the south but all of the flags we were passing seemed to indicate wind from the north, made for a stout climb back to Ponte Vedra and definitely illustrated the value of being the slacky, unhelpful rider at the back of the pack. I wasn’t much help on our way back, probably wasn’t all that much help on the way down for that matter. Sadly the rain found us on the way back, making for a visually challenging return ride as my sunglasses were streaked with water and sand, I eventually abandoned them, tucked into my jersey.

I left Bob and Mary Ellen back on PV Boulevard and plugged onward to finish up my ride. I passed Maggie, my partner in crime for a century ride in April, on my back to Sawgrass as she was headed south. Once in Sawgrass I checked my distance, 56 miles, which was exciting but I wanted 60. To get there I would have to ride right past my house and complete another loop of Sawgrass. That last three miles was not a whole lot of fun but I was very glad to turn onto my street and roll home.

I had ridden 8 miles further than the previous Saturday in 2 fewer minutes, not too shabby. Having other riders to set a pace certainly helped in that regard. I felt much better on the bike and off though. Chick-fil-A was a perfect breakfast, sticks with you much better than Cheerios. There isn’t a much worse feeling than being 14 miles from home and hungry.

Fast forward to Sunday morning and my breakfast of Cheerios…not more than an hour later I was once again hungry. I was also in the middle of another ride without many snack options. I felt better on the bike today than I did last Sunday, however still hungry. After banging out a little over 16 miles I hopped off the bike and into my running shoes and scrambled my way around Sawgrass to the tune of 5 more miles, taking my mileage total for the week up to 114, with 81 of those coming in the last two days. While I’m still not real quick on the run my pace is down over 30 seconds a mile over 5 miles so I’m pleased about that.

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