My first half Ironman, IM 70.3 Lubbock is 1 week away! 

After my 85 mile ride this morning, I am confident that I’m ready for the 56-mile bike portion of the race. 

Last long ride

Johnny had a 5-hr ride on my training plan. With a moderate effort (zone 1) I could ride 90 miles in that amount of time. I haven’t ridden that far in several months and the thought of doing it was exciting. The plan wasn’t to have a group ride, but I was open to people joining me if they agreed to have a only few stops (3 maximum). 

In the past, I’ve struggled with wanting to continually push harder and ride faster (ego-driven effort). However, my progress and development are slowed when I succumb to those urges. Riding fast is cool, but not my current goal which is to ride for long periods, quickly and exit the bike for the run with strong legs and good energy reserves. IronMan 140.6 requires this, or I run the risk of dropping before the finish line. 

So, the plan was to average 17 MPH overall while managing my power and keeping the effort less than 187 W (the top of my zone 1). If the wind is at my back, I’ll go faster with less energy expended. And with a headwind, I’ll slow down accordingly. I also wanted to test my bike fit to see how comfortable I can be for 5+ hours and how long I can maintain the aero position

Rain or shine riders

Initially, four other riders were going to ride with me. Three backed out at the last minute. One showed up, but after some discussion about the ride, she decided it was too big a jump from her longest ride (53 miles). While we were discussing whether or not she would ride with us, we waited in the car for a thunderstorm to pass. The rain and wind were pretty fierce but I was determined to complete the ride today. If I had to wait, so be it. Cruz, the other rider present was of the same mindset. She loves long rides and said that she was free all day, whatever it takes, we’ll get the ride completed. Finally, Anthony called to see if we were still planning to go (he wanted to ride, but was concerned about the thunderstorms). After we told him that we were just waiting for a break in the weather, he drove right over to join us. 

We had three “rain or shine” athletes ready to take on an epic day.

The storm dropped the temperature and reduced the humidity significantly, we definitely appreciated those changes. We decided to take it slow in the beginning because of the puddles and road slicks that float around the edges of the streets after heavy rains. Other than that, we were in agreement to push on, with a stop at 25 miles, then at the half-way point/ turn-around and then one last stop on the way back, about mile 67. 

All in all, we had a great time. Communication was great, frequently checking in with one another while marveling at the scenery changes caused by the storm clouds and sunshine seemingly dancing and competing for dominance of the sky. 

I felt strong the entire ride which is partly a result of optimizing my nutrition. At this point, taking multivitamins (Vitamins C, D, E, B-complex, magnesium, and lactoferrin) shortly before bed is the best. I sleep soundly and feel more energetic throughout the day. While riding, I focused on sipping regularly from my hydration tank (1 bottle of Infinit bike blend consumed each hour) and taking licks of my BASE salts every hour or so to replace the electrolyte loss and minimize muscle cramping. The strategy worked marvelously, no cramps whatsoever. 

Check out the photos and videos below to get a sense of our joyous day.

Next up…..Ironman 70.3 Lubbock prerace report