I wish every weekend was a 3-day weekend. It was just perfect. I was able to get in 2 long workouts and still have a day to recover and relax. Saturday morning I had a “short” long run of 8 miles and I planned to ride 30 miles after that. I had somehow forgotten that our group was now starting 30 minutes later, so I showed up at 5:30 and stood around virtually by myself for half an hour until other people started arriving. Oops! Guess I didn’t need to get up at 4:30 after all. Oh well.
Our run was in De Soto, and I had mapped out a 30 mile loop leaving from where we met for the run. Only problem was that the De Soto Days parade was going on that day, so they were getting ready to close down the street we were parked off of as I was getting ready to start. Eladio and Shawn suggested that I drive over to Kill Creek Park and start from there. So I did that, but it botched the route I had planned. I was able to come up with another one that would still get me in about 30 miles. The nice thing about starting from the park as opposed to the parking lot of the De Soto High School was that they actually had restroom there, so I was able to tinkle before I set out. It’s the little things in life.
The route I had figured out took me down 143rd Street, and I figured that it HAD to be paved by now. Last time I rode down it, it was all torn up, and that was about a month ago. Wrong! They had done something to it, but it was more like a REALLY rough chip seal, not actual pavement. Paved roads in that neck of the woods are few and far between, so I ended up turning around an heading back to the park. Sure, I could have ridden around and found some paved roads to get 30 miles in, but I knew I had a long ride on Sunday so I didn’t sweat it too much. 15 miles is better than nothing.
Sunday morning was another early start, and I joined Court for an OWS out at Lakewood with a group of triathletes that she’s met through a guy in her spinning class. We had a group of about 10 or so people, and I had to laugh to myself because half of them were wearing Ironman schwag. In my post about “how to brag about doing an Ironman”, there a line that says “an Ironman would never be caught training without their Ironman stuff”. Apparently it’s true! I was a little intimidated at first, because when we started out most everyone just took off. But there were a couple of other people that were slow swimmers like me, so we stuck together. We got in about a 50 minute swim, it felt good.
After that, Court and I set out for our 4 hour ride. Three of the guys decided to ride with us for a while. We were heading up to a section of road that is really flat for several miles, which we figured would be good practice for Florida. You’d be amazed how hard it is to find flat stretches of road to ride on! On our way to the flats, there was one hill that was pretty tough, it made a 90 degree turn half way up it, so you didn’t know that you had to keep climbing until you made that turn. I held steady at about 7mph going up that hill. Yeah! At the top, we stopped for a minute to catch our breath, and a utility truck from an electric company stopped to ask if we wanted some ice water out of his cooler. How nice! Usually drivers, especially those in large utility trucks, seem to be pretty annoyed by cyclists. I’m not sure who the guy was with, it wasn’t KCPL or Aquilla.
From there, it was a nice downhill to the flat portion of our route, and at some point there I must have hit a bump or something because I lost the straw to my aero bottle. Sumbitch! It was heating up pretty quickly and I was going to need to stay hydrated, especially since I had several hours of riding ahead of me. Not being able to drink from my aero bottle would make things a little more difficult. Two of the guys we were riding with turned around at that point, and Courtney and Vance and I headed on towards Buckner.
The road WAS nice and flat, with just a couple of small hills on our way out to Buckner. Aside from about a mile that we had to ride on Highway 7, the traffic was very light. So it was a good course, I’d like to do it again. We stopped at Casey’s in Buckner to refuel and look for a straw for me, but as luck would have it, they were out of straws. I don’t know how you can sell fountain sodas and be out of straws, but I guess that’s Buckner for ya. Downtown was COMPLETELY deserted, and we almost expected some albino kids to start appearing and telling us to come into the corn with them. Freaky.
We headed back the way we had come, and when we got to the point where we could have headed back to Lakewood, Vance decided to head home but Court and I turned around and headed back to Buckner. We had only gotten about 30 miles to that point, and we wanted to get 60. So back we went. The second time out was a little slower and a little hotter. We just chatted it up and enjoyed the ride.
By the time we were heading back from our second trip to Buckner, we were both just ready to be done. I was hot and tired, and pissed that I couldn’t drink from my aero bottle. I just wanted off my bike. We made it back to Lakewood where my car was parked, and we both got off our bikes and just laid down in the grass under a tree. We had gone about 65 miles, which yeah, is a nice long ride, but when I thought about having to do another 50 on top of it and then run a marathon, I just wanted to cry. Yes, November 3rd will be a VERY long day. And I will be VERY cranky afterwards….once my initial joy of crossing the finish line wears off :) Here is our route, we did the portion betwee Holke Rd and Buckner twice, hence the 60+ miles: route
But I did discover something to put in my special needs bag for the bike….Cheezits. Yum! After a couple hours of Gatorade and Gu and Pop Tarts, a salty snack tasted damn good.