And We're Back!

Return longer bike rides (and blogging)

Those of you who are long-time subscribers will know that there's been a bit of a hiatus between my last pre-marathon posting and this one, but I'm making an effort to get back at it. If you somehow missed the news, I finished the Tobacco Road Marathon in 5 hours, 18 minutes, which wasn't quite as fast as I might have hoped, but was still pretty good for a first effort.

About 20 miles into the ride. Did not go all the way to Greensboro.
I got out for my first 50-mile ride of the year this morning, and the first 40 or so were quite fun. I didn't suffer any cramps or other obvious problems during the last segment, but I was really starting to struggle over the hills. I ended up averaging 17.1mph on a 50.3-mile ride, which is better than I'd been doing last year, so I'm counting it as a success.

You can see where my watch battery gave out
I did discover that I'm in need of a better pre-ride checklist, as there were a number of minor annoyances with my equipment today. Fortunately, both the bike itself and the rider had no major problems.
I discovered that my snazzy new Lezyne bike lights (high-intensity LEDs, one white one for the front and a red one for the back) apparently suck up a lot of battery power to provide that light, and I hadn't recharged them prior to this ride, so they didn't end up lasting too long.
I also managed to get some sort of schmutz on my sunglasses such that attempting to look out of the top half of the lenses was pretty blurry. Of course, given that I was out on the triathlon bike and do nothing but look out the top half of the glasses this was a problem, but I figure that doing the full triathlon will probably provide even greater challenges.

Getting the triathlon bike under control

Now that I've been out for a number of rides on the bike, I have a better idea of what's going on with it. Generally speaking I've got the mechanical parts adjusted pretty well, but I have no idea what I'm doing with setting up the positions of the seat, handlebars, and aero-bars and the associated elbow rests. So, I have an appointment with The Cycle Surgeon over in Cary to have a professional fitting in a few weeks. This is a 90-minute or so exercise involving some sort of fancy measuring equipment to figure out how the various parts should be adjusted, and then making those adjustments on my bike. So far the new bike is fine, but still not any faster than my road bike overall, so I'm hoping that perhaps this fitting will make it either more comfortable or faster; hopefully both.

Full Ironman training starts shortly

Now that I have the marathon practice session behind me, it's about time to begin real training for the event. Coach Amanda is working up a training plan that starts sometime in May, so we'll have to see how that goes. She also runs a twice-weekly group ride during lunchtime (for large values of lunchtime), so I'm going to see if I can start going out on those. More details when they are available.