He clung, I hung

Ang, Heather, Trev.

Man, I (Trev) feel like I just finished a race.  Oh wait!!  I sort of did just finish a race.  It hurt, a lot.

After a solid day yesterday with an extra long run off the bike, I was on the fence as to how to my legs would be today.  I had a great sleep, which always helps, and waking up for the early morning swim was no problem -a great sign.  We put in a very high intensity swim, not long, and lots of rest, but anytime our face was in the water it was pretty much max effort.  Heather, having been fighting off a slight cold the past few days opted for a longer steadier swim of 5500 yards.  Within an hour of getting out of the water we were on the bikes with the intention of ‘gathering time in zone’ over a longish ride.  For me that’s around a HR of 130-145, sometimes a bit higher on the hills if I don’t let it hang up there for too long.  It will be nice to throw on a powermeter soon enough, care of Rolf Prima and CycleOps.  I’ve never ridden with power and I’m looking forward to the extra info.

After a 45 minute warm up, and within the first 20 minutes of starting my effort I had a wheel suck.  Also known a dingle-berry, or as Amanda Lovato so politely put it in her blog – a ‘cling-on bitch’.  She’s right, they are cling on bitches.  It’s damn annoying, and there isn’t much that makes me ride harder or get more livid than a cling-on bitch.  I chose to not act out aggressively, instead, I killed him with kindness.  I pointed out all the bumps and holes in the road, I waved him aside when I blew my nose, I even offered water and talked about the weather while keeping my effort on…then I made him cough blood on every incline we hit.  This guy was tougher than expected, it took two inclines and two blood coughing fits before he let go.  I especially love that point when the wheel sucks lose the draft and watch my rear hydration system sail into the distance.  Surprisingly enough, I managed to keep the HR just under 150 for that effort, then brought it back into the 130’s once I knew he was gone.

Blue's new saddle

An hour and half later I was on the return route home when I happened on a bike race going out and back on my favorite road – Foxen Canyon.  The timing was perfect, I hit their turnaround just as the lead pack of 4 went through.  This was hardly a closed course so it was no problem for me to be on the road too, and I chose to hang about 10 meters back and see how long I could keep up.  Even the lead official and support vehicle didn’t seem to care so I figured it would be a motivating way to ride the 25 miles home (tables turned I guess, though I did not cling-on).  After about 5 minutes, I was at the point where getting dropped was NOT an option.  They had all seen me hanging off the back of their little breakaway, and I made sure to drink and rub it in that I was not suffering in the slightest (I was – HR caps long gone).  If I were to disappear it would have looked bad for all triathletes around the globe.  I was fighting a bigger battle – that of Roadie Vs. Triathlete (Roadies on their own are nice, groups of roadies are bastards).   I believe the HR was hanging around the 160 mark out of pure adrenaline, my legs did not hurt at all and was even contemplating blowing right by them.  BUT, if they were to catch me after such a maneuver I can guarantee I would have received a few choice words and humiliated triathletes worldwide…and rightly so.  Instead, I simply suffered 10 meters off the back (not wanting to be a wheel suck myself, or actually interfere with the race at all) praying that the guy in the red jersey would take another turn ’cause he was noticeably slower.  I’m not sure how much further (15 miles maybe), we then hit the climb at the end of Foxen Canyon.  According to officials they had a minute lead on the pack and I’m guessing their finish was close ’cause they started attacking each other at the bottom of the climb.  A short climb, but enough to ratchet my heart rate up another 15 beats per minute to 175.  Over the top they started catching slower categories doing the same out and back loops, so I took the one alternate side road and made my graceful exit from the race with burning legs and an effort that I would in no way have been able to obtain without their help.  Not that that type of effort is entirely Ironman relevant, but the effort was there, and it felt good, so I’m walking away pleased.

Bottom line, it was fun, and I guess that’s what cling-on’s want as well.  But there is a difference (I hope) -being within 2 inches is not cool (at least say hi if you’re going to do that), 10 meters; hang if you can.

This, however, will make tomorrow very tough!

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~ by trevorandheather on January 30, 2010.

2 Responses to “He clung, I hung”

  1. Ha! Thanks for fighting the good fight! I’m bad with “cling-ons”. I usually do the “snot-rocket dismount”. Nothing says “get off my ass” like a booger on your Oakley’s…just sayin. 🙂 It’s probably better (for triathletes everywhere) that you killed him with kindness-I’ll have to try that sometime!

  2. Don’t…DO NOT…ever go train in Boulder if the cling-ons truly annoy you. Hard ride or easy ride, they’re there by the hundreds…and on any given day, whether it’s Tuesday or Saturday! Thank God for hills.

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