Markers, Markers, Everywhere…

This weekend, my “Tennessee Teammate” Missy went and rode the Ironman Louisville course. She stated that it was rollers – basically NO flats, but not a lot of “horrible hills” either. One of the things that she mentioned was that she was constantly gear-shifting, and that she’s going to change out the gearing on her bike and have it set up for rollers, not really flats at all.

I have been thanking my lucky stars about Angeline having handlebar-shifters. (Yes, her name has morphed into “Angeline” and I have 3 songs by the same name on my iPod now, just for riding (smile).) It’s fascinating to me how much of a difference it makes in my riding. I didn’t particularly think it would, and really resisted it (like the clipless pedals, which I’m still trying to decide about in re Friend or Foe). Vlad, my previous bike, of course, had downtube shifters. I realize now that I would basically be too “lazy” to “fine tune” my gearing as I was riding – since taking my hand off the handlebars, “finding” the gear (don’t forget – no “click” to change) and all that was just a lot more effort than I would perceive it was worth. So I wouldn’t do it. This was especially true if I was fighting with the wind, which made taking a hand off the handlebars seem a bit dangerous. Now, I find that I’m constantly “tinkering” with what gear I’m in, to keep my cadence up. It’s a whole different ballgame.

Tennessee Teammate Missy after her ride at the IM Luh'vul course - Go Team, IronTeam!

I found the other day when I went for a pretty short ride with H that I do the same thing when I have my water in bottles! When I have the Camelbak, I happily sip along. With bottles, I only drink when I really think about it and want to go through the “effort” of reaching down to get the bottle (and put it back!). I wound up FAR more dehydrated than when I use the Camelbak.

I’m sort of bummed to find out that IM Louisville is a bunch of rollers. As I have progressed, I have found that I’m VERY strong on flats, but I suck at uphills. I’m fine on downhills, not super speedy, but not super scaredy-cat either. Paula, my teammate with whom I rode the Marin Metric Century, is doing IML and is going to ROCK it, because she is a hill maven. It’s the oddest thing – when she gets on the flats, she SUCKS. We laugh that, together, we make one perfect cyclist and one awful one.

So what happened for me during this “Recovery” week?

Thursday I did the Run Marker. I was running around doing “Sonoma County Errands” all day, and so did the 10K/25 laps at the Petaluma High track. Brought back training for the sprint triathlon in the late 90s when I lived on my farm. I did the Marker in 1:07:42. I couldn’t have taken another step – which is what I understood we were supposed to do. It was pretty mind-numbing going around and around, so I broke it into 5 sets of 5 laps – funny how we can trick our brain!

I had “sexy phase” photos done on Friday. Karen Schneider took them, and it was a blast. She’s going to offer a special for “sexy phase” to my TNT Teammates – I can’t wait to see how the photos came out. I certainly had fun! 

Saturday, I actually did the 2 hour run that was on the schedule this week. (I have been moving things around – and didn’t get to the pool at all). H and I had a sleep deprivation catch-up morning and didn’t get up until something crazy like 11:00.  I  ran to my gym and back to see how long it would take (I think it’s about 10 miles) and it took around 2:30, with me having a “pit stop” at the gym and running into a friend for a quick chat. It was a lovely day – came home and did some gardening with H, and generally lolled around.

Sunday H and I did the Bike Marker. It was odd, because it was supposed to be a Team/Mentor marker, but it just didn’t come together. Melissa wound up doing it herself earlier, then H and I did it a bit later in the day (again, we slept until like 10:00!).

I did the marker set (5 miles) in 17:44 – it was super windy for the “out” part of the ride and the first ½ of the marker, but WHAT a pretty day. My average heartrate was 171 – yeah, I know, “If yours was that fast, you would be having a heart attack” (Laugh) Our marker sets are definitely on a rolling “terrain” (from Nicasio around Lake Laganitas to Sir Francis Drake Blvd, and back) – I have to get it down into my lowest gear a couple times. The idea is that you ride out to Sir Francis Drake, then from Drake back along the reservoir 5 miles is the Marker. The total is just about 20 miles.

At the end of the 5 miles on the Marker is a fast straightaway by the lake and when we hit that,  the wind had died down and I had a pounding song on my “Camelbak radio” (laugh) and so I FLEW (for me). I had it up at 23 mph on the flat. I was panting but had a grand old time. The fun part (evil me) is that H couldn’t keep up. He would pass me on the hills (I really REALLY suck on uphills) but I am a flats demon. We averaged 17 MPH on the whole ride – though I know that on some of the uphills, I was down in single digits. Not bad, considering the wind and all. We went home “the long way” from Nicasio because it was such a pretty day (out and down Drake), ate brunch at the Two Bird Cafe in San Geronimo, and then nosed around an Open House and a few nurseries to get some new plants for the garden. A nice, relaxing weekend.

I have been sandbagging on the Swim Marker, so going to do that this afternoon (the 5 x 500s).  

You Know You’re Iron When you say the phrase “it was only 10 miles” related to running and “it was only 20 miles” related to biking, and you mean it.

P.S.:  I did the Swim Marker set – yay! So it was 5×500 without a break (after a warmup). My times were:

500 #1: 10:34:44
500 #2: 10:48:31
500 #3: 10:56:84
500 #4: 10:35:08
500 #5: 10:48:54

Yeah ok so I was pissed to see when I tapped lap-3 over on my watch to lap-4 I was getting up towards 11:00 and I was determined not to do a split over 10:59!! I didn’t quite mean to negative split so hard btwn the 2 :-)

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