Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Great ride yesterday

I asked a fellow local triathlete earlier in the week(and multi time Kona qualifier Rick Mann) about local hill rides. He informed me he was going on one on Monday and invited me to join him. To put it bluntly, we added our fair share of labor in Labor Day and what a wonderful ride this turned out to be. We were fortunate enough to be joined by my friend and cyclist/mountain biker Don Brown and his friend Brad for what turned out to be a beautiful morning for a long, challenging ride. We laughed a lot, rode a lot and it was just a really enjoyable group.

Rick picked me up at 5:45 and we set out to meet Don and Brad and Marquette park. Once everyone arrived we set out around 7:00am. You will see from the elevation picture above we started by going (what seemed like) straight up. This is Pere Marquette hill and is a very challenging steep graded hill that we started and ended the ride with. The other hills are the "side trips" that you will see in the map. Did I mention that I asked for this route???? What was I thinking???

In all seriousness, this is a great training route for long distance racing. It has long stretches of rolling hills to flat sections between the long climbs giving your legs time to recover before you really hammer it on the 10%+ grade hills. There are several little towns that you ride through with convenience stores to use the bathroom or refuel as necessary. If you are an avid cyclist looking for a challenge you can do repeats on the hills at miles 21, 35, and of course in Marquette Park. On Monday there was very little traffic so that was never an issue. The wind was a bit challenging yesterday but it was a great ride.

Afterward, Rick and I went for a 40 minute out and back transition run and if you read my blog last weekend following my bad long workout this one was the polar opposite. I was able to push good power on the bike, climb at a reasonably comfortable pace and still have decent legs on the run. I am going to incorporate the hills at Pere Marquette from now on and if I get some sucker um, er, friend to ride with me on this route on the weekends it will become a staple ride. The only downside that I can see with this ride is that it does take awhile to get there (and get home) from my house but other than that, it is a great mix of challenging vs. flats and if your heart so desires you can add challenge by doing more repeats.

It was rush home, shower, and off to the Bethalto Homecoming with the family.

I am feeling pretty good this morning and Coach Jennifer has me doing a 75 minute run. Following yesterdays effort I don't know if I should rest or run but she will tell me that today.

All for now and have a great week!


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