Sometime in the middle of last week I decided that I would ride my bike to the Beat the Streets 8k this morning, which was in Nevada (pronounced Na-vay-da - welcome to Iowa!). It's about 10 miles away, but there is one of the best bike routes around between Ames and Nevada. It is simply a bike lane on a semi-major road, but it is one of the few places where I can ride for miles and not feel threatened. So I did a bit of an inside-out duathlon this morning: bike 10 miles, run 5 miles, bike 10 miles.
I hadn't registered for the race yet, so I left my house at at about 6:45am for an 8am start. I really need to go out riding early more often. It was wonderful to be out in the countryside, mostly alone. My ipod died halfway there, so I reveled in the quiet. Just yesterday I bought a new bike seat and aerobars. My old bike seat was decent, but after 20 miles, it started to get unbearable. I got a woman-specific Terry saddle (the Butteryfly TI). Despite it's claims regarding "soft tissues" I went about 6 miles in this thing and was dying. Thank goodness I had a two hour break between my two ten mile legs. Fortunately they have a 30 day satisfaction guarantee, so I went immediately back to the bike store and got a totally different sadle. They put me on a tri saddle this time. Gonna take it out for a long ride tomorrow, so hopefully the "soft tissues" feel better afterwards.
Oh, and can I say how much I like riding in aero? The stress on my wrists and shoulders is like an order of magnitude less. The best part of this route is that it is just mildly rolling and straight, so a great place to practice riding in that position. So now my bike is all pimped out:
It still cracks me up all the money I have spent putting stuff on a bike that cost me $50. But so far I love this bike, so no need to upgrade! I mean, those fancy bikes that you can lift with a finger are pretty fancy, but I think me losing ten pounds is a better option than buying a bike that weighs ten pounds less :-)
Oh yeah, the 8k! It was fun. This is the farthest I have run at once since October. No hamstring pain at all today after, so yay for that too! My goal was to practice negative splitting, since I knew I would run my 5k pace for one half of this race. If I ran without thinking it would be something like:
First half: I'm cruising! I'll totally come in at 45 minutes!
Second half: Oh my God I think I am going to die! I don't think I can run 2.5 more miles! Gees, I hope I even make it in 55 minutes!
So I thought I would hold back a bit the first half and push for the second half, since I am in no shape to push for the full five miles. I ran into someone I knew who was a little bit slower than me and I stuck with her for the first half and did the first half in 25:37. Then the second half I took off a bit and did in 24:16.
The course had a little hill right before the end and I painfully ran up that and then you turn the corner and see the end. It said 49:30 when I turned the corner so I booked it to get in under 50, and came in at 49:53. Totally content with this time.
My favorite part of the race was watching Laurie, who came in about a minute after me, booking it to beat her older brother to the finish :-)
It was a gorgeous morning to be out here. I think tomorrow is more of the same! I am going to try and get out on the road early and ride the route for the Great Ames Adventure Race because I volunteered to help out at a bike race in town at noon. Maybe some of the fast people's cycling skills will rub off on me as they whiz past me :-)
We Survived Cannon Falls Duathlon!
7 hours ago