Ludlow Tri (and the 9 days leading up to it)

Ludlow Tri (and the 9 days leading up to it)

Let’s rewind 9 days………….

With only 9 days to the Ludlow Tri, I had to do something to jumpstart my training and I wasn’t to thrilled with the fact that I haven’t swum indoor or out in 8 months. with a long Merial day holiday weekend ahead, its my chance to do some creative training and hope for the best next week at the ludlow Tri. I had 2 goals this weekend. the first was to get my butt in gear and swim. The second was to do 300 miles in 3 days on the bike (Funfest). Sounds easy, but you never know what your body can handle the day after a long ride. So I sandwiched a long and flat ride in the middle of 2 hilly rides, hence the word Funfest. I wasn’t getting much interest from others on the whole 3 day thing except for Mark. He somehow could see my reasoning for this adventure and signed up for all 3 days. He also went into it with the correct attitude of riding within his own ability and wasn’t interested if it turned into a hammerfest. I really wasn’t looking to slam the 3 days either, up to this point I hadn’t ridden a hundred miles yet this year and life is different on a bike after 90 miles.

To summarize the weekend:

Saturday plan was to ride 25 miles flat, then meet at Bill Terry’s to ride the 70 mile Goshen loop. I think there was 6 of us on this ride. The Goshen loop is difficult because of the length of the climbs (nothing steep) you will climb for miles and miles. But, You get a nice 9 mile downhill from Goshen to Williamsburg (insert word: Funfest). The ride went well and before you know it Mark, Amy and I just clicked off 95 miles.

Sunday’s ride was flat and fast 120 miles. My plan was to ride from my house in Westfield to the Vermont border and back (assuming it’s about 60 miles each way). The planned pace was to average 20mph and to eat on the bike. I only wanted to stop at a store to refill the bottles and wanted to keep the stopping to a minimum. The only riders who showed up for the 120 mile ride were Tom DeLuca and Mark. With only 3 people, this ride is going to be difficult. Your rest time will be minimal and you don’t get the advantage of a large group to draft. Off we go! The ride to Noho was nice and easy and we pick up 2 more victims (I mean cyclonauts) at the gazette. Justin and Dan have decided to jump on for a 80 mile adventure. I let them know that we are doing 6 minute pulls and that you can pull for less if your not feeling it. The ride from Noho to greenfield is fast, then you hit the hill into town. This is a steep one that hurts because you haven’t done a hill yet. The ride through town isn’t bad, then the rolling hills start and this is where Justin had some trouble and then Mark started to fall off. Dan, tom and i continued on to the border and Opps! It’s only 55 miles! Now it is decision time. Should I continue on and fight the hills for the next 5 miles or ride back and do a flat 10 mile loop towards the end? I know this ride has to be 120 because that’s what I have posted and I will never hear the end of it if it isn’t 120! The good new is that our average speed is 19.8mph. I take a quick pee break and let the guys know that we are heading back. As we start heading back, here comes Mark. I signal to him to blow a U-turn. he looks puzzled and yells “It’s only 55 miles”. I yell back “We are turning around here”. He continues on, not realizing what i said. He finally figures it out and he turns back to join with us. I tell him that we can tag it on to the end and off we go. We get back in the groove and we are having trouble staying together on the choppers. Mark signals to me that we better hit a store soon or he will have to stop here. I know there is a small town in a few miles and we roll into Bernardston and refuel. Mark has now told us that we cannot wait for him and that he will only finish if he rides his own pace back. So off we go. The ride back is smooth and our pulls are now in the 10 minute range each time up front. Dan starts to lose steam around deerfield and now it’s getting hot out. This is when you start to test your mental strength. As we approach Westfield I tell Tom that we better do a 10 mile out and back on loomis so that Mark doesn’t blow a head gasket if he does the full 120 and we don’t. We pull into my driveway with 120 miles at 19.9mph (it’s also 91 degrees). Kelly is in the driveway with the cell phone and says that Mark just called and wants to know if we did the 120. I told her to call him back and say “Of course we did”. I would have been cool with riding 110, but I had this strange feeling that all hell would have broken loose. An easy 20 minute run and Im done for the day. except for the Mikshake, Beer, Double Cheeseburg and bottomless fries at Red Robbin afterward (the reward for the 6 hours of pain).

Mondays ride is the Vanilla Bean ride. The Bean ride is 66 miles and we need 85 to complete the 300 mile weekend. So, I drive to mark’s house and the plan is to cycle to Mary and Doug’s to get an easy 20 miles in. This would have been a warmup, but Adelletti showed up and it becomes a quick ride to Mary’s. Today my goal is to just ride in the back and enjoy the scenery. That was my plan, but I just get sucked into riding up front (it’s  like there is a magnet). Of course this is beating my legs to death, but for some sick reason I like it! The ride to the Bean is slightly hilly and has some  fast sections (which are even faster when you have the Gay’s on the tandem). I don’t mean gay’s like my shirt, I mean Chris and Mike Gay. Now the course from the bean back to Munson is tough. No long climbs, but a ton of short steep ones that have you looking for more gears. This is when you shift and the lever won’t shift anymore and you have to look down to see if somethings broken and you aren’t in your easiest gear. The 300 mile mark is in the books and we end the weekend with 302. Mary and Doug had a nice cookout afterward, but i had to eat and run back to work. Kind of a crappy way to finish off funfest but, That’s just the way it goes.

During the week Im able to get some swims in and biking is going as usual. The last challenge before the Tri is a 95 mile Hard, Easy, Hard ride. What we do is we ride from westfield to Noho Hard, then we do a easy loop up North and then we cruise back to Westfield. Starting from my house we had a good group consisting of Matt, Andrea, Bill Terry, Alan Grant, Joe Rodriques and Rich Conroy. The ride to Noho was a peppy 22mph. Then we met up with Kelly and the Noho group and cruised up to greenfield to bike the Triathlon Course. On the return home time was becoming a factor so we split up and pace lined from Deerfield back to Noho on Rt. 5. By the time we got back to Noho the heat and humidity got to alan and Joe and they bailed for a ride home with Kelly. This left the 4 of of us for the ride home. Matt and I set the pace and Andrea and Rich hung on for the ride. Rich flatted around Barnes Airport and his tire was trashed. He lucked out, Mike Cousins flew by with the A-10 and gave him a ride home. This ride seemed to suck some life out of me and all the water in the world wasn’t going to hydrate me back to normal.

Ludlow Tri: Today’s goal is to not be the last one out of the water, hammer the bike and survive the run. All and all i can’t complain. My swim wasn’t that bad, my bike split was right on and my run was slightly slow.

With all things considered i can’t complain about my performance after the 9 days of fun. I got almost 500 miles of biking, 3 swims and several 3 mile runs. The most difficult part is that i have been pulling 60 plus hour work weeks trying to keep on track with the important stuff.

When is Funfest 2 ?    …………..  Good Stuff!