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Metric Century on Elliptigo!

This morning I got up early and drove Ventura to do the Ventura Marathon Bike Rides Metric Century. I was a bit scared going into it. My longest Elliptigo ride to date was the 52.4 a couple of weeks ago and I felt completely wiped out by it. I think I hit the wall on that ride about 5 miles before finishing. This ride would be 10 miles longer with LOTS more climbing.

Krysti and Eric signed up for this one as well. They met me at the start line. Krysti and I started very conservatively. I kept it easy as we chatted about half way to Ojai. Eric kept getting ahead and then waiting. The second part going up to Ojai gets steeper. Krysti started to pull away but I told myself to relax and not push myself so early in the ride.  Little by little people went by, which was difficult for me, but I stuck with my plan.

Once I got to Ojai, the route headed west on the highway  toward Santa Barbara. It was flatter here and still more riders went by. As I pulled into the first aid station I heard someone call out. “That’s Mr. Lister!”  Former student and runner, Shawn Jackson was there with His cross country team. He now teaches and coaches at Nordoff In Ojai. I stopped to visit.. several other riders asked questions about the GO.

After the aid station the route began the first big climb. The best road cyclists of course, went by fairly easily. But I was surprised to find that as it got steeper, I was actually more able to keep up! I even passed a few on the grade. At the top, I stopped to dry the sweat out of my eyes and then I hit the downhill. The others seemed content to coast but I pedaled and went as fast as I could passing a few on the downhill. The same happened on the 2nd hill immediately thereafter.

The next 10 miles are so were mostly downhill, with a little headwind. I found myself pushing it a few times but made myself relax.  When we entered Santa Barbara county we made a right turn which put us on a route I’d never been on before. Until this point the route was pretty much the same as the Ojai Valley Century – or my 75 mile version of it. This new road got REALLY steep. I was in first gear cranking my way up the grade. I saw two cyclists stop and walk. There was a group at a pullout near the top catching their breath. I continued all the way up nonstop and cruised down the backside bringing me to the 2nd aid station.

Again, more questions and conversations about the GO… I received several compliments for my work on the hill. As I got going again I made a left toward the beach and went over one more little hill. A fast steep downhill brought me to the freeway. I almost missed the left turn here.  Eric and Krysti, who had been there earlier, apparently did miss it and went a few miles off course before returning.

The 20 miles back to Ventura were much less hilly. There was a wind coming off the ocean, but most of the time it was 90 degrees to my right. Occasionally it helped. Once or twice it hurt. I pretty much cruised the rest of the way back to the beginning.

On Strava I was surprised to find a number of segment PRs. There were a couple on the first section of the ride on the Ojai bike path. This meant that my taking it easy pace up the path was a little better than when I was trying to finish the Ojai Valley Century on my road bike last year. Similarly there were a few along the beach. I was feeling pretty wiped out by that time last year….

Updating on the preceding week:

Sunday, last week, I ran to church. I did a 15 mile route. It went pretty well. Monday, Cheryl and I took the tandem bike down to Santa Clarita to take advantage of the nice bike paths, the holiday off, and the unseasonably cool weather. We did about 18 miles.

Tuesday I did a 5,4,3,2,1 minute interval workout with the team in the morning. I sat out the afternoon version. For the Tuesday night HDR workout we did 6 x 3 minutes.  Then I went to the Clayve. Tuesdays are always intense….

Wednesday I had the team do our 2 x 4 mile time trial. I ran the 2 pretty hard, under 15 minutes and cruised the last 2 to finish around 30:30.  I rested a few minutes until the clock was at 35 then I started one final lap in an effort to pace the slower runners to a sub 45 time.  I brought home a few of them…. After school I did the 2 and stopped there to record the runners times. Then I ran mile 3. Then I waited and ran the sweep lap. So, 9 miles on Wednesday.

Thursday I ran an easy 2 recovery and Friday I rested… for today.

The 2 on Thursday put me at 800 for the year.

The ride today put me at 900!

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September 2016


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