1/2 century, 1/2 mile swim, 1/2 marathon
Rode 50 in the AM with J and Nora, who are training well for their 1st century:
Today was a flat ride for the girls to get the miles in. I forgot how beautiful the country roads on the plains can be in the morning:
I couldn't help but make amusing (to me) gender comparisons. The girls chatted for miles, often remarking about big, beautiful country houses in the rural parts of Weld County. I thought about Nick and I, just yesterday, spending our time identifying all the surrounding peaks from the summit. I guess it's kind of the same thing? Anyway, I think the early miles went by quickly as the girls were talking.
We road Kechter out before dropping down to 392 to Windsor, then wound our way back, ultimately ending up on a section of the road that becomes Horsetooth in Fort Collins. Again, as I haven't ridden like I did a few years ago, things were new, and it turns out that stretch of road was newly, and gloriously, paved and uncrowded.
But I was also hoping for some training on the ride. I started it out early by showing (again) how to fix a flat -- mine. Got J to spend more time in her big ring and push more, rather than spin. After looping through Weld County, then, we hit the Frontage roads. Not great scenery, but not too crowded and easy to get a rhythm.
I didn't push a paceline too much, but suggested J ride behind Nora and try to match her speed. Sure enough, she nudged closer and they hooked up pretty well. Nora took some great pulls and I eased in front slowly to show her the difference that drafting makes, and then pointed out some etiquette about consistent pace, soft-pedaling, and using the shadows on the corner of the eye to make sure you don't drop the line behind you. The girls then held steady and kept up a solid stretch of ~17-18mph on the flats -- I was so proud! The key seems to have been finding a long enough stretch for a consistent pace, and not starting out immediately in the ride when they were in more of a rhythmic mood.
We headed up to Wellington before looping back down. Our fortune in new pavement was taken away on a soft surface with crappy regrading down from Wellington, all the way past the Waverly turnoff, but soon enough we were down to Lemay and enjoyed back into town, hitting 50 right at Rocky Mountain Bagel Works. Having started early, we had beaten the heat, and it was still breakfast time with plenty of daytime left!
Great ride with the girls, really proud of their work and attitude today, fun ride!
We decided to cool off in the pool, and J and I started some laps, then as they were chatting again, I snuck in more laps, eventually hitting a 1/2 mile. This isn't easy for my crappy swimming style, in which I have to stop every 1-3 laps to catch my breath. Still, I figure it's good for the darkest parts of an ultra: it's boring, tedious, pointless, I'm moving slower than a normal person can walk and I hate it, yet I still can't breathe and my heart's beating fast.
Slow 1/2 marathon loop around the hood.
Anyway, not the normal grind-it-out ultra miles that I'd normally plan on, but something different and more fun to keep it fresh. Somewhere around mile 60-70 in Pbville, I can think to myself: "It could be worse. I could be swimming."