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Triathlons are for Swimmers

Posted by stesaunde Aug 24, 2009

So I did an olympic tri and I'm still alive!  There were some parts in that swim where I was starting to wonder.  The funny part is during the swim I was thinking - I can't wait till I get to the bike - that'll be a breeze.  I didn't count on spending my all in the swim:)  So an hour and 5 minutes later I finally get out of the water and attempt to jog to the transition area when I realize I'm just lucky to be able to stand up so I settled for walking.  That's about when I realize that my bum and the back of my thighs were hurting worse then they ever have from biking and this was before I even got on my bike!  Not a fun realization to have.  It also doesn't help moral to have someone (probably a medic) follow you into the transition area to ask you if you're alright.  Of course, after having been asked that steadily for the last hour from all the lifeguards I was kind of used to brushing off the question by then.  So I get on my bike and took what I thought was a fair pace until some of the girls from the sprint that started a half hour after my event started passing me and I realized that my pace may not have been that good after all.  This is about the same time I started wondering how much of an advantage their racing bikes gave them over my mountain bike.  The first half was mostly uphill and then the way back was downhill.  At the turn around I felt my first burst of energy since the swim - the realization that gravity was now going to help me on the way back.  So the second half of the bike I started to feel better, except for the fact that my back and neck were killing me not to mention my legs.  In fact, my feet were hurting in ways I never thought possible from biking.  For the first time ever I was looking forward to running over biking.  Maybe those are the first signs of insanity.  An hour and 50 minutes later I came in from the bike to see one of my friends (a girl) already finished and standing with the spectators:)  That felt really good to know that she was done and I still had to run 6 miles.  Starting the run was agonizing.  Let's be honest it was more of a jog.  Of course, somewhere in there before I ever got to the race I had decided I wanted to run the whole way so I did.  There was a bunch of times where a walk just seemed like it would be such a nice relief but after a while I started seeing some mile signs pass by and I even started to pass other people and I realized that my pathetic pace was actually paying off.  The best part was when I passed another guy doing the olympic and realized that I wouldn't be in last place after all.  No the best part was just before the finish line when I realized I really was going to reach my goal of running the whole way without stopping.  There was also a guy that finished just in front of me so I at least had a little bit of company.  Turns out the run took me an hour and 5 minutes as well and surprisingly took about as much will power as the swim.  The crazy part is despite the added aches from biking and running I really felt better after the bike and after the run then I did after the swim.  It was almost like the bike and run helped me recover from a really bad swimming experience.  Overall it took me just over 4 hours and 14 minutes with transitions of over 5 minutes a piece.  A pitiful score I know but at least now I can say I've done a triathlon.

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Back on course

Posted by stesaunde May 20, 2009

I just registered for the Jordanelle Triathlon on Saturday, August 22nd.  My training has seriously fallen apart without a triathlon registration hanging over my head.  I planned on competing in a triathlon on June 20th but I never got around to signing up and somehow there is a difference:)  I never have been a big one for race registrations but I think this transition period between races is proof that an organized race does motivate me to work out and prepare for it.  I've always liked to think that the decision to exercise is motivation enough but why make it harder than it needs to be?  I've reset for the end of the summer to give myself plenty of time to ramp back up and do it right.  I'm still in better shape than I was before I started training but I want to be top notch by the end of the summer and I'm thinking this competition waiting for me will help me get into the training groove.  My diet has also suffered - I have ice-cream in my freezer again and I've been eating hamburgers like they won't slow me down - I never noticed before but eating healthy does make a difference in how I feel.  Looks like I'll be having salad for lunch today.  The most exciting part about training now is that the weather is good so I don't have to spin or run indoors!

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Wildflower had me a bit scared in the weeks leading up to the event. I never considered dropping out and I was pretty sure I had trained enough. But there were occasional negative thoughts lurking around my brain, popping up every time I had a difficult run or struggled on a hill climb.


Either my ego or my far-reaching ability to rationalize helped me tremendously in the last days before the race. By the time I was standing on the ramp ready to run into the water, I had effectively convinced myself of success. And it worked. Either that, or it was the training.



I kicked off my Wildflower adventure several days before in Tucson; sorting and re-sorting my gear, food and camping equipment. My husband and I left Thursday morning, stopping in Joshua Tree National Park for some sightseeing and stayed for the night. The next morning, we left before any of our camping neighbors had woken up in an effort to reach Paso Robles and Lake San Antonio by afternoon.



I had read and reread the material provided by the organizers of Wildflower. Still, all of those newsletters and updates didn't quite describe the chaos of the campground. We arrived, luckily having pre-paid months before, and parked in a designated area on top of Lynch Hill. We quickly reached the bottom of the steep walking path, collected my triathlon race package and walked around a bit before trudging back up the hill to our car.



That's when the camping site free-for-all began. We managed to find a spot and set up as the rain settled in for the night.



Saturday was sunny and not too warm and we spent the day watching the Half Ironman participants make their way through the course. I lingered a bit by the transition area, analyzing the pros as they sped up the ramp to their bikes, only to disappear within moments. I'm not sure I'll ever manage to transition that quickly. I spent the rest of the afternoon organizing my transition bag and bike, and drilling the two girls camped near us about triathlon tips. I even squeezed in a short bike ride.



My nerves were quiet and I slept well, only to be woken up by the announcers set up at the top of Lynch Hill. My endless organizing paid off and rode my bike, along with one of the women I mentioned before, to the transition area. I set up, chatted with a few women and waited. And waited some more. In between the waiting, I drank a few liters of water, smiled for the dozens of photos my husband took and stood in line for the Port-a-Potties.



OK. Race time. The wetsuit is on. Goggles on. Cap on. I'm in the correct wave. My stop watch is ready. My nerves kick in and I am momentarily overwhelmed and a little nauseous. I keep to the back of the pack, the gun fires and we're off. The first 400 yards were brilliant. Then I start losing my rhythm, it just falls apart. I'm slapping the water, not cruising through it. My wetsuit suddenly becomes a choking device. I flip over, backstroke for a few minutes and get my head back into the task at-hand. I control my breathing, flip back over and freestyle the remaining 900 yards. It was here that i managed to make up some time. When I got out of the water my stopwatch read 31 minutes, but I walked up the ramp and ended up logging a slower time.



The transition went OK. I felt waterlogged and bit out of sorts. I had trouble focusing on what I needed to do at first. I slowed everything down, drank water, put my shoes and helmet on and grabbed my bike.



The bike course followed steep rolling hills through a landscape of grasslands, the occasional cow appearing below one of the massive oak tree. My hill training paid off and the hills were manageable. All of that hydration caused me problems and lost about five minutes when I stopped at one of the aid stations to use the Port-a-Potties.



Transition 2 was easy and I was off on the run within two minutes. I struggled here. Yikes, did I struggle. I had an incredibly slow pace the first two miles thanks to a horrible stomach cramp. It may have been too much water or the gels I used although I have used this energy source before. I felt better by mile three and started picking up speed. By the time I hit the last downhill mile I was trotting along at a 9:30-minute mile pace. I sped up considerably on the last downhill section.



I finished in 3:39, not the most magnificent of times, but about average for my age group, gender and overall. I have a number of triathlons in my sights and I'll be back at Wildflower next year with a new goal of 3:15.






800 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: training, running, cycling, triathlon, race, wildflower, swim, kirsten_korosec

Well, let's just call a spade a spade. The Wildflower kicked my a**! But, I did have fun letting it man handle me. Let me just start by telling you about my trip to Lake San Antonio.


I landed in LAX on Friday around midnight after about 15 hours of traveling back to the US from Costa Rica. When I landed I discovered that my bags had not in fact made it back with me. After spending an additional hour filing my lost baggage claim, I made it to my hotel in LA at about 1:30 AM on Saturday. Luckily, I had packed all of my tri gear and gave it to my friend to take seperately along with my bike prior to going to Costa Rica.That proved to be a wise decision.


After 4.5 hours of sleep, I woke up and grabbed a nice continental breakfast which was easily the most nourishing meal I'd had in over a week. It was awesome. I also got a bunch of complimentary toileteries from the hotel as all of those were still with my lost luggage. My buddy picked us up along with all of our gear at 7:30 and we headed to the Wildflower.


We got to the event around 12:00 and waited a few hours while the Long Course Athletes finished up before we were able to head into the campground. While waiting, we scoped out part of the bike course and it was hilly, but did not seem that treacherous. We then headed into the campground where we met a friendly member, Warren, of the Monterey Tri Club who offered us space with them as the campgrounds were packed. We showed up about a day after everyone else.  


Once parked, we got the campsite set up and headed down to packet pick up. Little did I know, you had to walk down the dreaded "Lynch Hill" to get to packet pick up. That hill was steep and it took some effort just to get down the thing! Once down the hill, we found where the party was. The finish line, vendor row, band, food court, registration were all bunched together around the transition area and shore front. I finally felt like I had arrived and started to get excited. We picked up our packets, checked the massive transition area and headed back up Lynch Hill. Did I say that thing was steep?


Back at camp we got as much pre-race stuff done as possible. Put on our numbers, checked start times, race rules, dialed in our gear, and started loading up on carbs. All of our neigbors were very friendly and helped us if we had any questions. Kirsten found me and it was great to finally meet my only team mate left. We chatted it up as a bunch of streakers frollicked in the distance. Oh, the memories. We talked for 20 minutes or so about the race and swapped out tips. After that, it got dark quickly and I was able to get to sleep around 8:30. 



You'll notice I am wearing my glasses. That's because I did not have my contacts as they were in my luggage that was lost. Ahhh. Luckily I packed 1 extra set for race day.


Sunday came quick and I woke up at 6:00, grabbed a fiber1 bar and some granola then headed to the transition area. Getting down early was a smart idea and I was able to get my transition dialed and my body marking taken care of before it got super busy. With around 3,000 athletes, its a bit of a madhouse in the transition area. Once I got that done, I made sure I knew where all the run and bike outs were located. As I learned, you are pretty disoriented coming in an leaving the transition area during the event and will want to have your route to the outs dialed pre-race. I got my wetsuit on and headed to the swim start.


Our wave was the 4th one out and I made sure to make my way to the back of the pack so i didn't get trampled by the stronger swimmers. The first half of the swim was devastating. It felt like I was swimming while someone was giving me a bear hug. I could not breath and wass forced to switch back and forth between freestyle and breast stroke. I was miserable. Once I got to the half way point things got drastically better. I loosened up and started swimming like I'd been practicing. I swear it took 21 minutes to complete the first half and 15 minutes to complete the second half. I finally finished the swim and ran into the transition extremely light headed and a little disoriented.


It seemed like it took forever to get my wetsuit off, but as I later found out, my transitions were pretty fast. I got all my gear on and hopped on the bike ready to tackle Lynch Hill. This was definitley one of the steepest hills I'd ever climbed and my legs were definitley feeling the swim. Once to the top of the hill, I just relaxed and started to pedal. The course was hilly, but I had trained on hills very similar to this course so I handled them pretty well and was able to conserve some energy for the run. I shot down Lynch Hill hitting 50mph while dicing through the runners finishing and cyclist coming up. That was probably my favorite part of the course besides the finish line.


I flew through transition 2 and shot out the Run out like a bolt of lightning. I got about 500m into the run and realized I was going way too fast. I backed it down to about a 9 minute mile pace and took it easy. At around the 1000m mark it was apparent that this run course was going to be brutal. I had trained on a very flat run course which proved to be a bad idea and the hills really got to me. I started to walk the big hills and run the flats and down hills around the 3k mark. I was hating life up until I got to the top of "the big hill". I started to run around the 7k mark and did not look back. Crossing the finish line in 3 hours and 20 minutes, I was stoked with the results.


At the finishline, I was greeted with a cool towel, a medal, gatorade, water, fresh fruit and yogurt. I sat in the finishline area for about a half an hour enjoying the refreshments and waiting for my friend to cross the line. I finally left the finishline area with a big smile on my face and huge sense of accomplishment. We promptly headed back to the campsite, packed everything up and proceeded to tell 6 hours worth of stories during the car ride back to sweet home Murrieta.


I've been taking things pretty easy this week after training for 5 months. Eating like a pig and being lazy has never felt so good. However, I am hooked on tris. I already got a training program together starting next week along with a healthy diet. Now that I have done an Olympic Distance tri and know what it takes, I am more motivated than ever to train and get better at the swim, bike, and run. I've also mapped out 5 different tri races to compete in through the rest of the summer. Next time I race, I want to be able to compete not just finish. I truly enjoy the competitive nature, friendly competition, and ovreall increase in health and athletic ability you receive by being a triathlete. I look forward to racing tris for a while. 

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Triathlon Checklist

Posted by MikeDiesel May 1, 2009


I can not say how stoked I am to almost be competing in an Olympic Distance Triathlon and actually feel ready to compete. Looking back, I notice there was actually a lot of stuff I did in preparation for this tri, besides training, that would be really helpful for someone else to know prior to committing to an event like this. Here is a quick checklist that I came up with.


    • Gear: Running Shoes, Running Socks, tri-shorts, tri-jersey, swim goggles, tri-wetsuit (I'd suggest renting in advance and testing before the event), bicycle, cycling shoes, helmet, cycling/running sun glasses, comfortable undies, body glide (this is a deodorant like stick that you apply to areas that chafe, it also helps you get in and out of your wetsuit), and four water bottles.


    • Nutrition: Energy gels to sustain energy, salt capsules to stay hydrated, electrolyte tablets to put in your water to stay hydrated, energy bar(s) to eat on the ride to sustain energy, and lots of water. ** Make sure to start taking this stuff a few months in advance and try different brands to see what works best for you.


    • Where to stay: Make your camping reservations/hotel accommodations well in advance of the event. You always score better camping spots and hotels the sooner you reserve. This will also give you an idea of what food and meals you will be able to prepare pre and post race.


    • Travel: If you are driving a distance, make sure to accommodate for delays so that you are not scrambling at the event to get everything sorted out. If you are flying, make sure to figure out how you are going to get your bike to the event.


There's still a lot of details that I left out that are more specific to the person such as food to bring, tools, first aid, etc, but the above should be a huge help to anyone thinking about doing their first tri.

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Taking off for Wildflower

Posted by danger prone Apr 30, 2009


I'm keeping this short because it's early and I've got to go. We're heading West, first to Joshua Tree and then to Lake San Antonio to Wildflower.



We'll get there Friday and will have plenty of time to watch the Saturday races and prepare for the big day. My goal is to finish and do it in good style. Good luck to Mike and thanks Gale, Michelle and Giselle.






Cheers, k



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Have fun

Posted by Gale Bernhardt Apr 28, 2009


Hey Tri Team ~



As you are making your way along the course, be sure to take a few moments (more than one if possible) to just look around and realize what a cool experience it is that you're doing right then. Notice sights, smells, sounds, other people (encourage them) and most of all, celebrate your incredible fitness. Wildflower is such a treat, enjoy it.



Your training has you fit, so just go do the event and have some fun - you know - that silly kind of fun that athletes have, that "normal", non-athletes can't understand.



Cheers ~



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The Countdown Starts

Posted by MikeDiesel Apr 27, 2009

I pretty much wrapped up my training this past Wednesday before I left on my vacation to Costa Rica. Things were super hectic before I left on this trip, but I did manage to get all of my training done and test all my equipment before taking off. Here's a little recap of how the the end of my training wrapped up.



-- I recieved my wetsuit and decided to try it on an 1800m open ocean swim which which was by far the hardest swim I have ever done. The first  half of the swim was **** and I was having some serious issues calming down and just swimming. The cold water, rolling waves, and the suit all combined made it a character building experience. By the end of the swim, I did feel comfortable and really happy that I decided to test it out before the tri.



-- After the above mentioned swim, I set out on a 30 mile ride with some huge hills at a race pace. I pushed it really hard and averaged 20.5 mph. This was great, but I really did not leave anything in my legs for the run I was going to do after it.



-- I attempted to do a 6 mile run right after the bike and got a 1/2 mile into it and completely fell to pieces. I ended up walking/running 2 miles total before giving up. This was a pretty devastating experience as I was almost postive that I would be fine for this portion and I did not even have the strength in me to walk the complete 6 mile course. I was starting to question how I would do at the wildflower...



-- 4 days after my defeat, I set out on a 20 mile bike ride and 5.5 mile run with a goal to make sure I ran the whole run. I averaged 18.5 mph on the bike and did the run in about 50 minutes. This made me feel much better and I was stoked on this result. Now I was back to feeling ready and able to complete the wildflower. I needed that!



-- I got some experts to help me figure out what mutritional supplements I would need at the tri. They loaded me up with hammer gels, salt stick tcapsules, electrolyte tablets, and bock breakers. I have used all of these things a few times and the bock breakers and salt stick capsules seemt to be what I value the most.



-- Had the local bike shop tune my bike and get it race ready. They tightened up my shifters, gave me new handlebar tape, adjusted my brakes, and detailed it. She's ready to rumble.

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So my open water swim did not go as well as I had planned.



My wetsuit, which was delivered from, protected me nicely from the cold waters of Lake Patagonia. It's the swimming that caused me a few problems. When the cold water hit my head it sort of took my breath away and my chest felt super constricted as I tried in vain to swim. The wetsuit felt comfortable enough on dry land, but once I was in the water it felt like it was strangling me.



I managed OK as I swam with the small waves created by the breeze, but struggled when I turned around and swam against it. I was so surprised by my lack of swimming ability since I can fairly easily swim the necessary 1,500 yards in a pool. My goal this week is to practice with my wetsuit as many times as possible.






803 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: training, swimming, triathlon, wildflower, wetsuit, kirsten_korosec

Open water drills

Posted by danger prone Apr 17, 2009


I'll have more to report in two days since I haven't actually completed my open water swim drills. Tomorrow my husband and I are heading out to Patagonia. Not that Patagonia, but the one south of Tucson. It's an absolutely beautiful area with rolling grasslands and mountains surrounding it.



We'll camp at Patagonia Lake State Park - at least that's the plan - so I can do a few open water swims with my wetsuit. I also plan on taking my bike because I've been told the hills around Patagonia are similar to Wildflower.



Gale or Giselle or anyone else out there leave any tips or comments on anything I should try while I'm out for my wetsuit open water and bicycling test drive.





Patagonia image by Flickr user Phillip C, CC 2.0



862 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: training, swimming, triathlon, open_water, wetsuit, kirsten_korosec, trai

A few tri tips

Posted by danger prone Apr 8, 2009


I went on a nice rolly ride this morning with my best friend's brother-in-law. We headed out to my favorite spot in Tucson, on the far eastside at Saguaro National Park. We started north of there, but eventually made our way into the park and through its 8-mile loop, back out to the main road and finally back to our cars.



I mention this ride because my cycling buddy for the day has been in numerous triathlons and gave out a few tips for race day.



1. We've heard this before, but practice what you're going to eat before the race. If you decide on Gel or Gu, consider taping them (duct tape) on the top tube of the bike's frame. Tape them so the tabs are secure, that way you can rip them off as you ride and slurp 'em down. I have yet to try this. He said this also works for energy bars.



2. Hydration. It's good to hydrate, but he said drink water the first half or two-thirds of the bike portion. You want to eat and drink during this section and not too close to the run because you may run into digestion problems.



3. I thought this one was kind of neat. On race morning, at your transition area, put your socks on and then roll them off. Later, when you come in from the swim, you can roll the socks back on instead of struggling to put them on wet feet.



4. He keeps his transition area pretty simple. The bike has its own water bottles. Next to it he has four other water bottles. He will use one of them to quickly rinse the sand off his feet from the swim. A small towel is nearby, which he dried his feet off with and then rolls on the socks. He actually doesn't race with socks anymore, but warned this could be problematic for folks not accustomed to running and riding without socks.






745 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: training, running, cycling, tips, food, transition, hills, energy, snacks, kirsten_korosec

Triathlon's mini me

Posted by danger prone Apr 7, 2009


I have less than a month to go before Wildflower. This is scary for me and, of course, a little exciting. I've recently become obsessed with brick workouts because I figure this is really the only way to be prepared.



The online training program Gale provided us is chalked full of brick workouts. Today, for example I am supposed to swim and then do a speed running workout. I've been trying to push these two workouts as close together as possible in an effort to recreate a triathlon experience. Unfortunately, real life gets in the way on occasion and I've miss one part of the workout.



The other day I decided to create a mini tri for myself. I even set up fake transition areas. I swam the full 1.5 km, then changed clothes and rehydrated - this took four and a half minutes - and then jumped on the bike. Normally, I would cycle outside, but it has been annoyingly windy and I opted to ride indoors. I cycled 10 miles, then went over to the treadmill and ran three miles. My bike-to-run transition was two minutes because I casually filled my water bottle, stretched and then walked over to the treadmill.



Obviously not a full triathlon. At Wildflower I would have another 15 miles on the bike and three more miles running. The good news is, I felt OK.



I'm going to have to prepare and test out different types of energy bars or snacks for my transition. I am always famished when I finish my swim.  I've also discovered that my foot strike on the treadmill is different than when I run outdoors. I seem to strike on my heel instead of more flatfooted and it causes my shins to get super tight. I spent considerable time stretching afterwards and the next day felt pretty good. Not sore, just a bit tired in the legs.



815 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: training, running, swimming, triathlon, wildflower, treadmill, kirsten_korosec

Recovery Supplements

Posted by MikeDiesel Apr 2, 2009


I haven't done too much experimenting with supplements during my tri-training other than energy gels before and during the longer runs and bike rides. However, right before my big ride on Sunday, I started taking L-Glutamine again. This is one of the only supplements I have ever taken and when I took it previously it was during weight training where I used it to speed musclre recovery. Knowing that it probably could not hurt to take something that sped muscle recovery, I decided to get back on the program for this last month before the wildflower. Unlike other supplements, L-Glutamine does not make you feel all wound up, bloated, experience anxiety, etc. In fact, you don't even really notice it working until you realize you are not near as sore as you should be.



Anyways,  I've had nothing but positive effects from the L-Glutamine and I really wanted to know if there were any negatives that I was unaware of. I'd also like to know more info on other supplements that could be beneficial to my training as I get ready to peak before the Wildflower.



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Still Inside

Posted by stesaunde Apr 2, 2009


Not that I could compete with Mike if I wanted to but we're still getting snowed on here so I've still been spinning in the gym for my bike rides.  A 100 miler does sound tempting though - but there's no way I'll be doing 116 miles! - if I do a hundred miler it's going to be a hundred miles and that's it.



The one advantage to spinning in a gym that I've found is I can read a book while I ride.  Yesterday, I experienced the fastest hour of spinning ever as I got into the book I was reading and barely noticed the time pass.  I was able to maintain good rpms too.  I'm seriously considering trying out reading while running on a treadmill - of course, I've only used a treadmill once so far and I'm not used to them - at the same time it seems like it'd be easier than reading while running around a track.  Do those eliptical machines count as running?  At least on those there wouldn't be any chance of getting blasted into the wall.  Maybe it's time I start looking into audio books.  



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Century Sunday

Posted by MikeDiesel Mar 31, 2009

The thought of riding a 100+ mile bike ride has been on my mind for a while, but I had some serious doubts if I could do it or not. Not because I was afraid my legs would blow out, but a lot of other factors such as overall body fatigue, if I could sit for that long, how I could stay properly nourished, etc. All of those things made me fairly nervous about the concept, but I got over it pretty fast when my training partner invited/challenged me to a century ride this past Sunday. Just him and I on a 100+ mile loop which I ended up mapping out and putting together (big mistake). So let me go ahead and describe the various stages.


Pre-Ride: I went out into the garage to check my bike over, lube my chain, and adjust my seat. Immediately, i saw that I had a flat which I took as a bad omen. This forced me to head to the bike shop where I got some excellent advice on nutrition for the big ride. They loaded me up with about 1500 calories of food and suplements along with a freshly fixed flat and sent me on my way.


Murrieta - Fallbrook: The ride did not start easy. We took a bike trail pretty casually down to the base of the De Luz area and began our mission through the hills on our way to San Diego. The first hill is a 2 mile 700ft elevation climb which I figured was going to be the hardest of the ride. Not really something I wanted to start with, but probably good to get it out of the way right off the bat than deal with something like that towards the end... so I thought.


Fallbrook - Leucadia: Once we got into Fallbrook, we started descending for like 20-30 minutes, diving down to sea level from some pretty good elevation. I am not sure what the elevation change was, but it was the longest decent I have ever done. Once we got down into the Oceanside area on our way to Leucadia,  we started hitting some barn burning hills. None of them were unbearable, but it was just a nasty 15-20 mile stretch of rolling hills which were all unexpected. Here I was expecting a nice flat road that ran parallel to the ocean and it was not by any means. The last hill we hit coming into Leucadia was probably the second worst of the ride to this point as well which was painful. At this point, we were almost exactly 60 miles in.


Leucadia - Oceanside: Finally a break! At the turn around point,  we had a leasurely 15 mile trek up Pacific Coast Highway which was awesome. A nice tail wind was pushing us along and we were using this time for recovery. Unfortunately, some old man on a Townie decided to show me the wheel at one point which inspired me to take off and beat myself up for this stretch that was supposed to be relaxing. My friend got a flat  a couple hundred yards before the burger shop we planned to stop at, so he fixed that and then we rested for about 30 minutes while we refueled on some delicious french fries and hamburgers. Yum Yum.


Oceanside - S. Fallbrook: We took off from the burger joint, bellies full and relaxed, ready for a nice leasurely 15 mile stretch before heading back up the hills into Temecula. That lasted for about 3 miles until we hit an unexpected hill which got us right back to questioning how we were going to make it another 45 miles. Ahhh. Luckily, after that, we did get a 10 mile stretch that was pretty easy before we hit Gopher Canyon Rd. At Gopher Canyon, I think we still had another 35 miles to go and this is where it started to get brutal. At the end of Gopher Canyon, we hit a 9% downgrade which got me going 51 MPH. That was super fun! Though, this also meant that I was just going to have to climb that much more after I got to the bottom... the pain begins.


S. Fallbrook - Temecula: Oh my gosh... After I calmed down from that high speed descent I realized I was about 90 miles into my ride and had about 15 miles of serious climbing to do. This was the strongest test of my will that I had ever gone through. I've played through pain and injury before becuse adrenaline would just take the hurt away. That was different because I was playing in a game where I'd be able to rest and recuperate in between action. When I looked up and saw the road ahead of me I knew it would take more than a little excitement to get me all the way to the finish. I dug deep and started the climb.


    • Hill 1: This was the worst (it was possibly the hardest of the whole ride, but I was so beat by this point, its hard to give n honest opinion) of this climb. I believe it was about 3-4 miles in total length and half of it was up a 7-9% grade and that was at the top. This hill was the closest I came to actually clipping out and stopping, but I held it together and made all the way going 4-5mph at the top. The backside of this hill was a 7% downgrade that was another lengthy decent that I had a hard time enjoying due to the fact that it just made the next hill that much steeper and longer.

    • Hill 2: This will was the gift that just kept on giving. A 5-6 mile grinder that took you up and over the mountain range into Temecula through the small city of Rainbow. This was a diffcult hill to climb at this point, but i was thankful to be going up this thing compared to the last one I was just on. As a matter of fact, just about all I thought of for the rest of the ride is how much I never wanted to climb Hill 1 again.


Temecula - Murrieta: Payday! We hit one last nice decent through some windy rounds and a golf course into Temecula. Their were a couple very small hills that we hit on our way to a bike path which would eventually get us home. To my surprise, we still had some energy and ending up doing about 17-18 on the flats which I was pretty happy with.


Stats: The ride took us 9 hr 15 minutes total to complete with an actual 8 hr 15 minutes of seat time. We rode a total of 116 of the hilliest miles I have ever ridden. We averaged a little over 14mph and I burned over 6600 calories. I ate and drank about 1800 calories worth of food in order to survive the journey. We only had 1 malfunction which was a flat tire. 52MPH was the top speed of the ride. 4.2MPH was the low speed of the ride. 7 hours is how long I had to endure a stitch that was in the right side of my stomach before it went away. OUCH!


What I learned: 


    • Be prepared. If I had not loaded up on carbs a few days in advance and talked to the guys at the bike shop on how to stay properly nourished, I would have probably given up or had to stop more. Take spare tubes and a mini tool kit with you. 8 hours on a bike can bring up a lot of unexpected problems that you will want to be able to fix.

    • Do not do this alone. For one, you will want a friend with you to help motivate you and keep you company. Also,a lot of the ride took me places where I had no cell phone service. It would have been a nightmare if I was alone and my bike had broke or I got injured.

    • Pre-Run the Course: I had never driven on about 40 miles of the course and I paid for it. Looking back, I would never have planned the hardest hill to be at mile 80. That was a mistake and I won't let that happen next time.

    • Never give up: The longest ride I had done prior to this one was a 50 miler. It was my heart and determination that kept me going on this one. I found out alot about what I was actually made of and am extremely proud to say I accomplished what I did.If you set your mind to something, it will be accomplished.


Here's a snapshot of my route. Those little blue things are mile markers.


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