One long run and 2 long bikes left! The long Blue Ridge ride 2 weeks ago was on a beautiful day, one that started way early with some serious fog in the mountains. The LP crew that went did 3 out and backs, 1st from 13-3/4 to 0 and back, then from 13-3/4 to 25 and back, and then the 13/34/ to 0 and back again. Some hardy souls then went down the Gates of Hell up to Wintergreen and back, but I was not one of those. 86 miles or so of nothing but climbing or descending was more than enough for me! Lynn and I also did a short transition run afterwards, which I thought was not bad.
What can I say about riding the Blue Ridge? It is hard as crap, I think much harder than LP since there really is never a flat or even flat-like section. The climb grades are around 4% on average, whilst the LP ones are an average of 2%. So, if I can ride BL, then I guess I can ride LP for real. The time it may take me is the thing I am worried about! The 2nd leg goes up a 3+ mile climb, which is all switchbacks and which has been a fun, but sometimes scary downhill. I had the best time on that downhill I have ever had in my life. For some reason, I just took the curves perfectly and was flying downhill with a huge grin on my face and giddy with happiness! It was a blast! As I have said in the past, my new bike loves speed, and for once, I let it go! Wow! Of course the climbing is not so much fun, but after a few stops to talk to myself, I got through it. Working on nutrition, I tried Carbo-Pro and gu on the last leg, and that seemed to work for me, so I'll do that again for the bigass Luray ride this weekend.
Last weekend MyKAren, Sharon, Lynn and I all trooped to Pocahontas for a little bike/run fun. It was kind of humid and hot, and the run was supposed to be 20 miles. We decided to have an adventure and ended up taking our shoes off and crossing the creek downstream of the dam for a 14.5 mile loop. I was losing it for the last several miles of that loop, as that section of trails is not as shady as the the Old Mill Bike trails, but we all got through it. MyKAren, Lynn and Sharon (who, let me remind you, is NOT training for anything in particular) took off to run the BBT loop for the remainder of the milage, while I went off on my own to finish via the Old Mill loop...I actually ended up doing around 19 rather than 20, but I'm ok with that. Given my state when I finished the 14 miles, I was happy with my running for the rest of the run, I had downed some gu and managed to run the majority of the last miles. Who knows what race day will bring, if I can run even 1/2 of the marathon, I'll be happy! So we all finished running, and then ate and then I had to take a nap!
We swam at the secret 50m pool location on Sunday, Lynn and I did 2.5 miles, MyKaren and Shelley did 2.75. I love the longer pool for long swims. Next up is the 100 mile Skyline Drive ride, looks really scary and hard, maybe I should add lights to my bike!