Friday, May 4, 2012

Coast Ride on SPEED!

Last week I had the opportunity to join Chris for another Coast Ride, 4 day extravaganza. To say this was a bit different than the coast ride I've done the past 2 Januarys would be an understatement. For the January ride I jump on my bike in San Francisco with little to no fitness in my legs. I use the 3-4days to jump start my training after a solid 2 month break. This time we were focused, fit, and ready to throw down a much needed solid training block before IMTx in 3 weeks.
We rolled out from San Francisco on a dreary, rainy day. We waited for the rain to pass, only to have it return on and off for the first 3 hours of our day. But we were tough, unlike all the other cyclists we saw huddled under covers for safety. (ok yes, I was the one fridgid begging for Chris and Craig to pull over- to no avail).
After a slow first hour in the saddle Chris came by and threw down the hammer. That was my wheel, and for the next 4 days I did everything to hang right there. Fact is, Chris isn't just my coach he is my favorite training partner! Nick/aka Sag Monkey captured the moment beautifully (Chris and I are leading the 2nd group on our way to swoop them up and spit 'em out-first pack wasn't part of our group):

Chris knows how to motivate me. It isn't with hugs and that warm motherly tone you see in some coaches-that wouldn't work for me, and instead makes me want to gag/vomit- nope, it's usually a slap on the ass or what I call "the 5 word phrase" that gets me every time (I'll let you ponder what that might be- 5 words, ends with a "?")   The final 10miles of day one were cold and windy. Chris and our ultra-runner extraordinair Tyler Stewart pulled me through to the hotel. No rest for the weary quite yet however. Running shoes on and we were off again. With that, Day 1 was in-da-books: 125miles of riding, and a nice 4mile run.
Sag Monkey was waiting for us at the end of each day with cool treats and hot eats.
Day 2- THE most spectacular and challenging day of them all: 134 miles, and over 8,000 feet of climbing.
Awesome images in route to Big Sur
Whew, again I clung onto Chris's wheel for life. Once at the hotel I downloaded my ride file from my Garmin 500. I need to look but I'm pretty sure the number it spit out for "average power" rivaled my best power output from my Ironman races last year. N.I.C.E..... Soon after we got to the hotel the winds picked up and were howling at 35+. I threw my shoes on and tried my darnedest to put together a decent run. Thankfully I ran into the wind on the way out and was carried back at quite the brisk pace. By days end I was a bit of a wreck. Nighty Night campers!
 Doing the work- look hard and you'll see my smile!
Day 3-Marina to Morro Bay- Could I back it up? I had a little low moment in the middle of the ride, but I'd say that is quite acceptable at mile 280. When the crew stopped for lunch one of Chris's new rock star athletes, Maury, and I rolled through. Eyes on the prize. HE MADE ME WORK! This might of been both the highlight and largest challenge of the weekend. The entire day was strong, steady and satisfying! I've certainly never rolled into Santa Barbara on Day 3 feeling like that. Love these AIMP athletes. Every camp/ride/visit to SF I meet more remarkable people and athletes. Chris picks them well. Day 3: 118miles, and yes another transition run. Chris rolled up ready to jump off the bike and run. I was quite content remaining in the ez chair, but again...throw down those 5 words and it's as if my running shoes put themselves on. This one, not so pretty- but beneficial.  

Day 4- Morro Bay to Santa Monica: The group stayed together for the most part. I got dropped by a few guys who opted to hold onto the SagMonkey for all of the climbs into Malibu- but caught right back up. Little energizer bunny they called me. Girl on a mission is more like it! I don't get to ride outside all that often anymore, so when I do you better believe I'm going to enjoy it and make it count. I was elated to be out there on day 4. No tears like the last coast ride when I was sick, slow and unfit on day 4.   
This adventure gave me the bonding time I needed with my Scott Plasma/Vision racing machine. I had a few questions after Galveston regarding fit, and just needing to find my comfy spot on the new rig. Questions answered. My fit is superb, I felt great for 470 miles, and it handled better on the winding descents in and out of Big Sur than ANY bike I've been on to date. I couldn't be happier with my bike and component choice for 2012. A huge thanks to Scott and Vision for helping me ride my machine of choice! I put my Vision Trimax to the test with some gnarly cross winds on days 2 and 3- I am not a big fan of the cross winds, but they handled remarkably well! SOLD! This is how we roll:
THANK you first and foremost to the SagMonkey crew for carrying us down the coast. I am the first person to pass up on a road stop or continuous refueling breaks, but you can't get away with that for 4 days. The van was always there when we needed bottles topped off or more fuel for our fire! Several bike repairs were made along the way, and these guys handled each one with open arms. Thanks for the fun video clips as well - even if you did get pulled over by a state trooper while shooting one of them. Jimmy and Nick, props to you both. SagMonkey is amazing! (Look for the monkey out on the Tour of California course- follow them on twitter: @thesagmonkey).
Chris you scored again. That was one happy little (compared to the 60 athletes he carted down the coast in January) group of cyclists. I love being a part of these training opportunities. Thanks for kicking my butt and making sure we're up for our next challenge: IM Texas- 2 weeks and counting. Both mind and body needed this training block!

1 comment:

Katie said...

Sounds like an awesome time - I would love to do something like this!