Today was a key workout. Mark set up the buoys in Lake Wingra so we could swim 2.4 miles, and then head out for a long ride. My original plan was to do 2 verona loops on the IM course and then meet Cheri at Fireman's Park (mile 90 for me) for another 28 miles ending back at Lake Wingra. My goal on the bike was to ride above IM intensity, shooting for a 210 watt average.

The swim went really well. The group was small so I ended up swimming alone. I finished in 1:09 so now I have an idea on what to expect at IM. I figure I should be able to repeat that or maybe finish in 1:05 since there should be a good draft that may take a few minutes off my time. We'll see.

The bike was going really well until about mile 40. My power was where I wanted it to be and I was averaging 20 mph. At mile 40, I hit a nasty pothole and heard a crack. At first I thought I broke a wheel, but they were fine. So was my frame, and my tires were still holding air. Later I discovered I broke the bottle cage holder behind my seat so my bottle cages were bouncing around and I lost a bottle. It sucks, but at least it wasn't a wheel.

I finished the first loop with an average speed of 19.7 and average power of 207 - I was shooting for 210+ so I was close to my goal. This is when everything started to fall apart. I held 200+ watts for a few more miles, but it was becoming clear I pushed too hard on the fist loop. I don't have the endurance to go that hard for that long yet, and it caught up with me. My pace slowed and my power dropped and with it my motivation went too. Plus, I lowered my handlebars a little earlier in the week to try and get a little more aero and that turned out to be a big mistake. I got the worst neck pain I've ever had cycling and I had a hard time staying in my aerobars. It was brutal. My average power on the second loop was 162 and my speed was 17.3 - a big difference from loop 1.

After loop 2, Cheri was waiting for me at Fireman's Park with some Gatorade, water and fig newtons. We sat in the shade for a bit so I could rest. I decided we should cut a few miles out of our loop since I was really hurting... in a spot of bother you could say. Having Cheri there with me helped me get remotivated, but I didn't have the strength to push hard for long and Cheri was killing me on the hills. She likes to attack hills when she knows I'm tired. It was a struggle, but we finally made it back to Lake Wingra.

Distance - 2.4 miles
Time - 1:09

Distance - 109.5 miles
Time - 5:56:12
Average Watts - 180
Average Speed - 18.5

Total for the day - 111.9 miles

I'm a little disappointed that another long ride went bad, but I got in a lot of miles and it was a good workout so it's not a total loss. And I learned a little more about my limits. I bit off more than I can chew, and I think I need to do some longer rides at IM intensity with some intervals at above IM intensity thrown in. I don't have the endurance to do 100+ miles at above IM intensity. Maybe someday.

Tomorrow is a long run, 17 miles. I originally mapped out a brutal, hilly route, but I think I'm going to scratch that and run on the Military Ridge Trail because it's flat and my legs are really tired from the ride today. Sometime you gotta be smart and play it safe.

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