Sunday, August 22, 2010

LAF 100 and the week that was

Back in DE to help Jen move into her new place down in Baltimore tomorrow.

Got up at 5am and drove up to Montgomery County in PA for the Lance Armstrong Foundation Challenge 100 mile bike ride. Made my donation to the LAF in honor of my father and joined 3500+ other folks for the ride. Lance kicked things off with a nice speech after accepting a check for the foundation--we raised over $3MM.

Lance, and a few buds left first, and then they let the rest of us go a minute latter. I was at the front and joined a speedy chase group. There were about 25 in our group with 2 or 3 tough guys doing all the leading--I was hiding from the wind in the back.
The course is very difficult--lots of climbing--almost always up or down and I soon found it hard to hang with the group on the climbs. It started to rain pretty hard and the roads became quite sketchy. I began to debate the merits of hanging with the group as I was throwing 400 watts on the climbs and becoming increasingly concerned about the skating rink we were riding on. At around 11 miles a guy went down hard 10-15 feet in front of me. I managed to avoid this but I was a bit spooked. Just 2 miles later 3 more guys went down right in front of me with one guy flipping over a guard rail. They were OK but I'm pretty sure that a couple of them were done for at least the day.

I decided then to stop chasing Lance and just settle in and be ultra conservative. And so I did. It was a very demanding ride. I rode mostly by myself although I would join in with small groups from time to time. I saw a couple of dozen crashes as the rain poured down and it was quite treacherous in places. At 35 miles there was an option to turn off the course (and do a 70 mile ride) and just then it was really raining hard--I wavered for a bit but I decided I had come here to ride all 100--so i did. And I'm quite glad i did as i felt very strong after 70 miles--in fact, I believe I rode hardest from 70-100 miles as the rain slackened.

All in all a good effort for a good cause.

As to the week:

My back is still a bit tweaked but I should be ok. I am bummed I missed one swim and my long run which would have made this a very strong training week (by my standards) but here is how it ended up:

29.1 hours of training
8200 yds swimming
329 miles biking
19 miles running
3 hours of PT

ever onward!

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