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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

An Exhausing Weekend

Saturday saw a 100-mile ride that took over 6 hours because of a 10+ mile headwind the entire way back from Ft. Collins to Boulder. And while I'll be the first to admit I bitch about headwinds (and wind in general) it wasn't the wind that made the ride bad. I was actually mostly ok with the wind. The problem was with my gloves and my seat (and thus, my ass). The weather, overall, was nice. It was bright and sunny but a cold 40 degrees. And windy.

My gloves had no padding in the palms so after trying to ride the first 50+ miles in the aero position as much as practical my palms became really sore. I have padded gloves - one day I'll actually remember to use them.

I had on two layers on my legs which was, in hindsight, too much and made for some stiff riding. Up top, I was fine, but my undershirt, actually a rash guard from Quicksilver meant for surfing, had a seam that ran the length of my arm and somehow managed to position itself right in line with where my forearms rested on my aerobar pads making for some more uncomfortableness when trying to ride in the aero position.

The worst thing, though, had to be my ass. I have a fi'zi:k Arione saddle which is not technically a triathlon saddle. Because it's not a triathlon saddle, one's seat bones slide forward on the saddle and force your crotch to bear the full weight of your torso. After 50-60 miles, this becomes too much (especially if you're a guy) and it starts hurting and makes the last 40 miles of the ride really suck.

I found out today that the Arione was the defacto standard for a while because there were really no triathlon specific saddles out there for the longest time. Times have changed. There's a plethora of saddles out on the market now and I wound up with the Specialized Phenom which is actually a mountain bike saddle according to Specialized's website. I don't care, it was the most comfortable and while it almost never turns out this way, was the most inexpensive.

After Saturday's 100-mile ride, Sunday brought forth another ride, 23 miles, and a swim (I bailed on the 1-mile run I was supposed to do after the ride on Saturday). I thought I'd be tired for the 23-mile ride, and I was, but I didn't suffer through it. I did it on the trainer watching a movie (Blade II) so maybe that helped. I was pretty thoroughly tired by the swim and ended it after 2500m.

The ride, however, turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because my tempo ride on Monday, when I thought my legs would be totally shot (like they were 4 weeks ago when I did my last century) but I'm convinced the 23-mile ride on Sunday really helped flush out the legs and I was able to do 35 minutes in Z4 despite the massive headwind on the last 8-miles of an 11-mile Z4 TT. Speed was good, cadence was good. Workout was good.


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