I ran this for the first time last year. It’s a tough course, almost all uphill for over the first mile, but I really wanted to go all out and gauge my fitness level. Last year I ran a 9:36 pace, and this year I ran an 8:23 and beat my last year’s time by 5:50 – BOOM!
All of the training is beginning to really show some results, because I spent most of last fall doing LSD runs at about a 10:00 pace. I am now doing those same LSD runs at a 9:20 pace, and routinely running intervals at an 8:00 pace, a speed I used to only be able to hit for about a hundred yards.
Having signed up for two triathlons this year with open water swim distances in the one mile range, I have been firmly committed to making this OWS thing work. My first is May 31st, the Capital of Dreams Triathlon held here in Montgomery. I’m pretty excited because you get on the riverboat, which chugs upriver, and then jump off (it’s only 3 feet to the water) into the Alabama River and swim 1,500 meters back to the dock.
Since the river will be just 70-72 degrees that week, a triathlon wetsuit was needed. After looking around, I found that for some unknown reason almost every manufacturer of tri wetsuits was backordered for weeks on most of the main male sizes. I finally found a suit online (their last one in my size) that I had wanted, the Blue Seventy Sprint. It seems like a great entry-level suit, at a good price, and I like that it wasn’t just flat black all over with a huge logo on the chest. That’s me and a multisport teammate trying out our suits – my first time getting mine wet. The fact that the coloring was orange and blue was just an added bonus for this Auburn fan.
This might be the only time this year I will need a wetsuit, since my Toughman 70.3 is in Alabama in August and I am sure the water will be plenty warm by then! I found out after swimming a short bit in the lake, that my blue-tinted pool goggles were just not going to work in open water. The field of vision for sighting was just too small, and then I read that blue tint makes the big orange buoys turn into dull brown blobs that are very hard to see. So a new pair of goggles must be purchased.
This was my second attempt at a Metric Century, and thankfully ended a whole lot better. I completed all 65+ miles dog-free, at a very good speed, and rode over half of it with a group of nine riders who challenged and encouraged each other.
As you can see from the graphic, this ride had only 1,600 feet of elevation gain, much less than the last ride. It was hilly, but not a roller coaster of high climbs and steep descents. There were more groups of riders, and more riders stuck around after the ride. We had a great BBQ lunch waiting at the finish, and all had a good time after the ride as well. It was everything the first ride was not.
My goal for both of these rides was to prove to myself that I could complete the 56 mile bike portion of my upcoming August Toughman 70.6 Triathlon.