[052] Long ride

Swim: 0 m/38,000 m

Bike: 28.9/131.1 miles

Run: 1.1/65.1 miles

This weekend I leapfrogged many smaller increments and increased the distance of my “longest ride ever” by more than 10 miles. A few weekends ago I rode 18 miles, which held the title of longest until Saturday, when I met a friend for what turned out to be a 29-mile ride.

I didn’t really have a specific goal when John and I met up that morning – maybe four laps of the 6-mile loop. But one of the first things he said to me was “I’ve gotta do an hour and fifty today.” Oh. Well that would be close five laps of the course. “And then I’ve gotta run 20 minutes.” Oh.

John is a real triathlete. He trains with a purpose and dedication that sometimes makes me feel like I’ll never be able to keep up. He also works with a coach – hence the very specific workout plan for the morning. Thankfully John is very modest, full of great advice, and a fun workout partner. We’ve ridden together before, but this is our first outing this year, and both of us have relatively new tri bikes to break in.

We kept a pretty easy pace today – it ended up averaging 15.5 mph, including a couple cooldown miles – but that was fine with me since I had never attempted anywhere close to this mileage and wasn’t sure what to expect. Let me say here, again, that I love my new bike. It just felt so light and quick, and also quite comfortable for almost two hours in the saddle. I was able to keep up with John today, and not feel like he was leaving me behind on every downhill (and uphill) section. We even briefly reached a top speed of about 27 mph.

I finally started to feel tired after about 25 miles, and we took it easy after 27. But overall I had a great ride – I love the new bike (have I mentioned that?) and the great company helped the miles slip by almost unnoticed. And not only did I set a new distance PB today, but I also rode the distance of the Olympic tri (26 miles) for the very first time.

When we were done, John strapped on his running shoes and headed out for his easy 20 minutes. I had to get home, so I didn’t join him. The unexpected thing was that I felt really good and actually regretted that I couldn’t run with him – my legs weren’t shot as they might have been after a long ride on my old bike. So when I got home and realized my wife and daughter were at a friend’s house on the other side of our neighborhood, I decided to run there to meet them. It was only a little over a mile, but I covered the distance at a 7:37 pace. Not bad at all for just having ridden my longest ride ever.

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