Florida Challenge Triathlon Countdown Clock

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Bridge Over Troubled Waters

Bridge over troubled waters

My race is in 8 weeks. Can't believe it's already March!  Where does the time go??

Funny. When I was 14, I couldn't WAIT to be 18. When I was FINALLY 18, seemed like it took forever to become 21. After 21, I couldn't wait to be 25...

Once I hit 25, time sped up! Hell, I don't even remember my 30's! Time is just flying by! Lol

Which ties in to my upcoming race. I feel good about my training, but is it good enough?? My swim and run are in need of improvement and I'm working on that. My bike feels good, so in ready to take that to the next level. 

So today, it was all about the bike. I pulled my Marvel Comics kit out the closet for today's ride, hoping for some superhuman strenght! Lol

 I'll worry about the swim and run next week! Lol

This is the official bike course description on the Ironman Florida website:

56 miles (1 loop)
The bike course will travel through western Orange Country. With aid stations at approximately 20 miles, 31 miles, and 43 miles.   It is an open course with local traffic sharing the roadway, please stay alert. Orange County police and volunteers will be located through out the course to help keep you safe.  You will travel through residential and country side roads passing orange groves, lakes and golf courses. Keep your head up as you are expected to have a fast time on this course with only one section of gently rolling hills.  You will bring your bike back to the same bike rack in the transition.  Bike cut-off time will be 5 hours and 30 minutes after the swim cut-off.

Sounds pretty "easy" except for the "gently rolling hills" part. I've raced in Central Florida before, and those hills are NOT gentle! Them mofo's are hard! 

The best way to get ready for the bike course is to actually ride the course so you can get a feel for it. I would, if it weren't more than an hour away. Unfortunately, there are no hills in Tampa, so I do the next best thing: I find the biggest bike-friendly bridges in the area and ride those.

There are 2 bridges within 10 minutes if each other that I like to train on; the Sand Key Bridge and the Cleareater Bridge. 

I start out on the Sand Key Bridge 1st:

I like to do bridge repeats: I ride over the bridge, ride a block or 2 to recover, then turn right around and ride the bridge again. This will help me simulate the rolling hills of the actual race.

This is 1 of my fav workouts. Not only because it's so hard, but because the views from the top if the bridge ocerlooking the Gulf of Mexico are picture perfect:


It was windy and in the high 60's today, but all in all a good day to be outside.

Riding hills/bridges is hard for me. Going uphill Zaps my energy if I try to ride at a fast tempo or accelerate quickly. The lighter you are, the better climber you are. The heavier you are, the harder it is. This is the primary reason I want to lose a little weight and get down to 200.

But I can't use that as an excuse! If I want to be a better climber, I gotta shut up and ride the damn bike! 

It takes  me about 90 seconds to get to the top of the bridge.  Thats not bad by itself, but when you ride back and forth over and over it gets tough! The key for me is to remain seated and ride at a relaxed, steady pace. If someone passes me, I just relax, save my energy and try make up time on the flats.

I rode this bridge back and forth for 1.5 hours today and felt pretty good.

When I finished with this bridge, I rode over to the Clearwater Bridge and immediately started my same routine of riding it over and over. This bridge is bigger and takes me almost 3 minutes to get to the top. I ride this one last because it's the hardest. I want to really push myself deep into a workout to simulate race conditions as much as possible:

With it being windy today, this was a VERY hard workout today. My legs were burning, but I just kept calm, ate and drank to replinish myself and refused to stop. I slowed down quite a bit on the bridges, but the key is not to stop.  On my last ride up I took these pics:

All in all, I had a great ride. The total workout was 3 hours. I was pretty fatigued so I walked for 20 minutes afterwards to loosen up my legs. 

Instead of immediately heading home, I found a nice spot to do some stretches, lay down and relax on my Chicago Bulls blanket for a few minutes:

After a couple minutes I'm totally relaxed and I'm not thinking about anything. Just enjoying the day and watching the ships go by:

After eating an apple and a Subway sandwich I was feeling pretty good. But sitting out there was GREAT. Sometimes you just need to get away for a little while and think about nothing and just chill!

All in all, I had a great workout. I think my bike will be fine, but I still need to work on that swim and run. I have 8 weeks to get it together. Monday I hit the pool and will work on my drills and endurance. All I can do is take it 1 workout at a time.

Tonight is my "cheat" night on my diet, so the wife and I are going out for Chinese. That shrimp fried rice is gonna be delicious!! Lol

Thanks for reading! Till next time, peace!

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