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Saturday, March 19, 2005

Lunacy, Locusts and Laps

Today, I started my workout at exactly 3:56am. I should have started a bit earlier, considering I woke up at 2:30am. However, as I always do, I let the time between when I woke up and the time to get out the door slip away. I really must pay attention at some point to what I am doing during the time I take to get ready for training.

I supposed it can be considered extreme to start working out so early. Even my coach said that normal people just don’t do what I am doing. The director of my Triathlon club went so far as to call me a whackjob, although he says he still loves me despite his perception of my supposed lunacy. I prefer to think of myself as a dedicated dad who likes to have his cake and eat it too. And damn, does the cake taste good when you work for it like I do. I am feeling quite self satisfied right now.

Prospect Park was completely empty when I arrived. For the first time I encountered no others on the loop. I am not counting the police car that passed me on my first loop. Other than the police on that first loop, I went around the park 3 times before I saw anyone else. I was quite pleased. I’ve never been able to get out early enough to do a loop by myself and I relished the time alone.

The first couple of hours went by smoothly and quietly. I was wearing my sunglasses in preparation for the dawning sun and I had my headphones on. I was listening to some vintage heavy metal; Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Ted Nugent, Anthrax, etc. The dark and the isolation from the elements as always, made my ride surreal.

A moment of angst came over me when I first started to notice the sky lightening up in the east. I knew I had a closing window of opportunity to get this workout in and the rising sun was letting me know it was starting to get late. I supposed only someone embarking on a century ride, plus a 3 mile run before 10am would consider a pre-dawn sky as getting late.

At one point during the ride, I stopped to take a bio break. It was still dark when I stopped, but by the time I finished pissing in the woods and remounted my bike it was daylight. That must have been some piss.

I noticed that after the sun started to shine that my pace picked up. I supposed the energy from the sun was being absorbed by my body, allowing me to move faster. I allowed my heart rate to pick up from around 75% to around 80%.

Sometime between 6:30-7am, a line of traffic cones appeared along the lower half of the loop. They were placed there for the soon to start Brooklyn Half Marathon. One lap there was nothing, then suddenly they appeared like a crop circle in the middle of a corn field. I toyed with the idea of rearranging them after the crew that placed them had left. I didn’t want to take the time out from my ride to fool around, so instead I used the cones to practice my bike handling skills by slaloming through them.

I also entertained myself during the ride by counting my distance/loops remaining in fractions. I would take the fraction of the number of loops/miles remaining and reduce them to smaller fractions. It was somehow comforting to think of smaller numbers such as 1/15 instead of 2/30.

I maintained even fueling by using 4 bottles of HEED mixed with ½ teaspoon of BCAA’s. I’ve decided that I am not going to use protein in my water bottles as inevitably I get GI distress when I do. I also had 1 Vegan bar and two gel flasks filled with Hammer Gel. All totaled I consumed about 1800 calories vs. an expenditure of 4651. The calories consumed were broken down as follows: 200/bottle = 800, 200 from the Vegan bar (it has 300, but I only ate 2/3), and around 8 good mouthfuls of Hammer Gel from my flasks.

Up until 70 miles, I had urinated 3 times. Each time it was plentiful and light in color. I knew I was hydrating well and my digestion was working, because I was getting hungry. However, after mile 70, I noticed that I hadn’t pissed in a while and I wasn’t feeling hungry anymore. I throttled down my effort a bit and noticed that my digestion started to function again. I was getting hungry and I had the urge to pee once again.

By this point though I was over 80 miles into my ride and the park was crowded. I decided to hold it in until I got home. The runners from the Brooklyn half marathon would be arriving soon and there was no place to go for privacy.

I was very please with how my ride was going. I felt great and wasn’t particularly fatigued. The hill did start to become more difficult when I climbed out of the saddle, but I was able to spin up it with relative ease.

Just as the cones suddenly appeared earlier in my day, the first runners started to enter Prospect Park. The lead runners were like the first few locusts descending upon the crops before the swarm. By the next time I reached the lower loop, the pack was starting to enter like a biblical plague (ok, I exaggerate).

I tried to see if I recognized any of the individual grasshoppers. I didn’t see anyone I knew and I didn’t have much of a chance to see many runners. I was now on my last lap; one shy of 2.5 dozen. I headed home to quickly transition into my sneakers.
It took my a little over 7 minutes to get back out the door. I couldn’t locate my orthotics until I ran up and down my stairs several times. At least I didn’t let my HR drop.

I only had time to run 3 miles. I finished my ride in 5:25 (elapsed time), which brought me to 9:25 by the time I got in the door. I got to see several friends while running. These included Larry, Grace and Todd - aka ST. I saw ST just after the finish line. I felt a little cheesy at this point since I ran across the finish line with all of the other runners. The Brightroom photographers took several nice pictures of me. Maybe I can find them online. I stopped for a moment to chat with ST and then ran straight for home.

I was a bit aggravated I didn’t have time to run longer. I was feeling absolutely fantastic and could have gone on much longer. However, parental duty called, so I jetted home, took a recovery drink, showered and got back out the door with the family to make it on time to a bowling birthday party in Long Island. I even bowled a couple of strikes.

This was a Beastlike workout and without a doubt the best training day I ever had. Here are the stats:

Time Started: 3:56am
Elapsed Time: 6:00:18
HR: 140/158
Ride Distance 101
Run Distance: 3.1
TiZ (155/137): A - 0:1:52, I - 4:23:51, B - 1:34:35
TiZ (148/130): A - 0:51:19, I - 4:28:47, B - 0:40:12
Calories: 4651
Laps: 2.5 dozen
Ride Time: 5:27:15
Run Time: 25:37



Blogger Brooklyn said...

Man what a workout! I was one of the runners and I can almost picture which bicyclist you might have been. I'm really impressed by you guys that can go zipping by so fast. I can barely peddle my 10-speed around the park once! Run, fine; bike - ouch!

Can you explain some of the nutrient things you were consuming? I've not heard of these before.


12:16 AM  

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