Thursday, March 19, 2015

Solvang Century 2015 - It was a ride!.

Solvang Century Ride 2015

First off, I just want to say I am really glad I did not buy a jersey.
It looked like snot.
Which fits, since the ride was a big booger!!!

After a really long drive on a Friday afternoon my guy and I officially started the weekend by checking into a cute granny flat in the back of a house in Santa Ynez.  We were surrounded by horses. It was nice.

Saturday morning came early and I met up with three of my athletes for the start of the century ride.
 Barbara, Sandi, Rosemary, me and my guy.

The start was chilly and it felt good to pedal. The first 20-something miles went by quickly because the views were gorgeous.

I sent Barbara on her way as she is my fastest cyclist and I didn't want to hold her back. I had made a promise to myself that I would spend the day riding with my guy.
We stopped a couple of times (while we waited for my guy to catch up) and took some pictures.

 Before we knew it we were at the first SAG stop.

It was at this stop that we finally figured out which arrows we were suppose to be following.

We followed the orange arrows, though for some of us (my guy) it might have been better to follow a different color.

We rode along some lovely streets and some not so lovely streets. We rode along Highway 101 and the traffic didn't even phase me.

So after some more miles we were at SAG stop 2. I filled my bottles up with water, ice and electrolytes. I was squirted with water from a small hand-sprayer. I borrowed their sunscreen and sprayed it on the top of my legs because I felt as if I was getting some sun there, even though I had slathered myself with sunscreen before the ride.
I ate some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, some orange slices and a banana and got my group together to take off.

It was getting hot.

And Robert (my guy) was falling farther behind.
At the third stop there was no ice. It was hot and windy. Luckily, my athlete Sandi, was staying at the hotel right by the SAG stop and we went into the hotel - with our clicking bike shoes on their nice marble floors and with our bikes - and used the ice machines to fill up our bottles. We also used the vending machines and downed a couple of cokes.

The next SAG stop was at mile 70.
A lot of people did not make it that far.
It was hot and cyclists were walking their bikes and sitting under any bit of shade they could find.
I handed out all my electrolyte tablets to cyclists along the way. (Though my guy would not take any). I also rode up to Sandi and Rosemary and told them not to wait for us, as I had a feeling my guy was NOT going to make it. 

At the top of one hill there was a group of guys standing in some shade. My guy said he just wanted to stop for a minute. He sat down. Then he told me to ride on.

Well, if I wasn't married to the guy I probably would have ridden on. 
But I just couldn't leave him on the side of the road, so I did what any loving wife would do.

I stuck him in the back of a Penske truck.

Yes, I did!!!

Just then the Penske truck came by and asked if everyone was okay and if anyone needed a ride. Hands went up. None of them were from guy, so I put my hand up for him.

There was already a cyclist in the back. And besides my guy, three other cyclists joined in the back.
My bike got put in the back also.
But not me.
I had quickly gone to the front of the truck and saw that it was kind of squishy with the driver, the radio operator and a female cyclist with a hurt foot, but I assured them that I was small and wouldn't take up much room.

They didn't tell me no, but then again, I didn't really ask them. I basically told them I was riding in the front.
There was no way in HELL I was riding in the back of a Penske truck. I would have ridden my bike 100 miles on top of the miles I had already done to NOT ride in he bike of a Penske truck.
But that's me (and my little issue with claustrophobia).

The ride back to the start took a while and I started to worry about those guys (especially mine) in the back of the truck. I asked the driver if the back was ventilated and he said no. Uh-oh. I asked if we would hear it if one of them started banging on the cab wall. He said he hoped so. Double uh-oh.

When a thought of fried cyclists started to pop into my mind, I pushed it away and thought happy thoughts, such as how happy I was to have about 2 inches on the seat and half my body hanging out the window of the Penske cab.

I wasn't happy when I heard the radio "talk" about shortages of water at some of the SAG stops.

Eventually we made it back to Solvang. Those guys (especially mine) were relieved to be let out of the back of the truck. My guy said the others must have thought it was the end of the line for them because they were sharing way too much information. He said it was really hot in the back and if we had driven for another five minutes he may have passed out, but at least he knew he wasn't been taken to the San Joaquin Valley to work in the fields, since I was sitting in the front. 

We put our bikes back on the roof rack of our car and went to the finish line to wait for my athletes.

Barbara was the first one to finish. She didn't do it in the time she wanted, but she did great for the heat and the wind. In the past she has had issues with the heat, so just having her finish the ride was a major celebration!!!!!

It was a pretty long wait for my next two athletes. At one point, one of them texted me that she was cramping and I offered to come and get them. I was worried that maybe they didn't have enough water and/or were over-heating.
The other athlete texted right back and said NO pick-up...they were finishing.

And they did.
It had been a long hot LONG day cycling, but they did finish.

Later they said an "Angel" was on the street who offered them ICE. It helped get them to the finish.

The day was done, but the weekend was not.

Turns out the sunscreen I sprayed on myself at the second stop must have contained something I was allergic to.

But I wasn't going to let some weird allergic reaction deter me from spending Sunday with my guy. I decided we were going to have a leisurely drive home and hit some antiques stores and nurseries. I wanted to give him the opportunity to make it up to me for pulling out of the century ride at mile 67.

The day was going great until we decided to stop for lunch.

Oops.....not enough room for a car AND bikes.

The bikes are goners.
But I'm keeping my guy.
And we will both be getting new bikes.

In the meantime, we can ride mountain bikes together.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Bayshore 70.4 2015

Bayshore 70.4 looked like a good practice race for me and a couple of my athletes.

One of my athletes is training for Ironman Coeur d'Alene and I have another one training for Vineman 70.3 
Bayshore looked like a kick-back fairly inexpensive way to get in a full day of swim, bike, run training with support.

As an athlete, it was really hard for me today.
As a coach, I had a fabulous time.

A few weeks back a woman rear-ended my car at a freeway off ramp while I was waiting for the light to change. That BUMP caused damage to my shoulder to the point where I can't swim. Well, I could swim, but I would just do more damage. And I am not being sarcastic when I say that not swimming right now makes me sad because I love swimming.

So I went to the tri and signed in and took everything but the chip. I figured it would be just a good training day for me also, even if I didn't do the swim.

The athletes lined up on an "official" line drawn in the sand.

Bayshore is a nice place to swim. I am so looking forward to the day I can swim again.

It was great to watch my two athletes do their swim. At the half way point the swimmers had to get out and run around an orange cone and then head back in.
One of my athletes came out and ran around the cone and then headed out for her next lap. 

Barbara onto her second lap of the swim.

About 5 minutes later my other athlete ran around the cone and then came to me. She was freaked about the swim. We had a talk. I told her that fear could not stop her.

 Then I sent her back in to finish it.

My two athletes ended coming out of the swim together.

Then we all ran into transition and got ready to cycle. I led the way out about 2 miles until we hit the San Gabriel River Trail, then I sent Barbara ahead. I rode on the back of Rosemary's wheel. I had told her she was going to ride a negative split so the first half of the ride was just going to be an easy ride. We had a headwind, but it wasn't too bad. Before we knew it we were at the turn around/Aid Station. They had grilled hot dogs (pass) and beer (pass) and water (thank you very much) and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (I can eat one in less than a minute), but NO BATHROOM.

They guys pointed to the truck and said the bathroom was behind it.

This isn't really the truck I squatted behind, but it was white. I think a lot of people driving on the nearby freeway got a good show, but I didn't care. I was careful that no one on the bike path saw me. A guy was waiting to use the "restroom" as I walked away.

After the turn-around a lot of the course was a 2 percent downhill with some short steep inclines and some underpass tunnels. I continued to ride on Rosemary's wheel, letting her set the pace.

Everything was good until we started riding near a woman in running shoes (with her capri running pants inside out), with the number 26 on her leg (for her age).
She would whiz by us on the flats, but on the steep inclines she was a mess. Once she had to get off and walk her bike while we rode around her. Of course, she then floored it to pass us on the flat. Then at the next incline she barely made it and almost caused a domino effect taking us with her. I nicely suggested that maybe she should incorporate some SQUATS into her workout routine, so she would have some glut muscle to get her up the inclines.

Shortly after she whizzed passed up and I watched as she sped up the next incline and around the curve. Then I saw a guy running toward in toward the curve.
She'd crashed.
I got to her and laid my bike down on the other side of her across the bike path and told someone to go down to the bottom of the hill and divert cyclists. It was obvious that her foot was at a 45 degree angle from her knee (NOT GOOD!)

I ran through the first aid check list. She knew her name and her pupils were good. She knew her mother's name and phone number to call her. Some guy was near me and I asked him if he had called 911. He got up and moved away and I heard him call for an ambulance. The girl told me she was at the race by herself and didn't have anyone at the finish line.

I sent Rosemary on and waited until the fire department and ambulance came. Then rode out.
No one was one the bike trail then, so I was able to really push it. It took me about 10 miles to catch up with Rosemary. Then I rode her wheel to transition.

It was a beautiful hot sunny day at the beach.
The kind of day that you want to just sit in the sand and look at the ocean and read a book and dip your toes in the water once in a while.

Instead we put on our running shoes and started running. Okay, so it was really a jog, but we were moving forward. I hung back because I wanted Rosemary to set her own pace and not be pressured to run faster because I was on her heels. I knew Barbara was in front somewhere.

The run course was kind of boring. Mostly sidewalk along the main street. Nothing much to really look at. And the course was 3 loops.

After the first loop I became a rogue runner. Since I wasn't chipped it didn't matter where I ran. I ran up and down the streets in the neighborhood checking out the landscaping. From Park to Claremont I just ran up and down the streets in a serpendine formation. I stopped at one open house and had a look inside and filled up my running water bottle. After about 10 miles I went back to the triathlon transition area and packed up all my stuff and loaded it the car.

Then I parked myself at the finish line and waited for my athletes.

I ended up walking the run course backwards until I found Rosemary not far from the finish line. She was walking, but I got her to run the rest of the way in.

Yeah!!!! Half iron distance finisher!!!!

Yeah! A best-time for Barbara!!!

It was a long hot day out for these two athletes, but they finished it!!!!

I was so happy to be a part of it!!!