Tour de Paws
Wanting to do 56+ mile rides in training for the half-ironman, I signed up for Tour de Paws, a Spartanburg organized ride to benefit the Humane Society. I did it once before, two years ago, and I didn't remember how many tough hills it has (Bikely says 4,007 feet of climbing, MotionBased says 4,577). Mostly on lovely back roads with no traffic.
The ride was 61 miles, but I checked my time at 56 miles because that is the bike distance for the half-ironman. It took me 4 hours and 7 minutes. Total riding time for the 61 miles was 4 hours 31 minutes (average 13.3 mph), elapsed time something like 4:45. That was with a good bit of drafting in the first 20 miles, but I also pushed too hard trying to keep up with the people I was drafting off and once I was dropped I really dragged for a while. That was around the time I met the hill that is harder than our local famous hill on Maw Bridge Road. I didn't have enough water for the second leg of the ride, because it was longer between rest stops and because I didn't drink enough the first leg. I also didn't manage my eating well--there wasn't much appetizing at the rest stops. Useful lessons learned.
For the race I need to be able to do 56 miles in under 4 hours. I'm feeling close enough, since the course should be much flatter. My goal for the half ironman is mostly to make the cutoff between the bike and the run--I'm not expecting to make the 8 hour cutoff for the finish. I would like to finish even if I don't get a medal, but even if they pull me off the course after 8 hours I will have achieved my longest event.