a tale of splendidness as it was this weekend (aka SPRAY):
Friday after work: a quick 7 mile run in the park at dark to cap my greatest running week ever (38 total miles including my longest ever run last Saturday at 16 miles).
Saturday: Put in at Randall's Island for circumnavigation of Manhattan by kayak**. Put in was at 5:24am, up the Harlem R to reach Spuyten Dyvil at 6:42am only to find a white-capping Hudson being driven by a steady 12-13 knot wind. Fortunately, we had the current (a must, btw) and still made it to the battery by 9:30am--3 hours of hellish paddling, but also the kind we've grown to love in 15 years of paddling: tight waves, breakers, great chop and heading straight into them perpendicularly, nose crashing through and spray whipping me in the face. Caught the offset flood tide heading north in the East River while the Hudson just gets to slack water before it begins to flood too. Tookout at the new brooklyn bridge park for lunch (at 10am!!!) and some DIVINE hot chocolate from Jacque Torres in DUMBO. Back in the boats for a coast up the East, through hell gate and then the trickling Bronx Kill (tiny channel connecting the East and the Harlem on the north side of Randall's Island separating the Bronx from it. Take out was at 1pm and we spend about 1:10 chillin' at lunch, in part to wait for a better current in the East (even though we didn't hit max flood---which is a great ride). All told, it was akin to tackling a grade at where you ended climbing last season on your first run out this season: yeah, you can do it, but it hurts and then feels so good.
But wait...that wasn't enough:
Sunday: got up again to see the sunrise while driving out to the start of the 100 mile segment of the 2005 Montauk Century at the Babylon LIRR station. After checking in and gettin the route map with my two friends, we took off at about 7am. The pink painted arrows on the roads were enough to keep us going the right way. One estimate I heard was 1500 participants this year. I have not been on the century since probably 1987 or 1988. Back then I do not remember any support other than the SAG wagon (which I have never seen). Well, things have certainly changed. Accidentally blowing past the first rest area, we stopped somewhere next to a national wildlife refuge about 30-35 miles out from Babylon for a quick energy bar and to stretch. We had serious out-of-the-gate ginkyness and cruised at 21-22 for the first leg. After mile 47 we reached another rest area with a full spread of food and hydration: vitamin water, gatorade, power bar endurance drink mix, bananas, lusciously ripe strawberries, luxurious pound cake (marble and plain!), bagels, pb&j, oranges...i mean i've never seen such a spread. And every one was totally chill that we met. Soon it was onward...next rest area was in water mill or mill water...at mile 75....more of the same, except they had fresh blueberry, banana nut and lemon poppy muffins, a massive tin of oreos and croissants!!!! more pigging out and then to finish, which we arrived at just before 3pm. I should mention that the two guys i rode with had never biked more than the 42 miles of the five boro bike tour and that i have not put down more than a 36 mile ride since november and all told have put in about 200 miles total before this. Talk about spring fever! my buddies rocked this ride...and...
All told, it was a personal record for my 100 (actually 105.38), averaging 17.5 mph. We had no headwind and a very slight tailwind (winds were really from the SSW, shifting to the SW sometime after noon). The killer is always the small hills when you get to hither hills near montauk coupled with the sea breeze-induced headwinds. Although slight, they hurt after a mostly flat century where people go all out. I believe my cyclocomputer keeps the clock going for a few minutes after i stop, so i may have been going a bit faster on average. i know i felt super-strong on this ride and that getting a new cassette and chain helped better my gearing. and the easton aerobars i got rocked. I'd get on those and just pick up 2-3 mph without any increase in energy output. The course was mostly back and side roads with few cars where we could hunker down and cruise the middle. The black top was beautifully smooth for almost all of it, though a few sections drew paris-roubaix heckles from some. I did get a pothole blowout after almost missing a turn (kindly pointed out by the frenchman leaching off my lead who didn't want to lose his windshield!). Most of the time i found i was cruising at 19-23---considering i've only been marathon training and not riding, i'm very pleased (and ready for the Tour of the Catskills!).
Then it was beer, pizza and tlc at the gf's house sunday night where i passed out before we could even load the Amercian Flyers dvd.
Monday morning: tylenol!!!!!!
I've always wanted to do the circumnav and a century in the same weekend....
**required to keep my namesake on this board.