The picture above is Mark P rocking out with syrup on his fruit. The energy he got from that sugar would come back to haunt me later that day.
I apologize for not writing this sooner, but the last couple days served up a lot of training and I found myself with little down time as well. At any rate....
Day four was meant to be a "Submax" 100-mile ride. Vision Quest defines Submax as the first break point above baseline (in terms of lactate) which equates to a blend of steady to moderately hard intensity in EC's terms.
Given the challenge of the day the triathlon group opted for a pre, as oppposed to post, ride swim to get that out of the way. Gordo and I swam 24 x 100 on a 1:30,25,20,15 pattern and I was happy to see that the fatigue was not wearing away at my swim abilities too dramatically. After the swim was completed we headed back to the hotel to get some breakfast in before the ride. Mark P dominated the syrup so it forced me take a photo to remember the day.
The route for the day was a mix of rolling and flat terrain, but the only thing on our mind at the start was the Mile 20 sprint marked with an orange cone 2K out. After getting outworked in the previous day's sprint I was hoping to get a little redemption. My legs felt pretty foul for the first 30 minutes of the day, but they slowly came around as we warmed up.
Things began to ramp up before the 2K-to-go point and I was looking forward to duking it out with the folks around me. I felt great going into the final 500 meters, but my position was poor and I found myself drilling it in the end to try and take 3rd place from Gordo, but I missed it by a hair once again. Oh well.
After regrouping we headed along on our route and everything was going nicely as we approached the base of a steep climb. At the base of the climb we went over a cattle guard and I had the misfortune of dropping a water bottle. Given my thoughts on 'treading lightly' I immediately swung around and went back for it. My conscience was clear, but so was the group at this point. I had to make a monster effort to try and bridge back up. I had not closed the gap by the time the summit arrived and it forced me to continue to work the descent and again in the flats that followed. When I finally made it back I was DONE. We rolled on, but I was never the same and when Mark P picked it up in the final 20K I was absolutely miserable. Mat had missed the group somewhere in those last 20K so I dropped back and rode steadily into town with him.
After getting back into town I ventured out for a few more easy miles with Mark P and Dan. Following that I ran 10K+ off the bike and actually felt like a million bucks. Always intersting how that works some days.
And so day four was complete. Seven hours in the bank.
Day Five was a handicapped race that served up plenty of excitement so tune in again to read up on that.