July 2006 Bike Odyssey--Virtual Race to Traverse City, MI--Day 7--(19.5 miles--176 total)
Victory Lap! Yeah, I made it, and after totalling up my miles realized I went a mile further than necessary. And, for the information of our HR department, Traverse City is only 139 miles from GR, not 175. I practically made it to the Mackinac Bridge with that distance!
I had debated over whether to do the whole 19.5 that day or break it up with a run on Monday, but the more I thought of it, the more necessary it became to get this trip over. I was driven to get the whole almost 20 done and hit the beach. The weather was predicted to be hotter than the day before, and the Lake Michigan water temps were predicted to be near 80! Bath water! Listening to the weather, I did hear there were bad storms in eastern Wisconsin, expected to NOT affect our weather, only to hit shore way NORTH of GR. (more on that later).
I did take the time to do some cleanup at home, something I had been neglecting not only due to the heavy duty training but also to the heat. Not having air conditioning does not leave me motivated to do much once I get home at night. My main objective is keeping cool. Any unnecessary movements, especially away from a fan, are avoided at all costs!
I did want to get out the door by 8:30 am however, to get done and be ready to hit the lake by late morning. I arrived at the park and realized just how still and unmoving the air was. Heavy. Cloudy. The sky was white. As soon as I headed out to ride, I ran into Libby, finishing up a run. She was hot and dragging. She had biked 100 miles the day before, yet she was out here again in this inferno going at it again. I told her about the contest and where I was with it, she wished me well, and we headed in our separate directions.
As soon as I hit the bike trail, I started seeing all the Sunday morning runners. They were a ragtag bunch today, dragging in from the heat and humidity. The only ones looking fresh and peppy were IronRich and IronMikey. Even IronDan didn't look that good when I saw him later. They all had biked 115 the day before (or maybe longer knowing them!).
As the days have worn on, my legs have not felt as bad as I feared. The only thing I notice is when I first start out, I'm a little slow, but once I get going, the pace picks up. Today, though, it wasn't going to be over 19mph, and that would only be on any downgrade.
I came upon a woman I have seen every day out there since I started this journey. Amazing that there are other people out there, with no obvious training motives, doing the same thing. I suspect, in her case, however, that she is one of those OCD people (and I'm not??). So I pedal along, trying to figure out how to make a 19 mile route out of a 15 mile route--add on here, add on there, etc. Finally I come up with a plan and decide to go with that. I would have to also go by time, since of course the computer isn't working properly. Once I hit 15 miles, I will pretty much have to guess. Mentally, my mind will not allow me to do two loops over the river, which would solve the problem. It wasn't so much the biking any more, just the time spent doing it. And I still wanted to get in a half mile swim.
Appropriately enough today, I wore my yellow jersey, sort of like at the end of the Tour. After all, this was a victory lap for me. I had worked hard, I deserved to win, and I had better win! I was so glad to pull into the parking lot and be done with this ride today! I couldn't help notice how weird the sky looked. Not really like it would rain, but a whole lot cloudier than expected and predicted. I really wanted to get in the lake today, so it had better not even consider raining! I hurried to the gym, did my half mile, and I was done! Head over to work to fill in my log and after I was here a while, I notice how dark it is getting outside. What the...? I check the radar and there is this huge yellow/red blob heading right for us! This was NOT supposed to hit here today.
So I am disappointed in the fact that for the next few hours we are having major thunderstorms, heavy rain, and dark skies. No Lake Michigan today! But later in the day, it does clear up and I head to my sister's pool. Small consolation, I guess.
Now I will wait to see how it plays out with this contest. First prize is a gift card to Grand Traverse Resort. I'll probably use it for some weekend when we have a race up there though!
Totals for 7 days: Bike: 169 miles
Run: 6 miles
Swim: 1 mile
Total: 176 miles
And even though the "race" is over, tomorrow's another day!