Where did I leave off? Oh yes, with an ice cream sandwich right before plopping into bed at 8:15 on a Sunday night! Monday would be our third and final day of riding down the coast of California and land us in Santa Barbara. Once in Santa Barbara it would be a quick turn around for us to pick up the truck that we had rented to drive immediately back home so that we could get to work on Tuesday…if only there was no work!
I woke up ready for the day, excited that there would be less climbing than the day before, only 5k…gotta celebrate the small things right? It was the coldest morning of the weekend and no breakfast was provided at the hotel, so after a quick snack we were out the door and headed to San Luis Obispo for the first stop so people could get a “quick” breakfast. When we stopped I was told it was only for 5 minutes so that people could pee, no one really needed food. 20 minutes later we rolled out…I was in that mentality that it would truly only be 5 minutes (what was I thinking?!! There were 50 other riders, someone was going to take their time) that I didn’t pee or grab a hot beverage. Oh well, let the day begin! The legs felt better than I had imagined they would, but we would see what the climbs would bring.
There was another water stop in Guadalupe and this is where I broke out the Red Vines. I had gotten tired of my mini snickers and granola bars. We then rode from Guadalupe to the beautiful town of Lompoc. I had
fallen off the back again chosen to take in the beauty of CA by myself for a while and rolled into lunch just behind the main group. While the line was 10 deep at Subway, I saw a sign that said “Fast Thai Food” and was on it like a fly on rice. Pun intended. Rice with a bit of chicken yellow curry? Carbs, protein, and a bit of fat. Perfect! Mark thought that I was nuts and stuck to a large fry from Wendy’s. Two cans of coke later we were on the road for the last 55 miles of riding. I rolled out with the main group and we rode together until one of the main climbs of the day came…and then I fell off the back. May have been some of those 7 lbs that I had managed to gain over the weekend (I am still peeing that all out!), may have been some tired legs. I caught up to Katya and on the downhill/flat section tried to bridge us up to the next group. They were in sight but I was losing steam, until a knight in shining armor came along and bridged that gap for us. Thanks Justin!! Only for the next big climb to pop me out again! Oh well, I found another Justin and we ended up riding along the 101 together. And yes, I do mean the actual highway, bikes are allowed- not hat it was the best scenic route. We would ride 35 miles into Santa Barbara along the 101. I stopped at the rest station and found Mike and Mary. Instead of riding alone, I joined them for the final push. Much better to have company, especially along a busy road.
Now here’s where the day gets fun. Mike, Mary and I are rolling along at a good clip when we see people behind us. Mark had stopped to help a friend change a flat. I had gone on, knowing that later in the day they would catch back up and sweep me up for final, lovely roll into SB together….like all of the other couples did. NOT SO FAST! We look behind, see that it’s my husband and think oh this is great, now there will be 5 of us for the last 35 miles, not 3. Well my
soon to be ex husband and Jim come screaming past us without so much as a slow down to say hi. Mark debates that he said hello and I just didn’t hear him. Yeah, sure. So while I answer questions from my riding partners of “wasn’t that your husband?”, he rolls along trying to catch the front group for the last push. Something about “having to get his training in…gotta leave it all out there”. This is where I think to myself, Men are from another planet. Good to know he’ll always understand when training has to get done. No time for horsing around!
I saw a friend from the other group ride and decided to roll into town with her, maybe the last hour or so. It was great to get to catch up with her! I dropped her off at her hotel, which was in the town just before SB and rolled along the last 7 miles by myself. I got to the hotel and waited for Mark to roll in with the car. Another (you guessed it) Muscle Milk later and then it was time to get changed and get to the burrito shop! Big burrito later and it was time to hit the road.
The drive home was uneventful, catching up on social media, going through pics and thinking about how I was going to get us prepped for the week ahead. A weekend away always means a lot to do at home, laundry, juicing, making a few lunches for the week, grocery shopping. Sounds like fun right?!! I know you have the same stuff to deal with.
The next morning I weighed myself to see how the weekend of riding had treated me. I was up 7 lbs from when I left. This was huge! I do normally gain weight after a big weekend, and I attribute it to water retention and inflammation from working really hard. But I think this time, Mark and I clearly made the mistake of having TOO much salt. We had salt tabs each day (2AM/2PM), added nuun to our Cytomax (one bottle/day) and then salted our food. It wasn’t that warm and I think we overestimated our salt loss. Obviously. Better to err on the side of caution, I would have hated to be dehydrated, but we have both been peeing non-stop since we got back and I could literally FEEL the water in my legs for the two days after the ride. I don’t know that this had a negative effect on us other than the added weight going up hills. Now for training, that could actually be good, but I would hate for Mark to have that same problem at one of his upcoming stage races. So, we go to the drawing board on that one. Less salt for sure for multi day/cooler weather events. This will not change how I prep for ironman for what I take on during race day.