The Big Bonk

Fifty-three miles, 4300 feet of vertical gain, 3500 calories burned, one big bonk.  Holy number cruncher, Batman.

Last Sunday started out well, as I rode a now-familiar route to Jockey Hollow.  Zigging and zagging to bag a couple of favorite climbs, I wended my way to Peapack to fortify myself with espresso at Coco Luxe.  This place seems to be a bike magnet; every time I stop there, dozens of riders are stopped to savor the devil bean.  Though I’ve seen him plenty at his stores, for the first time, I saw Marty Epstein kitted up and riding a Trek that looked like a stealth fighter.

“Holy cow, you’re on a bike!” I exclaimed.

“Well, it’s the first time I’ve seen you on a bike,” he replied.  Indeed, and we’ve been acquainted for damn near 30 years.  Marty was leading a group that was scoping out sections of September’s Gran Fondo route.

Parting ways, I headed to Pottersville and up Black River Road.  I felt great until I left Long Valley.  The one-mile, gradual climb on eastbound route 24 that always gets to me seemed harder than usual, and I ran completely out of gas by the gristmill.  It was survival mode the last 10 miles home.  As I write this five days later, I’m still not recovered.

While I’m improving as a cyclist, I still find it difficult to adhere to the prime directive: keep the easy workouts easy and make the hard workouts puking hard.  On a four-hour run, it’s easy to keep my heart rate low, and I can run with a hydration pack and maybe a gel.  Riding, it seems like my heart rate inevitably climbs when I’m going up, and I seem to need more calories.  Despite the fact that cycling requires less oxygen uptake than running.  Go figure.

Time seems to fly at this time of year.  I’m studying for the NASM personal trainer exam, up to my ears in school board stuff, and… oh yeah.  Gotta get outside once in awhile.  So once again, it’s a month-end wrap-up of adventures and pratfalls.

The Memorial Day training camp in the Adirondacks was a rain-soaked affair.  On Saturday and Sunday, hiking with kids was out due to the torrential rain.  Saturday’s roller ski was so wet that within 5 minutes, my classic boots were soaked, and they took two days to dry.  We took the kids to the Wild Center where they ogled the resident porcupine and had a general good time.

Sunday was more of the same, an easy roller ski in the rain, followed by a trip to an animal shelter in Wilmington.  Memorial Day weekend is a big training weekend for triathletes in the Ironman.  But we didn’t see anyone riding until late Sunday afternoon due to the miserable weather.