25 Days Remaining – How I HATE BIRDS,WIND, and WALLS with every ounce of my body!

Today I woke up early and had to force myself out of bed. My alarm went off and I fell back asleep which seems to a be a pattern this week. I finally got up ate my waffles and cup of coffee and headed out on my third and final bike ride of the week. It was another 36 miler, but I hit the roads before it became too warm. I took off on my usual route on Forest Grove to PV Junior High, out to McCausland and then back up Utica Ridge. It actually makes a perfect 36 mile loop for me. This ride started off great. I felt good, it was warm, but not hot and my legs did not feel too bad.

Then I realized that the wind was going to be my best friend and worst enemy ever. Check out the mile times. I bet you cannot guess when I had to turn around ride right into the 25 mph wind? There is the stretch there from miles 14 – 20 where I am riding over 25 mph on average and it was easy. I knew that I was going to have a nightmare in front of me.

I will be honest, I remember nothing of the easy part of this ride. When I turned to head home I literally hit a wall of wind. I could not pedal. It took all my might not to crash my bike. The wind was swaying me everywhere. To make matters worse I had hill after hill to climb and by the third one I was ready to quit. I was so defeated and ticked off. I really wanted an easy ride because I wanted to come home and get my long run it. I knew that at mile 25 I was not going to be running 14 miles today. I fought like mad the last 12 miles to make it home. I had to use up all my mental strength to make it home. I was not happy one single bit. It was the hardest ride ever and I hated every single minute of it. There was not enjoyment in this ride.

To add fuel to the fire I about crashed big time when a gust of wind hit me hard. I swayed big time right into the middle of the road and prayed no cars were coming. I heard a noise and assumed it was a car so I turn around……..

and a redwing blackbird is literally eye level with me flying right at me and was about 6 feet away. I felt like I was in a Alfred Hitchcock movie. I turned around in TERROR and tried to pedal away but I could not go any faster. I got super low in my aero and that was when I felt the attack. The bird was going right at my back. It was insane! I bet it was around mile 26 when you can see my max HR up at 192. I won’t lie, I was scared out of my mind having this bird attack my back.

I did survive and was so happy to be off my bike. I then quickly changed shoes, drank some pop and headed out on a run. My original plan was to do 14 miles, but I changed course and ran my 6 mile run instead.

I started off on this run feeling fantastic. I made one rule for myself and that was not too look at my watch one time. I wanted to run by feel to compare how I felt with my goals in my mind. Mile 1 felt so easy and relaxed. Mile 2 felt the same way. I sweating a ton and regretted not bringing water with me. Mile 3 I still felt good, but this mile did not go by quite so fast. Mile 4 was another story. About halfway through I hit a wall. My brain started to turn negative. My legs started feeling heavy. My HR felt like it was going insane. I started to doubt everything. I wanted to stop. I wanted to walk. I refused to do so. I fought like crazy to make it to mile 6. I know the course so I had to talk my way to each point. I really did not think I was going to make it. I felt like I was crawling the last mile. It was such a weird training day to go from the easy relaxed pace early on to completely hitting a wall. Perhaps it was the tough bike ride. Perhaps I did not fuel properly. Perhaps it was the heat as I have not ran in heat much at all. Perhaps I am just not ready to run 13 miles after a bike ride. I have not ran long in a few weeks. I don’t know what it was, but it was the worse I have felt ever! I came home and had to get water and protein in me. I was slightly light headed and a little dizzy. I was a mess.

I did walk a cool down just to gauge my HR. It was dropping at a good rate so that was good to see.

I will be honest. I needed to hit that WALL. I hit is HARD. I have doubts about this 70.3. There was no way I would be finishing a half marathon today. I would have had to walk. I have some things to sort through and figure out in the next 25 days. I need to toughen up mentally. I need to modify my nutritional intake because today did not work. I need to get some more endurance type training runs in. I will get myself ready. However, today reminded me that I am not ready. I am close, but not there yet. I have less than a month to figure it out. I will be GETTING IT DONE!

For myself to note. My nutrition intake(this was not enough today)

20 ounces of water on the bike
4 GU Chomps at mile 20
1 Mountain Dew on bike and in transition

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5 thoughts on “25 Days Remaining – How I HATE BIRDS,WIND, and WALLS with every ounce of my body!

  1. Hey man keep your head up, remember going into the race you will have a taper and will have eaten well a couple days before hand so you will have a reserve of fuel that you just don’t have during training. Good job pushing through the walls.

  2. Aaron, great post. The one thing I don’t miss about Iowa are the Red-wing Blackbirds! AS for the fuel, you need to EAT WAY MORE! And try not to eat those gel/block stuff. Make some of Allen Lim’s rice cakes or some (real food) it goes much better, more energy, and less sweet simple sugars. I have not bonked since I have moved to “real food” during rides. Save the gels for when you need quick energy say, at mile 5 of your 7-10mile run.

  3. Aaron,
    stay the course. When we did our 58 mile run a few weeks back, we hit a low point around mile 40 and came out of it – feeling better at 50 than at 40. With these long events, know you will have highs and lows and when you are at a low, just remember if you keep going you will get through it!


  4. I rode my bike out Utica Ridge today too (later in the afternoon) and the route was lined by the red winged black birds that taunted me the entire time. At the end of the ride, I had no voice left as I was shouting at them the whole time. It was crazy scary!! Never seen them like that before…so agressive. Good job and keep up the hard work.

  5. If the temperatures were like today on race day half the field will be walking the run and I know you won’t so you’ll be going by people like they are standing still. It’s a brutal week…hopefully we don’t get a day like this but you never know. I do know from your race on Saturday you are more than ready. Don’t dwell on the long runs. You have plenty of long runs in your base so you are absolutely fine.