Monday, September 17, 2007



So, I mentioned in a previous post that I made a pacing error. Well, pacing error might not be the right word, because an error is usually something you do thinking it is right, only to discover later that you made the wrong choice. Me, I knew I was doing the "wrong" thing, but did it anyway.

Because it was fun.

And I'd do it again.

So there.

See, the bike course at Wisconsin has several sections with different character. First, there is the stick to the lollipop that takes you from Madison out to the 40 mile loop. Nothing special here.


Once you are to the loop, there are a couple of sharp climbs and turns to get your attention. Then you start a rolling but continuous climb for several miles out to Mount Horeb. It's not steep, but it is unrelenting. You never can get up a head of steam, you are constantly coming up behind people, but you're never really going fast enough to merit passing them. You just grind it out for mile after mile, feeling like you are not getting anywhere. It doesn't look like a difficult series of climbs, but that's what makes it so bad. On the suck-o-meter I give it an 8.5.

Which is why Mount Horeb shall henceforth and forevermore be renamed "Mount Horeb-bull."

And it doesn't end there. You climb up to and through Mount Horeb-bull and hang a left onto the sharpest, longest rolling hills you've ever seen.

But even these won't let you get up a good head of steam. Each roller is higher than the next, and so you are still climbing. And on our particular day, with the wind on our faces on that particular section, even the downhills were limited in their velocity.

But wait, there's more.

After the sharp rollers you continue to creep up a more gradual incline to what I believe is the highest point on the course.

So, here you are, many miles into the loop, and you feel like you haven't been able to cut loose and make any tempo at all. Now you get some descents, which are fun, and some flats, but you have been marshaling your effort and watching your heartrate all day, and none of the descents is very long or very straight. There's always a turn, or a dink, or a dive, or a climb. You never really get that "woo hooo" moment. It feels like a horrible (or Horeb-bull) case of cycloitus interuptus.

So, when we finally got to the three climbs on the back of the course that were lined with people, I was . . . uhm, . . . frustrated. I had a case of the blue . . . . my shirt was blue. Yeah.

I could hear the people cheering and ringing cowbells, and I said to myself, "self, all these nice people aren't going to be here when you come around for your second loop, and you've never been cheered like that on a bicycle before. This is your first Ironman. You're not racing, you're only finishing. You may not ever get another chance. Are you going to have some fun, or are you going to wuss up these hills and 'save yourself' for the second loop?"

I made my decision. At the base of the first climb, I turned to the rider with whom I had been conversing and exchanging passes for the last half hour and saying, "come on. Give the people a show."

I clicked to a slightly harder gear and attacked up the first climb like I'd been shot out of a cannon. Heartrate and watts be damned. Taking this long climb seated, I climbed up through the field with people running alongside me, ringing cowbells, calling my name, cheering my high cadence and whooping it up.

You would think I was spent, but see, I am capable of multiple cyclasms.

The second climb is shorter and straight. On this one I stood and hammered up through the field with a runner alongside banging a drum. The earth moved.

Just over the top, the little black dots started swimming on the edge of my vision and I got back down in the aero position. There followed a series of mostly flats or small rollers, where I saw the tribe spectating the bike course.

caped hypehn girl

I had to shout: "HEY TRIBE!!! I NEED MORE COWBELLLLLLL!!!!!!!" The little ones were picking dandelions or eating candy, completely unconcerned that there was an Ironman going on in front of them.

caped superpounce

I apparently took Mrs. Greyhound by surprise ever time I road by, because all we have are pictures of my ass or me as a dot way down the road:

greyhound's ass
Ooops. There he is.

greyhound's assII
Ooops. There he is again.

Ooops. There he goes.

Brent stopped:


Tac Boy stopped:


Me, not so much.

Then there was the third of the fan friendly climbs. Here again, I knew after the climb it was mostly downhill back into Verona. So, being multiply cyclasmic, I climbed hard and fast to the cheers of the gathered throng . . . .

and hammered through Verona with cheer ringing in my ears.

It sure made the second loop harder, and slower, but . . . I'd do it all again.


JohnnyTri said...

nice booty pics..ha.
dang those hills sound never fogiving..
how did Montgomery compare to those?


Shelley said...

Awwwwwwwww what nice pics and story!!!!!!!

21stCenturyMom said...

You really know how to work it, baby!

Kim said...

sweet ass :) great job powering up those hills and giving those spectators a great show!

Phoenix said...

I think Mrs. Greyhound just likes your posterior. She had full knowledge of what she was doing.

Multi cylasmic - so is that like a Tantra Cycling kind of deal?

Wendy said...

I'm with Phoenix on the shots for posterity!

(Tac Boy probably did stop ... but that looks suspiciously like Brent!)

Steve S. said...

Your photos would have been better if you would have stopped...

Just kidding! Nice job!!

Laurie said...

I'm with Phoenix, Mrs. Greyhound knew exactly what she was doing ;)

Hmmm, I misquoted you with the Mount Horeb-bull. Though I think it works either way.

Wendy said...

Oh ... I see I missed a caption. I'd like to blame my head cold, but I probably shouldn't!

Fe-lady said...

Thanks to Mrs. Greyhound for the great pix of a nice posterior!

Multi-cyclasmic! Whoohoo!

Bigun said...

Lots of good shots of you being multi cyclasmic. That nuts! You had loads of fun it seems. The crowd's cheers spewing from everywhere. Too bad none of the bike shots were on the money. Those slow pokes were lucky you didn't cream them! Good thing you had plenty of Gu, and didn't totally blow your wad on those hills!

That's all I got...

Di aka "Mrs Bigun" said...

leave it to Bigun!
The Sherpas always know what they are doing, she knows a good thing when she see's it! ;)

Rural Girl said...

That's what you get for moving so fast. Butt shots!

Nat said...

I ran across your blog. Way to go on the race, you inspire me just reading about what you went through! Great job!

No Wetsuit Girl... overseas! said...

"Come on, let's give these people a show!" DEFINITELY worth it. I was imagining the whole thing as I was reading it and my heart sped up a bit from the excitement of watching you.

Nice ass by the way. I don't think the pictures were a waste in the least! Mrs. Greyhound has a good eye for photography.

Allez said...

hey, I see the man bolero! :-)