Monday, 14 May 2012

Tour Of Pembrokeshire - Sportive

After the rain we have been having recently I was hoping the sun would come out for this race, It was my first sportive and I needed the good weather to help me home as I knew I would find some of the climbs difficult and the duration in the saddle the main concern as it was going to be the longest ride for me ever.

I woke up before the alarm after a good nights sleep and I sneaked downstairs for larger than normal pre-race breakfast, got dressed for the race, a quick kit check, packed the car and off we went to the start line, an hours drive.

Parked the car up at the destination, registers and got the bike ready to go, you had a window from 08:00 - 10:00 to start so I saw a group of other riders from the club and congregated with them towards the start line. The marshals scanned my timing chip and off I went.

The sun was shine, there was a cool breeze, I found a comfortable gear and off I went.

The first 25 miles was brilliant, relatively flat, no massive inclines, it gave me plenty of time to get down on the aero bars and get comfortable. As I arrived at the first aid station, there was a mass of people, more than were at the start line, I know it was a pub but surely they weren't having a beer? Soon after leaving the feed station you realise what you going into. Firstly you hit a time trial hill climb, there was no way I was stopping at the base of the hill to have my chip swiped, I carried on going, and then the burn hits you, your thighs feel the burn and this burn stayed with my to the end of the race. I have never seen so many hills in Pembrokeshire, I think the car would have struggled to get up some of these, but my achievements was not to get off and walk, well I never did all the way around the route.

I managed to average 70 RPM on the cadence front which I was really pleased about, I have an alarm on the Garmin that tells me if I drop the cadence below 70 and I heard that alarm quite a bit going up hill, but it didn't distract me I just kept on going till the end. The final half a mile was a killer, I was expecting to come back via the route we left, but no, we came through the St Davids Cathedral grounds which is all uphill. sneaky, very sneaky!

I'm still lacking in fear going down hills, I managed to get a massive 42 MPH maximum speed, which was the normal for me, I even had time to get off the aero bars and give the camera man a thumps up.

Average speed for the ride was a love 11 MPH, but this was down to the amount of climbs, I knew before the sportive that this wasn't a race, and time didn't really matter to me, my main goal for the event was to finish and finish strong, which I feel I did.

At feed station 50 miles I was so happy to get off the bike, for that 5 minute break stretch my legs and back out, get my timing chip scanned. east some soreen and welsh cakes and off I went to a massive bloody hill. I'd by lying if I said I didn't work hard, I can honestly say I haven't worked harder in any session to date, its up there with the Pembrokeshire Half Marathon, but I definitely was hurting more after this ride (2 days later). I don't think I would have completed the sportive if I had been working on my bike so much this year, It definitely showed last year i my races that I had a weak part of my races but since hitting the bike for 2 hour sessions I have come on so much. My heart rate maxed out at 189 BPM and this was thanks to the hills of Pembrokeshire and my average was 150 BPM, which is still high for an average session for me.

Overall this was a great day for me, I pushed my body to a new limit and its pushing me that step closure to my ultimate goal of Ironman status, I haven't been put off this race, I would do it again if they sort out some of the road issues as my new tyres have had a hammering. I was please with my first time over that distance and its a marker for me so the next race I need to beat this time.

(Half way = 50 Miles)

Session Details

Duration 06 46 36
Distance 76.18 Miles
Calories 2112
Average HR 150 BPM
Max HR 189 BPM
Average Speed 11.2 MPH
Max Speed 42.3 MPH
Average Cadence 70 RPM
Max Cadence 135 RPM

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