Bike to Orient Beach State Park

Now that I’ve biked to the southern most easterly part of Long Island, Montauk, this particular ride would be to the northern most easterly part of the Island, Orient Beach State Park.

Ride to Montauk – 127 miles

 

Bike to Orient State Beach Park – 110 miles

The ride distance would be 110 miles (2 miles shy of the IRONMAN bike distance) so I needed to allocate sufficient calories for at least the first two-thirds of the ride. I packed 6 gels (100 calories each), a bottle mix of approximately 1000 calories of accelerade and maltodextrin. Enough salt tablets to consume 3 every hour and Gatorade in my behind saddle bottle cage.

I opted for the aero helmet to keep up to race specific gear choice.

Last week I went to ACME Bicycle for a fit tuneup (included with the fee of the initial bike fit) since I was having a slight back issue in aero. Jonathan Blyer, owner and fitter extraordinaire swapped out my spacer stack on the aero base with a more specific 40mm option.

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New Spacers were installed

We did some testing on the trainer and the back issue seemed to have been corrected. However the true test would be on this ride.

In contrast to my 127 mile ride to Montauk which ended at the lighthouse and doesn’t have a designated beach area, the ride to Orient Point would conclude at the beach. So that would be perfect to have a cooldown recovery swim.

It had rained the night before and the weather for the day would be perfect with zero chance of precipitation throughout Long Island.

Most of this ride or at least two-thirds of this route I have done before on my rides to Montauk, Splish Splash and Harbes Farm. I was looking forward to new riding territory.

Calverton – home of Splish Splash

I packed my run shoes in the car as Anh would be joining me with the kids at Orient Park. I needed to do at least a 20 minute brick run off this ride for more race simulation.

It was a very humid day so I ran short of hydration early. At mile 80 or so I stopped and bought some needed fuel. I bought some refreshing coconut water, an organic ginger/lemon drink and a litre of water which I distributed in my two aero bottles and drank the rest before remounting the bike.

The endless farms and small family owned restaurants always gives me the urge to pull over and indulge. However one of the perks to having someone meet you is the urgency to be on time. (one day I very much look forward to just planning out and having a tour out East with Anh so we can leisurely enjoy all Long Island has to offer – including the North Fork winery trails πŸ˜€)

Orient Park Entrance

At the pay booth to the Orient beach there is a 2 mile stretch of just beach which couldn’t make for a more scenic beach entrance.

From here on 2 more miles of nice beach front to finish the ride off

I got to the park and did some light spinning then relaxed at a picnic bench awaiting the family to arrive by car.

Orient State Beach Park provides quite a bit of amenities, including bar-b-que grills, playground facilities for the little ones, lockers, showers, concession. Whether you bike, drive to Orient Point you won’t be disappointed while enjoying a full day of beach and relaxing fun.

Enjoying with the little lady below.

Mama and the little man swimming around

Just chilling with the Iron horse


On our way back home we stopped in Greenport for dinner and dessert. A next town that has places to explore, wish we had time to stop by the carousel at the harbor with Miles. One can also take the ferry to Shelter Island from Greenport.

After some Latin dinner we had some pastries from D’Latte in Greenport

 

FTP Test Fail

FTP Test ala Training and Racing with a Power Meter by Hunter Allen and Andrew Coggan


FTP Test fail. It was way too hot in the garage this morning (I’m approximating the temp at 82F +) and I was under fueled for this ride. Note to self, when riding on the trainer in the summer bring a fan along. I on numerous occasions had to stop riding during the 20 minute Time Trial to cool down which compromised the test. However I still pushed to complete the ride.

First Open Water Swim of the Season

Did my first open water swim of the season at Rockaway Beach. This beach tends to be very wavy and makes for a great simulation of a choppy swim come race day. Again last year at IRONMAN Kalmar it was said to be choppy so I need to raise my confidence with such swims. I’m hoping to do at least 3-4 more of those at Rockaway beach. Hopefully the last of these swims is colder, again to simulate Sweden. This swim may have been at 60-65 degrees according to the lifeguards. Sweden’s water temperature last year was 60F. 

Bike to Splish Splash

As always with family days this ride was scheduled to start at 5:30am or earlier to meet up with the family at Splish Splash water park at opening 10am.

I’ve never been to a water park. What we had heard about Splish Splash is that the lines are very long. So we aimed to get there as early as possible to get the best experience possible.

The ride was approximated to be about 4 hours and 30 minutes.

Packing my bike essentials and making nutrition the night before always is the best way to get prepared for an early ride.

I got up my usual 4am for this early morning ride. I made sure to scope out the Splish Splash map of attractions in order to have a better idea and forecast of the activities we would be doing with Miles, our 4-year old. There were at least 4 toddler specific activities we could partake in with him.

My rides have been pretty much uneventful mechanically until this one. 15 miles into the ride I got a flat. It wasn’t any popping sound that made me aware of this but the back wheel wasn’t feeling as smooth so when I looked sure enough it was a flat. I came prepared off course with my flat kit mounted behind my saddle. I checked the tire to make sure there were not any sharp objects that may cause a next flat before moving on to conclude the fix. 2 minutes into this fix flat again. This time I was out of CO2s and an inner tube. Looks like I had 2 used cartridges in my saddle bag. Note: verify all cartridges are new especially on long rides!! A fellow rider stopped to help out, I was able to get an inner tube from him though it was a tard short since I was using a deep dish 55mm wheel. His tube was 60mm so I would barely get the inflator on. Sure enough the force I applied broke off the valve – ouch! Took a next 20 minutes to get a next rider in sight of where I was to help. Perfect he too had a deep dish and a spare 80mm tube. With success I was able to get this tire situation fixed.

The culprit – a wedged piece of glass

Off I continued towards Calverton, where Splish Splash is located. I made sure to inform Anh that I would be running late due to a flat(s) and that she too should adjust her driving schedule.

The rest of the way I made sure to be extra vigilant with tiny bits of glass etc on the road. This may have happened due to the fact the the roads were still very wet from the rain the night before. Wheels tend to pickup more of these potential flat causing objects in wet weather.

The goal for this ride was just to keep a moderately hard effort. I continued that pace throughout the ride not paying too much attention to power and just using percieved effort, PRE.

74 miles later from home I arrived at Splish Splash water park.

Made it to Splish Splash – 74 miles ride from home

The day at Splish Splash continued on perfectly. The lines were not too long. The atmosphere was great. Miles and even our infant had a wonderful time.

Fun with his sister

Going to Dino Falls with Mama

Cliff Diver – I took the 8 story plunge in 3 seconds

6 weeks to race day……….

Bike to Montauk

A bike ride to Montauk has been an idea of mine for years now. Pretty much since I started road cycling almost a decade ago. Why Montauk? Well there are several organized rides now to Montauk. Montauk is over a century ride away from New York City. The course is moderate to flat and once there in the summer, there is plenty to do. Hiking, beach, restaurants, sightseeing, boating, fishing….and so on.

Breathtaking views from Montauk Point Lighthouse

I have racked up a few long rides this season and felt in great shape to ride the 127 miles to Montauk from my home in Forest Hills. There would be many avenues for testing my fitness and race level, nutrition and most importantly any potential bike fit issues from last week’s bike fit with ACME Bicycle Co.

I would leave as early as sunrise permitted, 5:25am in my case and my family would drive and meet me at the Montauk lighthouse. The perfect meeting place for sightseeing and also there is no more biking pass that point but only the Atlantic Ocean πŸ˜€. The drive is approximately 2 and 1/2 hours with traffic. The bike I estimated would take me between 7 – 8 hours with stops, photos off course and any bike mechanical issues.

The helmet choice would be determined by the weather, so with such a perfect weather day of little wind and sunshine throughout I opted for my Smith Podium aero helmet. As per wheelset, I went with my HED wheelset. Also I experimented with using a smaller xlab mini saddle bag as opposed to a bigger bag I currently use. All in search for less weight and aerodynamics.

I packed 6 gels and a chocolate bar. 2 aero bottles with water. A behind the saddle bottle with frozen Gatorade and a between aero bar bottle of concentrated accelerade with maltodextrin that summed up to roughly 1000 calories. Each gel is 100 calories. This would be enough nutrition for at least 2/3 The Ride. Approximately 2000 calories in all. My pre ride breakfast was a cinnamon bagel with peanut butter and banana. So I know nutrition wise I would be okay for the first 2 hours on the bike not taking in too much.

Used 5 out of 6 gels

 

As before on my long ride east to Long Island I turned on my phone’s gps once I got to unfamiliar territory and had my ear buds bandaid to my ears so they stayed in place. (Waterproof bandaids to be exact)

Riding via bike route 25A is very quaint and scenic. There are many farms and small family restaurants along the way to stop and enjoy. In my case I tried to keep the stops to a minimum. This was also slated to be a training ride with the aim to stay as aero as possible while keeping 75% FTP.

The gps took me through a bike path at mile 53 called Setauket Greenway Trail. This in my opinion was a must I need to do with the family this summer or fall. Very nice and quiet with smooth pavement throughout. There were a few climbs that got me above FTP goal but for short bursts.

With the absence of any headwind and the moderate to flat elevation I was doing excellent on time. On some sections I was holding 25mph without much effort.

If I was to ever do a self supported IRONMAN I would just swim in Flushing Aquatic center and do 112 miles of this course and run to Montauk. Please copy and credit me lol.

It’s a busy July 4th weekend so entering through each of the Hampton towns were congested with traffic. Those were my slower miles on the course. At that point I was also running low on hydration.

I came up on a CVS at mile 93. It had all I needed. Restroom and plenty of hydration to choose from. I bought 2 waters, a coke and a Gatorade. I have to say coke never tasted so good.

I had made a purchase of a lipstick size charger a few weeks ago in anticipation for today’s long ride. It would be to charge my phone in case it was running low. Fortunately my iPhone 6 Plus battery was still at half charge at the end of the ride and never got to use the charger. But still a must have on such as ride.

Upon entering Montauk I started keeping an eye out for my family as it was approaching 1pm and I knew they should be entering Montauk if not there already. As mentioned before it’s a busy weekend so lots of traffic entering towns. Sure enough I ran into them 5 miles from the lighthouse. It was really nice to see them and being comforted by knowing we all made it to Montauk without incident. I continued on my way as they now would be arriving before me. Still 5 miles to ride. There were some climbs during this last 5 miles but nothing significant. It was still pretty fast minus those climbs, besides it’s nice to mix up the elevation once in a while.

Still 5 miles away from the Lighthouse

 

So finally I got to the Montauk lighthouse and reunited with my family in the parking lot. After changing we all had refreshments and a bit to eat. I have to say the grill cheese from the concession stand was deliciously satisfying. We continued the day by touring the lighthouse grounds. Anh and Miles did the climb to the top. I stayed with Norah as infants are not allowed to climb to the top of the lighthouse. Rightly so as Anh would later describe the stair and climb being very steep.


Amazing ride and felt very accomplished at the end. New bike Fit from ACME seemed to have delivered 100% dividends. 7 weeks to race day……

Reunited with the babies

Forest Hills to Montauk Lighthouse – 127 miles

 

127 Miles of riding on a perfect day πŸ‘Œ

Somebody’s enjoying her milk while Mommy and Miles are climbing the Lighthouse

Run Video post swim workoutΒ 

Did a 2.3 mile warmup to the pool then 3 x 1mile at Half marathon pace with 2 minute walk recoveries. 
Swim workout was 800 meters warmup where every 4th lap was an IM choice stroke minus freestyle. Main session was 2 x 800m descending. 

Concluded the days workout with a 2.3 mile cooldown run back home. 

Video taken in Flushing Meadows Corona Park post my swim workout. 

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Central Park Bike loops followed by Achilles 4 mile run race

Today I did 9 loops of Central Park. The plan was to do about 12 loops but as all age-group time crunched triathletes I had to adjust that plan on the go. I bike commuted to Central Park which was about 7 miles then started off with the loop fest. The New York Road Runners Achilles 4 mile run race was slated to start at 9am so I got as many laps of Central Park as I could before hand. Anh and the kids met me at the race finish to get my bike so I could transition to the run.

The course in Central Park is much undulating, especially on the West Side of the park so that makes for constant gear changing. This week I (DIY) upgraded my cassette on my HED wheel from a 11-25 to a 11-28 which makes for better climbing. This enabled me to spin more and stay close to 75-85% FTP on the hills. The one disadvantage I find myself in when at the park is I tend to get out of my established session goal and enter a race mode with other cyclist. I have gotten a bit better holding back and sticking to my plan but I do occasionally get the urge for the “need for speed”.

My nutrition was great as always. Made sure to take in my salt tablets and hydration. Also today I tested my tentative race day kit. It felt great and is really “skin fit” as advertised. I might give it two more test rides before race day to make sure all is a go with the Free Sanremo skin suit.

Run race went well. At first as more times than not is the case mile 1 is a bit hard to find my legs. I also make sure to walk some of the aid stations to get nutrition in and just simulate race day because there will be walking….the last mile was just fast to say the least especially the fact that there is a downhill to finish off the race.

The Achilles race is always a favorite of mine. Very inspirational to see all the vets and all special athletes with disabilities out there making the day theirs to own and enjoy. I even saw an achilles athlete carrying a what looked like a 10″ Cement block throughout the 4 mile course. That’s simply amazing!!

Bike Total 63 miles. Run 4 miles.

8 weeks to race day………….

Bike – Run

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2 hour trainer ride followed by NYRR Queens 10K

Today I had to really stack my workouts due to work obligations. The workouts proceeded as follows a 2 hour bike session on the trainer broken down with a 20 minute warmup, 1 hour in the TT position at 75% FTP with a 3 minute recovery then right into a 30 minute TT again at 75% FTP. 

10K Race was scheduled to start at 7:45am so the plan was to run directly to the start from home. The Queens 10K takes place in Flushing Meadows Corona Park which is about 2 miles from my home. So I ran to the start in time to jump into a slower corral which was just starting off. It’s nice how the race organizers are staggering those races to lessen on the congestion in sold out races. 

The 10K race was to be treated like a tempo run. Nothing crazy with pacing just focused on keeping a steady effort. 

I finished the 10K with a 7:42 pace which is great coming off my earlier bike ride. I got my finishers medal and the race goodie bag then did a cool down jog back home. 

My legs were definitely hammered from both the bike and race at this point and pace felt more like the IRONMAN shuffle. 



Nutrition:

Made sure to take 2 salt tablets every hour as it was a very humid and hot morning. On the bike went with maltodextrin / accelerade mix. Packed gels but didn’t feel the need or took any. 

It was a busy week with work, etc so I had to skip some workouts. Hopefully heading into next week which is 9 weeks from IRONMAN Kalmar-Sweden I should have a better grasp on workouts. 

Highlight session for the week has to be today. I was able to hold aero on the trainer for an hour without any issues. Also this week I booked a bike fit appointment with ACME Bicycles. This will be my first professional fit on my Scott Plasma. Looking forward to it since I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews for ACME.