This morning, I headed out early to meet with the run team. Today was the last group practice before the marathon next Sunday. We met at one of the team members house and the group started out from there. Since I would be joining the cycle team later, I knew I wasn't going to run. One of the coaches is also on the cycle team, so we got our bikes and rode the course backwards so that we could check on the runners. I got in a little over 8 miles doing that. Then I headed over to be with the cycle team.
This morning we met at the veloway again. We broke into three groups again, but this time it was not based on our experience level. We just counted off and divided up. We did one lap around the veloway about 5-6 mph but staying within a foot or two of the person next to us and about one to two tire lengths behind the two people in front of us. Basically, we were practicing riding in groups.
Then we hit the "autobahn" (I'm not even sure if that's the right spelling). The "autobahn" is a stretch of highway that has large shoulders and no lights. It's about an 8 mile loop with a couple of good climbs. The goal on the first loop was to again practice riding right next to the person beside you and right behind the people in front of you. We weren't going as slow as we did on the veloway, but we didn't go real fast either. And there were parts where we had to get in a single file pace line because the shoulder would narrow or go away for a bit. It was great practice.
The second lap of the "autobahn" was kind of a time trial of sorts. The coach started each of us about 30 seconds apart from the person in front of us. We were suppose to go at a comfortable pace for us, but not an all out pace. I set out ready to see what I could do. And right off, I could feel the difference of being in a pace line vs. being on my own. The wind felt much stronger on my own. But I was doing well. I probably was at 17-18 mph mostly. Slower on the hills and faster on the downhills, but I felt pretty good. I passed a couple of people who started in front of me (and got passed by a couple of people who started behind me), made the turn around, got about halfway down the backside and flatted. That's right. I got a flat. I could just hear the air flowing out of my tire. I know how to change a tire, but I'm not very good or fast, so lucky for me one of the coaches was right behind me and changed my tire for me. After the tire was fixed, I continued on my way.
I was kind of bummed about the flat, because I really wanted to see what my average speed was for the loop. We won't be back at the veloway again for a while, so I can't "retest". Oh well. Overall, today was a really good workout. I ended up with 29.59 miles.