Gran Fondo Texas & Weekly Recap

So I was really disappointed yesterday when I picked up my packet for the Gran Fondo Texas and I found out it wasn’t going to be a race like I thought!  That was the whole reason I signed up for it!!  The guy said they removed the race info from their website, however, I checked and the website still said that they would supply a time chip and it would be a USAC sanctioned race.  False advertising guys!  So no race, but still an awesome 5 hours of biking you can read about below.  Speaking of cycling, I kind of love the Lululemon kit but am late on the bandwagon to get it – the cycling shop didn’t have my size top.  Anyone know if these are completely sold out or what?  The shop couldn’t seem to get any more. 


And yes, if you are wondering, I hate normal clothes shopping and spend my clothes budget on cycling gear Smile  Anyway, here’s the weekly stats:

Monday: 2000+ yds swim practice (PM).  I was still easily winded on Monday form the Kerrville hilly rides – do long rides do this to anyone else?  David and I both felt winded climbing up the stairs which was unusual; I read in a triathlon forum: It really doesn’t have anything to do with your lungs, but rather with the lactic build up you have in your muscles combined with a reduced red blood cell count (normal after a long race). Basically, you need more oxygen to remove the slag products in your muscles and more oxygen as you have less carriers (red blood cells), hence your lounges work harder. So I guess I wasn’t fully recovered.  On the bright side I still got a timed 100m at 1:28min, with tired arms at the end of swim practice.  I don’t remember my 100m times from last year, but I’m pretty sure they were closer to 2:00 minutes.

Tuesday: 3.3 mi run (AM) + Body Pump (lunch).  Met up with my friend Amanda for a nice easy run to test the legs and catch up on life.  I also took it easy on the legs in Body Pump.

Wednesday: 60min Solo Trainer Ride on Tri Bike (PM).  I was pretty unmotivated to do much Wednesday, so I did a quick trainer workout at home, working on getting my cleat position right on my left foot where my knee was bothering me last weekend.

Thursday: 4 mi run (AM) + Body Pump (lunch).  Met Amanda again to run, at a quicker pace this time, still nothing too hard.  Lifted heavy and was sweating a lot at Body Pump – I think I audibly gasped after one killer set of 20 push ups which was mildly embarrassing. 


Friday: 2000yd swim practice (AM).  We had a nice 45deg morning and steamy pool on Friday.  Oddly, I kind of liked it and wasn’t cold at all in the heated pool.  My coach timed us for a 15:00 minute swim and I did 825yds.  Sub 2:00/100yd, but I felt like I’d be burnt out if I went that fast in a tri.  Still, I’m focusing on really high elbows after reviewing WaterBlogged’s analysis of my stroke – thanks again to those ladies, great feedback.  I’m finding the higher elbows on the recovery to be hard work right now since I have to get used to using different back muscles, but it’s helping with my rotation and also correct positioning of my hand for water entry.

Saturday:  7 mile run with David & Amanda (AM).  Easy 8:50 min/mi pace.


Sunday: 93 mile bike ride.  I convinced my friend Alex to ride in the Gran Fondo Texas with me, so I was lucky to have a strong rider helping pace/pull quite a bit.  The weather was beautiful, 60-70 deg, but with wind, and bluebonnets are in season!  The first 30 miles of the ride were awesome; with the wind at our backs and we averaged 20-22 mph easily.  The next 30, not so much; it was hillier and into the wind.  I tried eating 100 cal every 30 minutes, which worked like a charm (Gu, 1/2 Clif bar, 1/2 Bonk Breaker = all ~100 cal), and I alternated between drinking a Skratch Labs Drink Mix and either Nuun or water.  We stopped at mile 30, 55 and 70.  At mile 55 I did take a piece of homemade banana bread at the rest stop since I hadn’t packed quite enough food, and I’m not sure if it was the banana bread or what, but I had a really strong ride from mile 70 on!!  I pulled quite a bit and at one point we passed two club cyclists that said “Hurry up and catch them, we just got chicked!”.  Luckily they were pretty cool and ended up rotating with us the last 20 miles in.  We finished in 5:18 hours, including stops, averaging an 18.2 mph moving speed (<—very good for me!), with 2,300’ elevation gain.  Post-ride we were served some chicken/rice/bean burritos that really hit the spot, plus I think eating right afterwards really helped.  I’d really recommend the ride as it’s a great route and well supported.  The only con (other than it not being a race) was the horrendous line to park at the start.  If you do this ride next year, get there early, and drive an alternate route in if you can.

So onto food – what’s in season in Texas and on my plate?  Still lots of greens – kale, HUGE head lettuce, arugula, cabbage – broccoli, radishes, snap peas, leeks & strawberries.  Also pictured below is some homemade red sauce I used in a polenta dish I’ll post soon.  Enjoy what’s left of weekend – I see some couch time in my future! 


11 thoughts on “Gran Fondo Texas & Weekly Recap

  1. oh my gosh!! Is that the Specialized Lululemon kit? I’ve wanted it ever since Clara Hughes wore it last year!! It’s weird how it turned out not to be a race when it’s called “Gran Fondo”. Very strange indeed. What a speedy finish time, you did fantastic. And your post-ride burrito sounds so much better than the usual burger, or ever worst … pancakes I got one year!

    1. I know, the jersey is really cute…. yeah, so the Gran Fondo was a race in previous years, and this year last minute they decided against it – lame. At least it was still a good ride. Yes – post race burrito was the perfect mix of carbs + a little protein, really hit the spot!! Ugh, pancakes are bad, since you’re so sick of eating sweet stuff the whole ride anyway, I always want savory or some spice afterwards instead of sweet.

  2. I’d be pretty upset if I expected a race, and it turned out not to be! 93 miles is awesome though – I’ve never ridden anywhere close to that far at once. In fact I think I’ve maxed out at 15 miles (I normally just bike commute, and don’t ride otherwise – yet). Have you ever done ‘Hotter ‘N Hell’? Any thoughts on it? I’ve been thinking about doing it this year, since it’s relatively close to DFW.

    1. I know – at least it was still a great ride! I’m sure you could build up to a century if you wanted, seems like you get a lot of miles in per week anyway. My husband and I did Hotter ‘n Hell with friends a couple of years back, and to be completely honest it wasn’t my favorite ride. I think a lot of people do it for the name. It wasn’t super hot the year I did it, but the route is fairly flat with just brown fields, and there were a couple crashes (unsafe riders with that many people on the road), plus very long lines for water at most of the rest stops! Best part was the beer stop at mile 99. So I think there are better rides out there, but I also understand it’s one of those rides people want to do once. But don’t let me discourage you from a new challenge!

      1. Thanks for the info on Hotter N Hell. I don’t care so much about doing it for the name – it’s just the only longer ride that I hear talked about around here (although I’m sure I’m just not hanging around in the right circles!) Maybe I’ll keep looking for a different ride.

  3. You are putting in some killer miles on the bike – I’m jealous! I’ve signed up for a few tris but yet to get on my bike…oops. I love the Lululemon kit – they used to sell it on-line but I haven’t seen it on their site anymore so I am not sure if it got discontinued? I spend way a lot more money on workout clothes than I do regular clothes as well 🙂

    1. Haha thanks – and you are putting in some ridiculous miles running!!! What tri’s are you doing? Just curious if I will be doing any of the same. Yeah, I can’t find the Lulu kit online. Looks like it might have been a limited edition thing, so I’m torn, I don’t really want to get a large top and tailor it (extra $$) but it is pretty cute.

      1. So far I’ve signed up for Lake Pflugerville, Couples Tri (this one is a lot of fun – my husband and I do it together every year), Marble Falls Tri and will probably sign up for Jack’s Generic as well. Mostly shorter stuff for me this year 🙂 Let me know if you will be at any of those!

      2. Not signed up for any of those yet, but we’ve always thought about the Couples tri! I will definitely let you know if we end up doing it! I’m doing the CapTex Olympic on Memorial Day in Austin.

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