Training ride on #IMMOO bike course

Cows #IMMOO

On my way back from my family's annual gathering in Michigan I dropped off kiddo #2 at Midway Airport for her flight home and headed up to Madison for a practice ride on the Ironman bike course. I had only seen it once before - on race day in 2013 - and I wanted some time out there before the race this year. On Friday night I missed sunset on the Terrace, arriving in Madison around 9:30 - and made an early night of it.

Saturday morning I hit my favorite breakfast dive in Madison to fuel up for my ride and by 9:15 I was on the road.

It seemed as though everyone signed up for the Ironman was out on that bike course. Tons of people who are really excited to get back together in a few weeks and ride it together. Everyone's friendly; it's like an extended family.

Everyone's faster than me.

That bike course is so beautiful. There's a 16 mile dog-leg out to a town called Verona, then two 40-mile loops that go through Mount Horeb and Cross Plains (for anyone who clicked on that map link). Mostly it's farmland. Lots of corn and some other crop and a few dairy farms, my favorite of which has a sign that reads "What we have we owe to udders". On my first loop I took a few pictures (cows!).

On my second loop, the church in Mount Horeb that had had water set out for cyclists on my first loop had brought in their water, and I ran low on liquids. Sipped for about 10 miles until around mile 80, when I stopped in Cross Plains and bought some Gatorade and chugged a nice large chocolate milk.

My legs were TIRED at the end of that ride. I got a little lost trying to find my friend's house at the end, and got a little extra distance in between loops when I got a little lost. Probably did 115 miles.

There's something special about that bike course. Everybody out there seemed to be in relationship with it; it's like a friend who challenges you to dig deep and see what you're made of.

When Mike Reilly is in town, I'll run a marathon after that ride. Looking forward to the crowd support again!