Rides 265 and 266
A welcome half an hour of recovery-paced riding after Tuesday’s class, and another one the next day.
On Friday, I drove to Solvang for the first double of the season. Forecasters promised rain, so I shelved the newly-repaired Llewellyn and went with my fendered Spectrum. Checked into the hotel and dressed for a ride. I hadn’t been on this bike in over a year, so definitely needed a shake-down cruise. Rode into the wind, westbound on Highway 246, then north on
Drum Canyon Road -- also into the wind -- and back for 70 minutes. When I returned to the hotel, my sit bones weren’t feeling good. So I decided to raise the saddle. By half a centimeter. It’s not as bad as it sounds – on the ride I’d wear my Riivos that have a thicker sole than the Rocket 7s I wore on the ride. So, yes, a different bike, a new position, and different shoes. I also felt a bit cramped with the 10cm stem that was on the bike. Stupid? You bet! Oh well, what the hell. Kevin Thornton came by in the evening. We’d met online and would ride this double together.
Solvang Spring Double. Sucked. First 101 miles took 5:32 at 19.1mph. I guess that part didn't suck. We were fairly fresh and social and this part went by quickly. The return took 7:40 at something like 12 mph into 15-25mph headwinds. When we were lucky we had cross winds. Fucking demoralizing. The wind did a complete 180 from the day before. Last year’s 90 miles of rain was better than this. Glad I brought the fendered bike, it made the rain stay away until late evening, but I wonder if the fenders were catching the wind and slowing me down. Funny thing is legs felt OK at the end of the ride and responded well to efforts with no hint of cramping. There was severe brain cramping, however. I’m pissed at this ride and it’s all wind-related. Fuck it; don’t want to write about it anymore.
Oh yeah, the bike fit and the shoes worked out just fine.
What? Was there any question this was going to be anything but half an hour of recovery on the trainer?
I did 80 minutes in class, doing everything everyone else was doing, and the legs responded well, considering I’d done a double three days earlier. Decided to bag it while I was still relatively ahead.
Another half an hour on the trainer. This was a "pre-covery" ride ahead of next day’s all-out efforts at the gym.
This was fun, of sorts. I had an appointment in late afternoon and would have to leave class early. So I arrived 15 minutes before class and began my warm-up. The warm-up was a 12-minute build-up of cadence and resistance. After the warm-up, I recovered for four minutes, then did a five-minute all-out effort. This consisted of the first three minutes at 250 watts at 25mph and two minutes at 260 watts at the same speed. I’d bumped up the resistance because I felt that I could tolerate it. It was tolerable. I was quite spent at the end, but honestly it wasn’t an all-out effort. Maybe five minutes at 260 would have done the trick, but we were supposed to do this effort in low zone 4 and my zone 4 is 235-265 watts, so I thought 250 was plenty optimistic when I began and was pleased to have sustained 260 at the end.
I finished the five minute interval, just as the class was starting its warm-up. Five minutes was hard, but the 20 we all dreaded. It was time for me to start my 20 just as they were starting their five. Much to my surprise, they didn’t crank into their perceived max resistance, but spent the first minute building up to it. That would have been easier. Oh well, I launched into my 20-minute interval at 225 watts. Kate wanted us to hold whatever we could during minutes 5-15, then go harder, if possible. No reducing resistance. Blowing up was acceptable, easing up was not. I rode at 25mph and it was all fine and manageable, gradually becoming more and more uncomfortable, but I made it through the 15th minute with the legs feeling OK. Then, during minute 16, I completely lost it aerobically and had to stop. Fucker!
[A day later, I think about how easy it would have been to hold on for another 3.5 minutes (just 210 stinkin’ seconds). But no, there is no way for my brain to replicate what the body was feeling and the mind was thinking at the time without replicating the effort. I feel fine now, so 3.5 minutes seems that it should have been doable. But when I was on the bike, at 16.5 minutes, additional 3.5 minutes at 230 seemed like an eternity in purgatory.]
I put my head on the towel-covered handlebar and proceeded to completely soak it with sweat. A minute or two later, I started breathing normally again and my blood began to flow into my brain again (this reminded of a treadmill stress test I’d done at a cardiologist’s office some years ago. It feels easy and manageable for a long time, then it feels hard briefly, then your blood pressure drops, as your body stops supplying the brain with oxygen and the heart worries about other organs, and it feels like you’re about to lose consciousness.) I was warming down as the class began its 20-minute interval and they began it with a four-minute build up to their “20-minute” power. Hell, if I’d known to take it easier during the first four minutes I might have lasted the full 20. Oh, well, that’s what I get for jumping the gun. We're doing this effort in 12 weeks, so I get the chance to do it all over again at higher power levels if the training does what it's designed to do.
Two hours with Brian early in the morning, culminating with a latte at Peet’s. All conversational. A little harder than yesterday’s efforts would have mandated, but thoroughly enjoyable. My favorite kind of riding.
92 to go.
92 to go.