Friday, March 4, 2011

Back In The Saddle

After I suffered through a long ride last weekend and then suffered even more through a 4 mile run on Monday, I decided it was time to take 2 days off.  So Tuesday and Wednesday were all about staying off my feet as much as possible.

But yesterday it was time to get back at it.  And I can't say I wasn't a little nervous about getting back on the bike.  Mentally, I wasn't really up for another bad workout, especially with the Desert Triathlon coming up this weekend.

So after some procrastination, I headed out late yesterday afternoon for a 22 mile ride up and back on PCH.  The good news is that it only took a couple pedal strokes to confirm I felt much better, and by the time I made it the 3 miles from my house to Coast Highway, I felt loose and ready to go.  So I took a left and started flying south down PCH towards downtown Huntington Beach.  It felt great, and I was going fast.  Faster than normal in fact, and I realized that I was probably the beneficiary of a strong tail wind.  When I rode past the power plant at Newland, my fears where confirmed.  The steam coming out of the stacks was being blown due south.  I had a few more miles of tail wind before the turn, so I blocked out the fact that I still actually had to get home and kept going.

When I u-turned, I got hit hard with the headwind.  It's not like I wasn't expecting it, but it was still a little discouraging.  But being that I was now at the farthest point away from my house on the entire ride, all I could do is put my head down and started pedaling the 8 miles back to Warner.

PCH is basically a series of false flats, and I was able to keep my speed between 16-18 MPH into the wind.  All I can say to help temper my bruised ego is that there were a bunch of people riding and I only got passed once by a guy in Team Simple Green kit who will always be faster than me regardless of the conditions.

Looking back, it was a good 25-30 minutes of training actually.  Though I wasn't moving that fast I was moving steady.  I worked on floating through my pedal stroke.  And I resisted each right hand turn off of PCH which would have allowed me to finish my ride in relative shelter from the wind by getting off the coast.  And that scores one for the mental game.  So though yesterday was not my fastest ride, the fatigue is gone.  Onward and upward.

The route
Actually, the worst part about the day was when I dropped my bike off at the shop last night for a quick tune-up.  As the mechanic and I were looking over my bike we noticed what looked like a hairline crack on the seat post.  Not good.  He's checking on it further now and then calling Specialized if needed to see if he can get a new post by tomorrow (thankfully it's under warranty).  So I am not panicking yet.  We'll see what happens.  Worst case I just ride the Bianchi Sunday.


TRI714 said...

Glad you got some rest. If you took it, you needed it. Good job on the ride and Oh snap on the seat post. Better to find out now then 1/2 way up a climb, 1/2 way through a race. Whatever your roadie is stelth too. I hope they get it fixed for you though.
I'm pumped for you about your race.

Christi said...

Great decision on the rest. Looks like it did you a world of good!

Hannah said...

It is so interesting reading posts about biking - it makes me want to get into it so I can really understand what it feels like to bike into a headwind, to ride 16-18mph, etc.

It is nice to know, though, that we all need rest, and listen to our bodies when necessary. I mean, would be awesome if we never needed it, but still, nice to hear I'm not alone in sometimes just needing to rest.

Tri4Success said...

Sounds like you got some well needed rest and had a good ride. I assume you had some Liquid Tough afterwards?

KovasP said...

Recovery, the forgotten fourth discipline. Except for the headwind, glad you had a good ride. Hope the Specialized gets fixed in time, though the Bianchi is not a shabby option.

Tri-James said...

It always seems that tail winds barely push and head winds are like walls - go figure.

Jim ... 50after40 said...

Great job on listening to your body on the rest. We all probably need to do more of that!

Jason said...

Your riding adventures always amaze me. I cannot wait until the day strikes that I'm close to those speeds.

And good for you for going through the mental war of riding back without ducking off. Big score there.

Chris K said...

"I worked on floating through my pedal stroke".

Um, yeah, I don't get that at all.

Ransick said...

Congrats on the mental victory of not turning off. Mental victories are huge and are often more memorable than physical victories.

Unknown said...

Rest is sometimes a very good thing!

Good news that the seat post was available. Good luck luck at the race!

Caratunk Girl said...

Rest is good. Sometimes the best thing for us and the hardest thing to do. My problem is that after a few rest days I get used to the rest..

Great riding. I am so jealous you are outside. And that you are so fast. Rockstar. That is what you are.

Unknown said...

Taking time off is a mental battle with me too. Last week, I took off 2 days in a row - something I hadn't done in weeks. It made such a difference in this week's training.
A seatpost is an easy fix; it's just a nuisance to wait.

valen said...

how cool you can drop the specialized for a couple of days and ride a mighty celeste instead?
cool photo at the top

Big Clyde said...

Yeah, you've been on a terror lately with the training. Maybe you really needed those two days.

Bummer about the bike. Nice that it is under warranty though.

Barbie said...

I absolutely hate any form of headwind no matter how miniscule. Good on you for listening to your body and resting up.


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