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.