29 January 2012

Cougar, Montreux ride

"Listen to your body!"
"Know when to say when!"
"Be flexible, don't let your training schedule dictate what you do!"
"Take a rest every once in a while!"

Today I did none of these and it was repeatedly made obvious to me that instead of riding - up some steep hills no less - I should have taken the day off and hit the spa. Sometimes it's interesting how hard it is to recognize signs in yourself that would be totally obvious in others.

I rode down to Leschi to meet Ryan D. Let me tell you that in spite of turning the corner it's still frigging dark at 7:30 AM. And I had forgotten my light. Funny how you can see that it is dark and you know you need a light but you don't put two and two together until you are a mile from home and it's too late to turn around. Not knowing if it would be better to have Ryan ride in front of me or behind me (I didn't have a red flasher either) I opted for the side of the road closest to the curb and Ryan rode on my left.

Pretty much from the first moment I had to apply any kind of power to the pedals I felt like crap. My legs were heavy and slow and any effort at all would instantly make them feel like I had just sprinted all the way up Madrona out of the saddle.

I was hoping my legs would warm up but before I could give them a chance Ryan hit a pothole and got a pinch flat. Nothing like starting the ride out with fixing a flat in the dark and in the rain. I felt bad for Ryan. And of course my legs were cold when we started moving again.

As we were heading south on Rainier I had a glimmer of hope when Ryan looked at his power meter and said we could slow down a tad if I wanted. I think we did but I did not notice and decreased effort. It was going to be rough ride.

The first climb was McDonald's hill. Within about 50' I am in the granny and the Strava jokes commence. "You think our time will be the 200th fastest or the 201st?" "Strava needs a Lanterne Rouge award." So on and so forth.

The second climb (for me anyway) was the approach to Cougar and by the time we got to the Newcastle turn-off I was already about 100' behind Ryan. And he was going incredibly easy. Ouch!

ASIDE - it's times like this when you realize that pulling the plug is a very viable option. Did I do it? Of course not. I'm an idiot.

The third climb was up the easy side of Cougar. Once again I couldn't hold Ryan's wheel and had to catch up on the flats at the top. In fact, the only time I was able to ride ahead of Ryan today was on the descents because my bike has disk brakes and his brakes apparently kinda suck.

Between the bottom of Cougar and the start of Montreux you get about three blocks of respite and then your gradient meter goes into the red. As did my Lactic Acid meter. I was off the back from the word go and just watched Ryan ride away into the distance. To top off my pitiful situation, my back - which had started to act up yesterday during the race - decided that now was a good time flare up again. Nice. In the middle of the big, right hand bend I had to stop, put my foot down and stretch for about 10 seconds. I got back on, started riding and mercifully I soon saw Ryan riding back towards me so we could finish the climb together.

Most of the remainder of this ride is a blur but I managed to stick with Ryan. Until we got to that last rise as you approach I-90 on Mercer Island just before you get on the bike path. There he dropped me again.

And then crossing the floating bridge he was about to ride me off of his wheel on the freaking flats so I shouted at him. He thankfully slowed down and I was so out of breath it took me two lungs full of air to tell him that I was unfortunately not going to accompany him back down to Leschi and then up the switchbacks and instead was going straight the fuck home.

In the pedestrian tunnel I had to ride no-handed for a bit just to stretch my back again; luckily it did not get any worse and I made it home without further incident.

I didn't bonk today, I was just incredibly empty from the start. And it got worse from there. My shitty sleep schedule lately has also not been helping. Can you say rest? I need to learn how.

Looking at my Garmin data I'm blown away that I actually achieved a heart rate of 147! It seems every time I looked down I was in the 110s or 120s, on the climbs I only saw 131. Red flag anyone? Oh yes. Did I recognize it? Oh no.

Sleep 4
Waking HR  
Body Weight  
Body Fat  
Breakfast 6:00 AM - avocado, applesauce, protein powder, walnuts
Workout Food 1.5 large bottles each w/3 scoops Perpetuem
Time of Day 7:00 AM
Workout Type The intent was endurance, the result was junk miles.
Weather low 40s, wet, windy
Time 3:21
Distance 44 miles
Pace 14.9 excruciating mph
Equipment Rain Bike
Clothing Sugoi shoe covers, Roubaix knickers, Roubaix leg warmers, Craft long sleeve undershirt, heavy long sleeve jersey, Curve raincoat, Polypropylene gloves, OR Gripper gloves, cap
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