Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Day 3: Solo Climbing Ride

Today was not the day to ride a bike. It was 30 Degrees F with 25-30 mph winds. But...I rode anyways. What really got me out there was thinking about some advice I was given a while back by my good friend, Davy Chambers, the 2008 Irish Junior National Champion Road Racer. He told me, "champions are made in the winter, when no one else is out there training because its too cold and they dont feel like it." And guess how many riders I saw out there on a near 2 hour ride...Zero.

The ride, which I did solo, meaning there was no drafting at any point during its entirety, was planned to focus on hill work, climbing hard, and descending fast. The first 11.5 miles of the ride were my warmup for the repeat hills on MacArthur Boulevard, they were done at about an average of 17 mph, with a few stops (deceleration, acceleration, etc.) which is quite an easy pace.

Once I got to the hills I would be riding up and down, I felt ok, feet were numb, body was fairly cold, but my legs felt about 80% which is better than I had predicted. I took the first climb hard, averaging about 15.5-16 mph on a 1.4 mile long hill at a 3% avg. gradient. I got to the top and immediately descended its brother, a 1.1 mile long hill at a 2% avg. gradient, at about 30-31 mph the whole way down. I turned around at the roundabout at the bottom and began to climb. I was definitely hurting but I felt good enough to average about 17 mph on the climb.

After I got to the top there was no break, right back to descending the first hill I had done at about 29-30 mph the whole way down. I got to the bottom, turned around, built up some speed, and went off, climbing hard as I could. This time I averaged 14-15 mph up the whole way. I was dying and tried not to  think about the fact that I still had to descend and climb its brother again. So I got to the top, breathing hard and barely able to pedal to the start of the descent without falling over from the 25 mph wind gusts. I descended, this time at a more relaxed pace, around 27-28 mph. I got to the bottom looked at the incline and began to climb. I stood up to build up a speed and a rhythm to keep, but I really was dead. At first, I was only averaging about 13.5-14 mph up it, then got to about the 3/4 mark and absolutely hammered it until I could barely stay on the seat. I did that last bit at about 19-20 mph.

I took the 11 mile ride back to the car fairly easy, but faster than the way there because I was going with the wind now. Here are the overall stats on the ride: (TRP - 34.3 mi.) (ATM - 1:52:45) (MXS - 33.9 mph) (AVS - 18.2 mph)

Two and a half hours after the ride I had a 45 minute workout with my Physical Trainer. The first 20 minutes was dedicated to leg and arm strength building (weight lifting). And the latter was focused on abdominal and core strength. This went very well even after the ride. However, throughout the workout I had a very slight agitation of dull pain in my lower left Quad, right above my knee which feels fine now after stretching it out. Overall I am tired as hell, but feeling good, and very strong.

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