Monday, January 11, 2010

Alpha Hammerhead

I did my little 20 mi route again this afternoon, as dull, gray and dreary as the weather is, because tomorrow it will be raining again and rain and cars don't mix in my book. I seemed to be pushing myself the whole ride, but didn't seem to be getting much reward for the effort. Every time I checked my speed it seemed slower than either of the last 2 times.

I am German though, so I doggedly kept hammering and hoped I would find another gear somehow. I didn't eat this morning, so was pushing, in part, to exhaust my liver glycogen and dig into fat stores. Good training for long rides to come this summer. I actually think I pushed a bit too hard and felt I needed a long pull off my Gatorade bottle near Hagen Park, but kept pushing anyway.

I passed a guy riding a nice Lite Speed a few miles before that and had a feeling he was hanging around back there somewhere, but looked back and didn't see him. Finally, on that little downhill just before the approach to the William Pond bridge I gave in and drank a full 16 oz from my waterbottle. Sure enough, he caught up with me a minute later and we went over the bridge together.

I was very surprised when I got home and uploaded my Garmin. I actually took a full minute and a half out of my ride time. Losing 1.5 minutes on a 70 minute ride is pretty good. Looking at the comparison trace, I had few peaks that were higher, but overall my speed was consistently a little higher, and without any major sags, not much opportunity for unwelcome time to creep into the ride. Ahhh, now that's more like it!

My BP was once again in the 110/55 range, down from 168/89 last night, so drank a full 18 oz of tomato juice after eating a nice big potato. Just the right combo of fast carbs, potassium, slow carbs and salt. Within 20 minutes of drinking the tomato juice my BP was back up to 135/75 and pulse rate down 15 bpm. Great recovery food. My calf still hurts pretty bad when hammering this hard, but it is getting better.

It's true. I'm a hammerhead. I love speed. What's the point of going slower than flat out? (at least on a short course like this) Of course, I did somehow manage to do all of this with only 12 minutes spent in Zone 5, and even my average HR was down, but damned, that one HURT. Pretty hard to argue with the progress though. Picked up the average speed 0.20 mph too. Relentless forward progress. ;)

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