Friday, September 10, 2010

Getting it Done

Chili doesn't exactly pack the liver with glycogen! Duh!  As promised I attempted the Coach's Challenge last evening, and exceeded the HR goal and time. The 100+ cadence, not so much, as expected.

I was going to load up on carbs Wednesday night by making whole wheat spaghetti, but my neighbor called and invited me to dinner. His Chinese wife is a great cook, so I was expecting lots of fried rice and light soups, but instead was served chili and cornbread. Excellent chili, but so much for the carb-rich dinner.

About 2 hours before heading out the door for Gold Country Plaza to meet up with the SBHs, I had a big bowl of raisin bran - usually a great source of slow, glycogen building carbs. I was out of fat free milk though, so substituted whole milk. BIG mistake. Also decided since it was cool I'd make my Gatorade a little strong, but when I went to wash down half a PowerBar just before the ride, my body really wanted water, not more fuel. My stomach immediately protested.

The SBH ride turned out to be a beginner ride, so after trying to stay with a small group of fast riders for a mile or two, I realized I was going to have to ride solo. In retrospect, I think that is the only way to ride a TT. The pacing gets too complicated otherwise.

Except for one section where I took a couple of long pulls off the waterbottle, pacing on the ARPT was not an issue. I was having trouble seeing my HR on the Garmin though, as my dropping HR blurred my vision, especially in low, flat light with sunglasses on. I was able to compensate by finding a gear and cadence that insured 146-150 BPM and then focused on nailing the cadence.

146 avg HR. Had to include a little warm-up at the start, but still got the 'W'
WBP came up really fast, but by CSUS I was struggling with cramping, and the mental effort required to stay on pace. Imagine my surprise when I found the ARPT cordoned off for repairs! :-O  Gut check time! After a moment's doubt, I went around the barrier and hoped there wouldn't be any nasty surface surprises because the light was getting really poor.

I had failed to reconfigure the fields on my Garmin, so had no lap timer going. I did remember checking the Garmin's wall clock time just as the pre-ride briefing wrapped up - 6:01. I went under the I-80 bridge, and had 7:07, and hoped that would be enough. It was almost dark, I had a long ride home ahead of me, and was getting into a high crime area, so I pulled the plug. As it turned out, I stopped a few minutes too soon, and had to include the tail end of my warm-up in the TT segment.

As you can see, I exceeded the 86% HR goal for 1 hour, which is 142.8. I cranked out 146 BPM for just over an hour, which is 88%. It was just over 20 miles back to the start, so I bailed on the ride and returned home on the shortest possible route. Even that was very difficult. I was cramping badly, cold, and tired, and it was after sunset by the time I found some water to make palatable Gatorade with.

This was a really tough challenge, and I am stoked I got it done. I hope next time will go better, with all I learned, but psyched I pushed through the pain and finished with a 'W'.

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