December 31st. The second ride of the month of December. (see previous post about the travesties of the month) My goal was to do a 30 mile day. I had come close on two occasions before time ran out but I had the time I needed and the weather was gorgeous although a bit windy. I try to never use the lowest chain ring “bailout” gear as a matter of principal…it tells me I need to work harder at my goals and with the headwind of probably 10 mph or more I found myself dipping into that gear a few times. I didn’t like it but today just to get somewhere it was necessary.Anyway I rode out along the usual route I take before branching off to the next town over, Lyons. It was flooded really bad this fall and this was the first time I would get a good look at it since the roads were open again. I fought the wind all the way out, this was a good resistance to keep my heart rate in a specific target. 160 is a good place to work it with occasional 170+ ranges seen. I was punishing away for probably 15 minutes or so before I arrived in town. Turning around with the wind I was moving at nearly 30 mph the other way. This tailwind was going to really help a lot of people riding eastbound today! I cut up highway route 36 and found what climbing ability I lack. You will never know until you really try to find that efficient location and pedal use. I ran out of energy looking for that and I was not mashing along. I was trying to get it right.
This is the fun part. I turned off 36 to an eastbound road that started with a downhill. I geared up resting my muscles used in the climb for a bit an the speed was wonderful…”Hmm, I think this would be a nice time to see just how fast I can go here…” I thought. I started into it, I got up out of the saddle and started to spin throwing everything into it, I sat down once the leverage was no longer there with the speed and pedal cadence. I sat down and my legs were so fast I was bouncing a bit off the seat, I couldn’t spin any faster and the bike was now faster than the gearing I could turn. I just enjoyed the coasting at speed. (It turned out once I uploaded the GPS data, I was just under 53mph for 40 seconds and a cadence of 120+ for that time. This is also where my heart rate peaked at 190bpm.) An aluminum frame and wheels do not seem to take well to quick road undulations but if I were on a carbon frame, I would not be able to guarantee it’s soundness after that. After all I’m still over 210 pounds.
After that stretch of road, It was now time to put on the miles instead of explore and ride new roads like I’ve been dong for this first hour. It was cool. I had legwarmers on but had definitely warmed up enough to question keeping them on; however, once a gust of wind hit me I knew they served a good purpose. I had not been drinking enough. My first water bottle was cheap and the top didn’t stay open easily to where it would close when put into the mouth. Using teeth, trying to squirt it in, it just all turned into a numbed dentist experience with stuff falling out everywhere. I survived and worked that bottle and my second bottle but I fell behind in hydration and started to feel it nearing 25 miles. I ate a cliff bar and worked the rest of the fluids a bit and relaxed some. Once I felt better I put the hammer down on a stretch of road near home that STRAVA has as a timed segment. 3rd overall out of 25 or something like that. I don’t feel too bad. It’s something within reach. I just have to find 4 seconds more and I can get King of the Mountain.
I have been noticing that my peak heart rate is touching 191-192 beats. this is not normal for a 40 year old. Mathematically my peak should be 180, but honestly there is no real hard set rule. I just know that I am slightly above normal in my peak. Some people just have that bit more and some are normal and some are lower. It’s all person specific and might not mean much, but I do have that bit of head room. Because of that, If I were to really get down to serious training, I would need to get a max heart rate and V02 max test to align training efforts to what my abilities are and not over do or under do anything and get hurt. Once I do that, I can get down to business on the trainer indoors and in the hotels to really work the cardio engine.