Wiiiindy day today. Give me the bitter cold of the last 3 mornings over what felt like a heatwave - 37F and a 25 mph wind. Riding solo everyday is tough. Running solo, easy, but riding for 3 hours and listening to the iPod is getting old. On New Years Eve my buddy Ciaran Mangan is organizing a ride over about 80 miles of rolling hills and there should be 10+ riders going. Needless to say I'm thoroughly looking forward to this one, and in the meantime its base miles by myself.
My legs felt trashed today. Even though I haven't done much training relative to those I'll race, for me 4 days in a row over 50 miles is uncommon. I wanted to get another 50 miles in today which will keep me on track for my Rapha500 challenge (even if I cheated to make it harder by introducing miles instead of km's). I doubt I'll do 500 miles but I know I'll eclipse 500km. Anyway, my glutes were hurting as I rode up Beacon street, past BC. But then, strangely, the soreness subsided and my Garmin told me that my pace was pretty snappy. And I was going into the wind, kind of. Super compensation? Maybe, I don't really know anything about cycling training but I knew my recovery day was probably gonna be more of a workout.. The wind really pissed me off though. I am not exactly aero on the bike so every gust was sending me sideways with spit coming out each side of my mouth. Then, a sharp turn in Weston and bliss. Tailwind for the next 30km. It was great. Barely putting out watts and flying along. I forgot to drink water and after 1:45 a savage thirst enveloped me. One area of improvement for 2012 is on bike nutrition. I honestly think that the frozen bottles of the last 3 days made me forget. Either way, the water was in liquid state but didn't prepare me for the next turn back into the wind. The last 20 or so km's I was riding at 15mph. On certain stretches (mapped out on Strava) I was minutes slower than usual. With all that said, I felt great. When I did finally arrive home after 82km I really wanted to do more but its either into the city which is not happening or back out into the headwind. A cup of coffee and left overs from Christmas day seemed a better option.
The Rapha500 continues to get me out the door. Its such a great concept that everyone can do. Most decent level riders cover the distance every week of the year but for an amateur like myself its enough to give me motivation through Christmas week when food, beer, and movies seem more appropriate. It is also getting me in the habit of consistently riding 2.5 hrs or more every day. In order to race Cat.1 in 2012 I'll need this volume and the will power to say NO to the trainer when its freezing outside. Additional motivation in the form of a good beer reward is always positive.
Peace and Love