Last Saturday I went riding with my friend, Motorpace... I warned him that I would be slow, but neither of us knew how slow I would actually be. It was bad. So bad that he (nicely) suggested that maybe I turn around early rather than riding the full distance we had planned.
I was wearing my heart rate monitor and saw that when my HR hit 155+, my legs would just absolutely SCREAM at me and essentially stop functioning. This was weird b/c normally my threshold is closer to 175 on the bike. Regardless, last week I turned around early and poked home at a heart rate of 145, which is, um, zone 1. It was the very best I could do.
I assumed it would be at least a month before I would be back and riding with the group. That was sad to me because half the reason I love riding my bike is because I love the people I get to ride with. It's like playtime on two wheels around here when we're all fit and training. So having to do a bunch of boring riding on my own for a month wasn't really all that exciting to me.
Mike was pretty encouraging all week though and telling me that the pace wasn't going to be fast (yeah right- they say that every week and it's never true- I know better than that)... but somehow I ended up giving in and agreeing to show up at the group ride this morning. I figured that my swim was coming back so physiologically I must be getting better, so maybe I could hang for a little while at least with the gang, and I prepared myself to drop right off the back as soon as the pace was out of reach for me.
The short of it is that I saw a major improvement this week! I was Light Years... I mean light years ahead of last week! And my heart rate was so much more 'normal' for me... riding home I was chatting away with Mike and looked down to see my HR in the 158-160 range... that is much more normal. I did hang on for one interval where I was working at 170ish... I made a decision to drop off after about 5 minutes of that b/c I knew they weren't going to slow down until we got to the turn-around and I just didn't feel the need to push myself into any red zones today. It was a smart move on my part because I was strong all the way home and never in danger of having to drop off.
So 56 beautiful miles today... most of it pretty cruisy... but ride time of 2:57 was not too shabby... I got home and had a little Welcome Back party for my legs while drinking my Ultragen. What a freakin' relief.