Saturday, April 23, 2016

Fair Weather Rider

Somehow in the last few years I've become a fair weather rider. From 2011-2013 I rode through whatever the weather happened to be on the day when I had a scheduled ride. That meant lots of wet and dirty rides. Then starting in 2014 I started to modify my ride days to fit the weather... If one day was going to be ugly but the next day would be nice, I'd swap ride days. I justified it in the name of 'safety'. So ya, I guess there's a bit of merit to that, but at the same time, if you ride in rain a lot, you gain competence and confidence and you get good at it.

Fun Fact: None of the handful of times I've crashed on my bike have been in wet conditions.

Anyway, I finally decided to quit being a pussy. Today it wasn't really raining most of the morning but it did dump rain all night so the roads were really wet. I rode with a few friends and none of us were very happy about the conditions. I was super nervous and didn't want to be in my aero bars and it seemed like there was so much crap on the roads and cars were cutting close to us (and honking at times- ugh- I hate impatient drivers give us a freaking break!) Then I started getting pissy with myself about what a pussy I was being on the wet roads, but really I think I've just avoided wet roads so much recently that I'm not as confident riding on them as I know I can be. So the lack of confidence is my own fault!

In good news, I've genuinely started to embrace the wind. On the way back the wind was stiff and in our faces. My ride partners were lacking some motivation today so we had been riding really easy... I was bored out of my mind pushing 130w for the first few hours and I didn't want to squander the opportunity to ride into the headwind... My thinking was that I'm 6 weeks out from Honu, so I wanted to be applying some stress! 3.5 hours at 130watts isn't really much stress for me right now. So with that thinking I went to the front and started pushing. I did my standard 5x8min on 2min spin recoveries. The headwind was strong so it allowed for my cadence to be low at ~60rpm and I stayed 200-208w for all 5 of them and it didn't feel that hard. Just strong. So it made me happy to salvage the ride given how it started.

Got off the bike and took a quick picture of my legs... My bike looked similar.
Then I headed out to run. I might not like riding in the rain but I do like running in it! Good news too I did the same brick run as 2 weeks ago but this time didn't feel like I was slogging with a HR too high. Today I felt like a machine and completely controlled effort avg ~8:45 pace on a hilly route. It wasn't really the pace I was happy about but more the way it felt... like I was just floating right along and even the steeper uphills that normally get me didn't seem as challenging today. That was huge progress over 2 weeks ago and I had the thought that those Tantalus bricks are doing me good!

Anyway, it was nice to put one together today. I feel like I've been chipping away at this fitness thing and today it felt like it's starting to come together. Much of the rest of the afternoon was spent cleaning my bike.

No comments: