Sunday, July 5, 2015

A record-smashing 200+mile week

This week:
M : 36.1
T : 30.1 
(group ride, intervals)
W : 50
F : 37
Sa : 27.6 + 3.1 jog
(group women's ride)
Su : 28.6
total bike miles : 209.6 
elevation gain 11,010 ft
total run miles : 3.1

In WV, a 100 mile week generally gets me 9-10,000 ft of elevation gain.  RI is clearly much flatter.  Also much closer to sea level.  The elevation profile of my rides here actually starts at 0 feet.  At home in WV, it starts at 1600 ft. Most of the more significant climbs here are in places where roads lead straight down into the water, so the only real way to practice climbing is to do out & backs on those roads.  I prefer loops, so I didn't do too much climbing this week.  Still, there are a few decent hills spread around the island that I ended up riding a few times.  

I am really impressed by my high mileage this week, and the fact that I was able to take only one day off and still keep going strong.  Riding is just so much easier here without the mountains to slow me down and tire me out.  Don't get me wrong, I love the mountains...but it was nice to be able to enjoy some longer rides this week!  I also enjoyed being able to ride faster.  It is hard for me to keep up with all the sprinters on group rides here, but they are fast because the terrain allows them to be.  If I was in town longer, I could get my sprinting legs and be much closer behind the locals.  As it is, my mountain climbing legs need more than a week to learn how to sprint.  I head back to the mountains sometime this week, and I'm sure I will miss the speed I enjoyed here, but I'm sure I will soon forget about it as I work to improve my climbing muscles.  

Tuesday was interval night for the Ten Speed Spokes group.  I think there is supposed to be an A and B group, but I don't know many people, and the ones I recognized were in what I am assuming was the A group.  I'm not actually sure if there was a B group or not.  They say to ride in the opposite direction of the group until you see them coming, and then turn around and jump on the pace line.  I attempted this, but sadly when I saw them coming, they had already started picking up speed, and by the time I got myself turned around they were already well ahead of me.  I rode as hard as I could, trying to catch up, but the gap was getting wider and wider.  And then my asthma kicked in and I couldn't breathe, so I gave up.  I turned around again, rode for awhile, and then turned again, thinking I had timed it right that they would come up behind me before I got too far, and this time I would be able to jump on.  I misjudged, and ended up having to wander for a good bit before they finally came up behind me.  This time I was able to jump on.  They were slowly picking up the pace.  I held on for awhile, but they kept getting faster and faster and once they got much above 26 mph, my poor legs just couldn't keep up, even riding the draft.  One rider ended up waiting for me, and we took a short cut to rejoin the group during the recovery phase.  I stuck with them through the rest of the recovery, and then once again tried to stick to the pace line through the sprint, but once again found the sprint to be faster than I could maintain, and I fell off again.  By that point, I had ridden about 30 miles, and I knew I was just going to fall off sooner each time, so I called it quits.  

Wednesday I decided it was time for my first 50 miler of the year, so I rode the whole way around Aquidneck Island.  The wind was pretty strong, SSW at 20+ miles an hour, so parts of my ride were rather slow, but it was a good ride.  I also ended up going over a flooded road.  That was a bit scary; the water was sandy, so I couldn't actually see the road, and was deathly afraid that my bike was going to land in a pot hole and pop a tire or dump me.  Luckily I made it through with nothing worse than completely soaked shoes/feet. 

I missed TSS's Thursday hill circuit ride because I was in need of a day off, but I went out on Friday and rode their hill circuit once around just to see what it was like.  It was a pretty good figure eight, with the middle of the eight being one of the tougher longer hills around.  Next time I come up in the summer I will definitely have to show up for the Thursday ride.  

Saturday's women's ride was much like last week's; a few women and a bunch of men as well who joined for various parts of the ride.  We rode a few decent hills, which I powered up pretty well, and was disappointed to learn later that I had ridden them a mere 1 second slower than the record holders.  Surely I could have smashed the records if I had tried just a bit harder...oh well.  

I wasn't expecting much from today's ride, other than to get myself to 200 miles for the week.  My quads were burning from yesterday's jog, so I really wasn't expecting to ride fast.  But once I got into Tiverton, I found speed to be tempting.  There were numerous other cyclists out there, and they gave me something to chase.  Once I started pushing the pace, I figured I may as well keep it up.  I kept my eye on my cadence, trying to keep it hovering around that magic 90 rpms.  I pushed even harder on the slight inclines, and ended up earning myself a few QOMs on Strava.  Not bad for what may be my last ride on this visit.  I expect to take a day or two off from biking, but of course that could change in the blink of an eye...

As for the jog, I had taken another two weeks off of running, not really on purpose, but it happened.  I figured I should run at least once while I was here, because there is the opportunity for running on grass here, and I wanted to see if it would be kinder to my foot. I was a bit worried that the uneven terrain would end up being harder on me, because of all the extra muscles required, but was hoping that the softer impact would be good.  I iced both feet after the run, to cover my bases, and so far so good!  No foot pain during the run, and no foot pain since the run.  

I have photos to add to this post from some of my rides, but they are on my phone.  Reception is not great here, to say the least, and my phone is currently refusing to send the photos to my email...I'll add them when I am able.


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