Yesterday I went on a doozy of a ride. CV and I rode long (because we've heard rain is coming! Yikes!), ending up a few minutes shy of 6-hours. I felt dead from the onset and stayed that way the whole way but struggled on, collecting at least 3-hours at a respectable power output.
By the time the two of us got back into town, we were barely moving and swearing under (and over) our breaths at every bump on the road (and there's no shortage of bumps in Santa Barbara County. Chuckie likes to joke that the roads are one big bump. I actually look forward to the cattle guards since they're smoother! We were tired, hungry, cranky and ready to get off the bikes. After a solid 90-minutes of refueling and a short nap, I headed to the track for a 60-minute jaunt on the legs. It was dark and I was slow as a turtle but collected "time on my feet" nonetheless.
Today I woke like a slug. My eyes were puffy and had dark bags under them. Speaking of bags, I was ready to bag the day before it even started! But Chuckie reminded me how hard my friends on Team TBB train. That was my coffee. Train harder than them. After long discussions with the team management, I decided it best to branch out on my own this year. I'll be racing independently under Chuckie's guidance and am back with many of the great sponsors I've had since pre-Team TBB.
At 7:45 this morning I met with Heather and Trevor for a 4,500-yard swim workout of their design, with a mix of paces and steady state work. We then suited up for a planned 4-5 hour ride with time "in zone". This is Chuckie's way of saying, "Expect to hurt". He didn’t know how I would feel so we agreed to just "see what the day brings," which meant if I felt tired, I could expect to hurt that much more!
Though I felt great during the swim I was still hesitant about the follow-up ride, especially after a big breakfast, which only made me feel groggy again. As expected, I felt like crap during the warm-up but kept the effort consistent and strong from there forward, with just one stop the whole ride. I think Heather and Trevor are with me on this one but I hate stopping during our harder rides and it's something Chuckie seems to want to do (and does) more than anyone. He stops to smell flowers, to help snakes or tarantulas across the road, to pick up garbage and to take pictures. Oddly enough he never stops when it's time to pee. Weird.
Before long everything starting clicking for me and I got in no less than 3.5-hours at a solid power output. I was gritting my teeth by the end, even though I was still at a very aerobic heart rate (i.e., well below my lactate threshold). I felt like I was hitting bottom but couldn't help myself when I hit the bottom of Mount Figueroa. I was under strict orders NOT to do any climbing so I turned around after sneaking in just 100-yards of it (though climbing 100 yards on the Fig takes about 8-minutes!). Next time, I'll try to squeeze in 200 yards!). After a nice tailwind spin back to the YMCA, I scarfed some more grub and then headed back to the pool for a short flop to end the day. All I can say about that particular swim was that I didn't drown.
I'm ready for tomorrow. The menu: Run, run, and run.
It's time to fight the war...and training started today. Let's hope the rain waits!