Friday, November 28, 2008

Burn that Turkey

By the numbers:
Distance: 53.6 miles
Average speed: 19.1 mph
Duration: less than 3 hours

This was a fun, but painful ride.  We had a really strong group for the 50 mile ride: several Masters racers, and a couple cat 2 riders, among a generally very strong bunch.  The weather was beautiful, high 50s with a sub-10 mph headwind and a little cloud cover.  This time of year, it doesn't get much better than that.

We rolled out a little late, taking is easy as everyone got warmed up and got stratified according to their speed and distance.  About 4 miles in, after we had gotten rid of most of the slow folks and the shorter distance riders, one of the Masters racers puts the hammer down for a few miles.  Being the idiot I am, I was right on his wheel chasing him up a hill, thinking he was going to let up at the top. 

As it turns out that was his way of getting the pace elevated: for the 3 miles he went hard, we spent the next 10 or so absolutely flying along at 23+ most of the time, in a double paceline.  After a little break for a few miles the pace climbed again, and I got my first pace of a rotating double paceline - there are several subtleties that no one mentions on the internet, and it was hard to keep going in a group that had not trained or ridden together before - gaps would develop, and people didn't rotate back onto the pulling line.  

Anyway, I managed to hang on to mile 30, when I realized the pace wasn't going to slow down again.  At about this point I ran out of gas, figuratively speaking.  I had food with me, but I couldn't get it down fast enough and ride at 25 mph at the same time.... something to practice I guess.  Me and two other guys who had also gotten dropped stuck together and made it in, at a much slower pace than the main group.  

By mile 35 I was in bad shape: my butt was really not thrilled with several high-mileage successive days on the bike, and was letting me know in no uncertain terms.  My 200+ mile week was also catching up with me - my legs felt dead, making it up hills was difficult.  Somehow though, we made it back.  

So I'm taking the next 2 days completely off.  This week (the past 7 days), I've done 210 miles, which is the most I have every done in a week.  Since I essentially went from 20 mile weeks to a 200 mile week, there is a pretty high risk of overtraining.  So... no bike for a few days, to give my butt (and the rest of me) a chance to recover.  Over-extending yourself is a valid training technique, but you need time to recover and repair afterwards.

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