Tuesday, June 9, 2009

"That's the First Time I've Seen You Suffer a Bit"

Did the Northside hammerfest tonight - 40 miles of all-out, give-me-all-you've-got-if-you-want-to-hold-his-wheel riding. Exquisitely painful.

As we were rolling in on a greenway I'm chatting with a guy who does the Saturday Paceline ride and he says something like, "Yeah, that's the first time I've seen you suffer a bit." I was flattered - maybe I'm stronger than I think, or maybe I am just good at hiding how much pain I'm in.

I went out too hard in the first 10 or 15 miles of the ride, so for the rest of it my attacks and bridging attempts came up short. The longest bridge was a solid mile or two of slight headwind, flat riding trying to solo bridge up to the lead group of about 6 very strong riders. I felt good for most of it, was steadily closing the huuuge gap they had, was using the terrain to my advantage,,,, then I started to get a stitch in my right side. I could feel myself fading fast, the exhaust from the farm truck trailing them wasn't helping. I gave it all I had on a slight downhill, sprinting to try and catch the last wheel. I got about 20 feet away and then they went charging up a short rise, and that was the end of me. HR peaked in the high 180s. Three minutes later when the second chase group went by I felt fine, and was able to jump on and do some more work.

The fact that my HR didn't get above 190 or so the whole ride indicates that I may be sleep deprived - I've noticed before that can really take the edge off my performance.

Later in the ride I was working in a break of 5 (inc. me). HR was in the 150s and 160s, despite the 30 mph speed we were holding. In a small group like this that was continuously rotating, most of the work came in the form of anaerobic spurts about a second long to stay on his wheel. However when the group went up a hill that was steep for the first part, then levelled out, I came unglued pretty quick after the steep section.

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