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Monday, December 10, 2007

A failed attempt at a PR

Yesterday afternoon I had about two and a half hours to get in a ride. I last rode on December 1st. Of course, I logged a good number of miles on the trainer, but nothing on the road for eight days.

However, I was feeling pretty good so I decided I would try to go for a personal record up Paris Mountain. According to my Garmin the climb is 2.2 miles. If I were to average 11 mph up the climb, I would beat 12 minutes. That was my goal.

I left from home and went straight down East North Street to Pete Hollis. I then turned onto Old Buncombe Road and followed the normal route out of town. It is hard to hold back when you are feeling good. I knew I needed to save myself for the climb, but it felt so good to be back on the bike!

At the base of the mountain I went in pretty hot. My plan was to build a cushion on my average speed and maybe I could hold my own when the going got rough toward the top. The Garmin was reading 18 mph when I hit the attack line.

During the climb up to the water tower, I was in the big ring and averaging 15 mph. The only problem was that I was kinda' busted. Still, I shifted down and kept pushing. The time on my Garmin showed 5' 53" when I reached the halfway point.

At that point I knew I wouldn't make it. Still, I kept plugging away to see what time I would get. My Garmin screen was set to show me the average speed for the lap with large numbers. The number steadily dropped. By the time I reached the wall it was hovering right around 10 mph.

The last mark before the wall is a speed sign. My time at that point was 11' 53". At that moment I knew the final time was going to be over 13'. It was just a matter of how much.

I eased into the climb and when I reached the first driveway, I shifted about two rings harder and stood up. This is when you find out what you are made of! I felt like stopping about halfway up this portion, but just kept pushing it.

Ah, past the last driveway... follow the curve to the left... here comes the last short climb... where is that "You made it!" line painted on the road? Whew, there it is... push, push, push.

13' 25" was the final time. I wasn't too happy until I started thinking about it. First, it is the off season. I'm not nearly in the shape I was in back when I went under 12' 30". Of course, I also had not ridden in a week. All that together and I shouldn't feel to badly.

What a day to ride. When I started out is was 71 degrees and the temperature only dropped to 68 degrees before I got home. It seemed weird to be out in a short sleeve jersey and short riding shorts in the middle of December. Weird... but nice!

My next attempt at a PR on Paris will be different. I plan to start off easy and average 11 mph even when I feel like I can do more. It will be interesting if slow and steady will win the race. I don't know if I could average 11 mph on the wall. I probably could if that was all I was doing! Still, it will be interesting to see if it would beat 13' 25".



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