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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Ouch! My toes!

I got my CycleOps fixed on Tuesday. I didn't get to use it though because of late evening meeting that had me ready to hit the sack. I didn't use it again today because I was able to ride my bike!

The plan to was to repeat the ill fated attempt to do a Paris Mountain over and back. When I tried that last week, I had two flats on the way up the mountain. Thankfully, I went right past that spot this time without a problem.

I was dressed for temperatures in the mid to high 40s. My arms were a little cool beneath my long sleeve jersey as I started out. I knew as soon as I warmed up that wouldn't be a problem. By the time I was climbing Piney Mountain Road, I was plenty warm.

The goal was to complete what I had hoped to do last time - go over the mountain in my big ring and then come up the other side focusing on my heart rate. The climb from the State Park side of the mountain was uneventful. A couple of times early I hit a heart rate of 185 bpm, but I was able to quickly bring that down.

Once I got over I ate a Clif Bar and then started up. The time covered when I left my house to the KOM was 34'30". I took it easy coming down the Furman side because there was still snow and some of it was melting and spreading water on the asphalt. Things were cold up there and I sure didn't want to hit a patch of ice!

I had come this far in my big ring, so I thought I would try coming up this side that way. My goal was not to push it and ride until my heart rate hit 180 bpm. At that point I would shift to an easier gear.

I started up at an easy 7 mph or so. Once I got past the water tower, I actually picked up some speed. When I reached the halfway point, I was surprised how well I felt. I knew it would start hurting soon, so I didn't get too elated!

Still, I stayed in the big ring and actually started to push it so that my heart rate would go up! I was tired of the big ring and wanted to down shift. At one point I rode for what seemed like eternity with my HR at 179 bpm. Finally, it hit 180 bpm right as I came into sight of the 15 mph sign near the wall.

From there I didn't push it too hard and ended up coming over the line in 14'14". I felt pretty good about that. Had I used proper gearing and pushed it a bit, I have no doubt that even in the cold I could have gotten at 13'30".

Speaking of cold. It was cold! When I got home it was 41 degrees. I'm sure it was at least 4 degrees less up 1000 feet higher. The worse thing of all was the ride down to State Park Road. The wind made it seem even colder.

I didn't have shoe covers and I was wearing some cool weather gloves. The only thing I could feel about my toes was a dull ache. As I attempted to get my shoes back in the pedals when the light changed, I couldn't feel if I had them properly lined up. My feet slipped off a couple of times before I got them secure.

By the time I got home I limped in with sore toes and fingers. It took a while before they felt comfortable again. Still, cold or no cold, it felt so good to actually ride my bike.



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