Rush Limbaugh has his . . . well, here is mine. This is my record of news stories and issues that interest me. You can also find more headlines at the site where I serve as editor: The Common Voice.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Go slow to go fast

This morning I headed over early to meet with Jim Cunningham for a physiological test and bike fit. You can read about the experience over at the blog (published at 8 AM 3/14). I mention it here because it pretty much wore me out... or so I thought.

Heading over to ride over Paris Mountain with some friends, I was apprehensive. With the effort I put in this morning, I figured I would be toast. A personal best up the mountain seemed out of the question.

It was good to connect with some riding buddies I hadn't ridden with in awhile. There was Art! Regardless of how I ended up feeling physically, I knew it was going to be a good ride.

As we neared the base of the mountain we went through a neighborhood with a nice little climb. Ooooo, I could feel the muscles tighten and now I was really wondering what was going to happen. Before long we were ready to turn up the mountain.

As we were nearing the turn, I said to Art and another rider near, "All we have to do is maintain the current speed and we'll break 12 minutes" -- we were spinning along at 11 mph. Then we turned up to start.

It was good for me to start up with a group. It kept me from starting off too fast. By the time we reached the water tower, I was surprised at how I felt. It was tempting to push it a little more. However, I noticed I was riding along at about 10 mph and that seemed good for what I expected.

When I reached the easy turn above the straight, I held back and just stayed under 12 mph. I figured I might end up going fast by going slow. We rolled across the half way point and I was still feeling strong.

At this point, I started to watch my heart rate monitor. It read 178. From what I learned today in my test, I figured I needed to stay under 182 to save myself for the wall.

I kept myself breathing and kept relaxing my shoulders. Art was there with me so I tried to feed off of his presence. Up ahead was Bob who had gone off the front before we started the climb. He had basically maintained the gap since the start.

Bob helped because he gave me a goal to aim for. Then I noticed my heart rate had climbed to 184 bpm. That was the absolute highest I was going to go before the wall. I eased up to keep my speed as much as possible while staying under that threshold.

Wow, the wall was hear and I didn't bonk in that last third like I normally do! I figured I might not get a personal best, but this wasn't going to be a bad climb. Now I just needed to go a few dozen yards.

I shifted down two more rings and stood. I rocked my way up the climb. My heart rate was gliding along at 185 bpm. Then it was time to ease into the left turn that would take me up to the KOM. I pushed even harder and my heart rate shot up to 189 bpm. On the wall I was hitting a peak of 13 mph.

Nice! I rolled across the line in 12.45. Bob, who was up ahead, finished in 12.44. So, he had maintained the gap from the very beginning. At this point, I didn't care. I was just glad to have finished only 6 seconds off of my personal best -- and I really wasn't working that hard. Go slow to go fast.

The rest of the ride was fun because the pressure was off. It was literally all downhill from there. Even thought it was nice to do a good climb, it was even a better ride because of the beautiful weather and the company. I'll trade a good time for that any day.



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