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Saturday, March 15, 2008

A not so powerful Hour of Power

Yesterday I wasn't so thrilled about doing the Hour of Power ride with Sunshine Cycle Shop this morning. I knew there was a chance of rain and I also knew I would be spreading mulch at my in-laws when I got done. Besides, it would give me a chance to sleep in a bit.

I called over to the shop to ask a question and John asked me if I was going to be there. I gave an uncommitted sounding "I'm planning on being there." Well, I ended up dragging myself out of bed and over to the shop. Thankfully, it wasn't raining and the forecast was saying the rain wouldn't get here until 10 PM.

We decided to alter the route and follow the basic direction we did during the Thursday night rides last summer. This would take us along the base of the mountain and then over it back to the shop in a more direct -- but elevated -- route.

On this ride we had about 7 riders. Mike was the only shop guy to join us. It was good to have Trish out. I hadn't ridden with her since she recovered from back surgery. Peter was there as well. It would have been fun to have done the normal route. He always makes the sprints fun.

Some other regulars were there as well including Doug and Web. It was like old times seeing Web take off from the group in the beginning of the ride. The rest of us were pretty much moseying along.

Once we got to the base of the mountain we all agreed that we weren't going to be going for personal bests this morning! About thirty minutes into the ride the rain started and by the time we began our climb, my arm and knee warmers were starting to feel heavy. My feet were squishing around in my shoes.

Peter, who could have really put a hurting on us, hung back to climb with Trish. I didn't realize he was such a gentleman :-) The rest of us weren't that too far ahead. I was easing along up the climb talking with Doug.

I looked down and saw my HR was around 165 bpm. I can't remember the last time I climbed Altamont and was able to carry on a conversation without spitting the words out between breaths!

Finally, we approached the wall. I couldn't help it because I was feeling good and it would be interesting to see how fast I could do that .3 miles when I was relatively fresh. It would be good to know what I could do as I continue to plan my assault on the 12 minute climb.

Earlier a rider not with our group went around Doug and me. Just before reaching the 15 mph sign I started increasing my speed. I hit the start point at about 14 mph. As I came around the first corner at 20 mph. From there my speed started declining.

I dropped to about 10 mph near the final left turn up to the KOM. At that point I ratcheted up my effort to bring the speed back up to 13 mph. From the beginning of the effort until this point my HR climbed from 180 bpm to 187 bpm. As I crossed the line, I pressed the lap button again and looked down. 60 seconds.

Wow. I was feeling better than I normally would at that point in the ride and it took me a solid minute to do that .3 miles -- out of 2.2 miles. I had climbed to this point today in 13 minutes and 40 seconds (total 14 minutes and 40 seconds). That means I would have had to have climbed to that point in 11 minutes and still be fresh to may 12 minutes.

This is going to be tough.

Peter and Trish caught up with us and we headed back to the shop. The first thing I did once we got there was take my shoes off. The next thing I did was grab a cup of coffee. Both felt really good!



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