Although there was some horrible weather in Mississippi over the weekend, the southern part of the state was spared tragedy. I flip flopped on what to do with the inclement weather. I wanted to do a group bike ride but that was not going to happen. I then decided that I had better get a run before the rains set in – I changed into my running clothes and walked out side. I was met with dark skies and drizzle. The hard rains soon followed.
Anyway, back on the trainer I had another great workout. This time it was a tempo workout above and beyond anything I had done before (on the trainer). I was feeling strong. A little later in the day I caught word of a group ride for the afternoon.
I jumped on this ride and it was all hard intervals. It was impromptu but we started doing ½ miles ON (ALL OUT) and then ½ miles recovery (VERY EASY RIDING). I am not sure how many repetitions we did but we were spent by the time we completed the 25 mile ride. We decided to meet up again the following morning at 6:30AM.
On the morning ride, moderation was the name of the game. However, that was buried immediately. We started out fast and everyone could feel the prior day’s ride in their legs but that did not stop us. The previous day we noted that the recovery was lasting longer than the working set. It simply takes less time to ride a ½ mile fast then it does slow. So we upped the ante and did a mismatch of 2 on / 2 off and 1 on / 1 off. These were grueling. Two minutes was a little too long of recovery and one minute was not quite long enough. At the turn around point we formed a pace line and did one minute pulls each. This was just about right with the workload / recovery. You killed it for your one minute and had to hang on for the two or three minutes of hard recovery. We finished the 25 mile ride and slipped our running shoes on for fast hard brick.
We all started out quick – maybe a little too quick. Even though we were running on the trace there is a slight elevation change. We picked “down hill” first. I clicked off the first mile in 6:32 and held on for a 3 mile average of 6:41. Not a bad effort considering the hard riding. It will be interesting what I can do in a sprint / Olympic race this year.
I was home by 8:30 AM and took care of my weekend chores. But the day was just too nice and I joined the afternoon group ride.
This ride is generally an easy to moderate pace outing on the trace. At a minimum it is 30 miles of conversation but it can turn into much more. That is what happened on this day. I always try to prepare for all situations by packing enough nutrition. I threw 2 gels in my back pockets and topped off the sports drink from the morning ride (with water).
I was still feeling strong and time trialed the 5.5 miles to the trail head. I was riding strong. The group ride started slow but quickly gained speed. We (almost everyone in the group) were holding on for dear life by the time we reached Sumrall. This is where the riding got tough. I decided to add a “couple” of more miles. This ended up being 20 miles of high winds and hard hills at a fast pace. In addition, these just happen to be the hottest days of the year.
I took the two gels during the ride but it was simply not enough to sustain the effort that I was putting out. I was bonking. I started to struggle on this ride. Soon there were only three of us riding in the country side of Mississippi. I started to lose pace at about 35 miles into the ride (mile 30 of the group ride since I rode 5 miles to get to the trail head). I was running on fumes. The two strong riders did wait for me a water stops, etc but I was losing steam fast. I was day dreaming of pizza and ice cream for the last hour of the ride. Once we got back on the trace the two other riders dialed up the pace again and I thanked them for the ride. I drifted back to my pace which happened to be a slow crawl.
I rode the last 6 miles home at about 15 miles per hour. My cardio was in check and my legs were not aching. I just did not have any fuel. I was glad to see my street come into view.
Once I arrived at home, all was better. I made a post exercise shake and grilled some chicken on the patio. I would have normally eaten this on a bed of salad greens and spinach but I selected whole wheat buns this time. I wanted some carbs! It was delicious and I ate too much (2 sandwiches). I also had some cookies a little bit later. I started to drift off to sleep while relaxing on the cough and turned in for the night around 8:30.
I was spent. I say this every spring – “These are the best days of the year”.