Tom and I used to do a "time trial" of sorts on the bike each Tuesday. It's our own thing... nothing official. There is a loop from his mom's house that if done twice, is 21.25 miles. We always thought that it was just a good way to measure our bike fitness. 9 times out of 10, it's windy as hell in 2 of the 4 directions so you struggle for half of the ride and get a nice benefit the other half. I'm not used to going all out, and hadn't done the workout yet this season so it was a good day to do it.
In the past, I think the best I ever did was 1:06:xx. There are 5 stop signs along the route and inevitably someone is coming the opposite direction when you want to make a right hand turn. It happened twice today. Totally an average killer if you ask me! :) In any event, I got geared up and ready. Tom asked if I was going to do a little warm up before I started.
"Nah... I'll just go guns-a-blazin' right from the get go."
Who was I kidding? I started my watch and took off. Within about a quarter of a mile, I thought my heart was going to pound out of my chest. My legs burned so bad. Hum... maybe I should have done the warm up mile or two!
For the first 10.1 miles, there was no one... I was able to make it through the entire loop without stopping for a car which is a huge plus. I felt good once I got my heart rate down. There seemed to be a wind from every direction that I turned. At least that's how it seemed (always seems that way doesn't it?) I could just tell that I never benefited from a tailwind. My guess, it was as calm a day as Ohio's ever seen.
Lap two was a little faster than lap one. Tom had caught up to me so I needed to show him what I had in me. (only to have him say afterward "you really need to learn how to switch gears because you were spinning and you could have been doing much faster". Thanks honey... my legs couldn't take much more). I had the obligatory two car stop this loop. They obviously had the right of way and as soon as they saw me, slowed to a crawl and looked, just long enough for me to have to come to a complete stop and start up again.
I ended up finishing the 21.25 miles in 1:02:50. I was super thrilled with that. It's not the fastest that I've ever raced (I think my max was an Olympic at 21.7) but it shows me that I have improved on the bike so much in the last year. I'm anxious to do it again sometime soon. And maybe by the end of the season I'll see a sub 1 hour.
Off to Hawaii my blogging friends. I'll think of you all as I'm laying on the beach, drinking fun umbrella drinks (or more realistically hiking, running, swimming and enjoying the new forms of fitness for 6 days).