I’ve done a lot of thinking about what I did wrong that got me dropped at my first group ride and I’ve been working on a few things that will ensure that I have an easier time in a week and a half when I go back out.
My first big problem was being on the wrong chain ring. I generally ride in the middle ring when I’m riding up to 24 mph. 39/12 can keep me going at least that fast, it’s comfortable and I have access to more gears – because I’ve got a freakin’ triple, I have to worry about cross-chaining. When that sprint broke out, because I didn’t expect it and therefore wasn’t ready, I couldn’t get to the proper gear and over to the big ring fast enough to keep up. This was an obvious big time rookie mess up. At 20 mph I should have been on the big ring.
My next big problem is that I ride at a pretty steady 20 mph pace. I don’t really have a reason (“didn’t” is now a better word) to get on my horse and start sprinting while I’m rolling down the road all by my lonesome at 20 mph – a pretty decent solo speed sans aero bars. That started changing today. I used a lot more big ring today, except when I had the wind in my face. I also mashed the big ring for 3 solid miles and I waited until the last five miles to do it – when I started tiring out. At the same time, I didn’t want to overdo it for tomorrow as I’ve got a big day planned, but there’s no time like the present to start rectifying the inequity.
I’m stronger than average on a bike, but I’m not strong enough to keep up with the pack when they take off. This isn’t a knock on me, and I’m certainly not going to be crying into a beer this evening over it, but I’ve got some leg power issues to work on. I’ve gotta start working in some mile long sprints.
I need a little more heart. I wrote about my buddy Grateful Jim a while back – on my first ever 10 mile run, he fell down on an icy road at the turn around. He dusted himself off and ran back, five miles, with two broken ribs. I need a little of that fire. I need to get angry and push my awesomely taught butt harder.
I’ve plateaued. I need to face some facts – I’ve plateaued at the worst possible place, at least for me… That place where I’m fast enough to be considered “not slow”, but that’s about all I’ve got – I don’t have a second gear. I’ve gotta start pushing in different ways so I can not only keep up, but so I can hold my own… In other words, I don’t want to just hang on by the skin of my teeth, I wanna run with the big dogs.
Fortunately, none of these items will take a toll in terms of time. I won’t have to put in any more miles than I already am. Fixing them will just require a better effort. Of course, the miles are WAY up this week – I’ve got 98 in before my big Saturday – this will be a record week for me.
Endomondo Challenge Report:
Calories Challenge: 1047 of 15,488
Cycling Challenge: 491 of 10,035
I’ve decided to change a few minor things in my weekly routine. I was out jogging with my buddy Dennis last night when it struck me that my wife would probably be a lot happier running on Thursday nights. First, she doesn’t have the same social program that I’ve enjoyed for the past few years, the kids have really changed how we were able to manage things. In addition, I’ve just gotten too fast for a ten minute mile – I barely broke a sweat last night. I’ll be running immediately after my normal Thursday ride and I figure I’ll bump that up to 4 miles instead of a 5k.
Also, I’m considering changing a few things on my normal Saturday morning workout, but this is more just toying with ideas. I’m just flying by the seat of my pants here and I really don’t know how this will end up, but I’ve been having so much fun on my bike, I just don’t know how much I want to bother with running right now. On the other side of that, I believe that the cross training helps me stay healthier on the bike. Take for instance, last night. I went for a slow 5k jog with Dennis and starting out, my knees were bugging me (both knees ?), but by the time I was done with the first mile they felt lubed and happy. Now it’s been almost two weeks since the last time I ran, so I’m really up in the air with what I want to do. I don’t know, I’m certainly not going to worry about any of this – these are really good problems to have.
The one thing I absolutely do not have to worry about its the weather… The weather channel is calling it “plentiful sunshine” for both today and tomorrow. A little on the nippy side today, at 57, but tomorrow will be 63.
On the agenda will be an 16 or 18 mile easy ride today followed by 30-35 push tomorrow with a 5 mile run in the middle (or possibly I’ll just throw in another 12 mile ride with a buddy at the running club and make it a 42-47 mile ride – I don’t know yet). We’re supposed to be getting showers on Sunday morning followed by sun afterwards so I think I’ll go with a 1-2 mile run with my daughter, who asked me last night if we could start running a few times a week together (YES!), followed by a family recovery ride. Lawn work will fill in the rest of the weekend.