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Well That Depends On Your Definition Of Rest

June 2012

Before I get going, I really, honestly took a day off yesterday – and I hated it. The weather, however, was absolutely nasty, more like November. Rainy, cold and all around sucky.

Looking at the weather report, and the outside the damn window weather report, I wasn’t expecting much out of today either – and then ‘poof’, everything cleared up. I woke up early this morning and had planned on just driving down to the running club and going for a longer run until the rain dried up – by 8 am the roads were already starting to dry off, so I suited up and hit the road.

I had a tailwind at my back for the first mile, then a cross-tailwind for two, into the wind for one then a cross-tailwind for another…and then a long slog into the wind (15-26 mph) for eight long miles. I was not expecting anything special, but ended up with an 18.6 mph average, which I was pretty stinkin’ happy with considering 2/3’s of the ride was absolutely brutal – I just kept low and pushed hard. The remarkable part of this first leg was that my breathing rhythm with my cadence was a mess – it took eight miles for me to get comfortable – it was a very weird ride down to the club.

For my run, I had planned on just doing a 5k for the entire ride down but once at the club I changed my mind and opted for a 5 miler. I ran out easy with my buddy Mark – and let me tell you how nice it was to run with somebody, holy smokes, I had a blast! We talked about some fitness current events and running shoes, the weather and a bunch of other simple topics (I wasn’t exactly going for speed on this one and Mark was on for a 12.5 so he needed to pace himself – our first mile was an 8:47, followed by an 8:37. I turned around at about the 2-1/2 mile point and left Mark to his run – and proceeded to put the hammer down. My third mile was an 8:32, but my fourth went by in 7:48 and my fifth in 7:30 for an overall 8:15 average. Just above where I want to be for the Crim in August – and considering I’d already ridden more than 12 miles and had 18 more to go for the ride home, I was a little more than pleased.

I had some venison chili and some good conversation with my buddies Tim and Glenn and got ready to head home.

I started back with a goal around 19 mph. I figured I’d have a pretty good tailwind for a good portion of the ride but I’d already worked pretty hard so I wasn’t expecting too much, especially considering the first seven would be dead into the wind, so I’d be pretty gassed by the time I got to the tailwind portion of the ride. My first mile, while I got my legs loosened back up, was a miserable 3:41, and it was a little chilly with the wind in my face. Surprisingly, with my head down and legs pumping like there was no tomorrow, I loosened up really quickly and all of my worries evaporated. I chugged through the first eight as best I could and turned North with a cross-tailwind (I was headed North, with the wind WSW) and hit it I was about three minutes behind a 20 mph pace, so I maintained my hope for 19. I managed to hold a pretty steady 23-24 mph, still fighting a crosswind a bit, and managed to hold 18-20 up some pretty ugly hills. I made sure to stick with my plan to attack the hills as hard as I could going up, then soft pedaling a bit on the way down to let gravity help me out – also concentrating on trying to recover as quickly as possible on the advice of Michael Fioretti in a comment on my post about strategically getting dropped in a group ride the other day (he recommended “Microburst” training, which I’ll be implementing in the coming week).

Rolling past mile 14, I was only a minute and change short of a 20 mph pace and I was really looking forward to heading West with more of a tailwind and a little less “cross”… I made the turn and immediately got buffeted by the “S” part of the WSW wind – no rest for the wicked. I’d worked pretty hard on the almost 8 mile stretch heading North (and on the run, and the ride down) so I was feeling a little more than pooped out, but I kept checking the clock – I was still catching up on 20… I gunned it as hard as I could over the next two miles and managed a 2:47 and a 2:52 and was just about out of gas when I remembered a post I’d written about not giving up 5 minutes before the miracle a while back dug deep – I ticked off the last mile in 2:42 and crossed my driveway, exactly at 18 miles, in 54:35… 19.8 mph average.

So yeah, I took yesterday off, but I more than made up for it today… 35 miles of joy. I finished with a smile on my face – it just doesn’t get any better than that (well maybe it would were it ten degrees warmer with a gentle breeze, but I’m not all that picky – and it was sure better than rain and another day off).

UPDATE: Michael wrote in to provide link to his other post on Microbusts… Be sure to check that put in the comments section if you’re interested.


  1. Here’s another post of mine on Microbursts, one that I wrote after I got a power meter. Check it out here:

    Enjoy implementing that one…it’s intense!

  2. i’ve had to take a few days off this week due to injury and it’s friggin’ killing me. I hate it. sounds like your rest day paid dividends though. you got in a “sandwich brick!”

    • bgddyjim says:

      It did, though I really wanted to ride on Friday… The day off really allowed me to enjoy the harder workout yesterday a lot more than I would have otherwise.

      Sorry to read that you’re hurt though, get well soon.

      • I’ll be fine. Decent fall on wednesday morning. But walked away in one piece. All hail the helmet. I had to bail on a race today tho because of a swollen left hand and right knee issues. don’t want to be out for the rest of the season so taking care of myself now.

      • bgddyjim says:

        Glad you’re ok – heal quick.

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