Chuck and I rolled out last evening to a phenomenal evening that’s supposed to be the beginning of a great stretch of weather. We’ve been battling gloomy and rainy over the last week or more and we finally saw some sunshine yesterday. I was perfectly dressed for the low 50’s and an easy jaunt around the block. Heading north was fast, I was over 20 before I knew it. I turned east for Chuck’s house and that was fast, too. Southwest wind. It was going to be an interesting night. Fortunately, we fit a lot of miles (23 or more) in a small 6 mile by 4 mile rectangle for our normal loop so we were never more than a couple miles of headwind at a time.
We rolled out slow and easy, picking up the pace as we headed into the wind. I took the first three miles dead into the wind but I wanted some tailwind, too. I took a half-mile of Chuck’s turn. Then he took a turn… and it was on his second mile, into the wind on the smoothest road in our county, at 22-mph – I think that’s what did us in. I took a chunk leaving a subdivision that we normally take fast because of a nice downhill. It was a little tougher with the cross-headwind, but we kept the pace lively. Entering the subdivision for a second time, I kept the pace up a hill with some tailwind help, then flicked off coming to a stop sign.
Chuck took over and hammered it. Then I took another turn and I hammered it. Then the tailwind section and we both took some of that north of 23-mph. Then it was time to come to Jesus. We were staring at two ugly miles into the wind before another cross-tailwind mile. I was still feeling pretty good at that point, so I offered to take the first mile of headwind, too. I had a feeling I was making a mistake. I wasn’t wrong.
Up a slight incline off of Calorie Corner (six fast food restaurants within spitting distance of each other) and I was north of 20. I switched to the drops to cheat the wind a little more, but I was approaching max heart rate. I lasted another half-mile but once I hit 172 on the heart rate, I have to go back for a rest. I was beyond that. Chuck took over for a half-mile, then I took a half, then Chuck again. I caught the tailwind section and took it up to 23 again, but my heart rate maxed out again almost immediately. I was done. I made it a half-mile and told Chuck to roll on without me.
He was only a few hundred yards ahead of me when I turned the corner for home and I slowly ramped the speed up after having caught my breath. I pulled into my driveway just behind him. He was mildly bummed, after that big effort that we were only at a 19.4-mph average but he’d forgotten to take the slow start into account.
Then he said something to the affect of, “Yeah, I figured you wanted to go fast when we went into the subdivision, so I kept the pace up.”
I looked at him slack-jawed. “I didn’t want to go fast. I thought you wanted to go fast.”
Chuck chuckled. “I didn’t want to go fast.”
Yerp. You never know when a real ride’s going to break out. I have to admit, though… my pizza was just a little tastier than usual last night.