Yes, I’ve been too busy over the past two days to tell you all about my awesome weekend.
Saturday was another round of Weekend World Championships with the Trinity ride. We rolled out at a painfully slow pace into the wind, so I took it upon myself to gather a couple of others to sit at the front and pick it up a little. Instead, the rest of the pack let us roll off the front for a few minutes only to get wiley and chase us down a little ways down the road. From there, the pace was blistering. I normally try to stay in the front half of the pack, but my legs would not oblige. I ended up in the back and getting accordioned around turns.
Then, I ended up dropped, in the wind, a healthy chunk of miles from the regroup point.
It’s been a while since I’ve had a good drop. Once I realized that chasing was futile (I was 10-30 feet off the back for a good few minutes), I slowed a little to eat & drink before putting my head down and finishing off the miles alone. Somewhere along the way fellow Outdoors, Inc. employee Jay caught up to me, and we traded pulls all the way to the store stop.
BTW- a store stop on a 3 hour ride is dumb. I’d rather be dropped all the way home instead of riding my *ss off, stopping for 20 minutes, then going back to riding my *ss off half a mile later. That just sucks. So, in light of that, I rolled up to the parking lot, swapped a bottle from my back pocket, unwrapped a Powerbar, and rolled back out to ride somewhat easy until the group got their isht together and caught back up. Frank and Marta joined me, and the group caught back up just before the turn to hammer up Seed Tick hill. I managed to ride hard and stick with the group for the remainder of the route. I even managed a pretty good sprint at the end.
I’m rather certain that getting dropped was a team effort between a really damn fast pace as well as some creeping fatigue. The previous weeks training volume have been 14.5 hours and 17 hours (respectively), and this week followed suit. I felt better than expected Saturday morning, but, if you’ve been paying attention, last weekend was a tough one- the Spa City 6hr followed up by 4 hours on the Ouachita trail.
In other words, I got dropped, but I came by it honestly. Of course, I took some ribbing from co-workers, but then I explained to them…
So, what do you do on a Sunday to follow up a ride like that? Um, ride 6 hours. Duh. I plotted a route from Cordova through Fisherville, Williston, Somerville, Lambert, Braden, Galloway, Arlington, and back. It ended up being somewhere around 105 miles and took nearly 6 hours (riding at a Z2 pace). I don’t know for sure because my Garmin froze up a few miles from home.
The route included a couple of new (to me) gravel bits including Williams road (between Longtown and Porter just south of Braden) and Walsh Rd, which parallels the RR tracks to connect Hwy 59 and Braden roads, and is closed to thru-traffic because of a sketchy bridge. On either side of the bridge, there are large gravel humps with 4-wheeler tracks over the top of them (I almost ran headlong into kids on 4-wheelers at that spot). If you lack the combination of tires, skill, and crazy it takes to ride your road bike on 4-wheeler trail, I suggest you take Hwy 70 (which parallels Walsh/RRtracks) rather than Walsh. Just watch out for that dumb little dog at the corner of 70 & Beaver Creek. He’ll nibble your ankles.
Once again, I’m having problems with ischial bursitis. Essentially, the bursa under my left seatbone gets inflamed and puts pressure on my sciatic nerve. That makes my left leg and foot hurt/go numb. Standing up periodically throughout the ride doesn’t really help, so after about 4 hours of saddle time, I found myself having to periodically get off of my bike for a minute to relieve the pain/pressure and let feeling return to my foot. Last year, a saddle switch and fit re-evaluation helped a lot. I haven’t changed anything since then, so I’m not sure what route to take this time.
The ride on Sunday polished off a 16 hour training week. If you’re keeping up from earlier in the post, that’s 14.5, 17, and 16. The crazy part is that while it’s getting harder, it’s also getting easier. At first I wanted to lay down on the floor and sleep. I managed to pull myself together and train, but it was a little bit of a fight. I was often in zombie mode. Monday, I was sore. Yesterday, I felt as if nothing had happened, and had a kickass hill sprint workout on my singlespeed- kickass to the point that I’m going to have to move to a harder gear for the next one, because the 32×16 was too easy. Today, other than the fact that I know the bursitis thing is going to hurt like hell, I’m looking forward to a 3 hour Z3 workout. If my body follows its previous pattern, I could feel dead on Friday. As of right now, though, I’m getting pretty stoked at the way I’ve been able to adapt to the rigorous routine. After next week’s taper, Ouachita should be interesting.