Monday, June 7, 2010

I’m okay with that

Last week was a great week.  After taking some time off the bike I was back at it.  You know, routinely getting in my core and strength workouts, riding speed intervals or hill repeats on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and planning big weekend rides with friends.  The question was did my recovery week help.  The answer is an emphatic yes!  And, although I don’t have the form I would normally have in June, I’m okay with that.

Yet I feel the need to explain my recovery week one last time.  It dawned on me during my rides this weekend that many of you cyclists out there may be thinking – so you took a week to recover, what’s the big deal?  Normally, you would be right.  Coach Tim always builds recovery weeks into my training every 6 - 8 weeks.  He definitely believes in the power of recovery and what happens if you push too hard for too long.

However, this was not a well place break in a progressive training plan.  It was more of a complete stop and restart.  Now, I have the mental challenge of convincing myself it’s February from a training perspective.  So, how did I do?

On Memorial Day I broke out the single speed to ease back into things.  My group was doing our Goat-to-Goat ride, which is a 35-mile round trip route from the Flying Goat in Santa Rosa to the Flying Goat in Healdsburg and back.  It is always done as a social fun ride but it does get fast at times.  I figured the easiest way to ensure I didn’t get caught in the same mistakes that caused my fatigue in the first place was to not have gears.  Sure enough, at one of the city limit signs the group put down the hammer and attacked from about a mile away.  I simply kept pedaling my one gear and watched them ride away knowing I couldn’t participate even it I wanted to.  And I was okay with that.

On Tuesday, my training focused on endurance while Thursday’s efforts were all about hill repeats.  I did the hill repeats on Pythian Road, which is my new favorite.  It’s just about a mile in length with some decent pitches thrown in for fun.  And the descent is a blast.  I managed to get up it three times, which resulted in climbing just over 1,400 feet in 25 miles.  It felt very good to be out working on a plan again.

Saturday had Coach Tim and I climbing over Sonoma Mountain to meet good friends and then climbing back over the mountain with them.  My legs were actually very tired but it was a good tired.  It was not the general fatigue I had been feeling but more of a “hey, you rode really hard on Thursday” feeling.  Because I was trying to stay within myself, remember it’s February from a training perspective, I was dropped numerous times.  And I was okay with that since it meant I was sticking to my plan.  The cool things was that my friends were okay with that also and simply waited for me.

Another friend and I did an active recovery ride on Sunday.  I was going to break out the single speed again but decided that since our route included some rollers I wanted gears.  That was a good call.  On a few of the rollers I was pushing a 42x27 versus the 42x16 on the single speed.  It was just one of the great rides where you never push the pace and spend most of the time side-by-side chatting up a storm.

How am I feeling?  Great!!!  I feel like I am on track and I know the form will develop quickly.  Coach Tim has me totally planned out through October so all I have to do is follow the plan.  I have already looked at this week’s plan and it looks a lot like last week.  And you know what, I okay with . . . well, you know.


PS.  For anyone riding the 65-mile route at Levi’s Gran Fondo, check out Coach Tim’s special Medio Fondo Training Plan.

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