Lessons Learned

  • 31.73 mi Distance
  • 2:05:03 Moving Time
  • 2,635 ft Elevation
  • Avg Speed 15.2 mi/hr
  • Max Speed 42.9 mi/hr
  • Avg Heart Rate 151 bpm
  • Max Heart Rate 189 bpm

I don’t quite have enough evidence yet to fully substantiate this with data, but anecdotally I feel like I always have a really good training week after I do a race. This week, for certain, was pretty huge. 

I took the day after the race off, then swam for 18 minutes the next day, which was a longer swim time for me at that point.  Then the next day I ran 4 miles, much farther than I had been doing on most of my other runs.  I hadn’t run that far in about 9 weeks.  When I finished, I felt like it wasn’t enough.  

The next day I still felt fired up, so I went out to tackle a ride I’d been eyeing for a long time, wondering if I’d actually be able to do it with any measure of performance.  It was about 32 miles, and according to Strava included 3 category 4 climbs and one category 3 climb.  I was feeling really good about my climbing legs, particularly after the second triathlon, so I decided to give it a go.

The biggest climb came early, starting at about mile 4.  I cranked my way up, feeling the heat and sun but not getting beaten down by it.  I wasn’t going fast but I wasn’t slowing down, either.

I was grinding it out about a mile from the summit when I realized that I was in my middle ring on the front, despite thinking for a long time at that point that I was in my small ring.  That was frustrating.  I could have been spinning a lot easier and using a lot less energy for nearly the same speed, had I only been paying attention to my riding. On the other hand, it was also a relief.  I had gears I didn’t know I still had, and the rest of the climb was made significantly easier.

The extra effort I put in by grinding the bigger gears ended up taking a lot out of me. When I got to the final set of climbs near the end of the ride, I was pretty pooped.  I wasn’t down for the count, though, and finished out the ride feeling pretty good about it overall.

There’s nothing quite like a good climb to teach you some lessons.

It was a day to learn a lesson about mental focus, and also a day to learn about my own capabilities on a climb.  I really hadn’t had a lot of confidence I could do the climb at all; as it turned out, I could do it with more effort than was even necessary.