I rode today – a Z2 easy 3 hour team ride with the ZteaM… team. Except being Christmas week and something around 40 degrees (it’s ok cause it’s sunny) no one else showed up. So since I always bring an iPod in case I get lonely or bored on a team ride – I figured we’d be off together. Then I caught up with Alison Starnes who I sort of knew from some physio testing I’ve done at her employer Endurance Performance Training Center. I knew she was a good ride because about a week ago I saw her name in Cyclingnews and read that she had moved into the pro ranks with Team Tibco. Her ride was easy, my ride was easy and we both were headed in the same general area Pt Reyes. Except her easy and my easy are not the same. I always remember that when you’re a triathlete riding with a roadie and you hit a hill – running does NOT help you ride hills.
It makes it sort of suck.
My max watts were supposed to be 300, until we hit the climb – then it looked down and saw 358w. I cried mercy and she agreed to ride easy-er. Then Tom from the ZteaM showed up and she sped up. I think my HR hit 172. But I wasn’t going to get gapped by a girl, not even one under 25, or one who is SUPER talented and competitive. But I did. And she chatted the whole time. She could offer 32 words for every one of my 2 – mostly ‘yeah yeah’. Tom I think may have still been sleeping as he just spanked me too.
As we left southern Marin, it got cold and signs for ice were out. Alison wore bike gloves, no fingers. Hers were red but she didn’t want one of the two pair I had on – I asked at least 3 times. It then got to 34 degrees. She never complained – she’s probably of Belgian decent. If I ever hear ANYONE complain on a ride about being cold….
I left Alison and Tom (really they left me) and began the 1.5 hour slink back to my home - because they were doing 3.5 hours and I REALLY needed to do 3 hours and a 30 min run. I saw another ZteaM guy on the way back but he didn’t look very happy and he was going slow and since I needed to get home – I thought a 275W-300W interval from Nicasio to the top of the hill (I’m guessing it was about 3 miles) would help me get ahead of my desired schedule, or at least on track.
It went fine until I snapped a spoke on my Power Tap rear and there was no amount of opening of the brakes that would help ease the extra work it was going to take to overcome the rubbing. So I just rode home at the same pace I’d normally go –except this wheel wouldn’t even spin around 1x. So that sort of sucked but having Ozzy and my iPod helped me stay motivated and I got home in 2:59:51.
EXCUSE: Last Sunday I ran REALLY hard on my long run and it’s still killing me – I also did this same exact ride but finished 7 mins faster, so I’m probably a bit still whacked from that. I also keep trying out 95 Merlots as a recovery drink and it’s really not working. Thank goodness for Jan 1.
But Alison still is a genetic freak and will be doing some amazing things in her career in cycling. I do appreciate NOT having to race against her and my ride only made me a little bit better – so thanks Alison!
ANALYST GEEK OUT AHEAD:
Here’s a part of my ride – you’ll see the out and back – I’m getting spanking around 12 miles (the green is elevation) and 16 – but thank goodness I’m the one doing the spanking around mile 35 and 39 (red line is Heart Rate). The 2nd graph is the same exact ride I did back in July without using a Power Tap.
I rode almost 1 mph slower then – but with all of the coasting I did using HR as my target, my HR was 140 vs 150 avg (150 bpm was my HR today – my max is over 200bpm – so lots of extra work in the future on the top end).