Yesterday, I cut out of work early to meet a new friend on a ride. He's a Cat. 2 road racer that likes to climb. He's also a med student starting his residincy. So, I figured he'd be someone good to ride with. Furthermore, him new to the area, I thought it would be nice to show him some good local rides.
It was 97 degrees outside. That should have been my first sign of things to come. We met and began the fingers ride. We started with the first climb of 20, and it was nice and cordial. After that, it was game on. Every hill was at a demon's pace and hot like Hades to boot. We did the entire fingers ride then dropped down to the bottom of Tramway and climbed back up. The entire ride was 39 miles with 3,900 feet of elevation gain. Even on the ride back on the flats of Tramway, which is generally the social recovery part of the ride, we were pushing a 53X11. I looked down at my speedometer and we were averaging 27-30 MPH.
I was sure I was just feeling fatigued because of accumulated training/racing throughout the year and he was feeling randy because he hadn't ridden for a awhile, but I looked at my heart rate data and I hit a new high: 201BPM. Previously, my high was 198--during a race sprint. My average HR was 150BPM and the ride was 2:27.
When I got home, I must have drank a gallon of ice water. I went to bed at 9:40PM after making dinner for the family--hamburgers with goat cheese and A1 steak sauce. We generally add bacon too, but Elise used up the bacon for Fathers Day.
This morning I got up at 4:40AM and dashed over to Masters swim #2. This time the workout was much harder and longer. We swam with 4 people in our lane. I swam 3rd person. I do think and hour of swimming is too short though. I stayed after and swam another 1000 yards. There are some tangible benefits to swimming with the masters that will translate well for triathlons: growing comfortable with swimming in close proximity with other swimmers, growing comfortable with turbulant water, and a forced intensity so you don't fall behind. I enjoy it...I just don't like getting up so early! Oh well, it's a function of discipline. I figure my body will get used to it over time. I figure at the end of 5 months, I'll be able to finish my Iron Man swim in 1 hour--or less!