Thursday, April 5, 2012

What a difference your Heart can make!

This past weekend I had a 5 hour brick which was made up by a 1 hour swim at a steady pace followed by a bike ride. I had a new seat put on my TT bike and had an updated fit to help me on the longer distance rides. My goal for the bike was to see if I could ride and manage my HR better as the terrain and time extended. I wanted to go back to the Harvest Moon course since it killed me on the last leg of the ride this past fall. I remember how I felt that day and how I hoped I would feel at the same spot riding a lot smarter today.
I was riding alone and so I took it really easy out to where I would start my effort. The wind as predicted was pretty bad (I hate it when the weather men are right) blowing north. I was riding east feeling the effects of the wind and knowing that my first turn was a left turn so the wind would be at my back. I prepared for an even bigger battle on the second half of the course with it being mostly up hill and now with a direct head wind. The left turn on Watkins road came pretty fast and as I was making a small climb I was shifting to harder gears because the wind was pushing me up the hill. For the next 10 mile I was pushing my 11 cog as best as I could and still maxing out several times because of the downhill section and the tail wind.
The sun was on my right shoulder and as I would look left I could see my shadow and was able to watch my legs moving like pistons. It was a very cool feeling to be moving as fast as I was, seeing my body position as smooth as it looked while my legs were driving up and down. I watch the pro's do this all the time and for the first time I felt like they did. Only difference is I had a 20 mile wind at my back and I was going down hill. This fun leg of the ride ended way too quickly and I made a right turn onto Colfax road where I would ride for the next 15 miles.
The fun was over because the wind had moved from my back to my side and I had to work hard to keep the bike going straight. This section of the ride was again downhill with only a few little rollers to allow you to stand up and stretch. I felt good on this section keeping my effort and HR right where I wanted it the whole time. I fueled up again in Bennett and was soon back on my bike ready to make the right turn into the wind and the climbing that would be the next 25 miles of my day.
I decided that I would take the speed data off my Garmin and stay focused on HR for the next section. It was as bad a I was thinking it would be so I settled in and tried to keep my legs moving and my HR down. Every time I allowed my mind to drift I would come back and I would be way over my desired HR Max for the day. I ended up turning on a HR alarm when I exceed 150BPM's and that would help me know when I was not paying attention. I was alone out on this section with no cars passing me and no one out working. No one really wanted to be out in this wind on the Eastern plains. I made it to the right turn back onto Quincy road where I had 2 big climbs left. I moved to my lowest gear for the first time of the day and kept slowing down to keep my HR below the alarm. I was now on my bike for over 3 hours which was my longest ride of the year. I had to laugh as I felt I would be faster walking some of the sections of this long drawn out climb. The top came and so did the next one with the same smile wondering if I could walk the hill faster.
I started to go down hill a bit towards home and I was very pleased with my results. Nothing else mattered this day except that I was able to control my HR and keep it under 150BPM's on this ride. I was eager to look at the results but that would come a little later since I was rushing home to make it on time to Josh's birthday party.
Josh turned 9 today and had a blast at the Gym where we had his party. We then ran to Webelos next and by the time I was able to stop and relax it was nearly 5pm. This was the biggest sign that the type of training I am doing will net me the endurance to keep going all day.
Later that night I loaded my data onto Garmin and took a look. I smiled when I saw that I had a HR average of 146 for the day. My speed was only 1 MPH less than when I raced the Harvest Moon course and died last fall. I am very excited with my training and look forward to REV3 70.3 Knoxville in a 6 weeks. Of the 3 70.3's I have done I have never ran across the finish line and at Harvest Moon I had a 2:58 run errrrr walk to finish that day. I look forward to running off the bike and being in control of my next race.

Thanks for the help Coach Beth,

Love you Anne,


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