Sunday, December 02, 2012

Steps

The first week of #NotasFat2013 has started well, with reasonable intake and a healthy dose of daily exercise and movement. On days when I can't ride I took hour-long walks at a good clip to keep the limbs moving. AT some point in the near future I'll drag myself to the gym and get some long-forgotten muscles reacquainted with actual work. Today's ride was a great early step in this entire process of developing fitness, losing unnecessary pounds and eating less (and as that process develops, eating better. (More on that later)

 I've spent many hours in recent years riding bikes, I've decided to make some changes for 2013. The modus operandi these past years has been lots of jra, nature rides, coffee rides, picture rides, but rarely fitness or tempo rides. )I just looked and I've done more 1hr tempo rides than I remember, but very few beyond that hour mark.) It's just easier to roll around at 12mph and not be "put into difficulty". In '13 I would like to ramp up the intensity and effort and actually develop some speed. As I see it, I will be gaining pace while losing weight. Sounds great to me!

Today I hatched a plot to put in 50 miles in the morning, inviting whoever was interested to come along, but to come along agreeing to my own selfish aims. I didn't want to jra. I didn't want to nature ride. I wanted to do a steady distance tempo, one that challenged me. I included two brutish climbs into the mix to keep things interesting. As it were, the weather cooperated and four of us joined on, the usual suspects of course. PJ had to pre-bail due to illness in the family. Amazingly, we left at 8.00 as planned and quickly found that our first couple hours would be directly into a brisk headwind, which we didn't really realize until after a very brisk first 5-mile opening out Eastern Parkway. Once onto Floyd Dave began having some trouble keeping pace on his Fargo. He had roadie-ized it to help generate some tempo but fell off in the headwinds. We saw him as we turned onto 3rd Street, expecting him to meet up as we stopped at Iroquois Park, but that wasn't to be. He had thrown it in for the day; sometimes it's like that. Asher parted ways for church leaving just Timothy and me to fight the headwinds out to Jefferson Hill, where he easily moved in front of me. His summer of brevet training has given him some lasting strength, and I observed that his general spin and souplesse was better too. We dived down onto Knob Creek Rd. and set a good pace- again in the headwind- before meeting Barrallton Hill with its 20%, or was it 40%? It didn't go well. Once at the top we bombed down the backside and made the few miles of tempo into our store stop, where we hid from the wind and ingested chocolate.

 As we left the first raindrops fell and within a few miles we found a steady wet coming down. With temps in the low 60s, fenders, and wool I don't think either of us was uncomfortable, and the tailwind certain improved things even more. The return was mostly a mix of off-and-on rain and tailwinds. I ran out of gas a bit in Iroquois but was able to roll down Southern Parkway with the, again, tailwind. On Eastern I rolled past a stopping Timothy and through the light at Goss giving me a running start for the last climb of the day, the same time at which the heavens opened. Timothy worked his way up to me at the Norris Rd. turn, after which we rolled into Breadworks for a post-ride cup and cookie. It felt great to be a bit tired from good miles, good tempo, good camaraderie, and a general job well done. The 60s in December didn't hurt, nor did the Blueridge, which ran perfectly all day.

 Good stuff.

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