Saturday, July 05, 2008

Long Live Long Rides

Today, I was supposed to do either a group road ride or a group mtb ride, per my guru-esque coach, Brian Grasky. Two problems with this:

1) I would have had to drive to the group ride, a big no-no in my book.....driving to a ride and...
2) my preferred MTB buddy, Tom Obrien, was out of town.

These things coupled with the having to get up at 4:30 to beat the heat and the challenge to somehow out-do Cody Waite's 55,000 ft of climbing in two weeks in preparation for Ogden - Xterra Mountain Championship left me challenged of what ride to do.....not sure why this became so complicated. I rolled out solo from my house on my road bike to find as much climbing as I could. 84 miles and 4:45hrs later, I accumulated exactly 6,000 ft ascentby heading out East of Phoenix passed Canyon Lake and Tortilla Flat. Not bad. The longest sustained climbs of the day were around 4 miles long. I felt like I really had to work for these vertical feet. I would have much rather done a long climb like Mt Lemmon. For whatever reason, because none of the climbs were independently very long, I felt like I had to go harder than a high zone 2/low zone 3 power. Long story short...I went hard and it felt good.

As I neared my house I headed up/down Usery Pass, a popular loop that many locals ride, to find a couple of things:

1) A cycling dude chillin' under a tree who "over did it a little and was cooling off" (it was around 100 degrees by this time; time for me to go home)
2) A 50+ yr old cycling dude who jumped on my wheel up a climb who then pulled around with some decent speed (note to self and others reading....don't try to throw down when you've already shut it down for the day)

Anyway, I opted to hang with this guy who was putting down some pretty serious power. I road side-by-side with him, then resorted to hanging on his wheel...then...he pulled up with a cramp and that was that...the final sign that it was time to go home. After another couple of minutes above threshold on the climb (my motor was going...couldn't turn it off) I, finally, headed for home. Joyous. Just a couple symptoms of heat exhaustion (no more sweat, chills etc) and a couple miles...boom...done deal.

A couple of worthwhile notes on the ride today were that I ate more than normal on the ride, about 250 calories per hour and I drank a lot (stopped everywhere I could to re-fill often). This duh.