And I thought I was doing so good. After the first of the year, I started to diet and exercise (when I could). It was all about eating healthy, and in proper portions. I lost about 15lbs from it, and felt great. Well, somewhere between here and there, I slacked off and gained it back. My fitness level for Sea Otter Classic was sub-par. And now I’m afraid to stand on my scale.
So today I kicked it back into gear. I planned a few healthy meals for the week to get me started, and with all this sunshine I hopped on the road bike to bring my fitness level up.
My road ride was very short, but VERY intense. I have a nice short loop from my house that takes me out through the vineyards on some rolling backroads. There is actually quite a bit of elevation, with a gnarly climb at the beginning, and again (but lesser) at the end. Only 9 miles, about 1000’ of climbing total. My goal today was to average 16mph on the loop.
I started out hard, and hit the first, gnarly climb with the vengeance of a hamburger eating a fat man. My lungs opened up, my abs and back muscles began to twitch, and my legs started to burn. As I crested the climb, I immediately grabbed my large ring and hunkered down on the drop bars. While the rest of my body began to recover from the climb, I kept the pace hard and fast to keep the fire in my legs. I focused on technique to refine my pedal stroke and position, and to help block the pain of my legs out of my mind.
I could feel my body cough out the crud like grandma’s Cutlass being driven for the first time by her grandson. The harder I pushed on the flats, the more I wanted. I would stand and pedal into the beginning of each climb, sit and spin, and then stand and hammer over each crest. On the flats and down hills I was pedaling and crouched on my drop bars. On the way back down the gnarly climb near the end of the ride, I briefly managed a 48 mph top speed, pedaling, legs screaming for mercy.
When I made it to my ‘finish line’, I had managed a 16.2 mph average. I grabbed a large glass of ice water, took a hot shower, and ate a healthy dinner.
I can’t go to sleep because my legs are still burning. Not like the roar of the blazing fire they were during the ride, but the slow, steady, strong heat that comes from the embers.
I can’t wait to do it again tomorrow.