The plan called for hills. That means Road to Nepal.
Ran into some buddies at the Stampede breakfast this morning, which nicely made up for the cardboard pancakes. I got there too early, and ended up with the premades, not fresh off the griddle. One of said buddies is trying to talk me into going to Central and South America in December to do some Habitat for Humanity work. Once I found out the job of sitting in the shade with a fruity drink and waving my hands genially while shouting encouragement was taken, I wasn't so eager.
Skipped out of work early to get outside. Wow, it was so nice out! Almost hot by Calgary standards. It was only when I looked at my watch at the bottom of the road and saw 1:03 that I realized just what a good ride I was having. I've done it a bit faster - on a day when the wind was strong out of the north. Going back was much slower that day. Today there wasn't much wind at all. What I really enjoyed was feeling strong going up hills. I'm often in the easiest gear and working hard on some of the hills. Today I was a couple gears up, spinning much better, and going much faster.
Coming back is generally a bit quicker. I lost focus for part of one hill, reverting back to my old form, but then I realized what was happening, and picked it up again. I really worked on being strong over the top and getting back up to speed. The number of times I've ridden this you'd think I'd know to the metre where the top of each hill is, but I don't.
I thought about nutrition and decided to take two bottles of Nuun and a Clif's bar, with a back up gel. That was perfect. I'm really liking the Nuun. I think this is one of the reasons I'm feeling stronger. My body seems to be absorbing the hydration much better now. No water baby (as the famous Missy puts it) or slosh happening. I started today's ride just wanting to be strong going up, but it turned into a really good ride overall. I'm getting more used to the heat.
My watch said 2:01:30 as I passed the house. I admit to pushing a bit harder from 22X to home because I realized I was close to the 2 hour mark. To beat 2 hours a year ago I had to push really really hard the whole way. Today was merely (merely!) a good solid training day, with my average heart rate being 127 over the 2 hours. Rode another 15 minutes doing easy spin for 2.25 hours altogether. If I'd stopped for more nutrition, I could have gone longer, though maybe not down and back as fast. Stretched a little bit, but marched into the shower pretty briskly. There were a ton of bugs out and I think they all stuck to me. The combination of sweat and sunscreen seems to be a pretty good glue.