Yes, there really is a nice little town called Black Diamond. The bridge going into town is almost exactly 50 Km from my driveway. And that's where I went today.
It's been a nice week off, and I needed it. By Friday I was getting a bit itchy to get out there, especially since we've had perfect weather the last little while. I've been out in it a bit, at least, trying to get the upper hand on the lawn and flower boxes.
I wasn't sure what to expect today, but I was really eager to get out there. Started easy, almost just riding along, trying to keep the rpm up a bit, pedaling easy and smooth. My left leg is weaker than my right, that was clear right from the start. I got a few twinges from my left calf, and a few from my left thigh, which is sort of unusual.
As you might imagine, I was paying attention to what was going on. I did not want to over do it, but neither did I want to settle back into a life of fading decrepitude. As long as it was periodic twinges, and feeling a bit weak, I was prepared to push on. I was trying to visualize the blood flow through my legs, washing away all the stiffness and soreness, and little muscle foremen waving their batons to get everything firing together. It took over an hour before I felt warmed up and able to pick up the pace a bit.
This route doesn't have any major hills, so I didn't anticipate any leg pounding, lung burning ascents. It's just a nicely paved highway with gently rolling hills winding west, then south and east through the foothills. There's often a very nice view of the mountains. There's nice bike lane almost the entire way, though there's a bridge near Millarville that has horror show storm drain grates. Huge slots lined up with the road. They would swallow mountain bike tires. I think I'll take my camera out there and send a photo to whoever the MLA is for that riding.
The wind was from the SE with some good gusts. Even so, I made it to Black Diamond in just under two hours, with my legs still feeling pretty good. I'd brought along a banana for a mid-ride snack. I'd eaten most of it and was just taking another bite when a big truck passed, and the wind eddies and gusts wupped the banana peel across my face. At least it didn't get under my glasses and into my eyes.
Turned around, and headed home. Now the wind was blowing me along, and I made super time. Plus, I knew I could push a little bit harder.
90 K rolled by in 3:13, and 100 K in 3:33, for an average speed of (tada!) 28.1 Kph.
My heart rate was under control the entire ride. I was trying for zone 2 for most of it, peaking into zone 3 for the last bit coming across 22X into the wind. That was a bit slower.
One thing that was clear even during the ride was how fast it was going by. The whole 3.5 hrs went by in a blur. I was trying to eat a chunk of Clif's bar every 10 minutes, and it seemed like I was always eating. I started with 3 bars, started eating at the 1 hour mark, and should have had 3 or 4 chunks left, but I have 5. I took 2 bottles of energy drink and got through about 1.25 of them. I also had 2 water bottles, and drank only one of them. I could have kept on riding for much longer at that pace or so it seems. It's like the fresh air blew all the cobwebs out of my brain.
To say nothing about the remains of a wonderful meal of Indian food from the Clay Oven on Friday. Shannon, Mel, Susi, Dale, Keith, Linda, and Kelly (Linda's sister) met there, and I made a total pig of myself. I actually didn't sleep that well because I ate too much. It's nice the ride got the last of it out of my system.
Then a 20 minute run, firmly in zone 2. My legs took a bit of doing to settle into it, but still felt pretty good. I could have biked and run further, but I think this is a good start. I've got 3 weeks till my first Tri this year. The bike course is out and back 22X, which I've been riding on a lot. I'm hoping for a big improvement over last year's time.
Stretched a lot after. Had a cold shower on my legs for a while, and that felt nice. I'll stretch more in a bit.
I didn't see many other riders at all, which had me puzzled. It's so beautiful out, warm, but not too hot. My legs feel naturally a bit tired, but not bad at all. What actually hurts is my shoulders. Yesterday, I'd done some mobility exercises to see if I was ready for a swim, and things felt great. Now, after the ride, both of them are sore, especially the motion to bring your arms up in front of your body to over your head. The left more than the right. Now, nothing about my bike setup has changed, and I didn't think I'd changed my positioning THAT radically. All I've been doing is trying to keep my elbows in, and tucked down a little, rather than straight armed. Can it make that much of a difference?
Weekly total. The math is really easy this week.
Bike 3.5 hrs
Run .33 hrs
Total 4 hours (I'm counting a bit of stretching here, just to make the math come out even.)