Negative is Positive
Today I decided to ride my bike again at Flatwoods. I probably should've gone to ride the bridges today, but to be honest, I didn't want to deal with a lot of people and cars seeing how it's Spring Break season. So I decided to repeat last weeks training ride of 49 miles with some minute changes.
Last week, I tried to be The King of Flatwoods and pass everybody. Just go all out like I was riding in the Olympics or something. Lol
This week, I wanted to ride as if I was in an actual triathlon, which meant I'd have to get off the bike and run soon as I finished.
I didn't run today, but I wanted to ride as if I did. What that meant was to hold back a little bit. Don't use all my energy on the bike. Ride at a good pace, but have enough fuel in the tank to run also.
Riding like this is hard for me because of my competitive nature. That means if someone passes me, I can't try keep up with them if they are riding above my race pace.
So, I have to let that 60 year old man who just passed me on mile 40 of the bike vanish in the distance. Even though I probably could catch his old a**, I have to let him go! (yes, that really has happened MANY times in races and in training. Lol)
My only consolation is I can do the same thing to some 20 year olds that gets done to me by the 60 year olds... Lol
I also wanted to work on a "Negative Split" today. That meant ride the last 24.5 miles of the ride faster than the 1st 24.5. Hence the term Negative Split.
I have never been good at doing this on the bike because I always start out too fast. Most of the time, I'm lagging behind after a swim, so I try make up for lost time on the bike. I eventually over do it and suffer on the run. If I would stick with the original plan, I might have better race times, but again, it's really hard to sit back and watch a 60 year old pass you on the bike! Lol
So I gave it a shot today. Lol
Last weeks epic ride is a distant memory, because no more than 5 minutes into the ride, this guy passed me faster than I have ever been passed in my LIFE! I have never seen anyone ride as fast as this guy in person. He was on a very expensive bike (about $3 grand,) down on his aerobars, had on a $300 bike helmet and a wearing a 1 piece skin suit. He was doing a pure time trial as if he were in the Tour De France.
10 minutes later, 2 people riding together passed me. I coulda kept up with them, but didn't even try. I kept at my own pace.
I must say, I was still going pretty fast. I knew I wasn't going as fast as last week, but I wasn't out there on a leisurly ride either. I still passed some folks. Not as many as last week, but still was having a good ride.
There was a slight headwind, so I stayed down on the aerobars and kept my cadence high. Riding into the wind can be tough, but the key is to be as small and aerodynmic as possible.
The fastest cars (Corvettes, Porsche, Lamborghini, etc.) are sleek and low to the ground. They don't have any rough edges or anything that would create drag or wind resistance. It's the same when riding a bike: head down, leaning forward, back parallel to the ground. This way you are riding thru the wind, not into the wind.
I stayed down in the aero position for the majority if the first 3 laps and finished in 67 minutes. Last week I completed the 21 miles in 65 minutes. Not bad! That's only seconds less per mile.
After these 3 laps I stopped my stopwatch and took a quick 5 minute break to change out my water bottles and get more Clif Bars. I start my ride again and on the 4th lap that same guy who passed me earlier passed me AGAIN! He was still going as fast, in the same aero position. If I hadn't stopped he still woulda passed me. He was having an incredible ride!
The next 3 laps were uneventful. I wanted to ride a little faster than the 1st 3 laps, but it felt like I was going the same pace as before. Turns out I was going just a tad slower: I completed the next 21 miles in 69 minutes, 2 minutes slower than the 1st 3 laps. Again that ain't bad. All the while, I kept asking myself could I run if I had to, and if I didn't think I could, I'd slow it down a bit.
I decided to shut it down and rode the last lap at a leisurly pace to stretch my back and rest my legs. I do that in an actual race also so I can get loose and mentally prepared to run.
Counting the last lap, I rode all 49 miles in 2 hours 40 minutes. I'm happy with this ride today. I rode at a pace I was comfortable with, and even though I was tired, I know I could've run when I got off the bike.
But what I really wanted to do after my ride was relax! Lol By the time I was done, the park was almost deserted:
Not only was it empty, it was VERY quiet. All you could hear was the wind rustling thru the trees, birds and crickets.
After putting my bike on the roof rack I took a 20 minute walk and found a chill spot to eat my apple and do my stretches.
Sometimes, a person just needs to get away, and this was the perfect place to do it. It felt like I was the only person in the park and I was fine with that. Lol
For the next 30 minutes I totally relaxed. No cell phone, no thoughts about work, or anything about the outside world, just relaxing and thinking about absolutely nothing! Lol
I left Flatwoods today feeling calm, cool, and collected. In addition to the physical training, places like this help me mentally as well by remembering that there's more to life than bills, issues at work, and sweating issues that you can't control!
Tonight the wife and I went out for pizza at one of my fav places here in Tampa: Old Chicago. It's Chicago style deep dish pizza.
They even have a mural on the wall of the Chicago skyline:
All in all, I had a good day. A great training ride and I cleared my mind of all the useless clutter from the week. My knee feels fine and so does my shoulder. I think resting these extra days has helped me.
Next week I'll relax till Wednesday and do a light swim. Thursday I'll run outside and Saturday I'll ride again. All in all I think my training is coming along. Just gotta put the finishing touches on it now because the race is coming up fast!
Thanks for reading! Till next time, peace!