Running on empty

Posted: May 18, 2011 in 2011, Rides

Tuesday evening in the summer is usually time to race but what with illness having got in the way, yesterday was my first venture back into the world of pain. A short course had been set up – about 2.5 miles a lap – and it was announced that it would be a 7 lapper. Normally this would not be too much of a problem  and even without my ‘race legs’ on, I’d have been able to give a good account of myself. From the minute I started the warm up lap though, it was patently obvious that my legs were bereft of energy; I could spin along quite merrily but ask the engine room for maximum revolutions and I was always going to come up short. Notwithstanding I tagged along at the back, my game plan being to ride as long as I could before either my legs or my back gave out.

Lap one and the slow start flattered me as I was up in the bunch though totally unable to respond to any increase in pace. Exiting the first single track section I needed to get on the power and protect my position, maybe even pick up a place or two. Gear selected I got up out of the saddle and ……….. nothing happened. A quick check to make sure I was actually taking part in the race and I tried again. Once more… nothing. It was at this point that the realisation dawned upon me; I am not 18 any more, I can’t recover from large exertion in 48 hours and I was going to have to take more time to get back to normal.

Plan B then… ride until knackered. This I managed ok, particularly as I was unable to exploit what is usually my strength (long stretches of fire road). I had a bit of fun, caught up the two riders ahead of me and then saw my candle splutter out as leaden legs and an increasing sore back called a sudden halt to my continued participation.

As Rich keeps saying… to be fast enough to race, you have got to race. I am inclined to agree; while my cruising speed is pretty good, I don’t have the pure speed at the moment, because I have not trained for it. This begs the question….do I want it? I’m not sure at the moment; I don’t race any more, it isn’t really what I enjoy doing but i recognise that if I am going to have any chance to rip my mates’ legs off on our normal rides, thenI am going to have to work on this pure speed thing. Note to self – next time, make sure you have recovered from the weekend first!

Ride file here:

Tuesday Race (unfinished) by slowjo61 at Garmin Connect – Details.

Tune of the ride:

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