...And That's Okay!
Another Saturday has rolled around. Time for a ride with the Team. A decent amount of riders showed up at the park today. It's amazing what some above-freezing temps and little chance of rain will do to get cyclists out. I overheard someone say, "They're coming out of the woodwork!".
Debbie and I planned to ride with the team until we couldn't keep up. Then, we would do the route, but do it at our pace.
I've been doing some reading about training plans (I received "Base Building for Cyclists" for Christmas). I also got a heart rate monitor (built in to a Sigma bike computer). What I have read is that going hard all the time will not, in the end, make me faster or more efficient. Yes, I should have started this plan several weeks ago, but, well, I didn't know about it then. What I can do now, is start, not at the beginning because I have been riding, but at the "mid-base" level. That does not mean go all out on Team rides in January. The conundrum is that I enjoy riding with the Team. They are really great people that I enjoy riding with and can learn from. Realistically, though, I can only "socialize" for the first 10 miles or so, then it's just do what I can to keep up.
Debbie and I have been riding regularly. We are not going "slow". We are going at a pace that, for me, keeps my heart rate in a good, train-my-body-to-run-more-efficiently zone. That's not to say that my heart rate doesn't get up there periodically (especially when climbing), but the average is in a good place for training. It also allows me to work on skills such as pedal drills and efficient breathing techniques--things that are hard to do if I'm just trying to keep up.
So, that being said, we stayed with the Team until we were on Case Rd. between 93rd and 113th. As they pulled away, Sergio drifted back to ask if we were going to do our own ride. Basically, we said yes and told him to tell the others not to wait for us. We had a brief moment of trying to catch up, but that didn't last too long.
I got my heart rate back to a reasonable number, and we continued on. On Case Rd past Maytown Rd we came upon Jean and Ron changing a flat on Jean's bike. We stopped and chatted with Jean while Ron worked on the tire. The Team was circling back. We headed on down the road so as not to get too cold. They all caught up to us further down Case. We stayed with them for awhile onto 183rd, but, again, they pulled away. We resisted the urge to try and keep up.
We came into Rochester and worked our way to Independence Rd. We rode Independence to Michigan Hill Rd. As we were grinding our way up Michigan Hill (after I dropped my chain), a handful of riders came screaming back down. The others (I learned from seeing a couple of Strava postings) went down the other side of Michigan and over to Manners, then up and over back to Independence.
Debbie and I came to the bottom of Michigan at Lincoln Creek. We turned left (not toward Manners Hill) and rode back into Centralia through Galvin (a tiny blink-and-miss-it burg). We stayed on Reynolds Ave. over to 507. In Tenino, we stopped for a break at a new little coffee shop/cafe called "Old 99 Coffee". There was a young guy on a bike with rear panniers. He was headed to Portland. I told him good on him for doing a tour to Portland in January. He wished he had warmer gloves.
We had a couple of hot beverages (me hot chocolate--Debbie, coffee) and cinnamon rolls (not so good for the nutrition plan, but certainly tasty!). That little break rejuvenated us so we could finish the last 13 or so miles.
Debbie peeled off at her street and I continued to Rich Rd. and home. My ride was a total of 65.4 miles. My heart rate stayed mostly close to where I wanted it. Although we spent just a short time with the Team, it was okay. We did the ride we needed to do!