Yesterday, instead of going to the group handling training I normally do, I opted for a longer ride because I need the mileage. In hindsight I probably should have just did the handling training because my ride sucked.

I started off OK and wanted to ride something a little bit faster than my planned century pace of 15 mph. I targeted an average of 16 mph for the ride. Once I got down off the trail and on the loop around White Rock Lake the wind was blowing pretty good with gusts to 20 mph. I was still able to maintain a good speed but was frequently below 15 mph.

About half-way through this first loop I really started to labor. I want to think it was the heat but it could be several issues.

  1. I wonder if I wasn’t hydrated enough. I’m bad about not drinking enough water throughout the day and I think this, combined with the heat yesterday, caused part of the problem. I carried a bottle of water and a bottle of gatorade with me but it didn’t seem to help.
  2. I may not have gotten enough food. I had a small romaine salad with a can of tuna and a few mushrooms for lunch. That was it. No dressing or anything. I also had some wheat pretzels in the afternoon but I basically didn’t have anything to eat several hours before my ride. That, combined with the heat, was probably a recipe for disaster.
  3. Carrying eight 10 pound bags of potatos while riding isn’t helping. Think about that statement. The next time you’re in the grocery store find a 10 pound bag of potatos and feel how heavy it is. I’m carrying eight of those in extra body weight/fat around while I’m riding. That hasn’t got to help me at all except on the downhill sections where I can really build up some momentum. I’m very surprised that I don’t have knee problems due to me carrying all that extra weight around for years.

So, needless to say, I was totally obliterated after that first loop. There was no way I could make another trip around. I say that but I probably could have but at a much slower pace. As it was my pace was terrible at a paltry 14.1 mph avg speed. That was even slower than my 18 miles on Sunday evening where I intentionally rode slower than my century pace at a 14.5 mph avg speed.

I consider those numbers (avg speed and overweight 80 pounds) quite appalling actually. A guy my age shouldn’t be in this bad of shape. In comparison I have an acquaintance (we actually attended Sunday School together in Jacksonville…we’ve never actually met…only talked via online conversations) that I believe is one year older than me. He recently set a personal record in the 5K at 19:49 and did this after breaking an elbow only a few months ago. Amazing. He tweets about the training he’s doing quite a bit and you can follow him @metamarshall.

What am I saying? Several things actually:

  • I believe I’ve taken my cycling and eating seriously but I need to learn how to fine tune it and make it compliment my training. I need a plan for my nutrition, cycling and training. It actually sounds kind of weird to say that I’m in training but I think that’s the mindset I should have.
  • Yes, I’m overweight but I’m working on it. At some point I hope to not be carrying any extra potato bags around. I have a long way to go. It won’t happen overnight.
  • I may delay starting my evening ride until 7 to allow the heat to dissipate a little. It seems when I finish my rides (7:30-8:00) that it’s actually quite nice out.
  • You can accomplish great things if you apply yourself and have the support to do it.

I did have a bright spot this morning after that terrible ride last night. It looks like I may have lost another belt hole. I’d been flirting with it for a week or so but it still felt a little tight when I put my belt on. This morning the belt went on to the next hole with no problems. That means I’ve only got one more hole on this belt and it’s time to pull a smaller one out of the closet.

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