Great MTB ride yesterday; New KOM, fast laps, new 2013 HR MAX.
I feel like the flu is more or less behind me now, and the last remaining signs that I had it are nearly gone. Considering some of the stories I’ve heard from others who have had the flu this season, I feel like I got off pretty light.
Yesterday I returned to the mountain bike trails for the first time in a week, and I had a super fun ride at Mt. Dora on my lunch hour. I rode pretty hard, but did not go all out–at least not for any serious length of time.
I did ride for time a new short, but fun, segment of trail called “Pipeline“. This section of trail is a little more technical than the Mt. Dora Yellow/Blue trails (I’d still categorize it as intermediate “Blue” level) and it concludes with a nice climb. The grade on the second half of that final climb hits 12%-13%, but because it’s a short climb it can be ridden holding nothing back. When I got to the top of the hill my heart rate was 201 BPM, which is a new high for 2013. I also grabbed the KOM. I was happy with my climb performance, but the first half of the segment was not my best riding. I should be able to shave another 5+ seconds off my time with a better start.
As mentioned above, my heart rate hit 201 BPM, which is a new high for 2013. I reset my cardio stats at the beginning of the year, and so my 2013 HR MAX was 196 up until yesterday. You may recall that last year my heart rate hit 202 BPM on a different short, but intense, climb, Sugar Sand Hill at Wekiwa State Park. I hit that 202 BPM after nearly a decade of thinking my HR MAX was 196 BPM. I wasn’t surprised by yesterday’s 201 BPM, however I mostly attribute it to the fact that I’ve lost some fitness over the past few weeks. My heart rate was, overall, higher than normal yesterday.
I also did some loops on the main trail riding fairly hard but, as mentioned above, not with a maximal effort. I turned in pretty consistent times on a couple of those loops: 7m30s, followed immediately by a time of 7m28s. I was pretty happy with that. My best time on The Loop segment is 7m11s, but not too long ago it was 8m22s. I remember last Semptember when I beat 8m22s with a new PR of 7m51s it almost killed me. Interesting how things change: even now, recovering from the flu and not in my best shape, I easily beat my best time from a few months ago multiple times–and I was not even riding as fast as I could.
The point here is it’s amazing what a difference hard, cycling-specific training has made to my riding, and the improvements have come pretty quickly. Can’t wait to see where I am a year from now!