Riding easy is hard; The Warrior Century Ride is Sunday.
I’m feeling really good on the bike right now, but I also realize that I’m still not fully recovered from the grueling “8 Days in California” (8DC) challenge. It’s been difficult to temper my desire to get back to my usual riding distances and intensity, but I’m forcing myself to do it.
Yesterday I did a short ~50 kilometer ride, and my plan was to keep my average power in the middle of Zone 2 (Endurance)–right around 200 watts. 200 watts is a super easy “all day” power output for me, but not quite as boring as Zone 1 (Recovery). I find the hardest part of Zone 1 and Zone 2 rides is keeping the reins on my inner sled dog.
I completed the ~50 km (31 mile) ride with an average wattage output of 199 watts and an average speed of 31 km/h (19.4 MPH), and I barely felt warmed up. Over and over I’d glance down at my Garmin Edge 810 and find that I was riding well above my target wattage, and I felt like I was just coasting along. The 8DC has clearly made a huge impact on my fitness, and brought about some nice adaptation.
I feel like I’m tapered down and ready to explode, but I want to bring my fatigue metric (see yesterday’s blog) down a bit more. I can’t wait to get out on the open road and really hit it hard.
My plan is to go very easy today, a little harder tomorrow and then do a ~100 kilometer group ride on Saturday. On Saturday’s group ride I’ll do some real tests of my power reserves, and take some nice long pulls.
The annual 100-mile Memorial Day Warrior Ride, benefiting Hope for the Warriors, is on Sunday. I did this century ride last year, and it was one of my favorite rides of 2013. Regrettably, an unavoidable schedule conflict is going to prevent me from participating in this year’s ride. I am super bummed about this, as I have been looking forward to the Warrior Ride all year long. Not only does the Warrior Ride benefit a fantastic organization, but dozens of my friends will be there–including my friends who make up the Ride Across USA team. The Ride Across USA team is leaving on their cross-country journey soon after the Warrior ride, so this was likely my last chance to ride with them before they leave for California. 🙁 If you can make this ride or contribute financially to this wonderful cause, please do so!