June 8, 2008

Small Rewards

I may never ever enjoy getting up at 6:30 on Sunday mornings, but I was thankful to have the early start today. When I started my ride up to Central Park at 7:30, it was already in the mid-80s and the sun was blazing. Today's group training was to focus on intensity with a time trial. We got started right away with a five-mile warm up, which is a loop of the park minus Harlem Hill, then reconvened to check in for our time trial, which would be two full loops (loop = 6.02 miles).

When I last rode in the park, I was averaging 22.5 minutes for every loop, which was pretty good particularly since it was my second ride of the season. But today I wanted to ride faster so I pushed a little harder. The park was crowded with all the usual obstacles I've written about before, and to make matters more challenging, the entire East side was barricaded for the Puerto Rican Day Parade so it narrowed the recreation area significantly. So I played it safe when needed and pushed as hard as I could when the conditions allowed it. I felt like I was riding very strong and despite my legs being sore when I woke up this morning, they were doing well.

I made my first lap in 20:13. I was trying really hard to hit 20 minutes, but this was close enough. There was no stopping in between so I kept going and continued to keep up the pace. I actually thought I was pushing harder and perhaps going faster on this loop and was excited that I might break 40 minutes, but ended up finishing in 40:33 - good enough! This is significantly better than where I was a few weeks ago and it can only get better from here.

I did another loop at a slower pace and called it a day. I rode home and immediately began planning my small reward for the effort - another trip to the Big Apple BBQ Festival. It pays to have a hard workout the morning of the festival. I was able to double up at Big Bob Gibson's relatively guilt free. I think I need to skip meat for about a week though.

Tomorrow will be a rest day. Because I increased my running this week, my legs are feeling really fatigued and I don't want to risk a foot relapse. The tightness and pain have pretty much subsided and I'm hoping to keep it that way as I gradually build my mileage. Sleeping an hour later will be another small reward, one I'm very much looking forward to.

Sport - Biking (time trial)
Distance - 12.04 mile time trial; 32 miles total
Time - 40:33 time trial; 2:08:46 total

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