Monday, June 29, 2009

Strange Days

Since I ride on Saturday and Sunday, my Monday rides are usually filled with pain and suffering. And it's usually short.
This summer, my weekday rides have been few and far between for I have been working with my brother at "the warehouse."
Yes, the same brother who smoked me on that Wednesday ride; how he does it after work I'll never know. Wait, while I sweat and toil in a hot non-ventilated warehouse, he sits behind his computer in an air conditioned office. Yeah, he still got legs after work.
Well today, I got home and sat my stiff and sore body down. I stared wistfully at my bike. Remember how I said the hardest part was getting out the door?
I usually know in the first mile or two how my ride is going to be. For instance on Saturday, I went out after a four day lay off and felt indestructible.
No gusts of wind could slow me and no potholes could break my cadence. I swear I could smell my tires burning.
Today I went out and knew I was in trouble. Legs were acting all goofy and I couldn't find a good rhythm. As I passed the swaying palm trees, I felt like a boat sailing against the wind. The lactate began to bubble up in my legs.
I made the warm up run trying to gauge the way the wind was blowing; hopefully I'd catch a tailwind one way or the other. I was struggling so bad, it didn't seem to matter.
They say that timing is everything, and today it was.
I hit all the green lights and only had to stop once when crossing against traffic. As I was huffing and a puffing I usually welcome the stops and pauses that come along my route, but today I plodded along at times cursing my good luck.
I noticed it in Lanikai: the wind was blowing slightly opposite than normal if it was blowing at all. Or maybe it was just my imagination.
I came out of Kailua Beach Park and dialed it up. A little.
In hindsight, I think just suspecting you have a tailwind helps.
I was cranking along, thinking about how much further I was going before backing off when I glanced down at the evil computer.
I was making good time. I mean GOOD time.
The last section is a half mile into the wind and back. I dug deep.
And watched the clock.
I hit Tamura's in Aikahi in under an hour. I had never done that before.
Average speed: 14.7 mph.
Now the return run. Into the wind. Here goes nothing.
I chugged along and watched the computer. Oh. My. Goodness.
At twenty miles my average speed was: 15 mph!
This, on what felt like a bad day, on a loop that I usually have a hard time averaging fourteen miles per hour on.
Strange days, indeed.

Today is also officially the retirement day of my old crankset. I also hit two thousand miles today (2000 miles even! Did I say strange?). The old cranks came off and the new cranks went on.
I guess I shouldn't bitch and moan about the old cranks too much; they did take me to a personal best. I won't miss the creaking and a clicking.
Now if I can only keep up with my brother on his Wednesday ride.
Stranger things have happened.

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