Friday, August 21, 2009

Beat Down on the Beatdown

The Thursday Night Beatdown lived up to it's billing. I met up at the Wheel and Sprocket parking lot at about 5:50 after riding the 2.3 miles from my house with the skies looking fairly ominous, they did let out a little sprinkle but that was it for the night, about 30 seconds of raindrops. I met some familiar faces there, Rick Amen from Team Extreme, whom I only met last week for the first time, and a couple of former teammates in Rudy and Glen, it was good to see both of them again. There was a crowd of about 20 ready to roll and as we made our way through the residential area to get out to the country roads the pace was pretty slack, which was good for me since I needed more of a warmup after standing around for 10 minutes. After that we kept a steady pace of about 21-22 for a while and then at the end we had a nice long stretch of road with a tailwind and I have to admit I was fairly tired from taking a few good pulls throughout the ride. I knew my turn-off point was coming about 2 miles up the road so as we were flying along at around 30-31 I took a pull and only 2 or 3 guys came through and no one else went forward so I took another pull right away and that was a little too much for me. As I've said plenty of times I haven't done any intervals or anything this year, just normal riding, and my recovery for those types of efforts is nill. I could tell right away that I was in trouble but just hanging in the pack for a while would've been enough recovery time and I would've been fine. Unfortunately I got a freakin' side stitch really bad, probably from breathing so hard, and every time I took a breath in the pain in my ribs was killing me. At that point we were only about 1/4 mile from my turn so I looked back, there was only about 3 people behind me, I let them go around and I drifted off the back. I rolled up to my turn, took a few deep breaths, let the HR go back down a little bit then rolled it in to home. I got 43 miles in total which is more than I would've done by myself before sunset, and the pace of the ride suited me quite well until the end when my side stitch knocked me out. I'm not saying the side stitch caused me to get dropped because then I'd be deflecting the blame on that, it was the lack of fitness that caused the side stitch that made me get dropped. Yup, I'm out of shape for that kind of effort, it's a little embarrassing but oh well, I was riding with guys that have been training for and doing races all year, and I more than held my own until the end. It's my second group ride of the year and my second hardest ride of the year, so I don't feel too bad. A couple more group rides and I'll be flying right along, I feel great today, no soreness or residual affect at all, as a matter of fact I can't wait to rock again tomorrow. Today was a normal rest day, but I was tempted to bike and so far only the threat of rain, well actually it did rain, has kept me from getting out. I may still go out shortly for a little recovery ride but we'll see. I've got two options tomorrow and the deciding factor is what my dad is going to tell me when he calls later. I've asked him to come up and do a 60ish mile ride tomorrow morning and he's contemplating that offer and is supposed to let me know later. If he's says no then the plan is to be up at 5:00a.m., eat, nap, then bike over to the Doc ride at about 6:15. I'll do the Doc ride, then ride home, basically a repeat of my century from last weekend. Another century in the books with a hard effort would be great, especially ahead of the 200 miler I've got planned for Monday...what? Yeah, I said it, 200 miles. More on that tomorrow......until next time.....

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