Sunday, March 7, 2010

23+ mph!

Today was a great day... mid-high 50s, 9-10 mph winds, a perfect day for a journey to Hain's Point for Super-brick #2. I would finally get to bike outside and see how my speed development is going.

Went there with Michelle. I was excited to see how much she would improve as well. We've been training about equally on the trainer during the winter, so we could only improve. Got there and Dirk rode up to meet us. My goal for the day was to stay within my HR zone 4, but also to keep up with Dirk, or keep him in view. Workout was 2x (20 minute ON, 5 minute OFF, 10 minute ON, 5 minute OFF, 10 minute ON), followed by 4x6 minutes zone 4 run.

We took off and after a 10 minute warmup, started our first 20 minute interval. And wow. I immediately felt a world of difference from 2 months ago. My legs felt like they were surging with power and my cadence was high. And I wasn't slowing down. And most of all... I wasn't losing Dirk! We switched leads, and I tried not to draft him to see what I could do with a headwind. On the tailwind stretch, our speeds approached 27 mph. On the headwind stretch, 21.5-23 mph. Incredible. I was averaging 22.5 on flat race courses for shorter distances last summer.... Now I was suddenly averaging 23+ mph, my goal for the winter. And I was feeling STRONG.

Kept up the pace and effort despite traffic stops (the cars just kept coming) for 5 more intervals. Dirk was strong as always. Michelle was also busting loose. She was a low-mid 20s mph biker last year... and she was doing 21-22 today. Just remarkable. And this was all with stop signs and traffic jams near the golf course... We all might have been 1 mph faster if it weren't for those stops.

The excitement was palpable. 35.5 miles... longer than I'll be riding in any race this year.

After the bike, Dirk and I set out for the run. After running a (gulp) 5:19 mile pace first interval, Dirk gave me a talking-to and I slowed up to 5:40 pace. That's still much faster than I ran in tri/duathlons last year. Totaled about 5.5 miles.

So today's brick was a real eye-opener. All those hours on the trainer, both for myself and Michelle, have really paid off. I'm very inspired by her and my own improvement. I'm going to keep it up. Maybe I'll be up to 23.5 mph by the start of tri season. It's very possible.

Who knows how much faster we would have been today if there weren't so many traffic slowdowns/stops...

Furious Chill victorious!

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