Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Take THAT!, Maryland! First "big" weekend of 2012

I escaped NY for the weekend and headed down to the "warmth" of Virginia/DC/Maryland. Warmth in this case = low/mid 50's = RIDING OUTSIDE!!!

I told my coach about this and he gave me a 3 hour ride and a 2 hour run in response. Pure bliss!

I hate riding inside cities and suburbia in general. I like to ride out into the middle of nowhere with as little car traffic and lights and stop signs as possible. Basically the less civilization, the happier I am. Now, I am NOT a hermit, unless I am riding my bike.

So I was directed to head out of Northern Virginia, across Chain Bridge, onto MacArthur and wind my way out to River Road, which is the gateway to nowhere. I did 90 mins out, 90 mins back. PERFECT ride for my rigorous demands :)

My legs on the other hand? NOT what they used to be. Urf. I was mostly ok on the flats, but once I hit the first hill at the end of MacArthur they started mouthing off at me with, "What the F&^@ are you doing! We don't go UP!" They much preferred to ride DOWN.

I turned around here:

My definition of "out there"

On the way back I felt stronger than the way out. YES! But...with 40 mins left, the legs started to die. Fortunately it was on MacArthur where it was pancake flat, but they still hurt. Then I got sucked up into a group of roadies and I just hung off the back and sucked wheel till I made it onto Arizona. My legs were pretty toast by the end! I'll take the 55 miles.

Sunday was a two hour run. I wasn't too sure how my legs would respond, but boy did they ever! I had a great run!

My coach gave me a some guidelines for this one: Stay capped @ 150 bpm. With that HR I was like, ok, that will prolly be a 9 min mile average, so I will plan out about 13 miles of running.

The first mile, my heart rate was spiking off the charts! Great, maybe I will be running 10:00 miles at this pace. Then suddenly my HR drops and then stayed consistent from there till the end.

Isn't that sudden drop bizarre? Happens every time. Anyone know why?

In fact! I was noticing that I was speeding up and speeding up while my HR continued to drop. At times I was actually pushing it pretty hard to keep my HR up! Of course, I think on that stretch I was slightly running downhill WITH  a tailwind, but regardless! I was shocked at my pacing considering how low my HR was compared to this time last year.

 Wound up with 14.42 miles in 2 hours flat for an 8:19 pace. Considering I just rode 3 hours the day before and it only being the end of January, I am taking this as a success!!

Of course, using a fluffy dog as a back pillow and being attacked by three rabid dogs the night before, may have cured my achy legs!


  1. The first time I did MacArthur, I almost died. It was less than a month after I got on a bike for the first time in years. Ask Tim/Beth/Lauren how many times they waited for me at the top of killer hills.

    You know, you'd be better at those hills if you just moved here and got more practice on them. Just saying...

  2. I'd recognize that elevation profile anywhere! Nice job training at Jon-speed this weekend :)

  3. I have yet to ride on MacArthur and I live in this area....

    Anyhow it sounds like you had a great weekend of workouts!

  4. Wow, that is some great training. Congrats on getting outside to ride. I did the same thing on Sunday but my ride was much shorter and my legs complained for a long time!

  5. Total win. Great job man. I need to find me some hills tonight, 60+ degrees in Cleveland, in JANUARY??? say what?!

    Your coach seems awfully nice and caring. Whenever you have an opportunity to enjoy the scenery, he makes sure you REALLY enjoy it ;) haha.

  6. What a stud! Nice work! That ride sounded awesome, but the run was crazy! I love it that your heart rate dropped as you were running so you had to speed up. That's sweet! You're going to have a terrific year.

    I love your dog, by the way. I do that with Maglee all the time.

  7. Those are some awesome hills! We don't have hills like that around here.

    Nice work on the run. Glad to see that you have worked out all the knee/leg issues from the end of last year and are firing on all cylindars.

    Poor puppy back pillow! He? doesn't look very happy.

  8. did you moisten (ew moist) the pads on your HR monitor before you set out? meaning did you put the HR monitor on completely dry, then it took a mile for you to start sweating and have an accurate feed? i find if i dont lick my monitor before putting it on, the HR number is all jacked up until i start a good sweat.

  9. That looks like a great workout you got to do! Great pace for 2 hours also!

  10. You really need to watch out for those rabid dogs. Dangerous!

  11. Yayyyy Maryland. I grew up there. :)

    Nice hills btw! Sounds like you had some rockin workouts this weekend!

  12. Those are some what seem like steep climbs. Congrats on the ride and even better run.

    My theory with the HR is that we are going from a resting state to a state of physical exertion and the blood starts to boil and needs to get pushed around quickly.

  13. Awesome dude! That is a big weekend, now. Wait until June this will be known as a recovery weekend! hahaha!

    Good to see the running is coming back strong for you.

    Any knee pain?

  14. JEALOUS! incredible ride outside for Jan for sure

  15. the HR thing happens because your HR monitor is dry - it's not actually your heart doing that. and then when you get sweaty it starts making sense. do you lick it or use HR gel?


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