Monday, February 04, 2008

California - Day Five

Back on the road to recovery. I finally got out there on the bike and pedaled around for a bit. I didn't get sick, didn't have to stop for a bathroom, and could actually get the bike moving. Nice sun, really windy (felt like Bethel), and the bike still felt light and responsive.

Only thing was that it became obvious before I went a hundred yards that I had been sick. I could make easy efforts (under 300 watts) fine, even those going uphill, so aerobically things are okay. But when I accelerated "briskly" away from a light (500-1000 watts), my legs loaded up with lactic acid in about three pedal strokes. Apparently whatever anaerobic fuel I had is totally and completely gone.

Since I have no idea what "comprises" anaerobic fuel I figured I need to eat some more food after the ride. The breakfast of champions I had didn't seem to do the trick - ribs, pasta, hot dogs, coffee. So for dinner I decided that I'd have something a bit healthier. Ribs, pasta, hot dogs, and coffee... no, no, no.

I skipped the coffee.

Okay. Seriously, I had chicken, coleslaw, some baked-on-demand rolls, and about 2/3 of a carton of orange juice. Maybe 3/4. Fortified (or, in my drowsy conversation with the missus, "reinforced") with vitamins and stuff. I really craved the orange juice so my it had something my body needed. Hopefully it helps for tomorrow.

Now the ride itself was no big deal. I started out with a relaxed hour pedaling around with Julie, then after she returned to work, I did another hour loop. The first hour was a nice reintroduction to cycling, my legs getting used to the motions. Being truly outside for the first time in what seems like a week felt great. I made the discovery that lactic acid was at my beck and call.

During the ride Julie asked me if I'd been adjusting my pace to her or if I'd been riding at my pace. We talked a bit, stayed silent on the busier or narrower spots, and after an hour she peeled off and I continued on.

Unlike Day Two, when this "I'll spin around for an hour or so" turned into a 6 hour marathon (I rode the 35-40 minutes to the Pacific Coast Highway, went north for a bit, then went south for a couple hours, then rode home), I really did just spin around for an hour or two. I experimented a bit with my legs, pedaling a bit too quickly down a hill, trying to turn a big gear going up another. Pretty much everything that involved making an effort failed, my legs weak and wobbly from whatever took me out of commission for the last few days. Before I could even reach the Pacific Coast Highway I turned around - my legs were spent.

On the way back I stopped at a local post office to mail my absentee ballot and by the time I was rolling up to the house I was chilled to the bone. No fuel, no energy, no heat. Chilled.

But at least I was on the bike. So my goals are a bit more ambitious for tomorrow. I hope that my legs gain back some of their strength. I'm still aiming for a big day on Thursday, another on Friday, and then, after a reasonably long Sunday, two more leg breaking days on Monday and Tuesday.

This makes tomorrow, Tuesday, a build up day. And Wednesday as well.

Crossing my fingers.

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