Saturday, January 29, 2011

California - Day 5 - LSD

My leg before I started riding here, picture taken Friday.
Permatan evident. So are a lot of Clone Wars figures.

(I decided to see what would happen with my leg in my riding here. This is a before picture.)

When I woke up today was dark, cold, dark, and cold. It's amazing what the desert is like, so cold at night, it's demoralizing compared to the bright sunny days.

I'd told some people that I'd be doing the Swamis B ride but everything in my body, just everything, screamed that it'd be a bad idea.

My legs felt sore, my glutes and quads especially, my upper body had that general fatigue sense of malaise, and my stomach growled at me.

I thought, well, I really want to go but I don't know if I can or should. I'm a big believer in following instincts, and in the morning, in the dark, in the cold, my instincts told me that I should not do this ride.

But once downstairs the sun peeked out, instantly warming everything up a good 20 degrees. Well, not really, but kind of.

You know how we have the windchill in Connecticut? (I know it's elsewhere, but I'm just saying.) It's 10 degrees but it feels much colder because the windchill makes it feel like -10 degrees.

Well, here, in Southern California, they must have a "sun warmth" factor.


Because I kitted up, and based on my instinct, I put on shorts, a short sleeve jersey, a long sleeve, and stuck a vest in my pocket. One layer on my legs and arms, two on my torso.

I went outside and my host looked at me a bit quizzically.

"No knee warmers?"
"No, it's warm. Why?"
"It's 49 degrees out."

It felt warm. Until I moved ten feet away, into the shade.


My vest came out pretty easily. I never put it back in my pocket, never took it off until we got back home.

We headed out, my host checking the time and admitting that we'd miss the ride. We headed down south towards the ride start point anyway.

First we dropped by the Campy Mothership.

I did a little jump after a truck, the same spot where I jumped after the truck yesterday. Although I didn't feel like I went much harder than yesterday's sub-1100 watt jump, today I broke well into the 1300s.

The truck, though, escaped.

Properly warmed up we headed out. I felt pretty good on the bike, the aero wheels a bit wobbly in the gusty wind, but not terrible. The bike felt good - it'd expanded mentally a bit. The saddle didn't feel quite as low, the bars seemed just a touch further out.

I was acclimating to the bike.

I started noticing other things. I did a poor job taping the right side of my bars when I replaced the terrible carbon no-adhesive-on-the-back tape that had unraveled. I may have to rewrap that side with new tape.

I noticed, too, that the left side (which still has the terrible carbon no-adhesive-on-the-back tape) seemed to be migrating a bit. Maybe it was that monster jump at the beginning of the ride but there's definitely a spot appearing on the drops. Time to redo the left side.

I also, as usual, tilted my bars a bit too high up when I assembled my bike. I need to drop the hoods a few millimeters. It's great on the hoods but a bit odd on the drops.

The bike works overall though.

My legs seemed to roll pretty well on their own. I consistently saw numbers in the mid-200s while doing short rises and such, heart rate stable in the mid 160s. With an FTP measured recently in about 210 watts, and my heart rate typically limited to 168 or 170 in the pre-season, I felt pretty good about the numbers I noticed.

We talked a lot on our ride, with a discrete suffering rider latching on at some point, sitting on our wheels, and waving when he turned off. Although he never really interacted with us, I pointed out stuff in the road, signaled stops and stuff.

What struck me about him?

He stopped at the stop signs with us.

He stopped at the lights.

He rode respectably.

When he turned off it wasn't a big deal, but I knew we'd ridden with a good rider. Maybe tired, maybe tuning into his own sensations, but a good rider. A good guy.

I started to fade when we hit the long climb (the wide one, left road when heading south) by Torrey Pines. I had a bit of a Balance bar, drank my first sip of water, and felt a bit better.

We ate next to the golf place, checked out the blimp over the PGA game, and refueled a bit.

Blimp and a chopper.

This Z in the parking lot for the golf game looks like a HotWheels car.

Properly recovered we headed back.

It was grim.

We crawled along, tired, weak, sore. I quickly realized that had I been on the Swamis ride, I'd have gotten totally shelled at around this point. Plus, when we checked the ride info last night, the site said that today would be a special photo op day and that both groups would start together before splitting up, the fast group allegedly waiting to let the gap open to the standard 20 minutes to the slow group.

When I heard this I looked at my host knowingly.

"That just means that they'll drop the hammer and the whole ride will blow up."

My legs, on the way back, would have withstood little pressure, and such a blowing up ride would have meant disaster.

We turned into that rider that sat on our wheels earlier in the day. We rode grimly, quietly, let everyone roll by us with no reaction, and rolled along in our own little purgatories. Thoughts filled my mind, random ones.

The Missus grew up with a blue and white VW bus in her family. This is for her.

One of the BikeForums guys posted a picture of this sign. It's still there. After several SoCal training camps, his sign has become a familiar landmark for me.

I didn't drink a lot of water during the ride, never finishing one bottle, and at some point traded my host his empty for my untouched second bottle. I tried to drink some water but maybe I had gotten beyond the point; I never felt thirsty or even a bit dry.

I started to cramp and, in desperation, only a few miles from home base, I ate a new kind of PowerBar I just picked up, some electrolyte version. I had to drink water to wash the stuff down.

Well now.

I don't know what helped me, the sugar, the electrolytes, the water, or a combination of a couple/all of them. Whatever. I felt good enough to do a final jump on the final hill, replicating my best jump from yesterday. Weaker, yes, but no cramps, no bad reactions from my body.

At the end of a long day in the saddle, that felt good.

I worried about refueling that evening, but a birthday party at an Italian restaurant... well, I ate a lot. Pasta. Meat. Even a little bit of desert.

Later, when I downloaded the ride, I saw the just-under-1100 watt number. Coincidentally I hit the identical number yesterday, but as a peak for the ride, not just one jump.

Overall the numbers were a lot more... modest.

Under 15 mph. 140 watts average.

Long slow distance.

I know LSD stands for long steady distance.

For us, today, the S meant slow.

But I'm refueled. My body is busy absorbing an immense amount of calories and protein and carbs. I can even feel my legs - they're swollen to the point that my jeans feel uncomfortably tight. It's not a bad thing though; my legs feel good when they get this way. I know my legs will come around.

No excuses for tomorrow.


MrsSDC said...

That VW bus you got a pic of is exactly the same one I had as a kid, at least, as I remember it. Too funny.

Aki said...

The camera was off - I was trying to save memory for the ride (I ran out though) - and I saw it and quickly turned it on. That frame capture is the first frame of the short clip from that moment of the ride. I told Rich that it's the same kind of van you had and I wanted to get a shot of it.

Of course then it became, "So, have you ever ridden in one?" and I thought of when the shop guys and I went to a mtb ride in one. The thing was rattly and slow and felt really unwieldy. I remember thinking, "wow, the driver has no protection if he hits something."

"Yeah, I felt like I was gonna die in it."