Monday, October 18, 2010

Did you know Combines move at 21 miles per hour?

I didn't either until yesterday, more on that in a bit. Yesterday I had a 3 hour interval ride as described below:

Cruise intervals. Warm up for one hour, Zones 1 and 2. Then perform 5 intervals of 10 minutes in zone 4-5a. Recover 3 minutes between intervals with easy spining. Finish the ride by trying to hold your Ironman goal race pace for the last 30 minutes of the ride. Cool down.

Now zone 4-5a is about 85-90% effort for 10 minutes. This was a challenging but good workout. The weather was beautiful and the trails were packed. There was a cyclist that had to think I was messing with him. Many times on the trail there is way too much "machismo" especially with the cyclists. Well yesterday was no excpetion. I was riding intervals so my speed would fluctuate between 22-24 mph down to 16-17 between intervals. I happend to come up on a cyclist that was riding in the 20 mph range so I would catch him in my 10 minutes interval and then I would slow down, he would catch me. A few minutes go by and I would fly past him again. Finally after doing this about three times we both happened to be stopped at the same light. After a brief conversation I told him I wasn't messing with him, I was doing 10 minute intervals so forgive me for looking like a cycling idiot on the trails. He acknowledged that it was weird and he appreciated me telling him. Wished each other a good day and we were off again. He must have turned off on another trail because I didn't see him anymore that day.

The only other highlight was that I almost got hit by a car that was going way too fast (50ish in a 30). I am alway cautios at interstections when on the road and when roads cross the trails. Yesterday I was coming up on a very lightly traveled road that crossed the trail ( I don't think I have ever seen a car on this road) but I slowed down, sat up, covered my brakes and as I was appoaching the cross street a young girl comes flying up the hill from my right. I looked left and didn't see any cars coming so I braked and turned left at the street into what would be the "on coming" lane. She locked up her brakes and fortuantely held her side of the road in the far lane. I shook my head, told her to slow down before she killed someone (sounding just like my Dad by the way) and continued on. Just reinforcing the fact of how careful you have to be when cars are around.

Now to the combine. The last 30 minutes of my ride are on Moreland road back to my house. It ia great road to ride on with smooth sholders, 2 lanes and not a lot of traffic. It is out in the country with a muny airport and farms all around. This is typically the first and last 30 minutes of every ride. With my intervals my last 30 minutes was race pace. I was feeling really good so I was pushing pretty hard. On an incline section I was passed by a combine that was travelling between fields.

This is what I learned about combines:
1) They are quiet until they pass you, then they are loud
2) I think they drive on the road to clean the corn stalks off of them. He was shedding like a long haired dog in August
3) They move about 23 miles per hour
4) They cut a HUGE hole in the wind, perfect for drafting

I was able to ride in the draft of the combine for about 10 minutes. As I was sitting at the light, my buddy Rick and his wife pulled up along side of me and obviously seen what I was doing and yelled something to the effect of how my race was going with the combine. I couldn't catch it all because I had my headphones in but it was something like that.

This week is a 16 hour training week with 8 my second 8 hour training day coming on Sunday. This is the last of build two so with the race being 34 days out I will have one more build span and then taper focusing on being "race ready" if such state exists. Almost to the home stretch. The goal here is to hit that majical "peak" so that those days fall on race week. The balance between intensity and rest is always a tough one. With increased intensity fitness increases but so does stress making me less race ready. However, too much rest costs fitness that obviously is needed on race day. The balance is always a tough one but fortunately Coach Jen at TriSmart has done a great job with me in the past on the tapers and I am planning on the same happening here. She has a lot of experience, I just need to trust my training and do as she says.

All for now... Have a great week...


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