Last Saturday I rode a 39 miles and felt great. This Sunday I added only 12 miles for a total of 52 and felt terrible. There were some some differences. Last week’s ride was mostly flat, and we practiced our pace-line riding, yielding an average speed of 16.9 mph (27 kmh) without breaking much of a sweat. Yesterday’s ride was from my house up to Jamestown in the mountains for vertical gain of about 1,750 feet (530 m). My average speed, all by myself, was all of about 15.75 mph (25.2 kmh), which doesn’t sound that different, but increasing speed takes much more out of you than mere numbers can show.
Still, in spite of going quite a bit slower and adding a relatively small amount, I was dog tired at the end of the ride. Maybe it was nutrition, (I did, uncharacteristically, have a Snickers bar on the earlier ride–maybe they do really satisfy) or maybe it was my slower schedule lately catching up with me–who wants to ride when it’s windy? More likely, it’s just that some days really are better than others and that there are too many variables for a beginning athlete to track down and understand.
What matters is that the Triple Bypass is like three of Sunday’s rides all at once, and I was spent at 40 miles on this one. Still, I am well ahead of schedule and I’ve decided I can’t let wind stop me from riding; they won’t stop the ride for wind, so I’ve got to be prepared for that too. So while the only constant for Colorado weather over the next couple of months is change, I have plenty of training time to go (and more daylight savings time to do it in….) Just don’t ask me whether they’ll stop the ride for rain or snow, because I’m not riding if it snows this week.