As I have mentioned already, this week is my recovery week.  It allows for easier workouts every day to give my muscles a chance to recover, before I push them to their limits over the next three weeks.  It also allows me to sleep an extra 30-45 minutes every morning, which has been very nice.

Today I was scheduled for a 35 minute bike ride.  That is fairly short for my training in recent weeks, so I was excited to get out there and push the pace for the quick 35 minutes.  Once again I headed to the Upper Neuse Greenway for my ride.

The weather was perfect… absolutely gorgeous!  I planned to leave from my house, ride to the end of the Greenway and back as fast as I possibly could.  This loop is just shy of 11 miles.   If I could average better than 18.5 mph, I would be back at or before the scheduled 35 minute mark.  Simple enough, right?

The ride started off a little shaky though.  I felt pretty tired and was struggling holding onto a 20mph pace on the flats.  I passed by a few deer, caught a glimpse of the sunrise through the trees and told myself to go for it – do not hold anything back.  I upped my pace.  For a few minutes, things felt the same… but for some reason, around mile 3 or 4, everything felt better.  I felt like I had energy and desire.   I continued on to the turnaround point (around 5.5 miles from home) averaging 19.2  mph to that point.  Now pointed in the opposite direction, I reminded myself of my goal and kept the pressure on.  Around 1/2 way back on the return, I came upon another rider pulled to the side,  stretching out his calf muscle.  I quickly asked if he needed help, then continued my ride.  A few minutes later, I hit the one hill on the ride and suddenly that rider was beside me. We chat for a bit as we ascend the hill – then I duck in behind him and try to hold onto the draft for as long as I could.  Well… that only lasted a couple of minutes.  That dude was fast.  I was pushing 22-23mph in his draft and he dropped me after around 5 minutes.  Seeing him pull away from me reminded me of how much faster others are… and that I have a lot of training to do to get to the point of being quick.   Sure, I finished my ride with an average mph of 19… which isn’t too bad at all…  And, I have only been riding a bike for four months… And, I am not a small guy… BUT, I know I can be faster with just more dedication and more time in the saddle.

Today’s workout:

Plan: 35 minutes on the bike

Actual: 34:04 on the bike for 10.82 miles @ 19mph