Now that spring is here with temperatures in the mid 60's to 70's, my official spring break from Simpson is ending this evening. I can't say that I didn't enjoy my week of endless puttering, eating, bike riding, working on some paperwork, fixing things, etc... . I enjoyed it and the lack of need for any brain power. It was nice to just shut down for a bit and recharge the mental batteries. But now, I have to jump back in full bore this afternoon getting ready for the work week (preparation for a meeting, two applications for a new course to prepare, schedules to adjust, rehearsals to organize, etc...).
I managed to get in 2 solid weeks of base building where my legs had a cumulative effect of fatigue at the end of each week. 10:40 on the bike in the previous week, and yesterday ended the past week with 11:50 on the bike. Both weeks, although part of the final block of base building for me, ramped up with the introduction of some intensity and additional volume to push myself out of any plateau I was stuck in from the prior block. I know I pushed myself this week because I broke out with a cold sore yesterday which usually happens when I hit my upper limits of training.
Yesterday, my riding week ended with a group ride at Banner Pits to hit the dirt which was in primo condition after drying out all week long. 8 or 9 of us met up at 11 a.m. for a pair of laps at Banner. I took the RIP with the big meat on it (Nobby Nic 2.35 up front and Ralph 2.4 in the rear) since my REBA XX on the JET is not working and needs some work (not getting full travel and the thing is as stiff as a board which means full overhaul time).
Squirrel, Matt, Bob and T.J. blasted off the front and I latched on for the leg burn. T.J. dropped his water bottle and Bob stopped to pick it up. I cranked it up to latch on to Matt and couldn't believe how well I was doing considering my legs were pretty fried from all the volume the past 2 weeks. The good news is that all the base has me feeling very prepared and the body was responding in kind even though I was pushing around the big RIP with the fat tires. Finally, I had to dial it back and let the 3 in front of me go as I was about to blow a gasket. I hooked up with T.J. at the end of lap one while Matt and Squirrel dove in for their 2nd lap. T.J. and I waited for everyone else to do a 2nd lap which was done at a more relaxed tempo (although now I was warmed up and itching to push it). Beers and discussion followed the laps and fun was had by all as we stood there in the 25 mph warm winds.
I got home and my new helmet to match the team kit had arrived.
It's the Bell Volt with Jimbo Phillips Eyeballs. I got a 27% discount online which meant the price was not as ridiculous as my initial reaction to the $175 sticker shock. I ran a cheap Giro last year, so figured I was do for a better helmet this year. I've used Bell helmets in the past and love their sizing and comfort, so this one looks to be good to go...
I'm taking the day off from exercise outside of some recovery and working on paperwork. The legs need the recovery before beginning my final week of this last base building 3 week block. I'll taper the volume in this week, but add intensity. It's nice that the weather will co-operate. 73, 72, 75, 73, etc... for this coming week. Sweet....!