Who did not get out on the bike for the sunshine and mid-Winter fun yesterday?

Did you get yours?

The forecast was for a Sunday filled with sunshine and Winter respite temperatures nearing 50 degrees.  Even with the strong wind blowing out of the SE, it only took a base layer and an outer layer of clothing to get out and enjoy a nice long ride.

I got the road bike out with the "jacked up for RAGBRAI" stem to do this ride.  Luckily, we only hit one patch of snow and ice that were still across the trail between Banner and Carlisle.


Tara and I headed out around 1 pm after temperatures had climbed up into the 40's.  Goal was Carlisle and back for the two of us, and I had it in mind to get 3 hours in on the bike (2 1/2 in Zone 2 and 30 minutes in Zone 3).  I think everybody - and their dog - was out on the trail doing the same thing:  "getting some mid-Winter sunshine and exercise".  I had a large water bottle with some protein mixed in (Hammer Nutrition Strawberry) to fuel me for the 3 hours and a pair of GU's in case I needed a boost at some point.   Our daughter hooked up with a friend and they loaded up their bikes in the back of a Ford pickup to drive down to Banner Pits and ride from there to Carlisle and back, then go for a run.  Sort of a cross-training day for both these track stars.

The wind was howling and pretty much blew us all the way to Carlisle as we visited and navigated our way around all the people out for walks, runs, and bike rides.  I don't think I hardly even had to pedal with that wind.  Even in the big ring on the road bike and one of the smaller cogs, I was barely on the edge of Zone 2.  We saw the girls had parked their bikes in Carlisle to get a snack mid-ride, so we rode over and said hello to them before turning around to face the wind.  Tara told me to go ahead and ride on ahead of her so I could get my Zone 3 in for the day.  I popped a peanut butter GU and said "okay".  It wasn't hard to do that with the strong wind blowing in my face as I headed south out of Carlisle.  I motored on in what I hoped was Zone 3 and not crossing over into Zone 4 as I pushed it against the wind.  Heart rate, drool factor, feeling in the legs, and my breathing rate all confirmed I was well above Zone 2, so I kept it there.  I did a loop on the pavement in Banner, and then had the hill to climb from Banner back to Indianola.  I finished with 35 minutes in Zone 3 and then backed it down to Zone 2 just as I caught up with another cyclist who was wobbling around on the pavement due to the wind.  Turned out to be my colleague Ron Albrecht out for his 1st ride of the year.  So I rode back to Indianola with him and visited.

I got home and realized I had only put in a total of 2 hours and 15 minutes, so I took the dogs for a 15 minute walk with me riding the singlespeed to get a bit more burn than a geared bike.  Got back home after that and headed immediately downstairs to the trainer to put in 30 more minutes of Zone 2 on the trainer.  I stripped off the outer layers down to my kit and hopped on the bike.  I locked on to the 172-190 watt range and kept drinking my water with the fan blowing on me for the 30 minutes.  I was on an exercise induced high from the release of all those endorphins and felt like I could have easily gone another hour+.   However, I knew I had finished the week correctly with 10:50 of training and had not crossed the line to be bushed (like I was the previous week due to fighting off some kind of bug) - so no point in pushing beyond the 3 hour ride.  I got off the bike and made some mid afternoon lunch and then followed up with a shower.

A nice recovery pasta with salmon for dinner, and then I spent an hour working on the Bloch Sacred Service music for tonight's rehearsal.  No time to hit today's scheduled workout until this evening.  Today is about an hour of weights (squats, deadlifts, core....) which I will do when I get back home from Des Moines after the Bloch rehearsal.  The week ahead is a bit more training stress than the week I just finished (12:05 hours compared to 10:50) before next week's Rest & Recovery week.  Looks like the majority of it will be inside as the weather forecast sounds like a winter storm is headed this way to dump 7 - 12" of snow.  The snowblower and operator are ready....

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