Daily Archives: April 17, 2005

The Grinding Wheel

Big ride today. It was going to be nice weather and there were no races on the schedule, so Tim and I hooked up for a multi-hour ride through the mountains. We started up Deer Creek and Tim set a mean pace. I was hanging on, but a bit out of my comfort zone. We made it up to the turnoff faster than I’ve ever done it – no sense pacing ourselves…! We continued on straight and went up and over into Turkey Creek. From there I took Tim up the back way to the High Grade road, over some really steep sections that I don’t think he was too keen on. We hung a right and went over to Conifer, took 285 back to the top of Turkey Creek, then followed it all the way down back out onto 285 again. After crossing the highway we started climbing over Indian Hills and dropped down Bear Creek to Morrison. I wanted to continue on to Lookout, but Tim’s legs weren’t feeling the love and he decided to head for home. Plus the fact that it was now about 1:00 in the afternoon.

I was still feeling pretty good and decided (with the much appreciated approval on the home-front) to continue. I’ve been learning that in order to cause a training effect, you have to over-extend yourself and force your body to adapt to that level of effort. Over time, that effort should become easier – which is cool, but it also means you have to push that much harder to continue to reap the training benefits. That can hurt…

By the time I got to the bottom of Lookout Mountain, I had been riding for over 4 hours (60+ miles) and climbed around 6,000 feet. Those 4 hours forged the steel, but pushing up a climb like this after all of that effort is what really sharpens it to a razor’s edge. That’s why I call it the grinding wheel.

I decided to just push my heart rate to 175 and hold it there, then see what time I made it in. I rode a 24:12, which was a bit faster than I raced it in at the end of last year. That was very encouraging to be able to pull that off with my legs as smoked as they were. Not to mention producing a good amount of that training effect I was after.

I headed for home and hit my driveway at 6 hours, 9,000 feet of climbing, and 99.9 miles – so I made another trip around the block…