As I mentioned a while back, I've been riding two 20-minute interval workouts, usually twice a week. As part of that training regimen, I am also occasionally riding up Old La Honda Road to measure my resulting speed improvement, if any. Yes, if any. Sigh.
Today I rode up Old La Honda with the traditional noon group ride as before, and, well, made no progress:
I was actually 5 seconds slower! Though the first time I just kind of glanced vaguely at my cyclecomputer at the start and end of the climb, and this time I used my stopwatch, so I'd call it a dead heat.
My friend Nick Purtscher, Rock Lobster team racer, happened to join the ride too, and told me his time was 45 seconds slower, so I guess I should be happy with just 5 added seconds! Well, I'd be happier if he hadn't also told me that his best time up took him only 17:30, I believe... that's just sick!
We wondered if the cooler air was a factor (it is denser, after all, and world record attempts are usually made at high altitudes on hot days for the lowest air density for that reason), or maybe the damp pavement (I doubt it; I've heard rain actually lowers tire friction and thus increases our speed). Or maybe we didn't pace ourselves well, which is a common problem (though Nick did use a power meter to help him with that). Or maybe we were both just a bit tired (though my legs felt good today I did bonk on my ride home on Monday, so perhaps I wasn't fully recovered). Who knows.
Still, I actually weighed 3, yes, 3 pounds less today than I did on 10/03/07, so I expected some improvement from that, at least. Plus some improvement from all of the 20-minute intervals I've been doing twice a week since 10/03/07; my pores sweating blood, my legs melting my shorts with their burning heat. (Fear not; I'm exaggerating!)
That 3-pound weight loss should have resulted in a time of 19:30, per my calculations, which is 25 seconds faster than it actually took me. My biggest worry is that I'm overtraining, as the traditionalists would insist is the case. I don't rest as often as I should, I do know that.
Oh, I forgot to mention: Nick and I did a second climb afterwards, at a slightly slower "tempo" pace. Awesome workout, and we even managed to talk a little! Though on the return trip I started bonking again, lending credence to my theory that I wasn't fully rested today.
Well, back to training, and I'll make sure to get more rest between hard workouts! Starting with tomorrow and Friday... snooooore.... :-)