Okay, so I distinctly recall that Ross's email about this weeks SweatLab said the word 'recovery'. Riiiiiight. Someone please tell me how a hill that has an 11.5% grade is part of a recovery ride?! DUDE!!!! haha.
The course was about 48 km in length and had two hills. As there is no elevation chart it's hard to tell just how high and hard these hills were going to be. Sometimes ignorance is bliss....
I haven't completed a test yet to figure out what I should be aiming for on my watts etc, so my goal tonight was to maintain a decent cadence and make sure my pedal strokes were 'perfect'. I tried to watch what was going on with my watts and cadence, but then I started my climb up the first hill. It was a loooong hill and the grades went up and down. The ups were 5, 6, 8, 9, and 11.5% grades. YEOW! Feel the burn baby, feel the burn.
During the climbs I chose not to look at the screen. I focused on lifting my knees and watching my pedal stroke so I was getting hung up everywhere. This worked for a while...then the pain set in. I needed better motivation! My thoughts went like this:
Ow this hurts. Focus Susi, focus. I better have totally shredded hot legs by May. Still hurts. Hmmm, I don't think my thighs hit my seat like they used too - that's a good sign. Ohh, good tune - gotta love Elvis. Ow, ow, ow. Holy Hannah just how long is this frigging hill?! Damn you Ross! Work it baby, this will make you stronger. You WILL improve your endurance this way - just do it!!
The downhill portion didn't seem as easy as I had hoped it would. I decided since I am trying to maintain endurance and strength that I shouldn't just slack off and coast. Nope, I was going to go for it. And I did. I felt really good about this ride. It wasn't easy, and I had to really push myself to maintain speed, cadence etc, but it was worth it. I really feel like with every pedal stroke I'm getting better at my bike. Yay!!
We rode for about 1:40 hours with all of us mumbling something under our breaths about how we could get Ross back, haha. Poor Ross. Oh! I forgot to mention he wasn't there tonight, hence our mumbling and plotting. Tee hee.
I really enjoyed the ride tonight - it was hard for me, but I felt like I made a good effort towards maintaining power for a long period. We'll see if I'm still as excited tomorrow when I try to get out of bed!!!