Okay, so last year after IMC it wasn't a difficult task to recover. Why? Because I felt like shite. I didn't want to swim, bike or run.
This year is a different story however. I feel great! The muscle soreness was gone in a few days and my energy wasn't too bad. I did seem to want to nap a bit more than usual, oh and eat. A lot.
Greg had advised me to be careful and that my muscles will heal faster than it takes for the fatigue to leave them. His advice, don't run, bike easy, do all the swimming, yoga and stretching you want.
I happened to mention that I was going to go for a bike ride with Richelle, a very talented sprint/olympic distance triathlete (who, I should add, will be doing her first half Ironman this coming weekend!). He said that should be fine under two conditions - do not chase her and watch your heart rate, don't let it get too high!
(Greg, you can stop reading this post now...)
Let's just say I kinda followed the 'rules'. Sort of. A little. Okay, I swear I tried for the first few kilometers at least!! I just couldn't help myself!!!
Here's how the ride unfolded...
Richelle needed to do a recovery ride, and I just wanted a relative flat and easy route, so we decided to head out to Bragg Creek. After Richelle admired my new Ironman Coeur d'Alene tri top, which I ever so proudly wore, we took off down the hill from our neighborhood.
What can I say? It felt amazing to be back on my bike! In fact I think I shouted to her, as we bombed down the hill at 50 km/h, 'I LOVE MY BIKE!'
We turned onto Hwy 22 and hit the first climb. This is where I broke the first of Greg's golden recovery rules. My heart rate just skyrocketed! I tried to climb slow, but it just stayed high. Of course, I didn't turn around and say maybe I shouldn't ride today. Nope, I just kept going with a big grin on my face.
Richelle was a bit ahead, but as I promised Greg not to chase her, I didn't...for now.
We rode the flats for a bit and I caught up to her, almost. Then we hit the next wee climb. I was soooo close to her and my heart rate was high anyways, so I thought, 'Ah, what the hell! Let's see if we can catch her!' So I pedaled like mad and almost did catch her! Golden rule number 2 shattered.
Admittedly, whenever I looked at my heart rate monitor, which I wore even though it was a 'fun ride' because I had intended on following the 'rules' and keep my heart rate down, I felt a wee pang of guilt. The pang was not enough to stop me mind you.
I was in my element, pedaling away with the hot sun beating down and the headwind in my hair! Woohooo! I was also excited be out just doing a fun ride! No distance or time goals. Just 'hey let's go ride to Bragg, have a smoothie and head back!' I've been wanting to do this forever, but hadn't before. Richelle felt the same way as normally our rides are all about sticking to the training plan - ride x kilometers in y amount of time with no stopping other than for a loo break or a quick refueling.
All was well until we were about 11 km out of Bragg. I was keeping up with Richelle fairly well and then the fact that I had done an Ironman, exactly a week prior, factored in. I just seemed to slow down even though I felt like I was pedaling the same. Unfortunately, my heart rate didn't slow down! Whoops!
I still felt good riding, so wasn't worried. I just dropped it down a notch. In no time at all we were in Bragg. Richelle took me to this great bakery cafe that had gluten free goodies!! Normally I have to pass on all the yummy stuff, but today I could splurge. I spent some time debating having the chocolate chip cookie (which I haven't had in forever!) or the moose mountain chocolate turtle. I then decided on the turtle with some strawberry lemonade (made with fresh squeezed lemon!). One word - heaven.
We sat and chatted for a long while there, then decided to head back. I wasn't sure how my legs would feel about this as I did start to feel a bit of stiffness as we got up and went to our bikes.
We were lucky that we didn't have a headwind this time, just a crosswind from the south east. Heading north is always fun because there is a slight downhill on sections, with only two climbs inbetween. For a long while I was maintaing about 35-40 km/h, until I hit the climb over the highway. Things seemed to pretty much halt at that point. I could feel my Ironman legs big time!
I just slowly chugged along up the hill, but once over I used gravity as my buddy and flew down the other side. Along this section I noticed my bike computer said 44 km/h! Suhweet!! Of course my mind was thinking 'Okay Gregory, I know I shouldn't be doing this, but man it's fun!! Ride like you stole it!!!'
It felt like we were back in town in no time at all! As we turned the corner to go back up to where we live, Richelle and I remembered 'the bonus hill'. Oh boy. This was going to hurt. I put my bike into the Granniest of Granny gears and started the very slow chug-a-lug up the last hill. By the time I got to the top my legs and heart had said 'Right! You've had your fun. Now it's time to stop!' I should add that the legs are still complaining a wee bit, and I feel like I need a long nap.
Total ride distance was 65 km. I had an amazing time out there, but think I might give it a bit more time before I go out again for the sake of my recovery. I just don't think I can go out there and 'take it easy'. tee hee. Ah well, it's all good.
Peace out my friends!