The week started off with a marvelous Monday morning metric half century, where I set a personal record for the upstream segment. Today I continued that trend, riding another 50k but in much milder conditions compared to yesterday, besting yesterday's record for the same segment. Pumping out two awesome rides at the start of the work week is the best medicine to extract massive motivation for the next five days.
Last night after finishing work I was thoroughly exhausted after countless Zoom sessions. My alarm started screaming for me to awake at 4am, and surprisingly I immediately sat up and got out of bed. Once I finished all the preliminaries, I ate one energy ball from the new batch I made last night. The sugar quickly pierced my bloodstream, injecting me with an unexpected amount of energy. It was time to mount Red Chameleon and create havoc on the tarmac.
The first thing I noticed as I sauntered down the outer stairs towards the stable where Red Chameleon sleeps was the climate. It felt considerably cooler than yesterday. A mild summer morning breeze brushed beyond my body. I immediately knew today was going to be an interesting ride. At the absolute least it would be comfortable thanks to the light wind.
When I set off towards the Tamagawa I realized Mother Nature was throwing a slight headwind in my direction. Although the wind was a refreshing escape from the summer heat, cycling into a headwind is never fun. At this point it was only minimal, having almost no noticeable impact on my riding.
The first half of the ride went by hella quick. Not only was I flying upstream but I was engrossed in a podcast. Today's menu was one of my favorite podcasts: All the President's Lawyers. This podcast is interesting analysis of the legal problems and challenges different administrations face. I am a Ken White fan, having read his Popehat blog when he was writing regularly, and really enjoy his ability to be both analytical and divorce himself from any liberal or conservative narratives. Listening to a good ebook or podcast helps keep me in the zone, and allows me to forget any pain I may be experiencing during the ride.
Somehow today I once again managed to set a personal record for the upstream leg. Yesterday I knocked off 15 seconds from my previous best, but today I managed to shave 1m11s! That is 71 seconds better than yesterday. Somehow!? I honestly have no idea how I managed to pull this off, but I guess it does not really matter. Needless to say, I am pretty jazzed with the new record.
I only took a short break at the 25k mark. The weather was still enjoyable, with Mother Nature offering a comforting breeze to cool the heat off of my stank and sweaty skin. Before I knew it, I was pedaling downstream and heading home. Unfortunately I now had a new adversary to deal with: headwind. A lot of it.
The entire ride back, while fun, was 25k of headwinds galore. Although I did hit 32kph in certain spots, the vast majority of the return trip was roughly 26kph. I just could not get, and mainaain, any decent pace thanks to the strong winds. Adversity makes you stronger, and today I am definitely feeling the pain from dealing with this misfortune.
Overall, it was another good day. So far in the first two days of this week I have logged more total kilometers than I did all of last week. My intent is to continue this trend for the rest of the week.
I have a really late night meeting tonight followed by a very early call tomorrow. Meaningful rest will be nigh impossible if not quite limited, therefore I may not be able to ride tomorrow morning. There is a strong chance I end up using Wednesday as a recovery day, resuming regular riding on Thursday.
While I absolutely love summer, riding in the early morning is the only way to log any kilometers. Not only does it get unbelievably hot and humid in the later hours, but the wind kicks up to some incredibly annoying speeds. I am looking forward to riding in Autumn when cooler weather makes a recurring return to Tokyo.
In the meantime I will continue to push myself and press on. As they say, that which does not kill you only makes you stronger!