I was unable to ride on Wednesday due to early morning meetings preventing me from hitting the road. Originally I had intended to ride around 7am, but those dreams were quashed with additional impromptu conversations. Knowing I had an 8am meeting on Thursday morning, I was determined to ride, even if it meant postponing breakfast until after the early call.
Logging 50k this morning felt utterly tranquil. This ride was the perfect encore to a hellaciously busy Wednesday, and the perfect way to begin an even busier Thursday. Today's meetings are nowhere near as brutal as yesterday's, but essentially run from 8am until 7pm, with only a single 60 minute break for breakfast that I blocked before some account rep snatched up that timeslot.
It was an interesting morning. I woke up sweating profusely because the air conditioner had decided to turn itself off in the middle of the night. It was not just hot, but uncomfortably humid too. Like every morning I ride, I completed the daily preliminaries before heading outside towards my riding buddy, Red Chameleon.
As the door slammed shut behind me, I realized the air was far more crisp than it had been in recent weeks. The sky was covered in evil dark clouds despite a forecast not calling for morning rain. Most importantly, the temperature was comfortable. The outdoor heat was nowhere near as bitter as it was in my bedroom.
Today's ride was going to be good.
As I left the house, the breeze rushing across my face was soothing. The cooler temperature this morning was going to make for a much more tolerable ride. I was pleasantly surprised with the more comfortable air, not expecting the climate to change so drastically in mid-August.
I opted to ride the normal 50k route. This is a program I thoroughly enjoy, and am beginning to appreciate more as the days pass. There are different landmarks along the ride I look forward to hitting, making the ride feel like it is going by much faster than reality would suggest. Coupled with being lost in paying attention to the road and listening to a podcast, the kilometers just breeze on by quickly.
Since I did not have a lot of time to savor the ride like normal, I focused on finishing and returning home as fast as possible. Sadly, and much to my dismay, I did not have a lot of time to stop and soak in the fresh morning air like normal. I also did not have an opportunity to take the amount of photos I would have preferred. Plus, the cloud cover looked as if death was looming above Tokyo, so it was not really a picturesque morning.
The upstream 25k segment went fairly standard. There were some times when my legs were not fully cooperating, so I semi-struggled to maintain pace. I was not keeping up my desired speed, and cannot really attribute it to anything in particular. I strive to sustain a 29-32kph speed when riding in no or low traffic zones along the course. Today I was only hitting 26-27kph.
On the return, just like has happened in the past, I was flying like a mad man downstream. There were a couple multi-kilometer segements where I got into an aero position and rode on the drops. I was maintaining 34kph during these longer stretches. This is an area I intend to focus on, particularly on building the strength and endurance to maintain aero position for longer time periods. Currently I tire out pretty easily, so there is some work to do.
Lately I have been using the drops more often, mostly on the return trip. It is more of a test than anything, mostly focusing on understanding my [lack of] core strength. There is a lot of building to be done so I can hold aero for longer stretches. This gives me a new goal to work towards.
Ultimately today was a nice ride. It was a great and refreshing way to start a long day. At 8pm I am finally able to get this write-up completed and published. Other than an hour-ish for breakfast and thirty-minutes-ish for a break, it has been non-stop since 8am.
It is time to go unplug and get some much needed rest. I would love to be chillin on a beach right now, overlooking the tranquility the ocean offers. Instead, I will settle for my couch and being surrounded by three super cool puppers who just want to endlessly live and share their love.