On Wednesday of this week, Tela, Mary and I headed to the track for the first time this season. Luckily the weather was perfect - with 67 degrees and sunshine. Never mind the hardcore head wind on the home straight. We were just happy to be out and about and rolling around together.
Our warm up started off a little higher paced than we should have started. 30 laps with slight increases near the 10 to go mark so did not happen. By 14 to go, Mary admitted to struggling and then with 5 to go all hell broke loose. Suddenly we were out of rotation with a half pull thrown into the mix and next thing I know, we detonate our order. We still got a good warm up in - but it just goes to show that pacing is everything and when you're rusty chances are you're going to go out too hard.
We each had separate goals for the day - so after some warm up jumps, which demonstrated I have been on the road bike way too much, I swapped gears into a 98". The mission: 5 x 4 laps flying at 95% VO2 max with 3 minutes of recovery. Read: brutally hard, if not impossible. Yet with a massive head wind and a massive gear - I some how pulled it off. My legs felt like they were going to explode - and my lungs did explode. I visited the tunnel of pain with each effort. Mary and Tela both screamed loudly for me but I couldn't hear them. My goal this season? Lengthen the amount of time I can handle in the pain cave, ignoring all warning signs. And so far it's working.
Afterward I rode home from the park along the north end - bumping into Annette along the way. We chatted about this and that - I was really thankful for the company. It's nice to take your mind off the task at hand vs the 1.5 more hours in the saddle. Oh the life of a bike racer. Glamorous, isn't it?