Sundays are the day of the week that I absolutely enjoy the most. After church, we come home and I get ready to ride with the folks over at Brookwood Church. This is the ride that I typically push myself outside of my comfort zone while I attempt to keep up. Today was no exception. We started an hour earlier than usual, but we had a great group of folks show up. I knew that I when I chose to go with the "fast group" that it was going to be a day with plenty of "Quiet Time" with just me and the bike on the back of the ride. Little did I know it was going to be an "Extreme Sufferfest" in the making! Before I go on, let me say I had a great time, and really showed improvements even with pushing myself so hard so early in the ride.
27.3 Mile ride according to Strava
The ride started out about as normal, heading out on Holland Road, which is the first challenging climb for me, and one I try to hit as hard as I can, as a way to test how I feel. I did pretty good most of the way up, but this hill is always deceiving because of just how long it goes after the main climb. By the time we made it to Harts road I was off the back a little bit, and as luck had it I missed the light. So while everyone else is pacing away at a nice clip, I'm looking at the light waiting for it to change. I took this as a challenge, and did my best to sprint the whole distance of Harts road to make up time. I got there before too long, but I was completely gassed. It took me until almost the Scuffletown Sprint Zone to really get myself back together.
Then there was the Sprint Zone. We started on the sprint zone, and I felt strong, so I caught up with the pack leading out, and just kept on the back tire. John and Paul passed us about 1/2 way down the sprint zone, so I switched to following Paul, and just pushed as hard as I could until the end. With a Heart Rate of over 185, you'd think I would be ready to leave my lunch on the side of the road at the end, but instead I really and honestly felt great. We then had to climb up Garret Patton Road, and keep on driving on. I got back to League Road, and stayed somewhat up with the pack the rest of the way back (although I did take the shorter route back to Harts near the end). Overall I'd say it was an Extremely productive ride, and I felt really great for doing it.
I had originally intended to check out the pool at the YMCA after I was done, but I think that the level of effort on the ride was enough for one day. We have some cloudier days later this week, so I'll just reschedule that workout for then.