Not all Rides are for training – Keep it fun!

Hope everyone enjoyed that lovely weather over the weekend and it would certainly be nice see more of that weather going forward – Here is to warmer and sunnier days.   After coming back from Florida last Monday, the week pretty much started off right where it left off.  We got in late Monday night, which meant Tuesday was going to be a long day for the kids and I.  Sam headed off to a chess tournament first thing Tuesday, but thankfully Sophie and I had a bit more time to ease into the day.

The week for the most part was going to be hectic as usual, with two significant events that were pretty emotional for me.  On Thursday evening, my daughter was attending her semi-formal, which marked the end of middle school and her moving into high-school next year.  I can’t believe 13 years went by like that and I am watching this intelligent, caring and beautiful person mature so quickly before my very eyes.  I have to admit, after seeing her all dressed up for this event, I had to spend some time alone and have a little cry time.   I really wanted to post a picture of my daughter, but she flat out said NO to my request.   I respect her decision, but take my word, she looked beautiful.  All I can say is, Sophie, I am so very proud of you, keep up the great work and continue to be the best person you can be.  Thank you for all your support and I will always be there for you.

Sam_dad_hockeyAfter performing my chauffeur duties that Thursday evening, I was also looking forward to another special event.  It’s likely been about 10 years since I laced up the skates and played anything remotely close to an organized game of hockey.  For many reasons, I just have not enjoyed playing the game.  I was a bit nervous, but was looking forward to playing in my son’s first parent/son hockey game.  All week he was smack-talking me and I have to admit, he’s quite good at it – much better than I ever was and I am sure some old teammates of mine can attest to that.   I hope he had as much fun as I did, even though he did call me out on a bad play I made.  I just don’t have the hands I once did. The cherry on top was watching my son collect his awards for house league (Gold) champs and being named the “Best Rushing Defenseman” on his Select Hockey Team.  He showed a lot of grit and determination playing his first year of organized hockey.   I am very proud of you buddy and keep up the good work.

Oh! Yes, I did manage to keep up with my training, but it required some very careful scheduling and some compromising on the part of many special people in my life.  These people know who they are and have been very accommodating.  Thank you for allowing me to fit everything in, including the following:

April 4th – after a late Monday night arrival back from Florida, I still managed to sneak in a 60 minute high cadence, 140 HR ride.  Although it sounds easy, when you’re tired, the body does not always work with you.

April 5th – the weather cleared up nicely and I was able to put in a 2 ½ hour ride outside.  Much better than riding on the trainer, but I had a feeling that I was not done with the indoor trainer just yet.  The outdoors can certainly cause you to put in some different efforts as you are at the mercy of the terrain, but I focused on keeping my average HR around the 140 marker (actual average was 143).  I am sure by now you are starting to get the gist that I am targeting my HR as a key indicator for training.  My coach has explained his philosophy and I agree with the approach.  Efficiency!

April 6th – Sadly, the indoor trainer had to be used and I kept to my usual routine of 75 minutes and keeping my HR at or below 140.  I didn’t mind this ride, considering what the weather was like outside, but had to be aware of my time so that I could ensure my daughter and her friends were picked up safely from their event.

Saturday and Sunday, the weather turned out to be fantastic.  I did have to play hockey during the morning on Saturday, but did manage to put in a nice ride in the afternoon.

April 7th – I wanted to put in another 2 ½ hours, but with some efforts.  The terrain certainly allowed for it and the wind was pretty low.  Hence, I went out with the intention of going a little harder and working the legs a bit more.  My HR average was around 153 for the ride and yes, a bit higher than I expected it to be, but considering I had played hockey earlier in the day, that might have pushed a bit higher than usual.  Although being a bit tired, my legs felt surprisingly good for this ride.  Sometimes you never can tell how a ride will go until you get out there.

April 8th – I always look forward to a ride with Gravel Grinder Group (GGG) because you never know the terrain you will encounter.  I have learned to just go with the flow and expect anything and everything.  Yes, they ride road bikes on Gravel, but that can be the least of your worries.  I have yet to experience this, but on many rides the guys have had to pick their bikes and up and hoist over fences or cross creeks.  Not something you normally encounter when riding your road bike, but that’s the beauty of riding with this group.  I knew the day would be tough because this crew likes to push the pace and that is exactly what happened.  On the way out to Keswick, we had a tailwind, but never really knew how much until you made some turns into the wind.  We knew what was in store for us on the ride back and decided that with 4 of the 6 going forward, we would need to watch the pace.  With the training I was doing to date, I had a feeling that at some point I may bonk.  I did my best to keep the pace and just find my way back into the city with the group, but at Sheppard and Don Mills, I hit a wall.  My HR climbed quickly and I was having a hard time recovering.  Hence, I had to let the guys go and stop to let my HR come back down.  Training for endurance events is not the same for a quick pace 170km ride.  In stating that, it’s hard for me to give up my rides with BCC, GGG or any other crew.  That’s what makes cycling fun.  It was a bit frustrating not to finish with the last 10k with the group, but I do realize that my training is for the purposes of finishing longer, multi-day events.  As much as I am frustrated, I do understand that my targets are different and my training for RAAM is very different than the one-day fast paced events.  However, these rides are a reminder of our approach to RAAM, but I sure do enjoy the GGG rides and plan to join them when I can.  Thanks for the leg killing ride GGG.

After another week of training and the Sunday hard ride, it was nice to receive my training plan from Peter.  Monday is REST DAY!  Phew, my legs can probably use it.


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