training: bike 1:31:27: 41.07km; Silver Spring 76°F

As Q2 2009 ends the training summary is looking much more healthy: I am now averaging 140km a week and able to achieve that distance with a ride every other day. June turned out well despite a four-day trip to Toronto for the Fluid Engage project meeting. If I can maintain this kind of distance over the next three months, even with a bit more traveling planned, I feel I shall be ready for the race in October.

  • January: 3 sessions – 21.95km
  • February: 5 sessions – 99.66km
  • March: 8 sessions – 236.64 km
  • April: 12 sessions – 520.82 km
  • May: 14 sessions – 629.80 km
  • June: 14 sessions – 606.89 km

Today’s group ride felt strong and I held onto the tiger’s tail for about 12km – a little farther each time. I feel I have had a good balance of solo riding and group practice so that whatever the race condition is I can cover the distance. I would prefer to do it in numbers, but one cannot count on that.

training: bike 4:07:49: 101.20 km; Silver Spring 80°F

Today was an important psychological threshold and the secret seems to have been getting out of bed an hour earlier than usual for my weekend ride so that by 8.30am when we usually start we had already ridden 25km! The pace was good, and the group predictable and good natured and, although the first section of the ride was unfamiliar, we joined up with the usual Sunday route on the way home, which made gauging the amount of energy I had left easier.

We’ll see what the legs feel like tomorrow!

training: bike 1:16:12: 32.96km; Silver Spring 79°F

It has been a strange week during which I have not been training or writing, but now I am back doing both: about ten days ago I woke up feeling as though I had broken a rib. It hurt to stretch, turn, breathe and within a couple of days my whole abdomen was tender and in places acutely painful. I rested, moved carefully, shallow-breathed for a few days and felt depressed about the whole thing. Last weekend I finally lost patience and went for a gentle ride. By the time I got back my side felt better, my breathing was better and deeper and, over the rest of the day, I felt gradually better.

So I have erged once and ridden twice this week and while I may not have been able to capitalise on the altitude training I am, thankfully, settling back into a routine and feel good in the saddle.

training: bike 2:07:15: 53.40km; Santa Fe 58°F

Today’s ride was fascinating: starting at 7200ft after one night to acclimate to the altitude I was not sure how long I would be able to go before my lungs gave out. My friend and guide for the ride, BCR, is a long time resident at this altitude and familiar with the effect it can have on visiting low riders: he picked an excellent route around the city with a number of small climbs but never more than a few miles from home if I needed to call it a day. At each artery he gave me the option to go on or turn for home, but I found my legs and lungs recovering more quickly from the climbs than I expected and so we would add a few more miles. He had also found me wonderful bike to ride – United Airlines wanted $600 for me to bring mine – so the ride was not only a great work out but very comfortable.

A few hours later I do feel as though I rode farther than we did and I shall certainly sleep well tonight!