The Day (cough) After

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Not much to report today.  I slept well and was not very sore, but I did feel it in my legs when I saddled up to the stationary trainer for an easy spin, recovery session.  I only spent 40 minutes on that beast. The much more noticeable “hangover” was a slightly sort throat and a ragged, gravelly cough that had started right after the race and had persisted all day. 

One race day revelation is the file on my Garmin. 

I downloaded it and was shocked to find that at the start, in the first few minutes, my heart rate spiked to 200 beats per minute (bpm).  I’ve never seen a number that high before – ever – and did not know that my old ticker could bump-it that hard.  After a few minutes it “settled down” so that for the one hour and six minutes of the race, it pounded out an average 169 bpm rhythm.  As a former dance club DJ, I know that’s a beat hard to get your groove on with.  I’m sure a pair of Rate-A-Record teens on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand would agree.  “I like the lyrics, but it’s a little hard to dance to.”

I learned something – or maybe some things from this data.  I rarely get my heart rate up to what I use as my max –  165 – though with some intervals I do see 170 or so – briefly – before my vision starts to blur.  Now I know that I can reach higher heart rates, not unlike those I regularly achieved 28 years ago.  But the lesson here confirms what I have heard for years. 

Racing is the best training.  Competition makes going hard, going all-in, much more fun.  And in the interest of making training fun and moving closer to a podium finish, I will do more races and for the first time in my racing life, I will enter some USA Cycling sanctioned honest-to-goodness road races.

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