That trip this weekend really took it out of me. I couldn't figure out why I was sleeping so much and waking up tired. Then it hit me. Jet lag! Dammit!
I decided there was no better cure for jet lag then a good, hard bike ride after work up the coast. So yesterday, I headed north from Torrey Pines and settled into a comfortably hard pace. How do you ensure a solid negative-split bike ride? With only 1.5 hours of sunlight left, ride out for an hour, and then turn around and sprint home!
At a stop light about 5 miles up, I recognized a friend I hadn't seen in 6 months! This is starting to happen more and more and makes every work out exciting. There's the unexpected anticipation of the possibility of bumping into a friend. We rode together until my turn around at mile 15, chatting and catching up. My pace didn't change (still comfortably hard--about 16 mph) but I knew he was holding back for me (he's an avid hard-core roadie).
We said our goodbyes in Carlsbad, and I turned around and headed home. I looked at my watch. Yup. 6:00. I glanced at the sun slowly sinking into the Pacific. I knew I had 30-35 minutes to get back, including up the Torrey Pines hill. I took off.
It felt great, to be honest. I focused on an extra push off the pedal at the bottom of every stroke. Plus, my new seat felt great--no aches or rubs--and this all in tri shorts! I started passing people; this never happens. It only fueled my enthusiasm.
A small group of guys sprinted by me. I let them go. There are tons of cyclists out there that are way faster than me. I'm used to roadies whizzing by like I'm standing still. No problem. However, a half mile up the road, they slowed up. Great! Now I have someone to draft off of. I caught up and relaxed. We went up a small hill. All of a sudden, I realized I was being held back. wtf? These guys passed me, right? Shouldn't they be setting the pace?
I hate passing. I know, I know. I'm weird. It puts pressure on me to hold the pace. I especially hate passing those who have passed me because it's extra pressure. I'd rather sit back and let a group slightly faster than me set the pace. Then I don't have to think about it. Less work for me!
With the sun setting, I didn't have much of a choice. I blasted by. We regrouped at a stop light. They were very nice and complimented my pace: "you're clipping right along!" I decided they were right, and when the light turned green, I took off. My goal was to make every light. I had to work for it, but I did. I never saw those guys again. Another mile up the road, I caught another cyclist who had passed me a few miles back. Never saw him again either. I don't know if it was the adrenaline or the fear of riding home in the dark (gotta start bringing the lights!) but I held the pace the entire time (about 18-20 mph).
As I soared by the Torrey Pines State Beach, I watched the sun sink into the horizon. I checked my watch: 6:35. Surrounded by several other cyclists and only 3 miles from the truck, I sighed and relaxed. All I had left was the Torrey Pines hill. I floored it the whole way up. That's my hill, baby. I know it like the back of my hand. It felt so good to let the lead out.
I got back to the truck just as the last remnant of sunshine ceded to darkness. My legs were tired but I felt exhilarated. I went home and eeked out a solid 45 minutes of weights, just to polish it off.
This morning, I had a terrific swim workout. It's a new quarter at UCSD so we have new people in the pool! My lane was more crowded than usual, and the other swimmers really pushed me. When I started swimming masters regularly this summer, I was doing 2:30s fro my 100s. I knew I had gotten down to 2:20 or even 2:15 but pretty soon, I realized I was swimming 2:00 comfortably. We swam a "test" 100s 4x as fast as we could with 20 seconds rest to see where we were all starting from. 1:40! I can hardly believe it!
I'm feeling pretty good right now (a little sore)...but very good.