Activity: road cycling
Location: Marshall, VA > Markham > Paris > Bluemont > Airmont > Marshall
Distance: 55.0 miles (hilly with rolls)
Duration: 3:07
Weather: sunny and hot, 83-90 degrees
Climbing: 4,557′
Avg HR: 155 (max 188)
Type: aerobic

PPTC “Backwards Blue Ridger” ride. After yesterday’s hard ride, I was a bit torched coming into this one. I’d repaired some of the flaws, though: I had a new FSA chainring installed on the bike, and I’d taken my allergy meds (somewhat doubling up, just so I wouldn’t run low during the ride). But I hadn’t properly refueled the night before, and I knew that going in (hydration wasn’t the issue – glycogen stores were).

The ride was fast to the base of Naked Mountain, and I got a good start up the mountain. But Jonathan launched a furious pace up that I couldn’t match without going into the red for a long period of time – a recipe for disaster when the heat is so furious. I realized that I needed to cut down the intensity of the ride to get any benefit from the effort, and I did – most clearly shown in my slow, crawling ascent up Mt. Weather. The rest of the A-class riders dropped me here, which was fine, as I wanted to keep my HR from spiking. I made up a lot of ground on the descent (broke 50 mph for the first time on Mt. Weather Road during the drop onto VA Route 7), and arrived at the Bluemont Store only a few minutes behind the leaders.

After a long rest break (most of us had ridden the Apple Blossom ride on Saturday, and were showing the effects of the heat and effort), we forged on to the rollers leading back to Marshall. I rode strong with the lead group until mile 45, and then had to fight to catch back up with them. Once I did, they kicked it up another notch about 3 miles from the parking lot, and I let them go. T’was better to save the effort for another day.

This weekend of rides was my first all-out shelling of the season: I’d spent my energy and had nothing left to give. I ate a good post-ride meal, drove back to DC, and took a 2 hour nap – rest that was most necessary. I know that I need to rebuild my energy stores for next weekend, when SkyMass and Nokesville beckon (at least these rides are in a more logical order: big hills on Saturday, flatter spinning on Sunday).