The drizzle was just starting around 6:30 when I headed this out morning on what I thought was going to be a 35-mile ride. The drizzle turned into a soft rain but nothing heavy and it seemed to keep the cars off the road. Today, the rain was my friend. I had sore quads from my run yesterday but, otherwise, I was just fine.
Have I mentioned that I take breaks on my rides? After sixty minutes I pull over and do what I need to do: drink, gel, remove a layer of clothing, etc. An hour is about 15 miles on my routes so I'm going the distance of most of my planned races before I stop so I don't think it's cheating :-). Anyways, it's only a few minutes. It's just the L.A. Triathlon where I think I'll need to fuel up while on the bike (it's a 20-mile ride) so I can work on my mobile nutrition logistics later.
Back to the ride. At my first break I noticed I was right at 15mph, which is good. I rode down Rinaldi and made the turn onto Balboa. Instead of going right into the granny gear for the climb I usually go into granny+1 until it gets too hard and then I downshift into the granny gear. However, this time I didn't downshift. Without any planning and just because I felt good, I went up the whole Balboa incline, including the second, steeper one, in granny+1. This is a huge deal for me and translated into 1-2mph faster up the hill because I was keeping a pretty good cadence the whole time (around 60). After yesterday's depressing run, this brought me back up.
After coming down Balboa and turning onto Foothill I saw numbers on my Garmin that didn't make sense. It turns out that my 35-mile ride was just a 33.75-mile ride. Next time I'm going to need to find a way to make it longer. On the bright side, I did this route almost 20 minutes faster than the last time I rode it. Woo hoo!
Next weekend is my killer 46-mile route into Santa Clarita. Last time I rode it it wiped me out for the whole weekend. This time I'd like to squeeze in a run on Sunday (and maybe an easy 10-mile ride after that to get the junk out of my legs). We'll see.