I had a challenge this morning, although I'm supposed to take it easy today so as to conserve glycogen stores for tomorrow's 150km ride but I couln't resist the challenge. I was cruising along at a nice 25kmh when this young guy of similar size to me and on a similar bike joins the track, he cruises along behind me for a bit then comes up beside me and gives me 'that look' as he cruises ahead. I move up beside him, give him that look right back and it's on! We take off with a burst of acceleration, pacing each other up into the 30's, we're pushing hard at a sustained 37 - 39km/h, we slow down a little for a bend and I manage to slip in front. He powers out of the corner and reduces my lead to 1/2 a bike length and gaining. I know that we have 4 good uninterrupted kilometers of track before us so it's decision time, do I stick to my training plan and slow down, no way! I'm pumped! I'm going for it! Fully commited to the race now I shift up a gear and get out of the saddle for a burst of acceleration, my nemesis tucks in behind me for an aerodynamic advantage as we accelerate past 40km/h. My heart and lungs are starting to let me know that this is getting serious but to my surprise my legs are eager for more, so I shift up yet another gear, grab the handlebars extra tight, and start pumping the legs with great vengance and furious anger 300 meters later and I'm pumping at nearly 50km/h my lungs are on fire and my heart is about to explode, my legs are starting to burn but not too bad. I've gone anaerobic so my time here is limited. I glance back to see the young lad struggling to keep up even though he's enjoying an aerodynamic advantage so I quickly cross to the other side of the track in an effort to even the odds, he doesn't anticipate the move and loses the draft, he can't hold the speed pushing into the wind. I use that as motivation to pump out another 100 meters and put enough distance on him that he loses interest and falls back. In searing pain I drop back to 20km/h for a minute there feeling like I'm about to pass out. I cruise to the end of the track and stop, turn around, he's maybe 70 or 80 meters behind, he waves, I wave back and rejoin the road.
I love commuting.