With April comes Spring, the sun, the cool, breezy days and -this year- my month on call.
Two weeks as backup, two weeks as primary.
With a mandated response time of 30 minutes, the plans for any long rides go down the drain like a spring shower. And, of course, just as I was getting pretty darn comfortable with the new bike and I am itching to start doing some 25, 30, 40 mile rides and knock out that metric that I am now REQUIRED to complete <sigh>
So, what to do...
You've heard many times -to the point of absolute boredom- of my favorite practice climbs, Roberts Road and Sharp Park Road. Thanks to the Garmin, I know now how bad they really are. From once avoiding Roberts Road out of fear, it has now become a part of my standard "southern loop" A half mile of an average 7% climb. It's just no big deal anymore. Not easy for me, really, but not all the demanding... I just pedal, keep breathing and go. I just followed the age old advice and kept hitting it head on. The body does adjust.
So, now, Sharp Park Road... another kettle of fish.
Two miles to the top but the first mile is an average of nearly 9% with a lot of 10, 11, 14% sections sprinkled in to blow any rhythm you get going all to hell.
From needing FIVE stops the first time up to just two... I thought, "What would happen if I rode this sucker up once a week instead of once a month? What if I rode it 2 or 3 times a week? Wouldn't I just improve just like I did by riding Roberts Road over and over again?" Well, yeah... it would
So, that's my plan. So far, in the past 10 days or so, I've ridden up 4 times, including today for lunch.
Yes, I had Sharp Park Road for lunch today I can now do it with one stop (soon it will be none stops. I have no doubt). I can already see a difference. The climb that used to take 20-25 minutes now takes 14. My HR now peaks out at 166 -very, very briefly- where 10 days ago, climbing with one stop jacked my HR up to 175. Once. I didn't need any repeats of that, believe me. It's all about rhythm and breathing. And there's that ride back down to the bottom... oh yeah.
I go back to see my cardiologist for a recumbant stress/echo in 3 weeks...
I wonder if anything has changed? I don't know, but I'm bringing my graphs with me.