It's been 3 years since I started back at this little sport... activity... endeavor... whatever and I figured I've done enough, it's time to push a little and see what happens.
So, I hit (small but significant) hills at a higher cadence or bigger gear (or both, but I'm getting ahead of myself).
Or, I push a bigger gear in the flats
Or, I get out of the saddle and climb.
Or, I set up sprint points and try to kill them.
OK, you get the idea... I try to "hut my bode-ie" as Paul Sherwen would say.
Open up that suitcase of pain.
Funny thing, it *does* hurt and usually pretty quickly.
The bode-ie doesn't like being asked to do things out of its comfort zone. Well, duh.
Funny thing, too... if you keep at it and deal with the discomfort, the body adjusts and accepts it.
Now, you have to go farther, longer, etc. to get into difficulty.
And that bar just keeps moving up and you right along with it. Wow. Who knew?
The other thing about it is that your heart begins to freak a little less. It likes to suffer, too. Double wow.
Case in point. I live at the top of a .3 mile, 8% average (max 15%). Used to be I'd use my 30x30 in the saddle as I ground all the way up beating at 168bpm at the top. 165 bpm was my medically imposed max.
Came up that way today.
39x21 out of the saddle and I wasn't grinding anything.
I was riding like I wanted this climb to end as soon as possible.
Right at the crest, I finally collapsed into the saddle and shifted down.
And this isn't new, either. It's been like that for a while.
I just finally figured out that it's real.
I'm not imagining it, it's not a fluke.
And it's starting to seem like I'm adjusting faster than before, too.
Of course, I realize that I'll never been a great climber... asthma is always going to be a limiting factor.
Tough to think about "spinning 90s" in any gear when you're fighting for oxygen.
Nothing I can about it? Then I can live with the limitation, it's not my fault.
Unless I let it stop me.
Amazing what we can do, isn't it?
Just push, baby.