But my buddy Bob made it a lot better.
Sometimes, I really enjoy training on my own. I'm on my own schedule, can take as few breaks as possible and get done with my workout quicker. However, what I make up for in efficiency can sometimes be lost with pacing, or in today's case, a little extra pushing.
As some of you know who have read the blog for a while now, Bob did Ironman Arizona with me last year. He's a heck of a cyclist and has bursts of speed that leave my jaw dropped when he chooses to push it. Today, he made me push it at the end of a two-hour ride at Griffith Park where my legs felt lactic, my climbing power lacked and my heart rate slacked.
And I couldn't be happier. Bob yelled and paced me to climb a hill much faster than I anticipated or I even thought capable at this stage of my workout and after a nearly 13 hour training week (not including weekend activities yet). More important, my heart rate didn't explode the way I thought it might, and I sustained the speed down the hill and in the flats for the remainder of what became a small 20-minute crit. Granted, Bob absolutely destroyed me in speed and power. But I felt like my workout went from good to great thanks to the extra push.
That's also the real benefit of having a training partner who's a better athlete than you. Learning by osmosis, you can't help but get better yourself. Frank helped train me as a beginner cyclist, and if I can ride more with Bob, I'll get even better.
Now I just have to ask myself who will pace me tomorrow as I slosh through a rain storm for my first unofficial race of the year, a Pasadena 5k that serves as the tempo portion of a 1.75 hour run. I hope I have enough energy to finish the race as I'm pretty worn out from an epic week of training and another swimming milestone.
I like my chances though if I can latch onto someone down the stretch.
Race report to follow tomorrow.
116 days and counting.