It was 43 degrees when Anat and I started our respective time trials this morning in Agoura. Fog hung dense and low over the Agoura/Calabasas pass on the 101 Freeway. The hills off Kanan Drive leading to Malibu were barely visible, their tips just peeking over the foreboding mist that almost dared me to turn around and crawl back into my warm covers.
Come ride time, we each had three layers of clothing, including two pairs of long sleeves.
I am a total weather wuss, in case you didn't know.
It took a little longer than usual to warm up the legs, obviously. But I didn't rush. I felt sluggish during the warm-up phase as we took a practice lap around Westlake Lake. The strength just wasn't there at first, and my quads burned. That was even with spinning at higher than normal cadence (95-plus rpm) to get the motor runnin'.
Fortunately, when the time came to fire it up, I was ready. At first. I rocketed out to a fast sprint, ramping up to nearly 29 mph down the first straightaway.
I'm not gonna lie, I felt rather Lance-ish at that moment.
Then, reality set in. As did my normal pace, for the most part. On my last TT, I didn't have the benefit of a fully functional speedometer or odometer. This time, I was able to do a better job measuring. If the calculations are accurate, I increased in speed by nearly 2 mph, to a few ticks over 20 mph. I traveled just shy of 6.7 miles in 20 minutes, and my average HR was 164 during that span. That's 10 bpm higher than the last TT. This time, I had more traffic to contend with and the weather was colder, but I was definitely able to pedal harder.
We'll see what Coach Gerardo has to say.
After our TT's were completed, Anat and I headed out to Portrero Road via Lake Sherwood for some spin-ups. We did eight intervals at maximum cadence for 30 seconds, each followed by a full cooldown before ramping back up. By the seventh set, I was getting pretty gassed.
On the way home, Fortius friends Christina, Vinnie and Bee-oh Kim, spotted us fueling up at the Sherwood fire station hydrant. Bee-oh is leaving permanently tomorrow for Korea, where he's been recruited to join the Korean national ITU triathlon team. He will be paid, fed and housed to train full-time. I only had the privilege of training with Bee-oh a couple times, but knew he was "special" because he was always so far ahead of the group that Coach Gerardo would tack on extra sets for him of whatever we were doing.
I feel honored to have trained with someone who will likely be an Olympian in 2012 or 2016. He may even get me to cheer for Korea ahead of the US, blasphemous as that sounds.
Now, after a haircut and a failed attempt at a nap (thanks, Trudy and Bam-Bam!), I'm rallying to meet some long-time friends of mine for a reunion dinner. I'm excited.
I will be home in plenty of time to get up early for training tomorrow, so the afternoon and evening is free for the AFC and NFC Championship games.
My predictions? Saints and Colts meet in the Super Bowl.
305 days and counting.