I've written about my triathlon exploits after eating pizza. Now I can add red velvet cake to my growing list of Things That Are So Bad They Make Me Perform Better. My friend Jennie sent me a birthday cake today that must have come close to weighing 10-12 pounds.  As you can see, it was pure decadence.  Creamy, cold white frosting with rich red, chocolate goodness.  Each slice took up an entire paper plate!  I was very good, I "only" ate a full piece about two hours before my Wednesday evening Griffith Park brick with the LA Tri Club and Fortius team members.

And it seemed to have paid off!  I was afraid I'd (sugar) crash hard during a bike climb or certainly during the run portion. Or maybe I'd get sick like I had been lately. Nothing of the sort occurred.  I tore up Mount Hollywood on the bike feeling fresh and powerful, unchained by Coach Gerardo's note in my Training Peaks workout that I could play with some attacks and sprints while avoiding heart-rate zone 5.

Well, two out of three ain't bad, right?

Frank decided to join me for the brick today, which meant my cycling mentor had no problem encouraging me to dart up the hills and challenge him to some sprint duels.  I was so excited to finally speed past him on some climbs that I forgot to finish at the top of the hills, which would be when Frank would zip past me by the narrowest of margins. This was a good lesson for me as in each instance I was in the wrong gear to finish strong in the sprint.  Frank knew just when to attack, while I was ill-prepared to make a proper defense.

First, Frank taught me how to ride.  Now, he's teaching me the ins and outs of racing.  It's gonna be one fun ride!  My evening reading -- Mark Cavendish's autobiography -- is also inspiring me to push a little harder while riding. He eschews sports science in favor of simply riding a lot of hours, hard and fast.  He's constantly been told he performs poorly in the laboratory -- poor power output, too fat, etc. -- and he responds by saying that labs don't measure passion and perseverance.  That's my kind of guy.  So as I pushed hard today, even sustaining close to 25 mph in a pace line for a while at the end, I kept thinking of Mark Cavendish and his "old school" training style.  It was a liberating feeling.

Despite the effort on the bike, my run went well too.  It started off poorly, as the group was very fast and shot ahead of me from the start.  This was further complicated by having to pee only a half-mile in.  Eventually, I got my legs under me and caught up with most of the group during the trail run portion.  I kept my heart rate mostly in zone 3 and was very consistent during my finishing two-mile kick.  Though I need to pick that intensity up in preparation for the Breath of Life Olympic triathlon on June 27.  I'll really need to push hard that day!

I'll have an opportunity to hone my speed (or lack thereof?) tomorrow at our Fortius team's first coached track workout.  It's going to be held at Harvard-Westlake High School off Coldwater Canyon at 6 p.m.  But before that is my 6 a.m. coached swim workout.  Better get to bed.

161 days and counting.