Slow and Easy Does It

I felt like I sucked during my bike ride today.

The joy of heart-rate training.
I rode with a group or cyclists associated with Bicycle John's in Agoura. In the past, I kept up fine with them, to the point where I felt almost like I was too fast for the group.
Not today.
The goal was to ride long hills for two hours with less than maximum effort, staying in my saddle most of the time, and keeping my heart rate under 168 bpm.
On the positive side, I was able to handle every one of those challenges. In fact, my heart rate only briefly peaked at 161 going up the Rock Store grade off Kanan Road. Typically, I was around 157, which was pretty good.
The tough part was watching the same group of cyclists whom I've kept up with in the past blow completely by me on their way up the hill. I couldn't help but wonder whether all this training is making me slower. It was hard to swallow, especially on a day where I just wanted to ride hard and blow off some steam.
Then, I swam intervals for an hour after the bike ride concluded.
I wonder how many of those cyclists could have done the same thing.
Then again, maybe I'm the only one crazy enough to even try it!
326 days and counting.