OK, you knew that was coming, didn’t you? It is not the end of the end, or even the beginning of the end, but perhaps the end of the beginning. For what it is worth, the speech came after the tremendous victory at El Alamein Round 2.
Today we did the highest climbing day of the entire 47 days: 8587 vertical feet; 72.7 miles. On the plus side the weather was perfect. One challenge I had anticipated but really felt was the impact of biking at altitude.
It was a tough challenge. I certainly didn’t think about giving up, but in the final 10 miles of climbing my legs definitely resisted cooperating. To give a sense of the challenge — my FTP (Functional Threshold Power) is 202, meaning I should be able to run at 202 for one hour using my maximum effort. To do my climbing, my coach suggested running at 70-75% of FTP, which is 140-150. The problem is when I was in my lowest gear I was still forced to push at 180-210 most of the time — the hills were just too steep and they were largely continuous. We climbed for about 6 hours. So the only way I could make it was to stop every 1/2 mil or so on the steepest bits and just knuckle down for the rest. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Had my first flat today. Took about 30 minutes to get it changed and reflated, but I was quite content to have a break so it was probably my happiest flat ever.
Tomorrow is an easier day but I will need to work on recovery. 30 minutes of stretching and then bed at 8:30.
Song of the Day. I wasn’t going to break the PG rating, but this song “Started from the Bottom” by Drake (which Jonathan Cheng recommended) was just too perfect. Don’t play it for your kids.