Ups and Downs

Life has been a mixed bag recently. I started putting some focus on endurance/distance in preparation for 10 Under the Ben. My ~50 mile loop around Kincardine was followed the next weekend with a ~65 mile ride back up from Ayrshire against a strengthening headwind. But following that, I got a bit of a chest infection which I didn’t shift for two weeks, plus a stomach bug, plus toothache. Arg! So, two weeks passed as I waited to get healthy again, only managing an easy trip around Glentress during that time, and it knocked me out of doing the Contin SXC race last weekend. Boo. 🙁

Still, this week has been better. I cycled to work on Wednesday for the first time in ages, and took the afternoon off today to blast round the red at Glentress at nearish race pace. Leaving from the hub cafe, I reached Buzzards Nest after 19 mins, top of Spooky Woods after 47 mins, and was back at the Hub in under 1h 20m. The matrix/lombard st trails are still closed sadly. The only real trouble was a sore lower back coming down Spooky Woods. I often get this – I think it’s maybe the change from “climbing muscles” to “standing on pedals” muscles. Maybe some “core strength” work required? I dunno really.

I had my heart rate monitor with me, mostly to cajoule me into riding at something like race pace. Average rate from the hub to spooky woods was 153. I experimented with different levels of exertion on the long climb. Mostly, I stayed between 150-155 but at time I moved up to 160 and it seemed fairly sustainable. Anything above 165 feels like I’ve started a countdown timer – okay for short bursts, but not for a sustained climb.

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