Sometimes you really look forward to looking at Strava after your ride, because things felt good, the times on your computer looked good, and you’re thinking hey, it’s about time!
And I did feel somewhat better than OK heading up Kings with Kevin this morning. I don’t think I’m ready to declare the new change in breathing meds to be better, but they’re certainly not worse. I was able to have snippets of conversation on the way up, and even drink now & then without almost coming to a halt, gasping for air.
Waiting for us at the top was new-knee JR, 4 months into rehab and thinking, if he hadn’t left earlier, he might have been dropped. By me? Not by much, if at all! But it was nice to think someone had a bit more respect of my abilities than I had myself.
No leg warmers, no base layer, just really nice weather. Still a bit away from cracking 30 minutes, or 1000 VAM for that matter. But I felt consistent and capable. A good thing. Maybe I’ll survive France next month.
The “regular” Sunday ride would have to be today’s Old LaHonda/Pescadero/Tunitas loop. How many times have I done it? Hundreds. Not as many times as the twice-weekly run up Kings, to be sure, but a lot. Way way way back in the day, before I started riding with my son, I don’t recall riding it nearly as often as I do now. Unfortunately, those days are pre-strava and even the original almost-daily-diary doesn’t go back much earlier than 1999.
OK, so what made today’s ride special or in some way different from all the rest? For starters, it was one of the few rides so far this year done without leg warmers or base layer. That was almost a questionable decision, as it dropped as low as 53 climbing Tunitas, but for the most part it was lower-60s and maybe leg warmers could have been used but sure felt nice without them.
We apparently timed the ride just right, leaving late enough that all the fast people had already ridden up Old LaHonda, so I didn’t get passed by a single rider! I was riding dreadfully slowly though, giving Kevin some concern, but fortunately bounced back nicely on Haskins. This was one of those rides that really proved how much better you can feel if you just keep on riding.
Windy? Yes, especially heading north on Stage Road, but not a straight-on headwind so Kevin and I cruised along pretty well.
I’m not seeing any major changes in my breathing after switching meds about a week ago, but it’s possible my lungs could be improving but I’m held back by bad breathing technique at this point. Basically I adopted a kind of “survival” breathing mode on climbs, breathing more frequently than a normal person, and perhaps I just need to relax a bit, slow down the breathing and I’ll be better. One indication there might be some improvement is that I’ve been able to talk a little bit on the climbs. It’s not showing up in my times though, and right now I’m more interested in speed than conversation. 🙂