Sunday’s ride providing dividends… Garmin “exercise load” score improving

You can ride but you can’t hide. Truth is, I’ve been putting in close to normal miles for some time, but without normal results because so many of the rides haven’t had big climbs or been very fast. My Garmin tells the real tale; there’s a screen called “exercise load” that gives you the honest truth- how much effort are you actually putting in? And of course, the greater the effort, the better you’re doing (within reason).

I had fallen off the back so badly that my Garmin was saying I was riding “optimally” with a relatively-low exercise load score. In other words, if I wanted to maintain a sad level of fitness, I was doing exactly the right thing.

For months I was looking at an exercise load in the 700-800 range, when in the past I’d never been below 1000. Ever. And because I let things just kind of gradually slide downhill, the Garmin gracefully recalibrated its idea of what I was capable of, without any direct insults.

I was a bit disappointed, after Sunday’s tough ride up Redwood Gulch, that I was seeing an exercise load score of 880 for the past week. Today, things finally paid off. 1100! And I plan to keep it up there, especially with France coming up.

It was especially helpful that Kevin’s knee was feeling much better this morning, so I could have a bit of fun on Kings, doing brief intervals here and there. And instead of shortening the ride by heading down 84, we did the Swett Road/Tunitas loop. Still shorter than including West Old LaHonda, but nearly as much climbing, and until West Old LaHonda is open again, it’s the best we got.

With Karen’s health stabilizing, I might even be able to get another check on my lungs, maybe from a different pulmonologist who can actually figure out what’s going on.

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