Woke up for a foggy ride with Tommy B, we decided to do the Chili's route, which is a ride that most of the local trackies do on Saturdays. As predicted, we met up with their group just before the best part of the ride, just prior to the very fast section down Kearny Villa Rd, where the sprint finish sets up. The group was averaging between 27-30 down this whole stretch, very intense. Felt very good about my riding, took some very good lines to the front of the pack, and was in about 5th when the move went. I was in the right spot to try and go with them, but the acceleration was just a little more than I have. Tommy B was back about 5 spots when it went, and had to take a less than optimal outside route. I was stoked to put myself in position in a very competitive ride. We plan on doing this ride a few more times over the winter just to keep things interesting. Being in the bunch sprint is a feeling that's tough to describe, every muscle in your body is firing at max capacity, situational awareness has to be extremely high, and you have to process a thousand thoughts and inputs a second to a.) keep from running into anyone and b.) match the moves from the pack. It makes me very much want to get into bike racing. It really stands the hair up on the back of your neck, and is a complete mental and physical challenge, something that is rare to find.
Rounding out the first week of R2K was a 11 mile tempo run up to Cabrillo monument and back. I invited Richard from CFE as well as Tommy B to round out a solid crew for a tough run. Unfortunately, I made some poor decisions regarding nutrition yesterday. During Army-Navy I managed to slug down about 7 beers, without eating much and came home feeling awful. I went to bed and tried to hydrate, woke up feeling ok. We cruised out at a pretty good clip, and made it to the halfway point (5.5 miles) in just about 40 min. Keep in mind the first 3 miles are straight uphill, so again I was pretty stoked with the pace. The morning was as beautiful as it gets in San Diego, and the views from Cabrillo did not disappoint. I think Richard, being new to town, really enjoyed seeing such a unique view of the city. As we went back down toward my house, about 20 minutes in I realized I was in trouble. I was feeling pretty dehydrated and was working pretty hard to stay with Richard and TB. They put some time into on one of the rollers up near the top, and I managed to maintain the pace and keep them in sight for another mile. By the time we hit the descent outside the gate, I was in a bad way. The last 3 miles felt like the last part of an Ironman, and it became a struggle just to keep going. It became a test of mental toughness just to not walk, which I did successfully. It taught me a tough lesson, and reminds me how important nutrition is as the basis for training. It sucks to pop off the back of a run like that, but sometimes a tough day of training provides more insight than a perfect day.
All in all this week was one of the most solid I have put in, possibly ever. Other than my setback today, I nailed training, nutrition, and recovery, and was able to perform at a high level all week. If I can string a few of these together, Ill be showing up ready to compete with anyone next season.