Sunday, April 18, 2010

Confidence for RAAM

Last year at this time I rode a strong 190 mile ride on Saturday and followed it up with a 4.5 hour century in Augusta on Sunday. This gave me confidence going into RAAM that I was physically about as strong as I was going to get. This weekend gave me similar satisfaction.

My friend Gator and I started a 250 mile ride Friday afternoon at 3pm going from Augusta to Hartwell and back. My primary goal was to ride within myself and not suffer from the digestive issues that I get when I ride too hard. I can't say that it was a perfect ride, but I broke even with weight gain/loss. The route isn't as hilly as the North Georgia brevets, but we certainly had our fair share of climbing. We finished in just over 20 hours including downtime, so I got a better chance this year to get some sleep before Sunday's Dam Ride.

I biked 13 miles from the house to the start of the Dam Ride, and then settled into a nice 5 person group (including Glen and John - two local tough guys). The pace seemed to be just a bit easier than the previous year, but I was cautious that my energy might give out early. Though I did get a little tired along the way, I always felt like I had a little left in the tank for a surge if it was needed. The net result was a 4:45 century.

I felt much better than last year on my 13 mile ride home. I think the slightly slower finish time and the extra sleep before the ride helped, but I did bike 62 more miles this year. All said, I'm confident that my training has brought me close to my potential, and now we just have to keep working at it and hope that it will be enough for June.