Today’s workout was going to be hard. Apparently telling your coach 225 watts is reallyyyy easy, despite 241 being your last 20 minute max power, will get you 4 climbs at ?-230-240-250 watts. Fabulous, nothing like riding at or above your 20 minute max on your final climb. I had a game plan: start with the Donut ride and hide in the pack to start the climbs feeling as fresh as possible, hammer at least part of the switchbacks to put me in a good mood for the other climbs that would then feel easy compared to hammering.
Full ride, power and elevation
Problem is, rides rarely go according to my plan. It was WINDY. Like ahhhh scared Tink windy. And, because I could care less about the ride today until the climbs, I was chilling at the back with good company. Unfortunately, that also meant getting on a wheel that soon enough had both of us gapped out from the main pack. Well, now I was really cursing the wind, although still in good company with Leo to give me his wheel and chat a bit. Give me his super deep dish wheel that made me stop feeling half as bad for myself.
Full ride, heart rate and elevation
Climb #1- arrive at the Switchbacks (1.9 miles, 5%) with the main group probably already halfway up the climb. Fail, although because the group ride was never really my goal today, not really a disappointment. To hammer or not to hammer? I have this thing where I like to hammer for 5 minutes, so I decided I would do that. I did, 286 watts (5.7 w/kg). What to do with the other 4 minutes? I thought it would be cool for the 4 climbs go 220-230-240-250, but my watts were clearly going to average above 220 so I thought the next coolest thing would be 250-230-240-250. I finished the climb with the average being 250 watts (5.0 w/kg), HR 178.
Climb #2: Lower PV Dr. East (1.9 miles, 4.2%)- 230 watts (4.6 w/kg), this shouldn’t be too bad. And it wasn’t, although my legs and arms were a bit unhappy from the earlier 5 minutes trash yourself session. HR 163 for about 9 minutes, no harm done.
Climb #3: Via Colinita + Crest (3.4 miles, 4.7%)- 240 watts (4.8 w/kg)- longer and more watts, sounded a bit rough. Fortunately, I only had a few minutes of descending to think about it, and then I was rolling along actually with little strain (HR 171) for about 15 minutes.
Climb #4: Backside Hawthorne (3.4 miles, 4.4%)- 250 watts (5.0 w/kg)- this one could hurt, this one should hurt. Nice and steady watts, Tink, nice and steady. That was the plan…get to the climb and thought train is more like “if I go a bit harder at the bottom, then I can go a bit easier at the top…). About 10 minutes in, I’m holding steady between 250-260, and then I come up on the main intersection and the dreaded red light. Noooooo, must hold 250 watts! Cars? Heyyyyy, see me? Ummmm ya. Okay, watts didn’t drop too much, 250 is still right there. The climb starts to level out, so I try to shift to my big ring. Drop chain. Shift up down all around and it will NOT get back on…average watts going down, frustration going up. About 20 seconds later, I’ve got my big ring and just a couple minutes left to call this workout done. 14 minutes later, with HR avg 172, I’m done and quite content.
Other than seeing yet another crash in Portuguese Bend, and wishing that we would chill through that section (although knowing it will never happen), it was a sensational ride. I’ve never felt so strong from start to finish.