Bad day...Gun Show!
I had a bad day at work...again. It started with a very frustrating meeting that ended with more work for me which puts me even further behind. I'm not sure why that bothers me anymore since we're so understaffed I haven't been caught up in years, but it's getting to me this year.
Luckily, I brought my bike in and planned to ride the gun show at lunch. I haven't done the gun show in quite a while and I wasn't sure if I would be able to hang with the group because I haven't fully recovered from the IM yet, but I thought I'd give it a go. After the meeting, I knew it was going to be a sufferfest for me. I had some steam to let off.
Since I haven't written about the gun show in a while... if you're unfamiliar it's our weekly ride (race) where we go out and beat up on each other for an hour. We start with a neutral roll out through Verona. Once we hit Range Trail, it's on until the stop ahead sign (the first sprint point). Then we regroup at the stop sign and do it again. There are 3 sprints total and then we head back to work.
Before I give you the gun show report, I should mention that my max HR is 185. I hit 187 once last year on a very hot, humid day, but it's rare for me to even hit 185.
We start out by picking up the Saris guys but they didn't have anyone today so it was just us and a few guys we pick up in Verona. As we were heading through Verona, we got pulled over. Yep, all of us. I figured it was for running the stop sign we ran right in front of him. Nope, he told us to ride single file when a car is behind us because it's safer and cars don't always react well to cyclists taking up the road. Then he said when there are no cars, we have the whole road to ourselves. He was really cool and it seemed like he was more interested in our safety than anything else. Maybe he's a cyclist.
After that, we turned onto Cty M, then Range Trail and the pace picked up. I tried to stay in the pack and stay out of the wind figuring my legs wouldn't have the strength to do much pulling today. I didn't have any plans of going for the win until I found myself in position to take it so I sprinted and opened up a gap. I thought I was alone out front so I let up and coasted to the sprint point and got beat at the last second. That'll teach me to let up. Max HR = 189.
The second sprint starts out a little slow as we recover, then we turn onto Sayles and the attacks begin. The second sprint is the hilliest so it's pretty tough. Ryan and Lee attacked and opened a gap and I stayed in the group as we tried to reel them in. We closed the gap a bit, but the pace was too slow to catch them before the sprint so I went up front and figured I would close the gap and then be too exhausted to sprint so someone else would take it but I just couldn't let the breakaway survive. I pulled hard, closed the gap and caught Ryan who dropped off. Lee was still out there so I kept pushing and apparently dropped the group in the process. I couldn't catch him, but I came close and got second. Max HR = 187.
The last sprint is the longest at 4.3 miles. I stayed in the group as much as I could to conserve energy and recover from the first two sprints. I still had some steam to let off so I wanted to go hard. I also wanted the win. I was upset from the meeting and a little upset with myself for letting off on the first sprint. The last sprint has an uphill followed by a downhill before it flattens out where the sprint point is so it gets pretty fast. I knew there would be an attack on the hill so I stayed up front so I could respond. Sure enough, Greg and Michael attacked...hard. I stood up and gave it everything I had but couldn't hang with them. They opened up a small gap and then they didn't attack the downhill hard enough and I was able to close the gap. Michael had the lead and Greg was fading a bit so a gap was opening. I wanted him to close it, but he didn't. I figured he refused to because he didn't want to pull me to the finish so I had to move in there and get on Michael's wheel before he got away. Later Greg told me he was tired and fading. Once I got on Michael's wheel and Greg faded a bit, I knew the sprint was mine. It was just a matter of waiting until the right moment. As soon as I saw him starting to stand for the sprint, I unloaded my frustrations and kept sprinting through the line even though I had enough of a gap to let up. I hit 38 mph - I wish I had my power meter on today so I could see what my max wattage was. Max HR = 186.
I didn't get my heart rate above 170 much in my IM training so this was new ground this year and I came very close to throwing up after the last sprint - even though my HR didn't get as high as the first two sprints, it was above max much longer...
It was a day of highs. A high heart rate just tells me I had a good ride so that's cool. Plus I need to get used to that if I'm going to train for a 10K.
But...out of curiousity...I took my blood pressure after work and it was the highest it's ever been. 146/77. Four weeks ago it was 130/80. Work has gotten too stressful this year and I'm seriously starting to believe it's time to move on. I love working in this industry, but I can't take this much longer.
On a more positive note, Cheri and I discussed our Italy plans a bit last night. We're thinking we might start the trip with a couple of days in London. We have some friends in London and it would be really cool to drop in on them (unannounced of course) and see the city, maybe go out to a pub and have a few too many drinks and get ourselves into a spot of bother. Good times.