Beyond 17km

Day 30 – Wednesday the 29th of February 2012.

What can I say? I am just lost for words at the fact that today I broke through the 17km in 30 minutes for my bike session a the gym. My speechlessness is largely due to the way I felt when I got up this morning, my wrestling with whether to do the session or not, the lethargy I felt when starting on the bike and just overall tiredness.

My day started really slowly with me waking up at 5:30am totally disorientated and not even being able to find the off switch on the alarm. It’s days like these that I feel really sorry for my wife who was woken up as a result of me being in a deep sleep. After a minute or so I found the alarm off switch and then seriously deliberated whether or not I’d do the session. I felt so tired and worn down after the enormous day I had yesterday consisting of 3 hours of uni in the morning before 3 hours of teaching and another 3 hours of uni followed by a three hour rehearsal. I left home yesterday at 5:45am and didn’t get back until around 10:30pm…now that’s a long day!

After my wrestle I got up and got ready for the gym, I would have to make one stop and get some petrol as I was on empty after the long drive we had in the country on the weekend, I got into the gym a little later at around 6:10am. I was on the bike by 6:15am and ready for my ride, I was still not feeling like it but wanted to put in a good effort to make the session worthwhile.

I started the ride and was doing an ok sort of pace, it really wasn’t anything special with the revs sitting between 98 and 110 throughout the first five minutes before I found any consistency between the 5 and 10 minute marks. The distance covered in the first five minutes wasn’t anything too special being just at the 2.6km pace, by the 10 minute mark I had managed to bring that up to only 5.3km. I was actually worried that making the 15 – 16km would be a challenge from here, I didn’t want to go less than the 15 so I started putting in place some small goals to make sure that I was on track, the first being to have hit 7.5km at a minimum by the 15 minute mark.

At 15 minutes I had ridden 7.98km, I had achieved the goal of riding 7.5km but my distance was still set to be under the 16km mark with this current pace. I set my next goal of trying to have ridden 11km by the 20 minute mark. I f I managed to reach this goal then not only would the 16km be a possibility but I would have turned things around enough to maybe reach the 17km mark. I pushed hard throughout these 5 minutes and managed to get the distance up to 11.1km by 20 minutes, I had actually achieved the goal set and brought back into play a chance of a PB distance!

The next five minutes were crucial for setting a PB, in Monday’s session the 20 – 25 minute period is where I really let myself down and fell off the pace. I knew I had to ride a minimum of 600m every minute to stay on track. I pushed hard bringing the rpm up to 120rpm with a work out put of around the 180 Watts. By the 25 minute I had managed to stay on track having ridden 14.1km, still 100m ahead of where I was needing to be. My legs were still feeling good, I was finding it difficult to keep the consistent speed and at times had to make up lost distance.

The last five minutes turned into a dash to the finish so to speak. I raised the revs to 125 and had a power output at times of up to 198 watts. By the 28 minute mark I had passed 16km and knew that a new personal best was definitely possible. By 29 minutes and 50 seconds I was passing the 17km mark, I had done it, now it was a matter of the last 10 seconds which resulted in me riding another 70 metres to end up with a distance of 17.07km for the 30 minutes.

I am really happy with this result and very surprisde. When I got up this morning I didn’t ever imagine that today would be the day that I would break 17km in 30 minutes, I guess it goes to show that the results really do come through committing and pushing through difficulty and adversity. This is a lesson I’d like to hope that I can learn and remember for the many mornings I will have to come this year where I don’t feel like doing the work.

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