10 June 2012

Personal Records All Around!

Today another classic P.E. ride -- the Reverse Paul Jason.  The first time on this course since the visit last fall of P.E. Europe women's champion Juliane P.  This is a good training ride - about 140 kms, with 1350~1400m of elevation, split among the Akigawa climb to Kobu Tunnel, the Uenohara golf course hills, and the steep almost 450m climb up the west side of Wada Pass.
Elated, having just shaved an entire SIX seconds off my personal best for the north side climb to Kobu Tunnel.  All four of us had PRs on this climb, AND on the Ura Wada climb!
Doug, Alexander, Graham, Pete and I headed out shortly after 7:30AM. After a bit of a warm up with me pulling in front, Pete W. moved to the head of our group and the pace quickened, noticeably, all the way to Itsukaichi.  I averaged just about 30kph for the first 40 kilometers of the trip.  Graham seemed to be suffering early ... but I knew he would not fade.  Pete, who had already done other rides this week, said farewell at Itsukaichi, having ridden us into the ground even before we entered the hills.

Doug, who is now a much stronger rider than Alexander, Graham or me, kept going with us.  Doug is now training for, and seems quite looking forward to, TCC's official "king of the mountains" ride, scheduled for June 30 -- a ride that includes the always painful (and sometimes very hot) Mikuni Toge, and ends at the top of Matsuhime Toge!

Alexander, who claimed not to have been riding at all (at least not outside of town) since he our Matsuhime trip over 2 months ago, did confess to some hiking.  And when we got to the top of Wada, he recognized it from a recent hike over Jimba-san.   When I rode with him in April, I thought -- this is someone who, once he gets back in cycling shape, I will NEVER beat to the top of a climb.  I guess he rode himself back into shape today, since I did manage to get up the climb to Kobu Tunnel ahead of him, but he was stronger from there on out.  And I think he will be stronger, from here on out.  His physique reminds me a bit of Ludwig/Manfred ... so I would call Alexander "Ludwig II", except that Ludwig II was the mad Bavarian king with the wild castle MOB visited last year, and Alexander appears the very model of sanity.

After last week's post on GPS-based cycling social networks, we wanted to put in a good effort on the main two climbs of the day.  We rested a bit at the bottom of the climb to Kobu, and then were off.  I could still see Doug rounding the corner ahead of me as we were more than half way up the climb, so I knew I was putting in a good effort -- pushing the needle up to, but not way into, the red zone.  And sure enough, on Ridewith GPS I shaved 6 seconds off my time -- from 11:42 to 11:36.   The deviously placed Strava segment goes further ... all the way to an endpoint in the area between the first and second tunnels (need to remember this -- a great chance to win the KOM points after the other riders think the climb is already over).  I seem to have set a new PR for that longer segment as well.  Strava also shows that Graham's ride today set his PR there.  And Doug's time will definitely be a PR ... when he uploads the GPS data.  Likewise for Alexander, ... should he choose to join Strava and/or RidewithGPS.

The descent was uneventful, the golf course hills nasty, brutish and short, as usual and the foliage everywhere was overgrown -- stretching out over the roads, obscuring views around corners that were clear only a few months ago.

A rest at the Daily Yamazaki in Route 522, then another brief one to collect ourselves before the west approach climb to Wada.  This climb, as well, resulted in a PR for each of us.  My time of 33:23 shaved 1:07 off my former best climb there, 34:30, December 18, 2010.

Hot Graham at Wada
I am sure that without the brief rests at the bottom of these segments, I could not have beaten my previous times.  Maybe I'll go back on some beautiful fall day, take the train out to Fujino, put on my lighter climbing wheels, and really try to gun it up Wada?

Needless to say, we were pretty tired by the top of Wada -- at least Graham and I were.  I was running on empty during the ride back into town.  I ended up losing over 3kgs (water) weight over the course of the ride, despite drinking 1800mls between the start and Itsukaichi, somewhat more than that again on the remainder of the ride, plus yogurt drink, coffee drink, etc.  I need to focus on acclimatizing to and beating the heat, and staying hydrated.  I did eat various items of  food with salt (including a salted hard boiled egg), had a banana (potassium), and some "gratin" to get a bit of energy on the way back.  But I did not take Nuun tablets this time for my water bottles -- last week I brought them, and blamed them, rightly or wrongly for my not drinking enough liquid.  Need to find a better solution.

Refueling stop.
Anyway, that was my last hard training before Cascade 1200.  Now I let my legs recover and try to get enough sleep most nights over the next 12 days.

UPDATE:  Doug reports that his time up the west approach of Wada was 27:28.  Very fast.  But, unfortunately, his Garmin data is not downloading for some reason, so his time will not make it onto Strava or RidewithGPS.   I guess he might as well have stayed home.

No comments: