Wednesday was supposed to be a MAF run on the track, but I got a call from my buddy DuShun asking if I wanted to go ride. Up to this point all of my rides have been at heart rates below 135bpm and averaging about 124bpm for most sessions. DuShun, the most gifted cyclist I have ever seen anywhere with a max heart rate somewhere near 220 at 43 is not someone to ride with if you intend on watching your heart rate.
So I was tempted to leave my monitor at home. What I wound up doing instead was wearing it and ignoring the numbers that flashed across my screen.
All in all, I was pleasantly surprised. I wound up keeping pace with him on all but the steepest climbs and was able to bridge back up to him easily on the flats. This tells me my strength training is paying off. What I have lost is the efficient, high cadence that can allow me to climb at a pace that can match his. I don't know if I'll ever have the power he can generate, but with better endurance, strength and technique riding with him won't destroy me.
This ride sort of reminded of Monday's run because I pushed harder than even I expected (DuShun had called promising an easy ride in order to allow his sore knee to recover). But I was able to both hang on and push the pace dealing out my share of punishment too. I lost the final sprint, but I didn't go down without a fight. It's shaping up to be a great 2010 already. Train well!