Pedal Power! (Days 26 and 27)
Thursday, August 04, 2011
Yesterday and today were amazing. They were my first two days back in the saddle since my vacation.
I didn't feel the difference right away. My first trip in to work I thought I might be going a little slower than usual, but maybe it was just getting used to be back on a bike again. On the way home in the afternoon, my legs felt great, but I didn't notice anything different until I started my way up the first of two difficult hills on the route - standing on the pedals. Normally I can't do that for more than a few seconds because my muscles start feeling shaky, so imagine my surprise when I made it all the way up the hill, and then continued to power my way along as if I had new legs! After the most challenging part, I was going about 9 miles an hour on an incline that I normally take at about 6.5 or 7. Then I did it on the second and even more challenging hill. I really am getting stronger, and I'm very psyched!
Today, feeling encouraged, I did it again. I even threw in a few extra bursts of standing on the pedals, with success.
The weather has been pretty hot and muggy. They say that last month was the hottest month on record here in the D.C. area since they started keeping records (ca. 1872). I can believe that.
In spite of the temperature, I seem to be able to stay comfortable. I always ride with a Camelbak filled with cold water, my clothes wick perspiration away, and I have a shower waiting for me near each end of the trail.. Yesterday I discovered that it's helpful to have a washcloth on hand that I can use to wipe my face and neck with cool water from the Camelbak. It really makes a difference. Another thing I might try is freezing wet washcloths, and carrying a couple of those along. I used to do that for my daughter sometimes when she was playing soccer in extreme weather.
That's all I have to report for now. Weather permitting (mainly thunderstorms), I'll be back out there tomorrow.