It’s a little more than a week into Project Meatsuit and it’s time for a bit of reflection on where things stand.
The first thing is my endurance is NO where like it use to be. Just two weeks ago I did a 3 hour ride with Jered and Ashley Gruber through the Flemish Ardennes hills. It was a great ride, but I cracked hard, and by hard I mean that towards the end of the ride I couldn’t manage more than 13.7 km/hr over the climb of La Houppe, putting me dead last on Strava for the climb . I hit that point of being broken, when any real pressure on the pedals would just send me into a double leg cramp.
A couple of years ago being in such a situation would make me think all is lost. A demolishing ride would have broke me, but I’m older and know myself beter these days. I know that it’s going to be a long hard road to fitness, that it’s not about that exact moment right now, but the road ahead. And it was that knowledge that helped me keep going these past weeks. Today I did the middle section of the Tour of Flanders with Jered, but this time I was in a much better position than two weeks ago. Still tired, still not fit, but on the right track.
The second thing I have noticed I not longer have that kick I once had. My muscular strength isn’t there. It’s not gone, but just not where I remember it. I was however able to do quite a nice acceleration on the Molenberg on the ride and almost held off Jered till the very end. It was good enough to put me ranked 3rd on the Molenberg, not bad for a guy in my shape. The leg strength, the raw torque power, is getting better each week, so I think in a bit more time it’s going to be back.
Third is that my core needs some work. I’m finding that in part my back has been limiting me on some of the rides, both in flexibility and strength. I’ve got core work in my schedule of workouts, but until the benefits are reaped it’s going to be some more tough days on the bike.
Finally is that it’s all about quality over quantity these days. My time is much more limited these days between running The ChainStay and building up Renner Custom Clothing. I’m learning the art of fitting in rides even when the days get busy. Going from a life completely dedicated to cycling to one where cycling is part of the many things I’m balancing is quite a challenge. I’m becoming a fan of the action packed 1.5 hour ride. Packing in all the important aspect of the ride all with a quick ride, sometimes on the trainer, has been quite helpful.
I’m happy with the progress. I’m down to under 81 kilograms, loosing just over a kilo and bit this week. With more weight loss the hills will be easier and add on the fitness and I’ll be KOM hunting in no time.
Till next week, Gregg