Over the next several weekends I have a State 3D Championship (Georgia Bowhunter and Archery Association), a race (5K) and finally the Georgia State Outdoor Championship (Georgia Archery Association). Getting ready for all of them means a lot of training and practice.
When I go to the gym to lift weight the week of an archery tournament I dial it back. Pushing it lifting weights before a major archery event can leave my arms wobbly. Neither will I crank up the repetitions or weight on my legs with a 5K coming up. A 5K isn’t a long race, but I know I’m going to hurt for the entire race. I prefer my legs feeling fresh.
Each week I have a plan with a peak and taper based on the next competition. Last week was a heavy week with some taper this week in archery. Last week there was this one day where things went a bit crazy.
That was a day when I trained a maximum load schedule for that week. This meant, fortunately not on a gym day, 30 minutes of stretching and balance, and hour and a half long trail run, 50 arrows in the morning and 60 in the afternoon and an hour and fifteen minutes on the bike. What did me in was the bike.
Now 75 minutes on a bike isn’t hard. It can be an easy ride depending on the course. This course on this day was not an easy one.
The ride is extremely hilly. Still, 75 minutes means the course is ridden at a comfortable pace which was my intention when I got on the bike. I didn’t stick with the plan.
Starting out on the ride I had a rare day with a light wind. The course usually provides a not so light wind that feels like it is always in my face. Not that day – the course seemed to have very little wind and what it did have felt like it was pushing me along rather that trying to stop me.
I tried to hold an easy pace at 17 mile per hour. About half way into the ride reading at my bike computer for the current mileage and time lapsed I started thinking, “I bet I can break an hour on this ride.”
I’d done the ride in less than an hour once before. I tried to stop thinking about it remembering I already had 90 minutes of running in my legs and another 60 arrows to shoot. Then, I lost my mind.
If I’d intended on trying to ride the course with a sub-hour time I should have started the ride trying to hold the pace at 20 miles per hour. I hadn’t done that. Having 6 miles to go I started really pushing it. Because I’d began the ride at a more leisurely pace the final 6 miles would need to be fast.
Fast is fine on a flat course, but the final six miles of this course are rolling hills, long uphill grades and 3 tough climbs over the last 2 miles. It would be hard to complete the distance under an hour with six miles remaining on a flat course. On this course it was just a stupid idea.
Turning right onto Georgia State Highway 186, which leads home, the distance is 2 miles. That’s where the three tough climbs lay ahead. (There are no pictures of those climbs. If I tried to snap a photo while riding a bicycle I’d probably start rolling backwards or fall over) There was also wind blowing fast and furious right into my face.
I looked at my bike computer and decided to keep pushing. Days of bygone glory drifted through my head. I was out of my saddle climbing and determined to break an hour or bust a lung.
I got home just as my wife was driving up from a yoga class. Her first words were, “Look at your face, it’s so red.” I bet it was red. The temperature was 92°F. My bike computer read 58 minutes and 32 seconds.
It took me two days to recover.