Sweet feeling of achievement

Just got back from one of the better rides since I’ve been out here. I managed to hit the turn into my second 7-mile loop with a full head of steam and it kept on, kept on giving. Even better was rushing past several scattered squad-sized elements of marines along the route doing some kind of Tuesday afternoon organized PT.

With exercise, I try to isolate and keep everything else equal. These days, with the double-shot boost I get from the exercise cycle–feel better once while exercising, then feel better a second time as I sit, dozy and dim, listening to a couple tunes and considering what would be necessary to change my clothes–I really want to keep up a consistent level of exercise that I can do every day. That level I have identified as 5.6 miles running in the morning before dawn and then 28 miles biking in the afternoon when it’s warm. I can do that every day.

The great thing about those distances is that they’re just long enough to discourage variation. Why should I do an extra 7-mile lap when I’m doing six or seven 28-mile sets during the week, when that extra lap involves freezing for another 20-25 minutes and doesn’t make as much difference to the monthly goal as just getting out there on the 7th day and biking some more? Why tire myself out and get inconsistent?

So today the first loop wasn’t much to boast about, but then I got the heart-rate up on the into-the-wind leg, passed the marines, shouting “Get some!” at each group, did the tight turn at the west end of the loop, and headed back, more or less with the wind somewhere off to my left rear quarter. I felt strong the whole way through, with a good pull on the pedals, and I went for broke on the last 100m. Whole thing took under 21:45, or faster than 19 mph for the loop. I haven’t done that kind of consistent speed since probably the time I rode to the family reunion in South Jersey and just hit the hammer on Rte 578, around Great Adventure. That was with the racing bike, however, and this one was on my trusty one-speed fixed-wing.

It feels really good to be consistent in mileage and to see some kind of small improvement in the overall speed. I don’t know if I can make it happen again tomorrow, but I know I’ll be out there once again.