Rode lots of recovery/L2 today. It felt good. However, it seems that as the training volume goes up, so too do the hunger pangs. Since I've actually started paying attention to diet, it felt like I pigged out today. In fact, I had two light meals, three snacks, a moderate dinner (small entree, big salad = moderate, right?) and some cheese post-dinner. On top of 3 hours riding, that's pretty minimal. I'm *just* full-ish now. Yep, I shouldn't eat late, but if I go to bed hungry I don't sleep well and then eat like peeg the next day, so I lose weight better by eating more - not huge amounts of food but spreading it out, dawn to dusk. If that makes any sense at all. It seems easier to calibrate my diet when I'm riding more volume - 12-14 hours per week. If I feel like ass, it means I need to eat more, and as soon as I don't feel like ass I know I've had enough. Easy, huh? In contrast, when I'm not riding that much it's never quite clear to me if I'm really hungry, or just kind of eating out of (probably bad) habit. The other thing that happens is that to fit that much riding into my day, I have to get up real early, so that means I have to go to bed early. Ultimately I'm better rested, and don't need to eat as much to keep my energy level up. For the naturally thin, this must be easier. For those who have to work at it, there are a lot of tricks to learn if you don't want cutting weight to be sheer hell.
I don't suffer fools gladly. There is some irony in this, since I was the world's biggest jackass until about 10 years ago, and have been merely a moderate jackass for the last 5 or so, up until about three minutes ago. That doesn't matter, however; the operative principle here is you have to do what you can to uphold the standards, otherwise everybody will feel free to be a jackass. Hypocritical? Yeah, sure. But be a grownup, willya? Hypocrisy isn't the worst thing in the world; a little well-placed hypocrisy keeps the wheels turning smoothly. The same rationalization lets cops speed all the time, but then issue you speeding tickets without going to jail themselves. It's not about their speeding, it's about yours. Yeah, it's hypocritical, but what, are you going to let everybody drive like an ass, just because sometimes the people in charge of stopping that kind of stuff sometimes act like asses too?
A broader question is, can you imagine if we had the Jackass Police? I'd be one for sure. "Driver's license and insurance please... do you have any idea how much of a jackass you were being back there, sir? Honestly, we were all a little amazed. You were being such a freakin' jackass, we couldn't even capture it on the J-band radar gun. You need to be a little more considerate in the future, sir..." If we had jackass police, I know people who be the equivalent of these guys with $50k in unpaid tickets, and a handful of outstanding felony warrants...
Me and the Boys in Blue - the Uniformed Jackass Police - did our bit to police the bikepaths today. I did it by playing BikeTrailGuy (BTG) Olympics with the BTGs. Today's event - decreasing restVO2 intervals, which is the equivalent of rhythmic gymnastics in the real Olympics - a thing of beauty, but not exactly a huge display of raw athleticism.
To operate this event takes decent baseline fitness. The key is to ride your ride, without letting the BTG ruin it. Over time, I've gotten stronger, so my resting spin is around 18 -19 MPH on flat ground - probably a pretty normal recovery / very low L2 speed for racers. You could mistake this for me trying to go fast - I sometimes pant because I'm trying to keep up 96-110 RPM, which makes me winded. But it's still godawful easy and the wattage chart is low and flat.
So I'm headed up the Cap Crescent, chilling out in L-1. This guy pedals up next to me, I slow down because we're in traffic... and he jumps like he's Armstrong and we're on the Hautacam - bobbing head and shoulders, deathgrip on the bar. He shoots past a girl on a bike, nearly hits oncoming joggers, a woman with a baby stroller... So I think, "feh, whatever. I'm recovering. Don't bite." Serious, that's what I have to remind myself because I'm the same dumbass hypercompetitive jackass who will wreck his workout just to prove a point and try to outride somebody.
So I just cut around the girl when the traffic eases, and spin. Pretty soon, I'm on Lance's wheel and we're starting to go up the hill towards Bethesda. When he hears me coming up, whirrwhirrwhirrwhirr at 110 RPM, he starts bobbing again and trying to surge. Funny. It would have been easy enough to pass and then disappear with a little tempo surge, but it seemed smarter to stick to the chart. Besides, Lance was clearly inviting me to help him work out. So I kept spinning and stuck to his wheel 'til we were close to the first bridge. Then I stopped spinning and in fact spun my pedals backward, so the freehub made a super-duper-clicky noise. Lance then does a standing effort and takes off. Ahh, he likes my workout program, guess he just agreed to hire me as his coach. So I just kept spinning, 215 watts or so, spin spin spin. After a half minute or so, Lance was toast, he sagged back into his seat and tried to find a climbing rhythm on that brutal 4% grade. Pretty soon I was on his wheel again, more or less, but I hung back a bit. Lance needed some recovery time. After he looked suitably recovered - i.e. cooked, but not totally burnt - I surged up onto his wheel, and then stopped pedaling again. The freehub's clicking set him off again, and he did a huge seated effort to get some gap on me. Meanwhile... I kept spinning. This went on up the hill and up to the second bridge. He did a huge standing effort in order to fly up the bridge. I decided to burn a match and threw slightly-over-threshold watts for 20 seconds, just to stay on his wheel and really coach him on climbing form. At the crest of the bridge, Lance sat back down, slumped into the saddle, and I let the bike coast again. He immediately downshifted a couple times and stomped on it again. He was getting a great workout, but it was decreasing rest intervals. I just assumed that was what he wanted since his hard efforts were getting shorter and shorter in duration.
We did a few more short intervals until we got about two thirds of the way from the tunnel, up to the big bridge in Bethesda. At that point, Lance was toast, barely turning 'em over at maybe 9 MPH. I had been going slower and slower - hey, it's a recovery day - and didn't want to pass. But this was getting ridiculous. So I pulled around and just spun away. Now here's the damnedest thing. After all that work, he didn't pay me, didn't say thanks, nothing. Here I am, putting the guy through the workout of his life, and he can't even be bothered to say thanks. Can you believe that? Man. Some people are just ingrates.