8/8/06: The Portola Loop (17.7 mph)

Today I rode the Portola Loop and set a new recent personal best with and average speed of 17.7 mph. I’m really happy with this time because its a huge 0.5 mph jump up from my previous best of 17.2. Also, yesterday my legs felt so weak going up Alpine road and then having climbed up Old La Honda, that I figured today would be a slow lap. Considering the circumstances, I would have been pleased with anything over 16 mph.

One thing that may have helped was eating right yesterday. I had a bowl of Cheerios, a banana, two apricot cliff bars, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a large plate of fettuccine with semi-homemade bolognese sauce. I essentially packed in tons of carbs to restore my muscle glycogen levels with out adding much fat or sugar.

Eating right surely helped but my muscles did feel tired today. Despite feeling tired, I did feel strong, which is the exact opposite of yesterday when my legs felt rested but weak. I worked very hard up Alpine and I knew I was on for a good time when I hit the intersection of Portola with an average speed of 15.5 mph, which was 0.6 mph than my previous best at that point. I pushed hard the rest of the way although I did notice that I wasn’t quite as fast in the descents as normal. I climbed the back of Sand Hill between 11.5 and 13.5 mph. However, there was a lot of traffic crossing 280 and I was forced to come to a complete stop before crossing the freeway, which killed a lot of momentum at 30+ mph. I also got stopped at the light next to SLAC but fortunately I caught a green light at Alameda de las Pulgas.

Here are my ride stats:

17.43 miles

17.7 average mph

36.6 max mph

59:47 ride time

145 average heart rate

170 max heart rate

447 calories burned

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