Sunday, July 7, 2019

Super Satisfying Sunday

Today's ride was a counter-clockwise romp through four different counties.
With my second metric century of 2019—the first was Cheesehead Roubaix on April 28—today I finished my biggest week of training since July 2-8, 2018. I spent 12 hours in the saddle and rode a total of 210 miles. Today’s effort was solid from start to finish: 63 miles in 3:30 at an average speed of 18 mph on a route with more than 2,000 feet of climbing.

It was easy to be inspired today. The weather was beautiful and before my ride I watched today’s stage of the Tour de France and both the women’s and the men’s UCI World Cup mountain bike races from Andorra. Unfortunately the Tour and the men’s mountain bike race coincided. I watched them simultaneously but I listened only to the mountain bike race. Its commentary was more valuable to me than the commentary on the team time trial, which is a tactically simple event. Great to see Team Ineos not win the TTT (you’re still Team Sky to me, and you can suck it). Great to see Nino Schurter win a World Cup race for the first time this season. Great to see Anne Terpstra become the first woman from the Netherlands to win a World Cup race … ever. And maybe greatest of all was Jenny Rissveds’ fifth-place finish in just her second World Cup race after two years away from the sport. Rissveds won the gold medal for Sweden in the 2016 Summer Olympics. More recently, she has been very open about her struggle with depression. Mental health issues forced her to retreat from the highest level of competition. Now she’s back, and today her post-race interview was perhaps the most heartfelt, soul-searching self-evaluation I have ever heard from an athlete.

The week to come should look a lot like the week that just ended. There’s more Tour de France and more UCI World Cup mountain bike racing to enjoy. There’s more good weather in the forecast. And there’s a very good chance that I’ll be looking for another metric century next weekend. I want to ensure that I’m very comfortable at that distance before August 11, when I expect to line up for a 100-kilometer gravel road race in Illinois.

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