Today was a critical juncture: I needed to see whether I could handle extended climbing with consistent power, so I decided to do eight ascents of Old La Honda Road. It was crucial both for physical assessment as well as psychlogically.
I was thrilled to see that I could maintain power output across the ascents to very consistent values. Unfortunately I ran out of energy gel and water after ascent 6, but I held on to finish all eight. But note the heart rate drift (spike in heart rate) for ascent 7 and 8 (click the graph to read an analysis and click the charts there to view larger).
Climbing speed versus weight
It’s a bummer to be carrying ~8 extra pounds over last year as this really degrades the climbing speed, by about 4%, which equates to 55 seconds per ascent. Accounting for that weight difference, it seems that my fitness is not far off that of last year. However, in spite of being 5 pounds heavier than in 2011, the average ascent times here are within 3 seconds versus 2011. So I feel quite good about that and with a little luck I can drop another pound or two before the Everest Challenge.
All that said, the extra pounds in theory mean a ~45 minute time penalty this year, unless I can somehow maintain higher average power. So I’m not really expecting to be anywhere near competitive like I was in 2012; it means being 10-15 places farther back in the pack, e.g., 18th or so instead of 5th. Bummer.