Prelude — the knee gets irritated
36 hours before the Solvang Spring Double I jogged up my driveway after taking the garbage out and irritated the rear of my knee (probably an old meniscus thing)... rushed down Friday at 11 AM to Health Logic, and by the time I was done at noon it was definitely feeling better (noon). It was not the first time the terrific staff there got me immediate relief for a sudden onset minor injury—highly recommended.
But one cannot expect a cure for an injury in an hour. I still could feel it, and no way did I want to miss Solvang, so I downed 1000mg of aspirin at noon Friday and another 1000 mg at 4pm Friday. By event day (Saturday) at 5:00 AM it was feeling under control and while it nagged a bit for 60 miles or so, it then just went away and I forgot about it. Still there two days later, but clearly healing up well.
My goal was to solo the event: no drafting (none!) for the entire course, a goal I stuck to pointedly to the temporary confusion of Nick (a rider I met) who very politely wanted to pull, which I refused. Times on such events are apples vs oranges when compared to riders who aim for the shortest time by drafting (even two riders is a huge energy savings). Different goals, but my goal was personal best effort metrics.
My other goal was to ride relatively pain free and at that I was shocked and amazed to have no right knee pain, no right quad pain, no foot pain. Just a little sore butt and a mildly tired back—all to be expected. With my recent history, that result alone is cause for me to rejoice: my season is launched with hopes of my best year ever.
A flat slowed me down, stopping to use Stan’s No Tubes plugged it enough to ride, but a goodly number of miles were spent with a ~40 PSI rear tire between pumping; it’s always a tradeoff between peeling off a tubular and just riding one, but the beauty is that 40 PSI still works (just don’t hit any hard edges and damage the rim!).
I’ll be analyzing the ride in some detail, but here is the all-solo-no-drafting effort:
Clock time: ~ 10:28"47
Roll time: ~ 9:52 (approx, exact splits were not recorded)
Conditions were quite different than 2012 (2012 wind was brutal, 2014 helpful) and the course was slightly shorter, but I did manage ~12 watts higher power in 2014 than 2012, a promising metric, since 2012 was my strongest season ever. Power did fade somewhat over the last 50 miles or so, as can be seen in the graph.
Bottom line is that the ride could not have gone better, and I look forward to a very strong season.
Click for larger graph.