Zero Dark Thirty

It was dark and the roads were still wet from the downpour the day before, but we had a plan. Both of us had to be in the office by 9am so that meant if we wanted a “good” ride we’d have to push off in the dark. So 5:30am it was.
Our route would give us ~3000 feet of climbing (over Old La Honda and Kind’s Mountain Road) and ~30 miles of total riding in about 2.5 hours.
I’ve decided that I do better when I don’t try to set any personal records. My goals is have fun, enjoy the scenery, and generally disconnect from the world. Ironically, almost every personal record I’ve set has come when I think like this. That was the case this morning. I didn’t “crush” anything but was genuinely surprised by results considering that I wasn’t pushing it. My time up Old La Honda, for instance, was only 50 seconds behind my personal best. If I compare the effort between those two rides it’s striking, and slightly depressing, how much harder I rode to get those extra 50 seconds.
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I spend a lot of time listening to my breathing; something that I’m taught to do in Yoga. Getting my pedaling cadence inline with my breathing keeps me focused on something other than my legs. I say the word “Zen” a lot while I pedal. I don’t know why but it helps. I also say that then I’m serving in tennis. It’s just a word but it helps me focus my mind.
It was <em>almost</em> a perfect morning. Unfortunately my Strava Beacon didn’t auto-start which meant that Vanessa didn’t get a link to my ride which meant that when I got home 3 hours later she hadn’t heard from me and thought I was laying dead o the side of the rode. I’m so sorry about that. I’ve now setup every possible tracking mechanism I can think of so that never happens again.
Nonetheless, it was a great way to start a Friday. Happy weekend to all!

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