Category 2: Building a Better Body
My goal for 2018 is to build a better body. I am at an age where that is not meant to be possible but I seem to able to year-on-year get stronger apart from 2017 where for some reason my personal-bests stopped improving, so I'm going to in 2018 try to beat my 2016 personal best times.
For me the benchmark is to bike over a mountain range, is about 70 miles with 6000 ft of climbing and in mid 2016 I managed to do it in 4hr35. From 2008 til before 2016 I averaged 5hr30 then for some reason in 2016 it went down to 5hr15 then 5hr then 4hr35m. I never knew why. I didn't happen in 2017.
I am suspecting there is some kind of internal mental switch I have to flip to make myself try harder, push, and put up with some pain. Pushing oneself breathless for nearly 5 hours takes a mental effort, the mind thinks about something else (E.g. USB Power Delivery) and the legs slow down and you're coasting.
I also suspect I can drop some weight - in the past when I did that I weakened, but I am going to explore that option again as if I lug less blubber up 6000ft I'm bound to be faster.
Jan 6th (yesterday) I did it in 5h25m and felt like a failure. Jan 7th today I did it in 4hr56m but it took a real mental effort to keep myself in my body focused and not in the distance on body autopilot. I will try again through 2018 and refuse to accept the notion I am destined to get slower.
Here are some pics from my route.
Some days it is glorious.
Some days I'm being chased by rain - go faster!
"Yeah, I'm looking at you!"
Pacific Ocean - this is roughly the half-way point by here I've been biking about 3 hours.
Sweating up a quiet forested road.
In winter it is being chased by dusk.
View of the area from above (dark hills on horizon).