HOT HOT HOT - 97 degrees at 10am on the bike. Sweated buckets - got through 3 bottles plus carbs and electrolytes but never comfortable until back indoors. Mission accomplished though. 40 miles of undulating terrain in just over 2 hrs - kept the effort easy today - pacing myself for next week. Legs were really really tight and tired from yesterday's efforts despite great cooldown, stretch, good sleep and recovery drink. Took an hour to loosen up then on the way back with a slight tailwind life started to feel much better. Averaged 160 watts and 140 bpm - theoretically easy but not with tired legs.
It's really quite a strange process this one - mentally knowing what is in front is quite daunting - the fact that there is no choice each day is tough - it's either ride this course and this distance or fail - black and white. No room for "I'll just ride 30". This is the challenge and although I've coached many riders through tours and long stage races I've never done this myself - my racing has been limited to one race occasionally with usually a month or few years between them. Mind you I did do 2 Half Ironmans and 2 Olympic distance Triathlons in 4 weeks in 1995 in europe when I was much much younger. Oh to be young again.
Rode the south platte river trail which runs through downtown Denver then heads south out of the city. This is one of hundreds of miles of well paved, traffic free trails that we have here. Runs along the river (hence the name - doh!) so there is some shade at times. Main dangers are really only created by other riders who stray on to the side of oncoming traffic - oh then there are the kamakazi squirrels who run in front of you - one little fellow missed being chopped up in my wheel by about 2 inches today!
Got a 30 min leg massage then the biggest sandwich I've ever seen to aid recovery - Turkey, Ham, Avocado, Lettuce. Tomato, Bell Peppers, Sprouts, Pepperincinis, jalapenos, cucumber all topped off with cajun sauce - yum! Time for a nap.