Given the multiple options this weekend, I chose to get some long-ish, occasionally hard miles in on Saturday. It was not the best weather - a lot of fog at the top of our climbs, which made for mist-like precipitation and some wet roads. But today's time trial (Sunday), which I am not riding, will be hampered by Santa Ana winds. And I got to have some time w/ Jack this morning that I normally don't get. I consider that a victory! This is the kind of balance that I'm seeking - some training goals achieved, and some time w/ our baby.
The Saturday ride, like most group rides, is always a tough training tool. There is a social aspect. There is a competitive streak. And there is a wide variance of fitness and speed. But I say it's always a good thing to just ride, and get some hard efforts in. For me, that meant a hard 20 minute climb up Fernwood, and some really hard efforts coming back down the rolling hills of Mulholland and Cornell. 50 miles and 50k feet of climbing over 3 hours was the result.
The good news is that my intervals and quasi-power-based workouts seem to be adding some new speed. I even managed to hold off a couple of stronger riders in these efforts, which tells me that I'm making some progress. That's motivating. And I got some good Sunday morning time with Jack too. That's even more motivating!
No races on the calendar for a couple of weeks - it will be a relief of sorts to just ride and not think about incorporating that into the training scheme.