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Purple Ears & Graduation

Posted May 24 2010 2:35pm
Well it's official - I'm an MBA!  I now can call myself a Darden alumni; it's a bittersweet end to an amazing  2 years.  I'm ready to return to the "real world," for a while but will miss my amazing classmates, incredible professors and the opportunity to explore intellectual puzzles dearly.  What a 2 year ride it has been, and to close off this chapter of my life with my second Ironman will just be a perfect way to start the next book.  Although this chapter almost took an ill fated turn during a training ride on Saturday monring.

My parents, sister and Moose were in town for graduation weekend.  So I set my alarm for 5:30 am on Saturday to get on my bike bright and early to make sure I finished my hour and 45 minute ride and 3 and 1/2 hour run well in advance of the 25th annual Darden pig roast.  By 7:15 am I was out the door, blood sugars right where they should be for a ride where I was to attack the hills and recover on the downhills and flats.  Attack I did!  I went on a route that has several short steep hills, no climb greater than a 1/2 mile, but enough rolling terrain to really get a workout in.  On three of the longer hills I thought my heart was going to pound out of my chest as I was out of the saddle grinding away to get up the hill as fast as I could.

That style of riding was totally foreign to me, normally I look to crush the flats and try to mantain a steady heart rate during climbs.  On Saturday the goal was to have a screaming heart rate on the up hills and a descending heart rate on the flats.  I averaged just about 20 mph for the ride and realized that this strategy worked amazing.  A half mile per hour difference in my speed on the flats led to a 10 bpm lower heart rate - basically into full recovery zone.  Getting up the hills faster led to an overall faster average pace so the riding style worked great, but made my legs super wobbley.

After taking a left hand turn back onto Garth Rd.  I got out of the saddle to get my speed up and waved to a passing rider coming in the other direction.  The next thing I know I'm flying over my handle bars with my face breaking my fall.  Thankfully I landed in dirt rather than the road but I did crack my road cycling helmet and wound up with one of the weirdest bruises in the history of the world.

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