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Saturday recap


Maximum Pace
Oct 13, 2007
For those of you who were waiting breathlessly to hear how my Saturday training ride went, here's a brief (?) recap.

Philip, Sergey and I met up at Tamasuidobashi at 8:00 and arrived at Musashi-Itsukaichi station at 9:30-ish. We grabbed a table outside the bakery and enjoyed some fresh-baked carbs and chatted as the 10:00 starting time for our "race" approached. Thomas said to leave without him if he didn't arrive by 10:00, as he was feeling burned out from a week of marathon cycling commutes. We were enjoying our little spot in the sun so much that we didn't roll out until 9:16. No, not 9:15 or 9:17.

Sergey, who was developing a cough, told us at the station that he would do the first climb then turn back, as he was hoping to avoid a full-fledged cold before his race in Okinawa next week.

I decided to take the first leg -- to the foot of Kazahari rindo -- a little easier this week, hoping to avoid the pain I felt the previous week on the rindo. Still, I pushed it pretty hard, with Philip staying with me the whole time. In fact, Philip even overtook me for the final few minutes as we approached the rindo. I was surprised he was riding so well, as he said he has barely ridden since his triathlon. Sergey was nowhere in sight. Philip and I started the climb together, and I was happy to feel a lot of energy in my legs. About a quarter of the way up, we overtook two riders in orange Hosei University kit. They were hurting bad, zig-zagging and struggling to turn their pedals over. I think they were a bit surprised to see two foreign ojisan steam past them. Shortly after that, Philip started to gap me, eventually putting about 100 meters between us. I tell you, this Philip is almost unrecognizable from the Philip of last year. Amazing. But I held on and tried to focus on keeping my form clean and efficient. Slowly, meter by meter, I started to reel Philip in. First he, then I, passed another rider, who after trying in vain to flee ahead, dismounted and cough-retched, hiding his face as I passed. My British compadre and I were showing the awesome power of TCC. :)

With less than 200 meters to the summit, I was only a few bike lengths behind Philip. I went into the drops and mustered a "sprint," moving past Philip at last, but feeling drained. I had misjudged, thinking the top was closer, and he moved even with me. But in the final approach, I again stepped on the gas and edged Philip. Total climbing time: 37:54 -- 33 seconds slower than my best time, which was recorded after an easy ride out with a break before the climb. Good, I'm getting stronger.

We decided not to wait for Sergey, as we weren't even sure if he had done the climb. The long, smooth descent to Okutamako is a prime time to recover from the climb. Upon Philip's advice, we didn't push the descent, instead using the time to rest up.

From the lake, we rode at a medium pace in gusty winds to the village of Kosuge, which sits at the foot of the Imagawa climb. There, we took a 10-minute break to buy Gatorade and prepare ourselves for the nonstop ride back to Musashi-Itsukaichi. I followed Philip to the top of Imagawa-toge, neither of us pushing too hard. We enjoyed a nice descent and began riding toward the Kazahari climb -- my nemesis. I was feeling pretty good on this section and was looking forward to hitting Kazahari with strong legs for once. There were thousands of ladybugs in the air, so many that I had to keep my maw shut to avoid swallowing them.

We crossed the bridge at Okutamako and began the final climb of the day. Philip took the lead and I decided to stick with him to pace myself. However, I was feeling so good that I got out in front to see what I was capable of. At the point exactly 10km from the summit, I reset my computer and kept a close watch on my speed. This was my third time up this road, and both of the previous times I exploded midway. I was determined to make it up smoothly this time. But that was not to be. At about the 4km mark, I started to lose power. Philip went around me and proceeded to ride away with what looked like great ease. I bonked. Hard and fast. My legs had nothing left, and my stomach was tied in queasy knots. Dang, another collapse on Kazahari! Finally, I crested the hill, at least 10 minutes behind Philip.

My only hope now -- if I was to catch Philip -- was to get a second wind and time-trial it like a demon back to the station. My legs actually felt pretty good, but I got stopped at construction sites twice and at a red light once. But I pushed and pushed, hurting petty bad at the end, rolling into the station at 2:51. Total time: 4:35. That put me two minutes ahead of Thomas's record time of 4:37. But what was Philip's time? I looked over toward the bakery, and there was my friend, sitting in the same spot we had occupied in the morning. I rode over and saw that he had already bought some bread and a drink.

"How long have you been here?"
"I just got here. The station clock said 2:45."

That put Philip 6 minutes ahead of me and 8 minutes ahead of Thomas's best time.

Congratulations, Philip, you are now the record holder on the Tora-san loop, with a blistering time of 4:29!

Bravo! Hotaka, here we come!

Deej, Philip, I regret I wasn't there to kick your butts! :D

Whatever happened to Sergey??

Seriously though, thanks for the excellent report and my most sincere congratulations on the new records. We should keep up that little competition even after Hotaka. Can't think of a better training run.
An awesome report, as usual, Deej!
Sorry not to stick with you to the end, guys (not sure if it was possible, reading about your exploits). I was on the verge of catching cold and I think I still am (yeah-yeah, we all can find a ton of excuses anywhere anytime... :))

I did the Kazahari climb though, and even passed all those Hosei guys - the last guy was indeed a fighter, but about 1 km to the top his resistance was broken, as was mine upon reaching the top. So I took my time going back to M.Itsukaichi and Tamagawa CR after that.

Anyways, I congratulate you on beating Thomas' record - have fun at Hotaka! :)

Here's the ultimate climbing mantra for Hotaka :D
Great report Deej but I can't believe Ironsword blew up again on Kazahari Touge! The Flying Dog is silently licking his lips and can't wait to hit West Wada again. Your time was still excellent though.

Philip what the heck is going on mate? Come on my friend it's time to come clean. You must've been doing some secret training to dump Deej like that. I want to know all the details mate:confused:
Nice report Deej. 4.29 and 4.35 are very impressive. I really know how you feel about the road works and traffic lights on the descent towards Itsukaichi - I was experiencing the exact same as I tried to make up for my paltry Tomin climb the last time we did this.

I wonder a little if this route could also be included in the hall of fame thread? It's a nice route and very accessible. I certainly intend to do it again in the near future.
Thanks Deej . . .

I enjoyed your report very much. I can only add that I was a little sad that we did not cross the line together having suffered for so long together throughout the ride. I am sure the ending will be different next week :)

The best memory I have of the day was the ride home along the Tamagawa. Well, you had to be there. But Deej will know what I mean.

Thanks for a great day,

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