A longish way of getting to a short point.
My gym workout consists of leg work and one lower back machine. All work is done on machines, I don't do free weights. In order: hack squats, calf raises, abductor/adductor, leg extensions, glutes, sitting leg press, then the lower back. I skip the leg curl because there is a "catch" in my right knee when I use the machine. If a machine is in use, sometimes the order is transposed. Last Saturday the weather wasn't conducive to bike riding, so early in the morning I traipsed off to Gold's and did my workout. I felt good; so good that I hit new highs on three machines. Not new highs for this year, new highs for the last five years I've been coming here. I'm getting older, but stronger.
Now, the downside of getting new highs at the gym is the next day. With the weather abated, I did my normal 42 mile, 360 Loop, Sunday Ride. There are 23 climbs, 9 of which take some oomph to get up, on my Sunday ride. After Saturday's workout, the legs had very little push. It wasn't a disaster, just a little slow. Actually, all of my Sunday rides this year have been average or slower, so this one turned out to be between 3-5 minutes slower than the others. Unfortunately, that is about 20 minutes slower than my mid-summer times. Still, since I didn't overtax my cardio system, I was ok with the time.
Then came today. With two hard days on my legs/hips/back already in the tank, I needed a recovery ride, something to loosen up the legs but not overly stress them out. My 32 mile University ride seemed just the thing. This is mainly an east-west ride, and the wind was mainly from the south, with just a bit of a westerly direction. It exceeded breeze status. Only a few times did I have to hold on tight to keep in a straight line, and it wasn't enough to blow me sideways. You get the idea.
Anyhow, I deemed it a recovery ride, and concentrated on cadence and heart rate rather than speed. For the ride, both with and against the wind, my cadence averaged 76, only two more than what I average on this ride, but my heart-rate came in at 106, 100 with the wind and 112 against, with a high of 136 on the only real hill. Truly, I wasn't exerting myself. But the really astounding stat is my overall time is the best this year.
Oh, and the whining: Where was this good stuff last week, when I couldn't hang with the guys at State? As soon as this infernal wind lets up, I'll be out doing tt practice to see if I'm now really as quick as I think I am.