Last night I spent a bit of time on Training Peaks and looked through some of my training from last year... I gotta say, it was really quite fun/amusing to read through my bike/run workouts from January... that was my first real foray into HR training the right way (vs just wearing a HR monitor and watching what my HR did rather than actually changing anything up because of it)... I smiled as I read my notes about how frustrated I was going so slowly on the run trying to keep my HR in range... For many reasons (and that review process is the main one) I'm glad I always keep good detailed notes of each training session.
Anyway, what was especially fun was to read back on my bike workouts and what I was feeling that first month. My bike fitness progressed a ton faster than my run fitness last year and it wasn't long at all before I was riding a pretty decent pace at a rather low HR and according to my notes I was always amazed at how I didn't feel smashed or anything after some fairly long (yet not that slow!) workouts. And that meant I could back up every workout with another workout and another workout... solid stuff and I loved it.
So I haven't been riding my bike much at all since Ironman. Maybe a couple little rides here and there but nothing longer than maybe 40' and all on my road bike just la la la sight-seeing like a tourist. But I've been feeling some motivation to get back on my bike lately so today I got out my TT bike and my Garmin and actually did a short ride with some HR guidelines in mind. I was completely mentally prepared to cruise at my tourist pace since that's what I had to do last year for a few weeks as I was getting back into biking... but interestingly, that was not the case today! I was surprised to see that my HR was acting like it was August instead of late November. Apparently all that work I did last year (and progress I made!) did not just melt away in my 6 weeks off the bike. Nice! So looks like this year I won't have to spend a couple months just getting my aerobic system in place... it's still there... yay! Instead I'll get to focus on strength right from the start- which I think was my limiter on the bike last year. It's fairly common to have strength limiter so I am not alone there, BUT I am looking forward to seeing how strong I can get on the bike in 2012. In all honesty going into Kona last month I was fairly confident in my biking ability but I was quickly very humbled by how fast some of those other girls were riding... Interestingly, rather than feeling intimidated by that, I find myself feeling inspired. I can do that too. I know I can. I am feeling motivated! :)