Saturday, February 9, 2008

Catching up with winter on a bike

After working in the weight room and swimming all week and psyching myself into this weekend's goals of skating 85K only to find DUCKS IN MY TRACKS (Tim's description of why the plug was pulled on Skate the Bay), this morning I decided I had had enough of my skates for awhile. Seeing that Chris and I are embarking on an 8 day, 800 mile ride in August, I figured that there was no time like the present to start preparing. I bolted out of bed, cooked up some oatmeal and boiled up some eggs (yes I actually cooked it this time, forgot to put up the thermos last night). Made some coffee and cut up some fruit. A breakfast perfectly suited for the 2.5 hour ride I had planned. I was listening to the weather, which was calling for snow in the afternoon, well, it was still early morning and the roads were dry. I found all my gear, got dressed in layers until I felt like a sausage stuffed in a lycra casing, pumped up the tires on the training bike, and headed out the door.
It was a bit chilly and damp, but I knew that a 1/2 mile decent without warming up would always feel colder than it really was so I didn't stress about it. I was riding the 5200 instead of the Madone. It still had the racing slicks on it from Chris's adventures this summer, when he was short enough to actually fit on my old bike. My thoughts were that the road was dry and it would take too much time to pull the wheels and put the training set on (Talk about 5 minutes of LAZY). So off I went. I spent a good 1/2 hour really enjoying myself, pushing through a moderate set of farlicks and laughing at how much my legs burned from all the squats I was doing this week. Then, the flakes started, first it was flurries, so I stayed the course and for the next 15 minutes I actually headed further from home. Then came the change, it stopped flurrying and started snowing, HARD. This triggered a get your butt home response, but the roads were becoming slick and I had no treads to speak of, so my version of BOLTING FOR HOME was more like a granny with a cane running a mile. It was the scariest, coldest 12 miles I had ever covered. Motorists were not expecting to see me, some drivers were even pretty rude, LIKE I PLANNED TO RIDE IN THE SNOW! Anyway, I am back home, still freezing. waiting for the shower to free up, drinking a cup of coffee and dreaming about the cycling season to come. The last time my season started this way I was in top shape, loosing weight, and chasing my faster friends around the world. With that said the clutter is finally starting to lift a bit.

Monday, February 4, 2008

MY HEAD HURTS!!!! LT Nationals

I have spent the last week with a headache, sometimes so severe that I am driven to tears. I am told that there is this virus going around that has exactly those symptoms, I also hear that it could be winter allergies, or even hormones. All I know is that it is very painful and has affected every aspect of my being, from my sleep habits to my mental composure. I am short tempered, whiney, lethargic, extremely exhausted, and generally not feeling like myself at all. I apologize if you have seen that unbecoming side of me. I am headed back to the doctor this week if it does not subside.

Needless to say I was a bit off at Nationals this weekend. I tried really hard to not let the pain get the better of me for Chris's sake. He worked so hard this season and was skating so well. Chris managed to skate to a 5th place finish after a few major set backs.

My club faired well, I was so proud of the fact that there were 5 Newburgh skaters there. Everyone skated well. We took home 1 medallion and a slew of medals (1st through 4th). I got to file my first official protest for a member of my other club, who also faired very well. This was a major learning experience for me, and to tell you the truth, one that was welcomed. Katie Traver made it very simple, as did Tom Porter.

I had a really nice conversation with Pat Maxwell about coaching and training. I am always greatful for those conversations as I learn so much there too. I feel like I am ready to finish my level 3 certification, but at the same time feeling like I have SO much more to learn. I guess my thoughts about being as much of a student as I am a teacher apply here as well.

Well, that is all for tonight. GREAT JOB Chris H, Grizzy, Denise, Stewart, ,Jack, Andrew, Kristen, Matt and Dave!