Sunday, September 13, 2009

against instinct

My weekend plans were monkey-wrenched on Thursday afternoon. I was plunged into "what are we doing", "when are we going", "can I still go upstate?" The scenario played out with a waiting game for arrangements, which was fine, when all is said and done, I needed this weekend to sure up some obligations seeing that I will be out of town twice. Yesterday I spent 12 hours or so in my studio. I got a whole bunch of work done and after writing this, before I leave for Shelton, I will pack up my pots and get them ready to haul to the kiln.

Today the weather was gorgeous. I got myself back into that training groove by heading out on my bike, and despite not really wanting to be away from the MUD in my studio, I forced myself to get into it. Funny, I was grumbling about everything, route, length of time, my shorts, you name it, I had a problem with it. About 2 miles out I came to a intersection full of commotion. I was about to enter a race, the Westchester Toughman. This was so strange, as I didn't want to interfere yet I was determined to ride the route I had finally settled on. I picked up my cadence and held myself in the group. It was weird to have someone yell at me to hydrate and try to hand me gatorade as if I should be grateful for their presence. I just wanted to ride, not be accosted by a woman with an electrolyte fix. So I took evasive action and blew her off and hammered up the mile climb in front of me. I passed 6 guys on $10K+ bikes with the fashion to match and was passed by two twiggy girls who were only just behind me to begin with. I suck at climbing so this was thrilling! Over the top and down the other side, blowing by the two women and a few more guys I was wishing that I had actually done this race, even if it had been as a relay. I saw no other ATHENA classed women- though I am sure they were out there. I ambled along with them for about an hour and was really happy to nail 21 miles in that time and my HR was not even maxed out.

I finally decided to leave the comfort of blowing through intersections and having people cheer me on to get my workout done within the proper objectives. I doubled back towards the trail, and made my way up to Carmel from the crossing near 100 and 118. Let me tell you, racing was more comfortable than the obstacle course I had just gotten myself into. It was a crisp, clear, fall day in the 70's after 2 days of rain. You can only imagine what that next 15 miles looked like. I dodged kids, old men stopping in the middle of the trail, dogs of every kind, women swinging their arms, a group of 3 really overweight women on inlines. I don't want to sound derogatory here, I am very happy that they are out there giving it there all and having a blast exercising, and would love to see them join us on the ice, but when you are cruising along a a good clip and they are taking up the WHOLE trail and are very out of control and very off balance by the apparently heavy backpacks they were carrying, well, then you understand that the remark is just meant to be a descriptive one. I arrive in Yorktown and cross Hanover to my sister-in-law turning onto the trail for her run. I was perplexed in a way, I wanted to stay and chat, to turn around and head to her place to see my niece and nephew, to hang out. We talked for what seemed to a good amount of time and then parted ways. I reached Carmel in no time.

I turned right onto Fair Street and headed out towards the farms. I was headed down this hill in a pretty good amount of traffic not realizing how rough the road was until I hit a pothole with enough force to have my left hand have to grab onto my handlebars a lot tighter to stay balanced. I suddenly realized just how people manage to dump themselves end over end. I had inadvertently grabbed the front brake too and felt the rear wheel start to make it's climb up towards my hips. I am not sure what possessed me to go against my instincts here and let go of the break instead of grabbing ahold even tighter. I just learned a major lesson and knew it. There were not light-bulbs but fireworks going off in my head. Disaster averted, I decided at that point to slow things down and cruise home at a recovery pace. I had already put in about 40 miles so what was an easy 6 or so? Now, off to some quality ice time as a skater instead of a coach.

Rough schedule this week. Hope I can pull off a decent training week.

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