Sunday, October 4, 2009

No day, but today

It's been a little rough around here the last two weeks. Saddle sores, bad training days, back spasm, hectic at work, bad weather, and only three weeks to go! But I am back in the saddle, literally and figuratively, and feeling pretty good.

This weekend's training was pretty important as it was the last chance to get the big miles in. I'd missed the first chance- rain, and the second time- memorial service. So this was it before Longhorn. And after last week's meltdown, I was a little nervous that my mind would work against me, so I prepared the fighting words I would have if I started to get negative. And what worked was the song from Rent that goes "There's only us, there's only this. There's just one road, there's just one way. No day but today." And that helped.

So Saturday had forecasts of rain, and this was an out and back course out Fitzhugh Rd, which will eventually get you to Johnson City. I debated about carrying my enormous rain jacket, and when I noticed no one else was carrying theirs, I left it in the car. I have never ridden in the rain, and was a little nervous about it, but I would rather practice it before encountering it on a race day. I did a 5 mile warmup out to the Veloway (and also to use their bathroom!) and then we were off. Dropped by William Cannon again, but I was happy to stay in my comfort zone, spin up the hills, drink out the new aerobottle, eat my nutrition, and stay positive. The plan was to turn around at 32.5 m to get the 70 in, but to turn around at the first drop of rain. So I was feeling good, even though this route was a lot of rolling hills. My back was fine. It was cool and overcast, which was very pleasant.

I was getting close to the 30 mile mark, and I could no longer pretend the water I was feeling was coming from the splashy aerobottle. But I was so close! But there was a big hill coming up, so I turned around. In hindsight, I should have turned around before then. The drips turned into more of a spitting rain, which was actually pretty nice. It kept me from sweating so much, and cooled me off. Then it turned into a light rain. Still okay, not sweating at all now, and I could ride up the hills much more strongly- the heat dissipation was helpful. I figured out how to dry off my brakes before I needed them. And I was going slower, and safer, on the descents.

And then it started to get into a pretty heavy rain. Where the rain drops feel like pins hitting your bare skin, and face, and eyeballs. But you can't wear your sunglasses and you can't close your eyes. And the water sluices up from you tires on your butt and legs and down into your socks. Okay, now it's not fun anymore. I never got really cold, but I was definitely chilled. I was feeling for the poor girls wearing sleeveless jerseys and not having any insulating body fat.

I was promising myself that I would call for help when I got to the gas station on 290, which meant I had 20 miles in the rain, though it would mean cutting my ride 20 miles short. But I was ready for this fun to be over. And then I saw J and I was saved! J and N were sweeping the ride route for soggy cyclists like me, and they were a godsend! I jumped in his car and was so relieved to be off the bike. Only one other rider was still out there to pick up, the others had gotten other rides in, or had sucked it up to finish. But I was so grateful to them, and grateful to be on a team that looks out for one another. Back home, I took a shower, ate some frito pie for lunch, and then prepared for my ritual after exercise nap. And then I realized how chilled I really was. I could feel cold spots for about two hours afterwards.

So then Sunday was the long run- 13 miles planned, though I did 14 because I like even numbers better, I'd never gone past 13.1 and I wanted to make up for the shorter bike. It was 80 degrees and 98% humidity, which was pretty soggy. So today I was begging for rain, and there was none! And that frito pie came back to haunt me- 3 bathroom stops! And I was drinking water and gatorade at every opportunity and still was down 4 lbs due to dehydration. But I finished it- the longest run to date!

So I finally was able to get the long weekend in- not perfect, but enough. And I stayed positive. And I can feel the core classes are helping. Only two more weekends to train- a long brick next weekend, and then the Practiceman the following.

1 comment:

F said...

I love Rent! I love that you are going for it! Sounds like a really good weekend. You are doing it. So cool.