Okie dokie! Back among the living now. Thank goodness! I was beginning to wonder if January was a foreshadowing of the rest of the year. I decided that I prefer thinking that I'm just getting all of the bad stuff out of the way to enjoy a great season.
I got Retuled! A very cool 3-D, state of the art bike fitting they now have at Chainwheel. It shows you everything - your position from every angle, power output, cadence, etc... They hook you up (literally) to get a readout of everything. They show you a chart of a "normal" range of numbers that you aim to hit. Of course, every body is different and Pat was sure to make it clear that he understood this. Their focus is to get you to a comfortable place thus increasing your power output. Because after all, if you don't feel good you can't perform well! He made a few minor adjustments and I tried it out on Sunday.
I have to pre-empt my experience with the fact that I've recently started cooking for us more. I received a really great cookbook for Christmas named 'The Foods You Crave'. I decided that I wanted to cook on Sundays for the upcoming week. I like the idea of making things because that way you know what's in your food. I want less sodium, more protein and convenience. So I make out a list, I go to the grocery store somewhere between Wed. and Sat., prep on Sat. and cook on Sun. I freeze what I can so all we have to do for the most part is take something out of the freezer for dinner in the morning so it's thawed by that evening. I've had a lot of success so far and it's helping us to stay honest with ourselves. Chris is even eating salads now (requesting them actually). This, of course, excites me not only because it's healthier, but I like salads and they are easy to make.
So after cooking most of what I wanted to cook on Sunday, I was about to start climbing the walls. I thought briefly about putting my bike on the trainer and doing my drills inside because of the 15 - 20 mph winds. Oh, the sky was so blue and it was almost 60 degrees (in Jan.?!!!!), so I loaded my bike into the VUE and went on my merry little way to Cook's. I got a bad feeling on the way out there, but chose to ignore it. I hate it when I'm right sometimes! I didn't take into consideration that everyone else on God's green Earth wanted to be outside and on the River Trail too!
I got out of my car and almost got right back in because it sure didn't feel like almost 60 degrees now! I unloaded my bike anyway - I was determined to ride outside and ignore my gut and goosebumps. At least I was smart enough to put on a long sleeved base layer and had some long fingered gloves. Rats! No ear covers anywhere in my car, though. Usually as long as I can keep my ears warm I'm okay.
I finally get everything together and I'm ready to ride. I actually had to pee, but I couldn't bear the thought of sitting down on the ice-covered toilet seat that would make me even colder. I already couldn't feel my fingers. So I bit the bullet and hopped on the GURU. I mean, hey, I've ridden up Hwy 7 with about 8,000 feet of climbing in a pounding rain storm complete with hail, fog, wind, thunder and lightening with free flowing traffic. I'm not going to let a little nip in the air prevent me from doing what I love. Have I mentioned that I hate it when I'm right sometimes?
I usually listen to my gut, but not that day for some reason. I got started and it wasn't that bad. Eventually I noticed more and more people out on the trail so I kept having to unclip to get around them. There were people everywhere and they were NOT paying attention. Lots of children with no boundaries from the parents on where they could go. I realize that kids will be kids, mind you, but when their parents let them do whatever and go wherever they want without teaching them proper safety (look both ways before you cross the trail) it really kind of pisses me off. It also affirms the fact that I really am okay with just having nieces and nephews.
I started approaching a group of young men that seemed to be scattered through one section of the trail. That was the last time I unclipped. I couldn't get my left shoe clipped back in. I grew more and more frustrated and by the time I got to a stopping place to see what the problem was I was absolutely exhausted from wasting all of my energy on being angry. We had decided during my bike fitting to put some wedges on my shoe. Well, the wedges on my left shoe had gotten bent up and prevented me from clipping back in. It was getting late and Chris and I were supposed to meet with some friends at 5:30 for coffee. I still had a 10 minute run to do. I didn't have time to fix my shoe. Well, I'm pretty sure you can guess what went on for the entire way back. That's right! I got to pedal primarily with my right leg into the 15-20 mph HEADWIND! I think the only time I have ever been more miserable was on the last day of the Northwest AR Challenge. This was a four day, 353 mile, 20,000 feet of climbing ride. The ride up Hwy 7 that I wrote about above was Day 2. You may think that on the last day after all that climbing you would welcome a flat at the end of the ride. Unless there is a 30 mph headwind!!!! Even with my beloved pulling we probably averaged about 9 mph on that stretch.
On the way back I passed a couple of friends who looked so happy. Of course, they were in the tailwind and on their way home. JBar called me the next day to tell me how unhappy I looked. Who was unhappy? Not Little Miss Sunshine! I finally made it back to Cook's; probably averaging about 12 - 13 mph. I think that's pretty good for a one legged suffer fest!
I had a fleeting thought of skipping the run, but decided to do it anyway. I mean, how much worse could it be than the ride? I put my running shoes on and took off. I kept waiting for the familiar twinge in my hip and much to my chagrin...no pain!!!!! Absolutely none! I was so excited that it made the ride seem like it wasn't so bad.
You know you have good workouts and not so good workouts. You really need both. You need the bad ones to remind you that sometimes it hurts to be human. You need the good ones to remind you that you can do incredible things and what it's like when the pain from the bad workouts go away. I'm just happy that the good outweighs the bad so far. This is going to be a great season... The Good, The Bad and The Ugly!