Tuesday, June 1, 2010

some days you're the stick, others you're the ball

I try not to get to excited about the early summer holidays... or any warm weather holidays for that matter... weather can be such a huge factor. It really doesn't affect the fall and winter holidays much, you're usually inside for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's anyway, but a rainy and/or cold Memorial or Labor day really is a downer.

This weekend was pretty nice, save some late night thunderstorms, and I got a lot donw around the house. I never just do house/yard work, there is always an alterior motive, and usually that motive is getting out on the bike. I don't know if Ali has figured this out yet so don't tell her.

Sunday I made plans to meet IronPerson Sara P. for a 20 mile mtn bike ride at the Domnarski Farm, home of next weekend's Root 66 mtb race. Sara decided last week to train for IMLP at the end of July (most people plan for this event at least a year in advance btw) so she needed to get 6 hours on the bike. We hatched a plan where I'd take her mountain bike out to Ware and she would ride her road bike to meet for a 7:30 am to start the course recon. Sara would drop the bike off "sometime Saturday" before or after she attended a wedding down on the Cape.

I went to bed Saturday night at 11:30 and the bike was still not dropped. I thought she was out, but should know better than to doubt her by now. When I woke up at 5:30 I couldn't believe that her effin' bike was out there in the driveway. Around that time she was leaving Worcester on the road to get to Ware working on probably 3 hours of sleep. Waaay tougher that I could ever hope to be.

If Domnarski's course was a cyclocross course, I'd have to label it Jungle Cross. The trails are only semi-maintained: there are plenty of sticks and small logs across the course and lots of branches that you have to duck under as you go along. There are 5 hard climbs, all of which are exponentially more difficult when it is wet (our first lap) than when it is dry (our second lap).

We tooled around the course for the first lap just to check it all out, and it was striking me as a very rough route with lots of places to slice a tire, rip off a derailleur or pinch flat. Following Matt D. around on his home course helped, he showed all the fast lines on the ups and downs, and our second lap started out a bit faster. Half way through we lost Sara when she missed a turn, so that more or less put an end to our riding though I ended up with 22 miles. Sara got back on the road bike and rode home. Here's her Garmin stats for the day. She's a monster.... in a good way.

Monday's memorial day plan was to take advantage of the good weather and ride point-to-point to my sister in law's in Tiverton RI. Rolling out the driveway I knew it was going to suck... I felt like complete garbage and the legs never came around. As bad as my legs were, my head was in a worse place. I was thinking about bailing out 7 miles in and this was a 60 mile ride. I tried to push things a bit to get the legs warmed up, but nothing helped. I've told Alison a million times to just push through when she wasn't feeling it so when I called 32 miles in declaring that "I'm fading fast" and asking "where are you" I didn't get the offer to pick me up that I wasn't going to ask for myself. I got nothing but encouragement back, like I always do for her. Great.

Anyone who has raced on the road knows that feeling that you have when you get spit out the back of a group and you are just waiting... no praying... for the field to come by and pick your sorry ass up. You're blown, you're legs can barely move, but you know that if you can just catch on to the field and sit in for a bit you'll feel 1000 times better. That's how I felt for the entire 3:20 minutes, and there was no field coming to bail me out. It was ugly.

I'm taking a few days off.


gewilli said...

shoulda stopped by the house, but then I was probably out hammering in the flatlands.

No bike path? too crowded?

One block down to the coffee depot? no? Good place for a nice iced coffee to get you going the last little bit.

gewilli said...

oh and you know that you can skip waterman hill and all of college hill if you just head down to india point park and cross over on the Washington bridge. Right?

Even the improved henderson kind of sucks.

But hey at least you had a nice day to be riding.

5pm tonight Atwells meeting place, pace=not drop me pace (ie slow)

matt said...

I was on the bike path for a bit south of Riverside as I don't know the roads there well.

I don't drink coffee, but the usual things were having no effect. I was sore rolling out of bed that morning.

I'll ride tomorrow in the woods behind the house, but that's it for the week. Have fun tonight.