Sunday, November 30, 2008
Winter riding is about finding balance. The balance between too much and too little clothes; between riding too hard or too slow; and knowing when the trainer is the better option. I dislike the trainer and do everything in my power to avoid riding on it except for warming up for crits. I miss the hot days of summer right now.
I enjoy riding in snow, not on icy roads but the first couple of moments when the snow starts to fall. I got that opportunity today and am a happy camper to be back inside now. It was a cold day outside and makes me wish for those days of 90 degrees. There is something disturbing about that stinging when slushy snow hits you in the face. I know that these are the miles that I need to ride to get better. These are the days that I need to keep going so that when it comes down to it in April and May that I'll have that endurance in my legs to put in that final push.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
It's a well-known fact that I am addicted to Facebook. Of course the joy of Facebook is finding people you once knew and seeing what they are doing. It's all the fun of reunions with none of the awkward silences or the necessity of saying "remember when" all the time. The best part of this cyber-phenomenon is to see what bizarre paths people have taken and how one person's life actually does effect so many others.
I count myself lucky to know so many incredible people. When I was younger I would marvel at all the "stuff" or the "famous" people that adults knew. Slowly, as I am forced to consider myself an adult, I find that this trend isn't the result of being well-connected or even famous yourself, but the natural outcome of growing up. I'm sorry for all the people who I've lost touch with over time. I rarely have a good excuse and shouldn't even try to explain myself because it all ends up sound like pathetic lies.
I wish I could say that I vow in the future not to let this happen but that would be the worst kind of lie. At least with Facebook and an over-abundance of espresso drinks coupled with way too much sleep I have the ability to catch up a lot easier. Now, if only I could answer the age-old question "what the heck was I thinking dating her?" Maybe they should make a website for that one too.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
I have no idea if that is still how swimmers are trained but the poster boy of periodization, Lance Armstrong, was winning Tours when I was swimming so it wouldn't surprise me that very little has changed. In my 20 years of swimming the most technical piece of equipment I used was an electronic clock. When I go riding nowadays, I monitor my heart rate, speed, time, cadence and wattage. Everything is scrutinized afterwards and trends are studied.
While my training lately hasn't been as intense as it was towards the end season I've definitely put the miles into my legs. My trip to the West Coast cracked my tired legs. It's been a long time coming for me but I have arrived at a rest period. A blessed rest period to repair the damage that has been done to my tired muscles. The rest period marks the end of one training cycle and the beginning of another one. It's like a muscular new years; a time to recharge and ask what's next?
Monday, November 17, 2008
When I come to Seattle I make sure to take in the coffee and the sushi; both are the best around. However, tonight I ate at the Metropolitan Grill and had a steak the size of my head. It was simply one of the best steaks I have ever had. It rivals anything I've eaten in Chicago or Kansas City. I am in a state of absolute bliss. The scenery around here is pretty too.
Riding in Seattle is no joke. There are bike lanes everywhere and they are free from the garbage that normally finds its way onto the DC paths. There is even a bike lane along the side of I-90 and runs across the surface of Lake Washington which is almost as eerie as the sidewalk along the Golden Gate. However, don't let anyone fool you, I saw no cougars while climbing Cougar Mtn. However, the view from the top was worth the trip.On my first ride in town on Saturday I crossed no fewer than 10 group rides. I had heard rumors of the "Seattle rules" to group rides but I imagined that they were exaggerations. However, at least one rumor is true -- they use fenders on their rear wheels. It makes sense in a place where the roads often have a layer of water on them and knowing that there are few things less pleasant than riding through someone else's rooster tail. Using a fender eliminates a lot of the road spray but it's just odd to see.
Since I've been here I've been in the best mood. It's possible that super strong caffeine highs are putting a smile on my face but I really think it's just getting in some great rides and have getting to unwind which is doing it for me. The return of the Peppermint Mocha at Starbucks doesn't hurt, it's my favorite dessert drink. Kelly, my gracious Seattle hostess and tour guide, opined that it's the northwest lifestyle kicking in making me happy. I try not to think too much about the cause but just enjoy the end result.
Seattle would be a great place to live, but I'm not sure I would be accepted into polite society. I'd have to totally rework my wardrobe. I don't own a hoodie and the only stocking caps that I have are for bike riding. Until that time I think I'll stay comfortably back on the East Coast.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I would say that this is the face of determination, but in reality it's not. I later learned that this wasn't the top but the beginning of the steep section. I had rode above the clouds and the protection of the trees and the wind began to pick up as I summitted. The drops of sweat and the fog that I descended through turned my arm warmers white with frost. I was smart enough to put my arm warmers back on but the gloves didn't make it on till I reached the Pacific Coast Highway. That made for icy fingers.
Monday, November 10, 2008
For good measure, I'm stopping in Eugene, OR to ride my bike too. I didn't want to miss out on the opportunity of adding another state to the list of places where my bike tires have touched pavement. I'm bringing the camera and have my route up Mt. Tam planned. Everything else, I leave in the hands of Providence.
Friday, November 07, 2008
the singer of songs and the teller of tales;
I am a profit and the historian,
the oracle and the reporter;
I am cursed to a love of the open road,
the never-ending journey without a home;
I am a citizen of the world,
the child of everywhere and nowhere;
I am the Bard.