Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Wet and Windy Weekend Recap

This weekend brought  a mix of weather that I hope not to have to ride in again. The original forecast early last week was for rain on Monday (we got it, I was in the garden when it came) and then warm and sunny through the weekend. At some point that changed, and on Saturday we ended up riding in a cool, constant drizzle -- with head winds to boot -- for our 60-mile GTR. The only positive thing I have to say about the ride is that I felt physically good going in and was able to keep up with the faster group (who weren't at their best, so we found a happy median), and it was good training for Tahoe, in the event that the late winter rears its ugly head out there.

It was a seriously ugly day. I don't mind riding in the rain when I start out dry, but it is quite another thing to get out of a warm, dry car and get wet immediately. I wasn't sure I would ever get dry again, and I was wringing out my gloves by the first SAG stop simply by making a fist with each hand.

The Strava details can be found here.

Still, I had a great time riding with J (which never happens because she is so freaking fast and I have been so abysmally slow this season), and an even better time changing into dry socks afterward.


Fortunately for us Atlanta cyclists, Sunday was a much lovelier day. The forecast called for gusts of up to 20 mph, and instead we had sustained winds of seemingly that high. And, what with its being Atlanta, they were also always headwinds. My legs were absolute toast after the previous day's effort, so C and I took it relatively easy out to Stone Mountain and back, both of us happily opting out of the loops with absolutely no regrets. She is going to be out of commission for at least the next few weeks, so I'm going to be riding by myself on Sundays it seems, as there is no keeping up with the A group and I am the pokiest.

Strava details are here.

Although it was a holiday, we still had a decent group join us for the ride. I enjoyed the ride despite the wind, and I can feel myself getting stronger, even if it isn't always evident in the stats. I am still struggling on anything resembling a climb, which is natural, but as Graham says, the only way to get better is to practice.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

New Route, New Post

On Saturday, for the first time ever, the cycle team rode out of Harbins Park, which is out by Dacula. It is beautiful there, with not insignificant climbing, gorgeous country scenery, not too much traffic, and -- for the most part -- great roads. The weather was a little hot for my tastes, getting up into the 80s without much shade (Georgia can't make up its mind about spring this year, it seemed it was going to go full-on summer this weekend, but there is a freeze advisory for tonight), but all told it was a beautiful day. I felt great on the ride, never really overexerting myself except for a short bit at the beginning where I waited with J while he shed his jacket, and then we worked to catch up with the main group. After that, and some huffing and puffing, I felt fine the rest of the time. I managed my nutrition and hydration well and don't think I would do anything differently. I'll just say again, it was a really good ride.

It could be because it was the first really sunny or really hot day we've had this year, or just that I was stuck in the sun and heat without shade for several hours after riding (though I kept hydrating) waiting for the last few riders to come in, but it was while we were in the parking lot and on the way home that a migraine hit. We got home, I took some meds, buried my face in a pillow, and felt infinitely better after a short rest (I don't even think I napped).

The Strava details can be found here.


On Sunday, wary of another headache (I've had a few, but am pretty sure they were more hydration related), I looked frantically for the preventative meds and couldn't find anything but an old prescription. Knowing that I had a recent one, but not remembering for the life of me where it could be, I took an old pill, crossed my fingers, and set out. It was a great ride. We took it somewhat easy, didn't loop around the mountain, didn't set any PRs or break any sound barriers, and came back to an amazing breakfast at LPM. Yummers. It was a small group on Sunday, and there was pretty light traffic headed to and from (and in) Stone Mountain. We chalked that up to multiple spring breaks and the Dogwood Festival. Whatever the cause, we were grateful, because it also meant we were able to get a seat and a short wait at LPM, which is hard to come by on a nice day like we had. Best of all, no headache the whole day.

The Strava details can be found here.

This is the first 100-mile week (including my 20 miles on Thursday) in months. It's good to be back on the bike and getting the miles in, even if my posture and form aren't there, and even if I'm not as fast or as strong as I want to be. Saturday taught me that I still need to take it easy (apparently) in the sun and heat if I'm going to put out prolonged efforts (maybe).

I also finally feel like a real ambassador again, now that I'm physically and academically able to put in the time. I felt pret-ty guilty for a while there.

It's all part of training when you're training to give cancer the finger. F-you, cancer. I've got your number.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

KSR - Back in the Saddle

After focusing so much energy on school and attending GTRs haphazardly (what a fun-looking word), I defended on March 28th and in short order registered for the Tahoe team, recommitting at the same time as officially committing. It was all very exciting.

I then promptly missed a GTR for being at a conference, but what can you do? I've been struggling all spring to get the miles (any miles, really) in, what with weather and school, but I think at least part of that equation will be balanced for the rest of April, and completely nullified in May. That is a relief. Sweet relief!

I rode the KSR this morning, and because of the cool weather and threat of storms, there was poor turnout. However, we had a new face and I had a nice ride to the rock. We didn't linger long, and the storm ended up blowing completely south of us (yea!) so it was a good ride. I wish I had gotten in extra miles, but I may try to do that on a free day later this week. Tomorrow is out (T-storms predicted), but it should be warm and sunny after Tuesday.

All told, a very nice ride with good company.

Strava details here.


The conference I was at was in Philly, and the weather was a lot like today's: cool (mid-40s) and overcast, with some drizzle). Even so, I saw a LOT of cyclists there, on the narrow, pitted roads. I liked it. I think they were happy to come out of hibernation.