Tuesday, April 19, 2011

In the Fast Lane

I was sitting about 3rd in line but the pace was a little slow for my liking so I moved over and smoothly accelerated off the front.  I carried it through a downhill and caught the next pack at the base of a climb.  Safely in the slipstream I just maintained through the next few turns.  Once on an open straightaway I found an opening in a quicker line to the left, slipped into the gap, and accelerated with them.  It wasn't long before deciding to really open it up and I made an aggressive move to the right.  But enough about my rush-hour commute home ......  Oh, you thought I was talking about a bike race?

Saturday was the standard craziness for our family.  The Springer Stampede 5k was being run in our neighborhood and originally I thought we'd all participate.  However, it was picture day for Connor's t-ball team and our scheduled timeslot?  A half-hour before the 5k start time.  So, while Angelia and Julian prepped for the 5k, Connor and I headed to the ballpark for photos.  As a coach I get 2 free 5x7s of just me and the little man which I thought was a nice bonus in addition to the individual and team shots.  As soon as we were done I looked at my watch and thought it was actually possible to get to the race in time to see the finish.  Indeed we got there about 5 minutes before Julian crossed the line with a 24:33 - just off his PR and only 4 seconds behind his age group winner.  Angelia (who said she was going to take it easy) did as I predicted and ran a strong race with a nice finishing sprint and a PR of 35:46.  I'll let her give you the details of how that happened on her race recap.

Already a crazy day and it wasn't even 10am yet.  That's a good thing because I had a 50+ miler to get in on my end of things.  I left Connor with Angelia and Julian at the school carnival that was going on post-race and headed home to get ready.  The route is a good one that I've done once before with the assistance of 2 other riders.  This time would be a solo effort which meant no help with the wind.  If you don't live in these parts then let me enlighten you to what we've been dealing with:

And in case you think that's a fluke, it's not.  The average wind speed for the last month has been 12mph with gusts around 25mph on average during that month.  The forecast called for lower winds on this particular morning but that was not reality.  The ride north was brutal and I frequently found myself riding 12-14mph on the flats.  It was really discouraging and I was already calculating where I needed to abandon the route to get home in time for other obligations.  However, I had missed some workouts this week so I wasn't cutting this one short if it wasn't truly, 100%, undeniably necessary.  I made a quick pitstop at the lone gas station along the route, gathered my thoughts, and set off on the lollipop portion of the route.  This section is peppered with short but decent grade climbs.  Strangely, for as negative as I was early on, I started feeling really good.  I was conquering the grades with relative ease whether sitting or standing.  I was enjoying the ride!  After the loop was complete I popped into the same gas station again to refill my water bottle and headed home.  I got a partial tailwind in some sections and the head/cross wind sections were more bearable now.  In the end it really was one of my better rides.  Really starting to feel the training paying off.

Sunday started off with a nice tempo ride.  Nothing crazy, just a 27mi out and back route.  I started early before the winds really kicked in but it was cold.  Temps around 50 at the start but I knew it would be 70 within a couple hours.  A tricky temperature to dress for.  I opted for a base layer, arm warmers, barrier skull cap, and glove liners with my normal summer kit.  At the turnaround I removed all the extra stuff except the base layer which kept me comfortable, though slightly warmer than usual.  While the ride out was calm and cool the return route was all headwind .... and it was picking up fast.  My thoughts weren't on my ride though, they were on Angelia and Julian who would be taking off on this same route as soon as I returned.  The wind did end up finally taking a toll on Julian and I had to do a first ..... pick him up and bring him home early.  To be honest, we were a bit upset as he has issues staying hydrated and we both think that was the real culprit here.  Oh well, we all have those days.  On the plus side, Angelia said she was riding well and may have stumbled upon a new riding partner at the end of her route.  That's always good news!  After that it was off to the usual birthday parties and baseball practice.  That's our weekend ....... we live it in the fast lane.


Lesley @ racingitoff.com said...

Good thing you took that ride Saturday instead of Friday... the gusts Friday were measured at 60mph... insanity. Sunday wind was a mess too.

BTW, I meant to tell you when I ran the lake on Thursday, it was mid-70s and uber-windy (as usual)... I was hot in shorts and a t-shirt. There was a cyclist who kept passing me who was in a full long sleeve fleece jacket and a fleece thing that covers her face. Crazy. I know it can be cooler on a bike, but there's no way it was that cool. Cyclists are weird. ;-) Bwahahahahaha.

TRI714 said...

busy bee weekend. Good job on slingshotting in traffic, pfft, make them do the work sit in and drive ;-). That wind is wicked consistant, thankfully it's fairly flat.Excellent job on the volume and effort.

p.s. I love the picture of son in the drops out of the saddle !!

Tri4Success said...

@Lesley: That cyclist IS weird. Unless it's below 60 I'm just in bib shorts and a jersey.

@TRI714: Thanks for commenting. That's one of my favorite pictures too. (assuming you're referring to the one in the post titled 'Another Brick in the Log')