Friday, January 8, 2010

On the road, but not really.

This is a note from the road, but not regarding a road ride, training, or anything Euro at all.  In fact, to mention EuroDisney might cause me to be evicted from the grounds here at the real Disney World.  Coach is running a half-marathon tomorrow morning, so we're chilling out this evening and trying to get to bed at a decent time.  By decent I mean 3 hours ago as the alarm clocks will be going off around 3am...

The crowds will be so crushing tomorrow that I don't plan to head to the start with Coach.  She'll meet up with friends and then take off sometime after 0600.  Wow, that's an early start to a run.  I think that when Greg Lee and I ran the Rock 'n Roll half marathon in Virginia Beach several years ago, we started at 7am.  Then again, I have tried to erase most memories of that painful experience from my brain...

For those wondering if I'm doing any training while I'm here, the answer is a resounding 'no.'  I've driven TONS, and although the bike is here, he's been 'wheels up' since arrival. 

I did catch a bit of a nice sunrise this morning as I jetted down to Ft. Myers to see my dad.

We will head back to NC Sunday or Monday, but I might get a ride in before departure.  Unfortunately, it's nearly as cold here as it was when we left NC two days ago.  Some have said it's the coldest weather in Florida since the late 1950's.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Bittersweet surrender.

A nice song by Big Head Todd and the Monsters, yes.  Also apropos for our CLM get-together tonight as we wished Curtis well in his big move to Asheville.  Truly, we're all just nervous thinking of how fast he'll be when he comes back to visit.  A virtual toast to Curtis as he and his wife head off on a new adventure in a great town!  Best wishes.  Here's a lousy shot of the crowd.  Even Alex Ryan dropped by.  It was something special.

And of course, the two main men who made my experience at Paceline Bicycles what it was...

Prior to our killer time at Noma, I hit a 20mi ride around the city.  Tonight's goal was just 17mph, so I felt fairly comfortable.  It was still very cold with a stiff 15-25mph north wind, but I motivated myself with thoughts of the upcoming frosty beverages and good friends at dinner.

Here are the stats, on the ride dedicated to Curt McGirt:

Time:  1:08.15
Dist:    20.75mi
Avg:    18.2mph
RPE varied between 13 and 16 for most of the ride.

No more planned rides 'till next week as we're heading to Florida for coach's half-marathon.  I think I'll take the Cerv with me and see if some time opens up to ride.

The prospect of warm (40 degree) weather is appealing...

Monday, January 4, 2010


Tonight, it was back to training rides.  Jill has me doing back-to-back night rides in the 15-20 mile range.  The speeds are not as high as would be on a daytime ride, and that's mainly for safety.  The only hitch in this plan is the weather.  It is just plain cold.  See below:

Monday, January 4                                          

Time            7:49 pm      
Conditions   Clear  25°F       
Feels Like    14°F            
Wind            11mph from WNW

Or so says The Weather Channel.  Not too cold if you live in the Battenkill Valley, I am sure; and not too terribly nippy if you live in NC - as long as you are indoors.  I even contemplated the trainer, but I just hate that thing so I bundled up and went for it.  Tonight's ride was aimed at an 18mph average, which is not an absolute given the multiple stoplights on a modified City Loop.

Going clockwise, I was met with a stiff headwind on Country Club and Peacehaven Rds.  This lessened a bit on Polo Rd as I passed Wake Forest.  I have come to respsect the headwind - it is only helping me become stronger.  The real payoff was Indiana Ave, where I had a killer tailwind.  I was essentially moving with traffic and cranking the big gear.  Power development is one of my early goals, and as I'm prone to spinning, I have to force myself into Jan Ullrich mode once in a while.  That man was diesel on a bike.

Coming around to the end I cruised by the Dixie Classic Fairgrounds, where Ken's Bike Shop has put on a spring/summer crit series for years.  I cut my teeth (and broke a shoulder) racing  here in 2005-2007, but hung up my crit wheels after a scary crash in 2008 racing in Brevard, NC.  Still fresh on the brain is my first Cat 5/Citizen crit in 2005.  I showed up wearing my mtn bike shoes and SPD pedals, promptly got dropped on the 3rd or 4th lap and completed the 30 min race in 'personal time trial mode.'  I was hooked.

These days, I prefer road racing.  That said, there is nothing quite like the adrenaline shot of a crit finish.  Although the idea of dicey corners at break-neck speeds through covered bridges gets me a little nervous, the chance to hammer out a metric century in those conditions far outweighs any fear.

Ok, the cold, frozen stats:

Time:  47:19
Dist:    15.3mi
Avg:    19.3mph
RPE:    max = 17 on Peacehaven Rd., min = 10-12 on Indiana Ave.

Here are a few shots of the coach and me having a post-ride dinner.  Coach is having water since her big half-marathon is coming up on Saturday.  I am not.  Woo-hah!

Next stop:  20 mile ride at 17mph tomorrow night, then a bittersweet CLM get-together at NOMA to see Curtis off.