Sunday, March 19, 2006

Mental strength training

Today's bike ride was one of the tougher ones. 35*F at the start, with wind gusts up to 30 mph. I didn't want to go. But on race day, all my "idontwannas" aren't going to help me much. It was time to get out the door and put some miles in the bank. The wind was just scheduled to increase during the day, and it was only going to get harder, so I might as well get bundled up in my winter cycling gear and GO!

Out to the end of the peninsula I rode, with the winds coming straight across the Chesapeake Bay and blowing me sideways at times. As long as I kept moving I was reasonably warm, but if I stopped to snap some photos (will post tomorrow) or get a snack I started getting chilled quickly. I thought about that chilly 56*F swim that the athletes did at the California half-Ironman yesterday and kept going.

Positives:
  • The strong sunshine was wonderful.
  • The daffodils, Bradford pears, and forsythia are out in strength!
  • My investment in good-quality winter cycling gear was worth every penny. I've used it many times already, and it enabled me to keep cycling outside through the entire winter.
  • I found an unattended construction-site portapotty just at the right time.
  • I didn't have that twisting knife in my lower back after 30 miles like I used to.
  • I got in 36 miles on the roads in fairly tough conditions.
  • My pace picked up pretty well to the 20 mph range with the wind at my back.
  • This should be my coldest bike ride for the rest of the year - next weekend is forecast to be over 50*F.
  • My Sidi bike shoes are awesome - I figured out how to both tighten and loosen the straps quickly while I'm in motion. Except not with the neoprene winter cycling booties on top.
  • I saw a beautiful small hawk that followed me down the road, possibly a kestrel.
  • Three deer dashed across the road just in front of me, luckily escaping annihilation by speeding motor vehicle by mere feet.
Areas to work on:
  • My arthritic wrist hurts me, even with aerobars. I may need to wear a wrist brace for cycling.
  • I have a lot of toughening up to do in the bike seat area.
  • I need to get some arch supports in my cycling shoes, or I get arch cramps.
  • I didn't have time to get in the 45 miles I had hoped to complete today.
  • I still need to work on staying down in the aerobars for extended periods.
  • My average pace was only 14.0 mph (although it did include two slow passes through town and a couple interesting side road diversions). That needs to increase.
  • The reformulated Lemon Zest Luna Bars suck. Who wanted less sugar and more fiber? Not me! And I still have nearly two boxes of them to eat.
  • 36 miles seems hard right now. I have to force myself not to let my mind go to that place where I start dwelling on 112 miles seeming like a nearly impossible, Herculean task. My endurance WILL improve.

Still, that's 36 more miles to the good in the Bank of Ironman!

5 comments:

plods said...

Congrats! my cycling 5 miles was the event of the day so that's one more area where I look up to you!
(36 miles!!)

LouBob said...

Sounds like you had a good day, I love positives!

tribro said...

Nice job. I had a similar cold, windy ride yesterday. Way to power through it and find the positive.

Keryn said...

Great ride! I love the list of positives and negatives! :)

Lynne said...

I hate the cold - and even if its not that bad when you walk outside, the speed of the bike can chill you to the bone. I applaud you for going the distance! 45 miles!! I thought that was so great until I realized that that's not even halfway to ironman... WOW!