Work has been stressful. I'm faced with seemingly impossible challenges. Somebody can walk in my office, talk 10 minutes, and just like that I have 10 new emails all wanting something from me. Today I had a 90 minute window between meetings to get in my one and only weekday ride that I get these days. It was sunny and mild out. No booties or beanie needed.
The wind was tough heading north. 15 minutes into the ride, the skies turned dark. The wind started gusting to 40+ mph. The temperature dropped 10 degrees. It was just like a summer thunderstorm moving in, except there was no thunder. It snowed mightily. The massive wet flakes packed up on my light layers and cheeks. I suffered perpetual ice cream headache. Then my shoes filled with water and I couldn't feel anything from my ankles down. It wasn't enough that storm drains were plugged, forcing me to ride in deep water with submerged potholes. I had to ride in a heavy snow squall with inadequate protection. As I finished my 66 minute ride, the sun came out again. How unlucky can you get?
That was one of those rides where you take two showers afterwards. First you take a shower with all your clothes on to blast away the layers of mud (I don't ride full fenders), then you take a regular shower after that. I don't recommend doing this at home.
This ride pretty much sums up how my whole winter season has gone for me. First I struggle with ankle issues, buying over-sized skate boots to placate my titanium enhanced left ankle. I didn't need new boots, I just bought new boots last season. I mostly figured out how to ski without too much ankle trouble, only to crash in my first major ski race and break a ski. So then I buy new race skis, when I didn't need new skis, only to find them really slow. Maybe they'll speed up in a few more waxings, but I'm pessimistic at this point.
I have one more race for the season, Rangeley on Saturday. We'll see if I can even complete one race this season. It could rain on Saturday. At this point, I view Rangeley as something to just get behind me and start focusing on riding. Since the holidays, I've averaged less than two ski sessions per week. That is hardly a marathon training schedule.
To be sure, I've had some great ski workouts this year. I've logged a couple 50k sessions, one in less than three hours. I've done several perimeter skis at Waterville Valley. Rarely is there enough snow that affords such opportunities. I count that as a blessing. I've had a few good workouts at Weston too. Tuesday Night Sprints are always good for an adrenaline booster on an endorphin buzz. It is really hard to say where my cycling fitness is right now. I've only been riding twice a week, and only after hard ski workouts. Aerobically, I think I'm in fine shape. The legs, not so sure.
Running hasn't sucked that much. Not as much as I thought it would. In fact, I'm running long enough now that it can provide a fine endorphin fix. The gym bag is a lot lighter on days I run. I keep inching the pace and distance up, now running five miles at sub 7.5min pace. Running hasn't been without minor issues, which will have to wait for another post.
In another week, I bail out of here with Alex Combes to Tucson for a week of "training" in the desert. The mountain bikes are on their way. I hear they are getting 80's this week. Hope to see some of that. At least the recent snow on Mt Lemmon should be gone by the time Alex and I get there. Like any trip I go on, the planned rides are longer and the climbs higher than the body will likely handle. It's good to ride in places that have no shortage of terrain.