Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Exhausted in Paradise

My arms hurt, and my whole body is aching. With the MLK Jr. holiday this was a 3 day weekend for me, and I spent it doing a moderate amount of training. Nothing crazy like last fall's Ironman prep weekends - but enough that I am completely worn out today. The weather in San Diego has been amazing, and all weekend we enjoyed 75 degree weather with clear skies - it was beautiful! I am blessed to be able to live here, and I smile every time I think about it.
Saturday started with a nice trip through Elfin Forest with my friends Brent and Lorenzo - and the SDBC. Yep, you read correctly - I've been slumming around in the roadie peleton. Coach asked me to participate in the Camp Pendleton Bulldog Bike Race in February, and I took that as an opportunity to convert my road bike back to a normal configuration. It was painful to watch the aerobars come off, but I have a tri bike now and they were no longer necessary.
Here is a shot of my road bike, sans aerobars

So saturday's 40 mile rush around san diego was typical roadie fare - lots of posturing at stoplights followed by all out sprints, pacelines in the safe areas, and lots of drafting. 26MPH never felt so easy! Also, to my surprise, a lot of machismo. There were two women in our group, both of whom were very strong cyclists. Some of the men really were a-holes to these ladies. Whenever they moved to the front of the pack, someone immediatly jumped in front of them and shot off the lead, turning the whole thing into a giant pissing contest. I was reminded of why I stopped riding in packs - a few people acting like a-holes taints the whole group, and makes things dangerous. But despite all of that, riding a road bike again was beautiful. It was like driving a Cadillac compared to my tri bike - smooth and comfortable, and it felt like home.

Despite Saturdays ride being a short one, it was pretty intense. When I woke up Sunday to do my long run, I wasn't feeling so good. I was sunburned from the previous day (who wears sunscreen in January?) and my mouth was dry. I made sure to carry lots of water on the run, I knew it would be rough. I headed out into the gorgeous southern California morning, past the surreal Mormon Temple and down the Rose Canyon bike path. I was using my new Suunto footpod (I'll write about that sometime) and tracking my pace pretty closely - it wasn't very good. I was drinking a lot on the way out, I could tell I wasn't hydrated properly. Most of the 8 mile run was a suffer-fest, though I did run into my buddy JT at the turn around. He was riding his bike back to Point Loma, and stopped to say hi. It was nice to see a familiar face, though I'm still not used to running into people I know out in public - I don't know that many people. I spent the rest of the day Saturday on the couch drinking water. I had a nasty headache, and a little bit of dizziness whenever I stood up too quickly. I was pissed that I still hadn't figured out my hydration problems.

Monday I met up with Michelle and her crew (Steve, Penny, Solene, Mark, and Monica) for a MLK day ride. Once again the weather was perfect, and we enjoyed ourselves immensely. The word for the day was "hills". Steve won the polka dot jersey hands down - he crushed it up Scripps Poway and then continued his tear the rest of the day. The Green jersey went to Solene for her second half effort. While the rest of us were exhausted from all the climbing, she pulled the entire group into a headwind from miles 50 to 55 at a pace of 27 MPH! What a badass. Thanks everyone for the ride, it was loads of fun. I once again hit the couch after the ride to nap and catch up on my hydration (and Battlestar Gallactica). By 7pm it was time to head to the pool for what I had hoped would be a recovery swim. It wasn't. Coach R had us do a total of 2500 meters, with lots of sprinting - which is why my arms feel like jello today. We capped off the weekend with a late dinner at Whole Foods, where we met Alyssa - the craziest old lady I've ever run into. Don, Chad, Diana - you can back me up on that one, right? She had lots of advice for us about politics, the economy, etymology, and of course romance. It was actually pretty fun, if not insanely awkward. With my body destroyed and my belly full, I slept like a baby. What a great weekend.
So things are good, training is going OK, and the future is bright. If only I didn't have to go to the office now...

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