Saturday, April 15, 2006

Today was probably THE best weather day I can remember in forever, no matter what the month. That we have had 5 perfect days in a row is a miracle, especially when those days fall in April! The plan was to get as long as a ride in as I could manage, sandwiched in somewhere with all the other things on my agenda: work, coloring Easter eggs with the two grandsons, visiting the cemeteries, Easter shopping, hmm, did I forget anything?

The only thing not accomplished was trying to also get in a swim. After my 25 mile ride, my neck was pretty tight, and since I only breathe on one side, that would have added more aggravation to an already touchy situation.

So the ride. I finally got out there about 4:15. I was feeling okay, just a little tired, but decided to go at least half way on the bike trail (25 miles). There were lots of cars in the parking lot at the trail head, and more coming when I arrived, but I have to say, I had only one minor irritation with someone in a car who didn't use a turn signal, causing me to stop when I didn't need to.

The Musketawa Trail is an old railroad bed that runs 25 miles one way. I did the 50-mile round trip probably 5 times last year. I knew I wasn't ready for that today so opted to do half. Its still early, and I can't remember one year when I was able to ride this early except the year I got my bike. So off I set, by myself, which was okay. I really don't mind riding by myself for short distances. Today I was glad to be alone, so I could stay relaxed. It was an easy ride and I don't think I ever even got out of breath. Nice and steady. I decided to work on staying aero, which with my sore neck/shoulder I had to break it up: .25 aero, .25 drops; .25 aero; .25 drops. I didn't really start this until about 6 or 7 miles. This made the miles click by rather quickly. I stopped at the turn around to drink water and check my phone (yes, I bring one for many reasons). Left a message and headed back.

It must have been windier than I thought on the way out because my return time was a couple of minutes faster. That was a pleasant surprise. Even though I felt I was riding slow and relaxed, my time was only a couple of minutes slower than fast rides last year, so I must be making some progress. Yay!

If we had this glorious weather even half the year, I would be biking many more than the 1000 miles I biked last year (computer turned over at beginning of ride).

And while 25 miles doesn't seem much for those training for Ironman, my focus race is only a 40k, so I am ahead right here.

I'm thinking of doing time trials again this year to get faster. The only year I did that (the year I got my bike), I improved on a 15 mile course by 7 minutes, so I can really use that fast workout once a week.

I am looking forward to getting up to 50 miles, weather permitting, by the 3rd or last week in May. That would put me 3 weeks out from Johan's race, which is an Olympic distance. I really, really want to improve over my last two attempts.

Another bit of progress: I'm down at least at 10 pounds from when I started attempting to lose weight gained over the last 3 years in early March. I have to keep reminding myself that you can't undo 3 years in only 6 weeks. But it is coming off little by little. And I am feeling 100% more energetic, motivated, confident in my abilities, and enthusiasticly looking forward to this tri season!

I am feeling more my old self. Finally.

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