July 2006 Bike Odyssey--Virtual Trip to Traverse City, MI--Day 4 (30 miles) (100 total)
Wednesday night's bike ride wasn't bad, I thought to myself this morning. In fact, I am finally getting used to this bike thing. But I really can't wait to be done with this trip, at least for a couple of days. So while I have been modifying, calculating, and refiguring each day's mileage to add up to the final destination, I decided day 4 would be all bike, and not just the 25 or 26 I have been getting in, but a full 30. I was ready to go earlier than usual, even though again, it was quite overcast and dark. But no rain was predicted, at least for the earlier part of the day. Today the temperature was 69 degrees, and the humidity was at 100%. No coat or long sleeves today. And again, while my legs have been initially tired on starting out, today I am flying faster than any day since. That initial first and second day fatigue have worn off, and now it seems as if adrenaline is pumping me forward. Its also the fact that tonight would be my last double bike for a while at least. I was really looking forward to the end of that! I actually ended up going over my planned pre-work 15 mile ride by taking a slightly different route, but I figured that would just be in the bank for later that day if necessary.
All during the day, I checked and rechecked the radar, since they did say there was a possibility of storms later, but there was only one small, tiny in fact, blob, coming on shore way north of GR, so I didn't figure it would be a problem.
I have been obsessed with trying to decide what to do this weekend--to push myself and finish this up or divide it up and be done on Tuesday, August 1, which was my goal. My instincts told me to just go the distance and get it done early, so as to taper for the next weekend when there was a tri I wanted to do, but I was holding off until after this was done to decide. I planned to run Friday and then do a long bike Saturday, with possibly two shorter bikes Sunday and Monday. Figuring all of this, I had a flashback of a conversation I had with Don at the tri last week. He said, "You need to do some longer stuff [to make the short stuff seem easy]." This last part I had forgotten until today. I wasn't in the mood after the tri to hear any advice, particularly from a multi-time Ironman who was used to all this ultra stuff. I felt he was being critical of the effort I had put in that day, which to me was a major accomplishment.
But then, as I am thinking of the run on Friday, and how to incorporate the shorter bikes into the completion of this "journey," the part about the short stuff being easier suddenly jumped out at me. He's right. After this, the shorter stuff should seem easy. And to tell the truth, the short stuff hasn't seemed easy for so long, I'm not sure if it ever did!
So that helped me decide what to do for the weekend. Get the long stuff out of the way and do a victory lap on Monday.
I decided to leave work 10 min. early to get on the road and get the second bike of the day done and get home EARLY--only so I had time later that night to go shopping and do laundry (yipee!). I had heard it was pretty warm out, and once I arrived at the park and got my bike out, I had to agree. Not only was it really warm out, there was absolutely no air movement and there were threatening clouds overhead. Great, just so I get this done before the rain hits. But then I'm thinking, that's really not that bad if it rains, just inconvenient.
I didn't get even 4 miles into my ride when I felt the drops and could see on the river that it was in fact starting to rain. Just pedal harder, I told myself. It was getting dark too, so I suspected we were in for a good storm. Not too many people out, and the ones that were appeared to be "leisure" riders and probably were unaware of the brewing storm when they started out. I picked up my pace as the drops continued, but after a while I wasn't sure if it was raindrops or raining bugs, as I was getting "sprayed" by something pinging off my helmet and glasses and face. It had to be bugs!
By the time I got to the turnoff, it actually looked like it might hold off on the rain. It was hard to see the sky because of the canopy of trees overhead, and I was no longer right along the river. But, during the last 2.5 miles, I started feeling drops occasionally and as I rode into the parking lot, the thunder started and more big drops began to fall. I no sooner got the bike packed up and into my car when more drops started. I decided to take the time to go to the gym and do a quick shower so I could stop at the grocery on the way home instead of waiting until later. By the time I got done with that, it was as if it had never rained. I started driving home and BAM, then the rain starts, a white sheet in front of me. I just made this ride without getting soaked, yes!
Again, surprisingly, I felt pretty good tonight. I wasn't overly tired, just hungry but not famished. I packed extra food items for the day, making it easier. I actually made dinner, went shopping, and did laundry before I decided I had to go to sleep. Tomorrow would be another day!