Monday, April 21, 2008

You finally are going to hear me say it: we had perfect weather this weekend. Not that we didn't deserve it! Sometimes, its incomprehensible to me how we can go from brown, cold, gray, and wet to sunny, hot, and everything turning green in just less than 2 weeks. But that's what finally happened.

We experienced some late June weather this weekend, and you will only hear me sing praises about that. Blue skies, low to no wind, no humidity, and temperatures in the upper 70s. I was in heaven.

As I've already posted, Saturday's weather was perfect for my 10 mile run, leaving me a lot more confident about this weekend's half marathon. I'm not talking about my time. I actually am not going to be able to worry about that. It will be what it will be.
The afternoon turned hot and sunny, nothing I'm complaining about! Its too bad it really is too early to get out and plant, but we still will likely get more frost and cold weather. The daffodils were blooming all over the yard though, the trees were starting to bud, and it won't be long before the tulips start appearing too.

Sunday morning was cooler, but it still was supposed to be another very warm afternoon. The plan then was to get out on the bikes, our second ride of the season. I did get in a 3/4 mile swim before, waiting for Don to do another run.

Then it was time for that dreaded Changing Tires 101 class. Believe me, if there is one thing I hate more than having to do car maintenance, its bike maintenance. And I have to admit, I did not pass the exam yesterday. Changing the tires on my bike, not a flat, but actual new tires, meant I had to ask Don to help me with that. Don is very good about knowing how to do this stuff, and he actually offered, but he is not the best teacher, for me anyway. I guess all those years of military experience have made him somewhat impatient with my clumsiness and inability to figure out the simple task of changing a tire. But there it is. I'm all thumbs and finally I got so disgusted with the whole process I was ready to forget about a ride that day. I actually stomped off and went in the house, ready to pack it in. Nearly an hour after we started, he finally ended up finishing the task for me. LOL!

But the ride was great, like something I have not experienced in a LONG time. I honestly can say that I didn't really enjoy any rides from last year, they were always a drudge to me, and our first ride 2 weeks ago also had me anxious to get off the bike and not return. I wasn't really looking forward to another bad season. What was different about yesterday? I'm not really sure, but there were a couple of things that have me wondering.
First, the new tires. Last summer I thought I was getting 700 23s put on my bike, but what I eneded up with was 700 25s. You wouldn't think that little size difference would matter, but it does. I found that out on ride after ride after ride last year. So that was the first order of business for this year, and that's what the tire changing lesson was all about yesterday. (Next time I buy tires, I'm buying from the bike shop so they can put them on! I'll pay. I've got money!)
But another weird thing happened, and I probably shouldn't make anything of this until I've ridden a few times. I had my bike into the shop a couple of weeks ago for the annual tuneup under warranty, and as usual forgot that they would move the seat. I hadn't marked it, so that was another thing we had to fix yesterday. I had Don put the seat where I thought it was from before, only to feel like I was sitting on the ground and I could tell my knees were a little too bent. He thought it looked okay, but it really felt weird to me. So he raised it a little, and again, while I thought it was too low, he said he thought it looked fine. All I knew was it wasn't where it had been all last year, so I just decided to do the ride and see what happened.
What happened was for the first time in 2 years, I got that bike up to 18 mph! Not the whole ride, of course, but some good stretches. And without feeling like I was killing myself. Like all last year. I'm pretty sure the tires made a difference there, but I felt like I actually had some power in my legs for once. The other part of this weird experience was: no neck pain. None. Not even for a minute. Whoa! What's up with that?? Our first ride 2 weeks ago resulted in neck pain almost the entire ride, just like all last year. Could it actually have been that my seat was too high all last year? The bike shop fitted me, yet it makes me wonder now. And it wasn't all that much higher, probably less than an inch.
I guess only another ride will tell on that. I've got the bike in the car for another ride tonight. And I'm actually looking forward to it for once!


jahowie said...

That's great. It sounds like your bike is fit right for you now. That will help you enjoy your season this year. I'm hoping to get out there on the bike tonight.

Anonymous said...

I am soooo happy you're getting to enjoy some nice weather...finally!!

hmmm...maybe I should look into a bike fitting. Sounds like it really made a difference for you. It sure makes riding easier when you don't dread it I bet!!

Good luck this weekend :)

Flo said...

Hopefully the seat is right now. It's amazing how a small amount can make such a huge difference in the ride. Glad you're getting some good weather, hope it holds for awhile.

Sunshine said...

Wow! How did you go from snow to daffodils so fast?!
Congratulations on all you are doing, thumbs and all. I am impressed.
PS.. Yes, I think Cincinnati is quite hilly... but my nephew is living there for just this year....

Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

Yay for nice weather. It will make all the difference in your outlook, I'm sure!

I think there is a lot to bike fit.

As for me, I just can't get motivated to get on my bike. Maybe tomorrow I'll pump up the commuter tires and ride into work (finally). Or not. This week my excuse is "recovery".

See Zanne Run said...

the weather here is gorgeous too ... everything just smells so good! am crossing fingers that it holds for you! - i think the forecast is a good one!