Saturday, May 16, 2009



FOOLING MOTHER NATURE


Maybe fooling Mother Nature isn't the right term. More like taking matters into my own hands.
It seems like every weekend since the snow has melted we've had nothing but rain, wind, or cold or a combination of any of them. I for one have gotten pretty sick of it, rearranging workouts or even not getting the full workout in or doubling up sometimes when its not practical to do so, just in an effort to get the training in. I was starting to really get irritated--and burned out--with this, watching the beautiful weather during the week, when I'm stuck inside, pass me by, only to have to ride in the cold and wind or run in the rain and cold. It seemed like no mercy was being shown, and making me doubt my ability to being ready for the races I am planning so far. I've already had to move deadlines ahead because of the weather messing with my workouts.
So that got me to thinking, after once again seeing the weekend weather forecast, that maybe it would make more sense to take a work day off and try to get in a good long ride or run, rather than doubling everything up on the weekend because of the crap weather.
Yesterday, that's what I did. Its been slow at work for the past couple of weeks anyway, so it made more sense to take the day off to do something constructive rather than sit around trying to look busy. I've been wanting to get in a long ride outside in the worst way for weeks now, so Friday looked like it would finally be the day. I went into work early, planning to leave by 11. (Who says you can't get 8 hours worth of work done in 4??). But once again, my plans were almost ruined. Rain was moving in, and the radar showed it was already just south of us. With any luck, it would continue tracking south, and that's what happened, thankfully.
I hit the bike trail just before noon, heading west toward the big lake (Lake Michigan). Usually when we are getting storms, they come over the lake and the northwest lakeshore cities usually get hit first. But with the southern tracking of the rain, I figured I would be safe to try the whole 50.
And you know how they say if it seems to be too good to be true it usually is? That's what this ride was going to be. Too good to be true--on the way out. I honestly couldn't believe when I had hit the halfwaypoint (25 miles) and the ride still felt effortless. Without pushing it at all, I was cruising at 15.5-17 mph, which is fast for me. A little voice started nagging at me around 20 miles that I was probably going to pay for this on the way back, but still I continued on. If nothing more, I wanted to keep moving to hopefully avoid any rain that might be lurking. It was totally overcast, about 65 degrees, but the sky wasn't getting any darker, so I felt relatively confident the rain would hold off.
As expected, when I turned to go back--WIND! Sigh. Its just always going to be that way so I'm learning to deal with it. So I went from averaging 16 mph down to 13.4, with speeds as low as 10.5, on the return leg. Still, it wasn't as bad as usual, and as luck would have it, the rain held off until I was in the car driving home. And while this wasn't the fastest 50 I've done, it was pretty close, and months earlier than last time.
Today was supposed to be my long ride, and waking up it was raining and windier than ever! Smart move on my part!

7 comments:

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

I'm glad the weather held out for you on Friday. Good job on getting the 50 done!

Marlene said...

Great idea! You gotta do what you gotta do. Good job on the long ride.

(It's a long weekend here in Canada and nothing but crappy rain so far... ugh)

Sunshine said...

We certainly have had a lot of wind lately too.
You are so great at adapting.. not letting the weather derail you.

IronBob said...

I always get that feeling that maybe I have really improved when I look down and see a higher number than normal.. but then hopes are always dashed when I turn around.

Even worse when you go out and you are doing 13. Then you know you have your work cut out for you. (see my latest post for a story around that).

Cheers.

Calyx Meredith said...

Good on you! Glad you got that long ride in before the weather turned. Those numbers look great to me - even the ones against the wind. Have a good week.

Missy said...

Pedaling downhill and pedaling into a headwind sucks! Been like that round these parts too. You think you're doing great and then you turn...blasted, literally.

C'mon nice weather!

ShirleyPerly said...

Way to go on your 50-miler! Glad you were able to get it done on a day where the weather cooperated. Well, except for the wind, but during my races it often seems that the wind is a headwind in the latter half. So I don't always want a tailwind late on a training ride either. Sometimes I do, though :-)