Monday, January 27, 2014

Laying Down Some Base Miles (in my dining room).

It's hard to believe that it's been over three weeks since my last post. While I wish I could say that it's because I've been riding outdoors so much, that would just not be true.

The unseasonably mild weather during this year's Festive 500 gave me the illusion that accumulating base miles would be a piece of cake this year. Not so fast. Despite my interest in logging long, early-season rides, recent arctic temperatures have held the northeast hostage over the past several weeks and show no signs of abating. I know, I know, it's winter. There's really no surprise that it's cold and snowy in late January, but when the thermometer doesn't climb above 20F for several weeks in a row, it tends to take the wind out of your sails as far as early training goes.

In order to build a strong base, I'd like to log a minimum of 10 hours on the bike each week including at least one 50+-mile ride. In the context of limited sunlight, ice, snow and work, this is not as easy as it appears. So indoors we must go. This Saturday, I dragged my trainer, my laptop, my speakers and my bike into the dining room and rode with Coach Troy Jacobson through one lap of the Michigan Ironman bike course and, despite my whining, it was a pretty good workout.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Festive 500: There's No Place Like Home

The Festive 500, like all good long rides, was a bit like life in microcosm. There was joy, there was disappointment. There was anger, there was humor. There were parts that exceeded my expectations and parts that fell short. There were the plans and there were the modifications to the plans.

All in all, this challenge provided me with just the kick in the pants I needed to jumpstart the new season. It felt great to ride longer, harder and farther than I would have without the peer pressure involved with 30,000 other nuts trying to ride at least 500 kilometers over the course of eight winter days. It does a body good to go a bit too far, especially where training is concerned. I'm proud to have completed this challenge for a third year in a row. Would I have liked to have ridden 1500 kilometers like some other lunies? Sure, but I'm glad I have a family that needs and wants me around.

Over the course of eight days, I saw some beautiful houses, but my favorite by far is the one I live in myself. There's no greater feeling, after a long, cold ride, than returning to your own warm, cozy home.

Happy New Year!