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Daily Archives: March 11, 2014

The Difficulties of Springtime Training in the Upper Midwest

I went out for a fantastic ride on Friday at lunch time – temps in the low 40’s, partly sunny…  It just doesn’t get much better than that in March in the upper Midwest of the US.  Saturday was back on the trainer for a relatively easy, if high cadenced spin.  Sunday the forecast was for mid to upper 30’s and partly sunny so rather than spin indoors I put all of my eggs into an outdoor ride basket.  Unfortunately, at 1  pm it was still below freezing and the wind was howling pretty good.  Still, I sucked it up, threw on the balaclava, jacket, leg warmers, foot covers, gloves and leg warmers and hit it.  The first mile was just fine so I started on my 20 mile route.

Unfortunately with all of that crap on, it was tough to tell that the wind was at my back – it felt, at the time, more from the west, or my left so when I hit that second mile heading west I thought I was into the teeth of the wind, that I’d be doing pretty well.  Then I turn north again and could feel how much I was being pushed.  Even with the wind at my back I was cold.  Not mildly uncomfortable cold, cold.

I decided half a mile up that I’d cut my ride to ten miles.  After all, with all I’ve ridden in the last week it should have been a day off anyway.  At the end of the third mile I made a U’ie, heading directly into the wind.  Absolutely miserable.  My legs started seizing up with the cold almost instantly – funny how the muscles don’t want to work when they’re really cold like that, eh?

I called no mas at the end of that fourth mile and decided to head back to the house.  Rather than waste all of the preparatory time I opted to do intervals till I got back home – big ring all the way into a gusting 25-30 mph wind (it had picked up considerably since I’d walked out of the house).  I figured if anything, even though I wussed out, I’d get something out of it.  I did – my legs were hit yesterday.

Unfortunately, temps yesterday hit 50, but I had my daughter’s swim practice at 5.  To complicate things, we’ve got rain rolling in this evening and snow on Wednesday and Thursday before we hit 50 again on Friday.  In other words, I rode even though it was slow and my legs are smoked.

Such is the life when training in Michigan – I have to take the good weather when I can and shuffle everything else around, if possible.

And to make things even more interesting, the Tuesday night club ride starts tonight. Oh, I am not ready for that – I think… To tell you the truth, I have no idea where I’m at. I haven’t tracked anything so I haven’t a clue how I’m doing. I felt pretty sluggish on Friday. Sunday, as short as that little jaunt was, I felt pretty decent. Then yesterday, call it a decent weather kick, I felt quite good. Big ring into the wind, nice and low – and that’s on the Cannondale, with a seven speed racing cassette, there are no easy gears unless I’m in the little ring.

This morning I’m a little sore but I can tell you this: with snow rolling in tomorrow, I really don’t care – I’m riding tonight.

Folks, I told my legs this morning that they will shut up. There will be no protest. No revolt. I am a dictator that way.

And that is what makes me, “me”.  Oh, I know, “you should rest. Recover”.  Yeah, I know, but I’ve been resting for four months, and Daddy’s back.  I’ll rest tomorrow, I promise.  We’re supposed to get 6″ of snow.  Gotta love Michigan.


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