March 1, 2007

Week four/five - and BIG HAIL!

It’s been a while since I’ve had enough spare time around the house to do an update here…so, I’ll do one from work instead. Hoo, hoo, hoo….
Anyways, I think this is nearing the end of week five, officially on the training schedule, and things are looking up – After a bout with the flu the previous week, I waited until Wednesday last week to get back in the saddle, and proceeded to hack the rest of my infectious leftovers all over the roads of suburbia like some nasty, festering bread-crumb trail. Gross. But, better out than in, I suppose. Didn’t Shrek say that? Whatever.
The yoga continues as well, and after a short break from it during flu-week, it was good to get back in the studio and discover that the rest actually did wonders. The flexibility, compared to week one, is simply terrific. Workouts on the bike are recovered-from faster, and balance is improving and translating to bike-handling skills and out-of-saddle stability. I don’t feel like I’m flailing all over the place, like last year. A lot more control. Helping everything is the loss of the first of ten pounds! Everything is fitting better, and it’s only getting started. That puts me at 168 this morning. Intermediate goal points to 166 pounds, where I started at (gulp) 181 at the middle of January after returning from vacation in Florida. Yeah, I only said ten pounds lost – and the math doesn’t work there, but I don’t really count the first couple of pounds. Simply coming back from vacation and returning to the reality of normal food helped a LOT, so the first three pounds are a gimme in my book. I didn’t start actively keeping track of calories until early February, really. It’s working, and I don’t feel wiped out – this new approach works fabulously.
The real personal test will come this weekend, with the first REAL mileage of the year. Yes, I have been riding outside – but it’s been limited to commutes. I have not done a complete stretch of more than 12 miles at a time since January 1st’s New Years Day ride at Longview, which, with breaks, was 30 miles total – and probably 17 miles of that before the first break. So, for un-interrupted miles in the saddle, this weekend will be interesting – and hilly. This will be the first edition of the 2007 version of the C’Dude ride, which I haven’t been bold enough to add up all the vertical elevation gain, but it’s a doozey, containing just about every hill worth mentioning in the county, save for a few way out south. Oughta be a lung-buster, which is good considering how chilly it’ll be at the start. Winter is still hanging on!
Odd thing to consider, since yesterday afternoon I rode home from work without knee-warmers for the first time since last September! It topped out at 70º, which felt AWESOME even with the headwind – and later that night my other passion was ignited as thunderstorms popped up and dropped hail and a LOT of rain on the area, including a couple tornadoes in the counties immediately south of us. Close call… so, I spent part of the evening cooling down at a remote spotter location, watching the clouds and waiting for action. Overall, yesterday was a great day for a lot of reasons. Spring --- my favorite season is coming fast!
Stay tuned…. Week six is just around the corner.

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