April 5, 2009

The late night, last minute food work-off.

It's not often in these tough economic times that I get to eat out at a reallllllly nice restaurant - and last night was one of those times.  Granted, I still got to eat there - but the wife and I were graciously hosted on someone elses ticket.  For a few moments we got to live as if there was no care or concern, and we performed well.  A bottle of red, bottle of white, good friends, good breads, appetizers, and FAN-tastic food.  ...And, then, the guilt set in.

Having made good progress towards my goal of dropping the excuses (aka, weight) this year, I didn't really want to give myself too much of a set-back.  I suppose once every so often, it's okay to splurge -- its when one makes it a regular event that the pounds sneak back on, so I suppose all is not lost.... but I still arrived at home, relaxed for a few moments, bid farewell to the babysitter, and then said to the wife "I'm gonna have to ride a bit extra to burn this one off!".... and then, I repeated it in my head a few times... Hmmm.... it's still in the 60's outside, and the weather is going to close in... why not???  

With that, I saddled up and took to the night.  This is the common theme this year, so far.  I suppose I will indeed take what I can get, my schedule being what it is, but I would really like to ride under a warm sunshine one of these weekends!  Yeesh.... been too long for that.  Until then, for the 2nd time in as many weeks, I've taken to the streets after dark for some miles.  Not TOO many this time, only about 25 or so - barely enough to get the system warmed up - but still, it was nice.  The rainshowers of the evening had passed on to the east, and the moon was high, stars bright, and winds lighter at 11pm when I left the driveway.  It's a nice thing having the roads to one-self, at such a late hour.  Yeah, I'd like some heat, some sunshine... all in good time... there is still something magical about the night ride - especially the LATE night ride.  

On no particular course, I rode south, then east, then south again, climbing the big hill on Antioch towards 191st street -- the monster climb that begins the Border Patrol 217km permanent.  This was the first time since.... gosh, June?  July?, since I'd climbed this hill, and MAN what a difference.  That old snap is back in the legs, and I FINALLY was able to climb it without using up all my gears.  It's coming back... save your money, kids, don't worry about those expensive feather-weight bike parts... if you have a few pounds to lose, do it!  (Easier said than done, believe me - I understand).  I smiled to myself upon reaching the "top" of the hill (since it never really stops until you reach 191st street anyways) and thought about all the hills up north of Liberty, MO., that I'll be climbing at the end of this month.  April 25th looms...that will, pending the weather, be my "day in the sun" - the first in what seems like an eternity.  With the weather closed in again today, as I type this, it's hard to imagine winter ever really ending.  

Leaving the shelter of the trees and getting lifted onto the other side of the ridge, the southwest wind was still fully there - shifting more to the west, it seemed, as the night wore on.  I skirted Spring Hill High School and enjoyed a tailwind finally after doing battle on the deceptive rollers on 199th street.  As I made my way, I defintely noticed that the temperature was beginning to drop, and in the final few miles the wind had shifted to the north.  Good timing... I hit the garage, polished off the rest of my water, and hit the sack.  

They say life is about balance, and this was a good day --- an excellent, lavish meal - and a good solid bike ride to help digest things.  I'm pretty sure I'm still in the hole, calorically, but if nothing else today, I really shook up the metabolism.  I'm aiming for 165 lbs for the 300km ride coming up April 25th.... game on!  With somewhere between 12,000 and 17,000 ft of climbing, that's a route where the pounds will really make the difference.  

Thanks, as always, for reading!

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