Tuesday, February 05, 2008

California - Day Five - Pro Siting

I woke up this morning with a start. I guess I'm still on Eastern time. It was dark, about 9 AM.

Eastern Time.

That's 6 AM local.

The little boy whose room I'm sharing also woke up with a start. Or maybe he was just waiting for me to wake up, I don't know. Anyway, he jumped up, flipped over his pillow, got his light saber, and stood up, waiting for me to pick him up and out of his crib.

Just so you know, I'm sleeping next to the crib on a futon.

Anyway, I figured if he was awake, it was because that was the schedule. I picked him up, put him down, and then realized I really needed to go to the bathroom. By the time I got out, he'd run to his parents.

45 minutes early.


After recovering from this unannounced schedule change I decided to do what I normally do. Cook some pasta and sauce, eat and drink, and go for a ride.

I hadn't had any Italian sausage sauce and pasta since getting sick, and since the missus taught me how to cook it (take it out of the casing first), I made myself a batch. Easy ingredients - one package of Italian sausage (no sweet stuff available so only got hot), one jar of sauce, and one box of Barilla pasta. Shells, for this example. I made the batch and immediately ate a bunch of it.

For breakfast.

Remember how I lamented my lack of anaerobic fuel yesterday? Well, apparently it consists of chicken, sausage, pasta, and perhaps a half gallon of orange juice. I know this because that's what I ate and today I felt at about 60% or so. I figure more of the sauce, pasta, orange juice, and maybe some yogurt and salad (the latter two eaten separately) will top me off.

The ride itself reminded me how vulnerable the human body can be when it is ill. I felt most of my anaerobic threshold completely gone. Aerobic stuff, fine, a little more than yesterday. Today I could go a bit more, do some work over 300 watts. But as soon as I needed to dig, I hit rock. I'd have to ease up and sit back down.

I did manage a few things.

- I drafted a truck (too slow, too short, too easy).
- Jumped pretty hard to get into the correct lane without disrupting traffic. A few times.
- I got caught by a lot of riders. What's the deal with that? One went so hard to pass me I couldn't help but coast back up to him. He finally ran a light and got a good gap, then turned off the road at the next intersection for good riddance.
- One rider that passed me was a mountain bike rider. He politely stayed behind me until I pulled off to make a call.
- Averaged 343 watts for a minute on a hill. Then blew, sort of. And had to climb for another seven minutes to get to the top of the hill.

And, for the coup d'etat, I had a Pro siting. Yes, a Pro siting. I have no clue who it was but he was a Quick Step rider. No, it wasn't Tom Boonen. Nor was it Bettini (unless he somehow wasn't wearing his world championship colors). If it was either of those two I'd have chased them to get a camera pic of them with me. Alas it was a small stature pro that I didn't recognize.

He did a double take when he saw me though. I thought of a few reasons why he did this.
- "Wow, that guy looks like he could take on Tomeke - and win!"
- "That guy must be a pro, he has matching knickers on."
- "I thought Liquigas was wearing green and white, because that bike looks like a team bike but the rider doesn't."

And probably the real reason - "I didn't know you were allowed to ride down that road, I thought it was closed to traffic."

Yeah, well, although I can't say I've ever raced my bike in Qatar, I did manage to befriend a rider long enough to learn the cut through road.

Anyway, I rode a bit harder in the third and fourth hours of the ride, trying to get a feel for how my recently ill body would react. Not too well, unfortunately, but not horrible. I knew I wasn't good because the burn would spread pretty quickly, shutting down efforts that weren't even that hard. But the good part was that the efforts were actually pretty good, at least compared to last year.

I had another distraction while I was riding along. With a huge naval base here, the west coast Marine base, and who knows what else, you constantly see military things moving around. And as a boy, well, such things have a fascination for me.

The first day I saw a six wheeled armored car, thought about drafting it, and decided against it. Then, after my first "after sickness" ride, Julie asked if I heard "it".



I almost looked around to see if a T-Rex was coming because it sounded exactly like Jurassic Park. But further away.

I looked at her questioningly.



Like guns. BIG guns. Big because they were 20 or something miles away. And we could hear them firing.

Today I saw a couple Chinooks (transport choppers) flying in formation. Okay, that's not too exciting. I did see two F-22s (I think, as I know they're out there and it was too "thick" to be an F-18). That's exciting, the new Joint Task Force fighter.

Only thing is I can't draft such vehicles.

If I can chow down enough fuel and I feel a bit better, I may do a group ride tomorrow. We'll see. People to draft, and people to drop me on hills.

At least I'll have a cool bike.

No comments: