Monday, February 11, 2008

California - Day Eleven - Easy

Not much for today. I woke up exhausted, still recovering (I think) from the long day on Saturday. Not feeling ill for once, my body temp a low 95.9 degrees. Maybe that's my normal temperature, I don't know.

Went out for an easy spin with Julie, didn't do any jumps or anything. I felt like saving myself for a Palomar attempt. With one day of riding left, I'm pretty close to my 30 hour goal, currently sitting at about 29 hours in eight days of riding (I spent four days off the bike). Tomorrow will probably be a 6 to 7 hour day, a solid ride from which I can recover over the following couple days of travel and settling in back at home.

Today was the first day I rolled onto the road and thought, "Boy, I wonder how racers do this all the time." Because, as much as I think I've been piling on the miles, I really haven't. Others do as much or more, and they do it regularly. Heck, I used to log some insane time on the bike.

I suppose one difference is my age. I seem to be less vulnerable to the cramps and sudden bonking which I regularly experienced a couple decades back. I have more reserves (more fat?), more power (due to having more fat?), and can push when my legs start to get iffy (and can't spin). My body, if this makes any sense, can deal with extra time and energy on the bike.

The difference is that the sharp edge is gone. The instant jump, the dancing on the pedals, that's sort of muted. Instead of the motorcycle-like snap of acceleration, I'm more like a big, heavy, powerful car. It'll accelerate in determined fashion but it'll never be a motorcycle.

I feel like that's me now. Solid, not flashy. Powerful, not snappy.

I rode for just an hour today, the deep fatigue of what I realize was a very hard week starting to settle deep in my bones. Normally I'd have continued on and tack on an hour or two of easy riding. Today, after just over an hour, I felt... ready. Ready to stop.

The missus called shortly after I was showered and changed. I lay head pointing down on the stairs, the phone to my ear, my legs up a step or three, waste laden blood draining down to be filtered and recycled. I felt intense fatigue, drowsiness, something I'd normally feel in June or July.

We talked about things that, by definition, married people talk about. When I first came here it was about what we were doing, how was her work, how was my riding. As time went by, the focus seemed to change a bit. It was more about personal stuff, more about planning stuff for when I returned home. As nice as it is here as far as the friends (they put up with my "training camps" for four years, what more do I need to say?), the house (spacious), weather (beautiful), stuff like that, it's hard not to miss the people (and pets) back at home.

After we talked I ate of course, I always seem to eat now. A few pieces of left over pizza before dinner, with a glass or three of water. Then a lot of dinner - steak, potatoes, veggies - then grapefruit and ice cream and wine and water, always water.

Tomorrow will be a last hurrah, a ride of defiance. My somewhat spontaneous Palomar attack last Wednesday brought me within a couple miles of the top. With a better idea of what to do, and without doing a somewhat hard 4 hours the day before, I hope to storm the mountain. The bonus will be seeing how hard I can ride on the way back. If I can do some significant efforts, I'll be happy.

First, though, I have to get to the top.

Now for bed, an early alarm, and an early start for tomorrow's assault.

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