I didn't do much this weekend. I had a reasonably good ride home thursday - 31 miles after work and met my target of time and HR zone. Easy commutes friday, though I went for a one hour trail run over 'lunch'.
Nothing saturday. Since the weather pretty much sucked I decided to earn a few points by finishing off the full bath remodel by replacing the medicine cabinet, light fixtures, and base boards. You never know with a 100 year-old house how these things are going to play out, especially with electrical work. My house was originally built without electricity, then given knob-and-tube wiring in the '20s, then redone with armor cable in the '40s. As such, there are special moments like when I found out that the one half of the downstairs had been wired backwards, and rather than rewire all the old two-prong outlets to code, who ever 'fixed' it just went to the junction box in the basement and switched the black and white wires.......nice. For a change, I ran into no problems, and had a happy wife as if I was smilin' bob.
Saturday night I got invited to a surprise 50th birthday party for the nicest guy in cycling. No, it isn't Chronoman. There is actually a nicer guy. He was mostly responsible for getting me into racing, and was the best man at my wedding. He's the only guy in the history of bike racing that carries a handkerchief when he rides and races, and actually blows his nose into it. You don't get any nicer than that. Ironically, there is a great story about the party and the influence of another local racer that many people consider to be even a bigger ass than me. I won't names names on this blog, but if anyone in interested, let me know and I'll tell you off line. It's a _really_ funny fucking story.
Anyways, sunday I had the whole fucking easterfuckingfamilyfuckingbrunch gig. I wasn't sure if I was going to get a ride in or not. It turns out, we ended up getting home at 1:30 so I decided to try a 3 hour ride at a solid pace, basically my local hilly ride.
The wind was brutal. As Solo points out in his excellent pre-race report for BkR, the wind kept things _really_ slow every time I went into it, as well as being very cold. I was hoping to get some sense of my fitness over a long ride, but the wind made that difficult. On the hills with the headwind, I was pushing well into O2 debt, just to get over the climbs, let alone try it with any reasonable feeling of speed or power. several times I was maintaining a decent pace on a climb when a gust would just about stop me. On one downhill, I got hit with a gust that slowed me to point where I had to use the small chainring. This is normally a downhill that I can coast at about 30 mph. There were several instances of me actually getting moved a foot or so from a side wind, as well as one of those shiny balls on a pedestal that got blown over and rolled down the street in front of me.
Conversely, on the hills with a tailwind, I was rocketing up them at a pace that I would have considered fast for the late season. One hill in particular that I use as a general fitness test had such a strong steady wind that I was almost spinning in my 39x13, where as a late season effort in my 39x15 below AT would be good. On another flat section with the tailwind I was spinning my 53x16 and my HR actually started to drop.
The course kind of zigzags around Haverhill clockwise, with the two hour point occurring somewhere along a predominantly northeasterly direction heading into the last set of hills. It turns out I was less than a mile from home at the two hour point, and was feeling the efforts. I would have another half hour at least into the wind including a 3/4 mile hill with a 9% section.
Fuck it. I had two hours in with a lot of work above my AT. It wasn't getting any warmer.
My plan this week is to do the Tuesday Night Plaistow/Exeter ride, then an easy Thursday ride and a massage friday. I'm thinking resting for the BkR would be a more wise decision at this point.
For a laugh, check out this one from GeWilli.