The training season has started. No more holiday slacking, I'm afraid. And I must admit, I have slacked. Work went crazy out-of-control insane and killed all my weekends for a while, the weather was not good for my usual weekday riding, and then I got a cold that knocked me out for two weeks. Oh, and I went on vacation. I had backed off a little bit after Foxy's, but this was a full on slack. And while I have been fortunate not to gain any weight during this time (well, I gained a little and have dropped it) I have lost a LOT of conditioning. Fortunately ALC has a very gentle (hah!) training program to get one ready for the event in June.
The problem was, that I wasn't aware of how much conditioning I had lost. Plus, I was overly optimistic about things. I arrived home from my vacation on Thursday evening. Friday afternoon I had my BG Fit with Vanessa at Cognition Cyclery in Mountain View - my bike shop of choice. Vanessa is a cycling goddess and just a really cool person and we got my fit dialed in (for the moment - things may change as I adjust to it). One cool thing - she did have to call in to Specialized for advice on how to deal with my tibial osteotomies and how they may change my fit.
So Saturday morning arrives. I'm all pumped up and nervous. I've got my brand new bike, a snazzy new jersey, a great new baselayer from Craft (gotta be my new favorite clothing brand), and I'm all good to go, right?
First problem: Bike is making a moaning/rubbing noise. The good news is that since the meeting point was about 10 minutes by bike from home I learned there was a problem on the way to ride. And the meeting point was very near my shop. My shop opened at 10 an they quickly diagnosed brake rub and we adjusted things. I was on my way, but far enough behind that I never caught up. So I pretty much did the ride alone. I had the route in my Garmin, so that made following it much easier.
Second problem: I was in such a rush when leaving that I wasn't sure I had fully closed the door at home. And the new door sometimes pops open if not closed all the way. I started having these horrible images of coming home to an open door and no cats. Since that has actually happened before it was really freaking me out. I couldn't get ahold of anyone in the leasing office but finally I chickened out, called Leeann, and she went and checked on the boys. *whew*
Third problem: I can't climb to save my life. Now Chris, the guy who planned the ride, had described the climb up Farm Hill Road as being like the climb out of Sausalito. I've done that climb a few times, so I thought I was good. Turns out he was rather inaccurate. He even admitted as much on his blog. Which was good to read, because I had to walk that hill. I lost a cleat cover on the way up somewhere. And I felt the shame of cross training.
Once past that it wasn't *too* bad. But being on my own did kinda suck. There was a few parts that were familiar. The segment after Robert's Market and through Arastradero Preserve was familiar. After that not so much. Also, I think I was way underfed and didn't stop nearly long enough at the rest stop - so I was tired, hungry, and kinda bonked. Eventually, coming up Miramonte I realized that when I hit Castro I could go straight back to the shop and get the brakes looked at again and the cables adjusted. From there I headed home and missed the rain - just a few drops landed on me.
All in all it wasn't the awesome start to the training season I was hoping for. I think part of my fail was the idea for this ride to be the first shakedown of the new bike. I should have gone out on my old bike - something I was more confident in. Also, I was very sore when I got home and cramped up. I'm not such how much adjusting I'll need to do to this new bike. My hope is that the discomfort I had was related to the time off combined with adjust to the new positioning, rather than fit problems. But if there are issues I'm confident we'll address them.