If the miles behind me could be put into words before you, you would feel my efforts, my struggles, my desires. Most of all you would see my joy. Watch me from afar run the trails and hills and miles upon miles and you will see ...

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Winter riding

Back in the fall, when triathlon season ended, I was going to write an article on "Ten Reasons I'm Not Going to Miss Riding". Things like, "Taking twenty minutes to get the six layers of clothes on", "Accumulating an extra few pounds when every stitch of clothing is soaked", "Changing flats in the cold and/or wet", and "Not having to deal with the horrendous traffic". I never really got around to it and for some reason, every time I've gone out this year, as a means of cross training, I haven't felt the need to go through with the writing of it. Maybe because I can pick and choose my days to stay out of the wet or extreme cold, or it's just that I feel no pressure or guilt if I don't make my prearranged times on the bike. I don't mind getting dressed and it's my old adage that once you're soaked, you're not going to get any more wet.
As it's simply a way of recovering from a long run, I can sit and spin and take in the scenery without worrying about distance or average speed when I'm done. The worse I've been in was a month ago when it was about two below and I lasted two hours. Last week I headed out east with a glorious tailwind, feeling great. Then some of those old negative emotions crept in when I turned to come back and the wind was full on in my face and the skies opened up. The rain lasted only a short time and then it was only my soaking self and thirty kilometres to go. At the end it still added up to a great day. Today I did two hours in seven degree temperatures and it felt like spring was beginning to beat back winter. How much riding I do is up to Coach Ian, but I think my head is in the right place for it.

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