Sunday, May 11, 2008

Point Of View

This morning I woke up at 5 am to the sound of pouring rain. Not a bad sound unless you have a 40K time trial planned. This is the second time trial in less than 3 weeks where I have woken up to either near freezing temperatures, gale force winds or pouring rain. Yes, I do consider gusts of 40 mph gusts as gale force winds when you weigh less than 110 lbs sitting on 19 lb bicycle.

So I went back to bed until 5:50 am and then woke up. Sat at the kitchen table eating my oatmeal while telling myself you can do this, you have to do this, Jennifer (coach) is doing this, if you don’t do this she will call you screaming right after she is done. And she can scream really loud.

A few minutes later, Chris comes downstairs, opens the back door to what I would now call pelting rain and chilly temperatures, closes the door and announces:

I am not riding in this shit.

Which means we are both not riding in this shit. Though I considered driving the hour south and still toughing it out. But then we sorted it out to a huge risk for a low return. A liability. To risk injury or crash to just prove we ‘could’ do it. Not worth it, not now.

That’s not something I would normally say but I’m getting either too old or too jaded for days like this. If I was a few years younger maybe I’d be out there with my goggles on and pull buoy between my legs to make myself at least buoyant while rolling through the rain. But not today.

We went for coffee instead. Wondered if Jennifer was doing the race – decided she probably was and if we listened closely enough we could probably hear her scream at the finish line from 43 miles away.

When we got back from coffee there was a message from Jen telling us not to bother going to the TT – they had cancelled it because of the conditions and the warning of flash floods. I will let her fill in the rest of the blanks on her blog as well as tell you about her encounter with God. But until then I will just sit in my warm snuggly home and get ready for a 2 hour trainer ride – yet again.

I am convinced one day summer will arrive. Probably on June 1st at which point it will probably be 90 degrees with 90 percent humidity at 5 am. It will be that way for 3 months straight and then it will once again be cold. I keep asking myself husband why we keep torturing ourselves this way. It doesn't have to be like this. There are places we could wake up nearly everyday and have the opportunity to go outside and ride. No place is perfect but there has to be a place better than this.

We both didn’t have an answer. But I think we both could sense our impatience with the situation in Illinois.


I’m trying to think of all the good things you can gain from riding on a trainer for 7 months out of the year (give or take). Trying because my midwest athletes also keep asking me the same thing. I figure I should at least have a semi-intelligent answer other than BUCK UP. Because I know that buck up wears thin after awhile. And if I'm not careful one of those athletes will come back at my buck up with a f*ck off. I wouldn't blame them. Trainers are not that much fun.

Here goes: file under 'things you can gain from trainer rides': an incredibly smooth pedal stroke, the ability to hold a certain wattage steady for long periods of time, muscular endurance from nonstop pedaling, the ability to withstand going nowhere for hours on end while watching Hannah Montana, a very hardened ass from sitting in one position nonstop for hours, high quality for low risk (unless you count the one time I did crash on my trainer indoors), bathroom nearby that does not include squatting on side of road behind large tree wondering if you will be bit by snake or poison ivy, endless water supply, staring at wall you make lots to busy your mind.

There are a lot of positives but I am really itching to get outside! I want to ride my bike in a jersey and shorts without leg warmers and gloves. I want to just ride! The other night I actually did ride outside at Fermilab. There was very little wind (amazing!) and the temperature was just right. My favorite sound – wheels on pavement – filled my ears. The sky was beautiful. Everything was coming to life in green. And a coyote even ran right across the road. It reminded me of why I enjoy riding outside – just to get out and experience the world.

But alas that will not happen today. And it is almost time to ride. Maybe I just need to remind myself of all the good that comes from this. The things mentioned above. The toughness training that around here just doesn't seem to quit.

Or maybe I just need to change my point of view. Bring my trainer upstairs and stare at a different wall.

Who's in?


~Robyn~ said...

Did I mention I may be moving to the Florida Keys? You're welcome to come train during the loooong winter months when its just beautiful down there...and its SNOWING in Illinois :)

Beth said...

YUCK!! I just beat the rain this morning on my ride and it was only in the mid 40s so I would have been one UNHAPPY camper had it started to pour... I agree - to go to that TT would have been too much risk for far too little return!

Either way, I hear you on the "there has to be a better place to live" feeling. I always go to races in beautiful places and wonder "now why don't I live here?" But I guess for us, it has to do with the fact that where we live now is "home" and those other places aren't. Then again, I might be able to get over that REAL fast if I could ride outside in January in shorts... :)

Take care and feel better soon!

RB said...

Move to Colorado!


Lisa said...

So then I guess you don't want to hear me whine that it was a tiny bit windy during the TT here in SD this morning?

BreeWee said...

Another wall- YIKES! I hope you get some better weather soon! A 40k... I am impressed! I took my first ride yesterday post St. Croix but thank God it wasn't fast... GOOD luck prepping for your next race!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I am totally certifiable....not even sure I can spell. Should have just joined you and Chris for coffee. Gasp!! Or pancakes in bed w/ my kids. Ho hum! Jen H.

Eileen Swanson said...

Come to CA! You are SO WELCOME anytime. I am sure you will have summer weather soon enough. Just don't get mad at us in CA and look at the weather we will be getting this week....Sorry. Cheer up, smile....


Amber and Eric Rydholm said...

One more + for the trainer: Less chance to flat and no need to ride a "boot" (i.e. powerbar wrapper guarding your side wall) at over 40 mph to get home.

Wait....the boot scenario still sounds better than the trainer, sorry!

-Amber (from WINDY Colorado)