Weather and a race…finally

I believe the weather on Vancouver Island may have reached new lows early this week. 

Growing up as a cyclist in the Okanagan I have certainly put myself through some torturous winter rides. I was definitely a hard core dude, more so than I am now. I did not care what the weather was doing back then, I was out the door after school or on the weekend, and on my bike. Some of the most memorable rides were suiting up with 3 layers of tights, full on double winter ride jackets, spiked Mtn bike tires, ski goggles and face masks for rides in sub 20 degrees Celsius. And yes, I had an indoor trainer, but I was tough and I was getting the real miles in!!! I remember coming home and sitting by the fire trying to take my shoes off with frozen fingers. Finally my sister had to help get the booties off and yank the shoes off my frozen feet. As those feet started to warm the pain really set it, I couldn’t help but shed a tear. No exaggeration either, man I was stupid!!! A lot of that stupidity and over training is probably a major reason I quit cycling when I was 20. I ended up losing sight of my ultimate goals in the sport and didn’t really have a plan to get to where I wanted to go.

Thankfully triathlon has brought back that drive to compete and succeed in sport. But not without getting back to those ridiculous winter rides. To be honest, there is no way in hell I would be venturing out on the bike in minus 20 these days. Negative degrees in general would find me on the trainer in a second. Monday of this week brought back some of those memories from the Okanagan. I’m sure some of you may have got caught in this mess too, I certainly feel your pain if so. It started out quite nice, I was really eager to hit some dry roads and enjoy a rare bit of sunshine. As soon as I rounded the tip of the island, pretty close to the Oak Bay Marina I saw the cloud forming up ahead. The thing looked nasty and I knew I was going to hit a little moisture.  Sure enough, as I came to the road by Mt Doug the thing let loose. Pea sized hail started falling hard, very hard. It felt like it was ripping the skin off my face. 5 minutes later it started gathering on the road and I felt the initial drips of water seeping through my winter jacket and soaking my skin. I started tossing the idea of grabbing a coffee and calling Heather to come get me. It just wouldn’t be right though. She had the day off work and had crashed hard on her bike (In the hail and ice)yesterday, she was trying to recover and getting her to limp to the car would have been pretty selfish. As the road quality deteriorated I had to start riding in the tire tracks of the cars. I didn’t really care who I was holding up, my thoughts were about keeping the bike upright and getting home as quickly as possible. Which, at best was 25minutes on a dry day. As I was ripping down Wilkinson Road past the commonwealth center, I got a flat tire. Just f’ing wonderful man, my spare had a short valve stem so I had to resort to patching the thing under some shelter of a gas station. As I was about to put the patch down on the glue, a big drop of water fell from the roof…smack dab on the sticky stuff. I won’t tell you what I said at that point. Anyway, to cut this off…got the patch on, sun came out, rode home to Langford where the roads were bone dry. Not a drop fell out that way. I felt used and abused. Attempting to save the day of training I managed a good T-run in the sun.  Saving face and working out my frustration with a nice hard hammer session around a local lake.  What a start to the week of training.  

I will be doing my first major effort of the year this weekend, the last two planned events fell through on sickness and fatigue. This weekend’s an 11km trail race at Royal Roads University, called the Gutbuster. It’s going to be fun, and I’m going to make it hurt…anaerobically speaking. Depending on how extreme the descents are I’ll probably pansy out and tip toe my way down. I’d hate to wreck my major race plans at this point of the season. We’ll see, come race day that’s a hard decision to make. If there’s a cliff, you’ll probably see me flying off it trying to be the first down.

Wildflower is fast approaching. I feel on schedule.

~ by trevorandheather on April 2, 2008.

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