Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fall Update!

When I last posted I was very excited about the prospect of meeting my goal of 3,600 miles on the bike this year. I was close to averaging the 300 miles per month that I needed in order to do that. That was then. At this point I’ll count it a blessing if I’m able to ride more miles than last year, 3600 seems out of reach in early October. What happened?

Well, my day job happened. I’m a high school teacher and part of our local union leadership. To put it mildly new contract negotiations with our employer, have gone poorly. This isn’t the place for griping about that however, this is my cycling sanctuary, so all I will say Is that organizing our members has been a full-time job on top of my teaching job. Time for riding has not been abundant. And where there have been gaps here in there, I’ve been too exhausted to jump on the bike.
Monthly Distance graph.jpg
Even my pretty ambitious riding schedule has been modified in the latter part of the year. The Tour de Scottsdale and the MS Bay to Bay rides are out of the picture. As you can see on the graph, the latter part of July, August and September were spent mostly riding conference chairs instead of “The Girl.”

If I needed evidence of how a couple of months of haphazard riding can really diminish one’s conditioning, the Rosarito-Ensenada Fun Ride, was pretty striking. There wasn’t much “fun” to be had. I shouldn’t say that. It was fun becauseI rode it with Molly for the first time. I think it was the first organized ride we’ve done together. We actually crossed the finish line side by side. It was also fun because I met colleagues and friends along the way. So in that sense it was very enjoyable. “El Tigere,” the well known climb of this ride…not fun at all. I cramped, I tried to climb faster than I should have, I ran out of gas at one point. Just not well prepared for this it at all. I did however close like gangbusters in the last 10 miles.

So having had that experience, I’ve pared down my riding schedule for the latter part of the year. At this point the only ride I’ve got left on my schedule is the El Tour de Tucson, the weekend before Thanksgiving. My goal at the start of the year was to do the full 109 mile ride for the first time. I think it’s still an attainable goal. It would be my second century this year. Not bad for never having done one before. I feel good about it. My conditioning wasn’t too bad for Rosarito. I think the heat combined with a lack of prep for the climb did me in, but I felt good and strong on the flats. So I’m on a 7 week plan to do more hill climbing and improve endurance further. Last year I did the 80 mile version and felt very strong at the end. I’m hoping that the same will happen in November after 109 miles.

Finally, I’m in the midst of trying to balance all of the important aspects of my life at this point. Of course my relationship and teaching are always on top of the list, but my union activity is important as well, yet, I’ve come to realize that cycling is something I love and can’t relegate it to the “if I have time” category. So…I’m in search of that elusive balance. My other passion is writing, so I’m hoping to blog more here, even if the posts are shorter. Expect to hear from me more often. For now…

Ride on!

PS: Here are some pictures from the Rosarito-Ensenada Ride a few weeks ago.