Thursday, March 31, 2011


Well, after Phil B.'s comment to my post yesterday, I have no excuses left except road conditions. My bike won't make it on ice or snow. Just wet..... I don't know. Requires a big clean-up after riding on wet roads. I guess I should bite the bullet and do that in a "the show must go on" mindset, in case it rains on Gran Fondo day (I'm registered for the 125-mile Diabolical Double in that series of events.) But only cold? Well, Phil.... I guess you've convinced me I can rise (or descend) to the occasion, and have to, since our spring's not coming very close very fast and I need to get in my distances. I gotta get the feet thing figured out. That's the only part of me that's cold. I don't have much more room inside my bike shoes to increase sock thickness. My feet don't just feel cold, they go dead-white with blue toenails. I'll try a couple layers of thin nylons under my woolies. Actually, I was chilly when I first started out on a long downgrade, but knew that once I hit a couple hills I'd be plenty warm. And I was. I had a little backpack to stow discarded layers but didn't want to stop to do it once I was in a groove. I'd have been more comfortable, but now I know I can do Killer Miller when I'm overheating. I did Killer Miller TWICE. Got to the top the first time and thought, "Gee, I wonder how long it's taking me to scale this thing? I'll go do it again and time it, then I can measure progress." So I went down carefully (there's still gravel on it from ice treatment, but you can't go down it all-out in any case because of the grade and curves.) Halfway up on take #2, I realized.... yup, Grandma here forgot to check her time at the start. But it was still good training. So.... definitely no more "It's too cold for biking."

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I keep trying to find this out, in reference to whether it will be possible to ride my bike outdoors. I'm somewhat behind where I'd like to be in training because it's been "too cold." We had a thaw in February, with a couple days in the upper 50'sF, and I was ecstatic, looked forward to it all week, dismounted my bike from my indoor trainer, and did 25 miles. Next week I needed 35, but when it was time for that, we were only going to make barely 50*, but I thought, well, with an extra sweater... let's try. Thirty-five miles in the bag. Temps have just plain deteriorated from there. The day of my 40-miler, we were only going to make 47*. Well, 47*, 50*, there's not that much difference. It was windy and I was chilly and took a really hilly route, but made 37.5 miles. I could have done the extra 2.5 but that meant riding past my house, and I was cold and tired and the temptation was too great. About 10 days ago I made 50 miles, temps in the mid-40's. And it's been dropping from there. No relief from daytime highs in the 30's for close to a week now. Having tasted the open road, I'm averse to mounting the bike back on the trainer. But 30's? I can't bike when it's in the 30's!! Except today I did. Two pairs of tights, two sweaters, a wind jacket, thick wool socks, fleece neck gaiter convertible to lower-face mask, fleece hat under my helmet, full gloves under my bike gloves. I was overdressed. Long hills were hard, not because I was tired but because I was hot. Sweat dripped down my back. But my feet still got cold. Have to work on that one. So now I know I can bike when it's 35*F. No "It's too cold" excuses left, since I don't expect any more days in the 20's. Hopefully. Sunday is supposed to be around 50*F with 0% precip chance. I need a 60-miler, starting after church. So glad daylight saving time was early, even if spring hasn't been!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Awhile back, probably about the time of my 58th birthday, I wrote that I was going to start a project to arrive at my 60th birthday in the best shape of my life. ~Sigh~ Well, I do have a passion for extreme endurance athletic events, and I'm registered for a 125-mile bike ride the end of June, but I have so let myself go this winter. I need to lose 10 pounds (again) and I just this week broke down and let the doc prescribe me cholesterol medicine. I have a bit of rebellion, suspecting that the cholesterol hype is just that, hype, promoted by drug companies who naturally want as many people as possible consuming their product. But even I had to acknowledge that, given all current knowledge, this was a little much and I might need a few pills. I've also decided to forgo most animal-based foods for awhile: meat, milk, cheese, eggs. I guess a little skim milk or egg whites wouldn't do any harm. I'm not convinced that dietary cholesterol and saturated fat are the culprits anyway (I suspect that's part of the hype and deception) but I'll give it a try for a bit. I don't mind being vegetarian. I've done it before. Meat's not essential for me. There's plenty of protein in the plant world. I keep thinking, there's so much that goes on in my mind, if not my life, and if I don't write it down it will all be lost when I'm gone. Living with my soon-to-be 90-year-old mother is a constant reminder that none of us is here forever. I would like to live to be her age, but I would like to arrive there with my back straight and my body strong enough not to have to rest after walking across the kitchen.