Training and a Race

Pretty much sums up the Easter long weekend. Lots of training with a bike race thrown in for good measure.

First off – massive shout out to Marc for his impressive ride on Friday in Hamilton and in capturing third place in the M1 race. Awesome ride Marc!

I had a fine seat course side next to the start/finish area and had quite a pleasant afternoon sitting and cheering. Luckily there were lots of people to chat with and I had packed a bag full lunch, drinks and reading material. (This helped me block out some of the terrible music being played. Lets just say Zamfir/flute music is not appropriate music for a bike race…)

Saturday the plan was 2.5 hours with a 30 minute block of tempo… Well, 3.5 hours I made it home. A culmination of two factors – ridiculous wind and a dog resulted in the ride being a bit longer than planned. The tailwind was super nice during my tempo interval but also caused me to ride a bit further along Dwyer Hill Road than I intended. Once I realized I was out a bit further I decided to keep exploring and see where I’d end up (thanks to the tailwind..). This is where the dog entered the picture. Got chased by a dog. In fact the dog got quite friendly with my right foot – no I didn’t kick the dog. Rather the dog sniffed my foot. So now, I’m rather far from home, have been riding for 2 hours and I’ve just been chased by a dog. The only solution in my fatigue-addled brain was to keep riding further away from home – I didn’t want to get chased by the dog again and besides I was still enjoying the tailwind. If you rode in or around Ottawa on Saturday you know which wind I’m talking about. So you can imagine the gory details of the final 1.5 hours of my ride – yep directly into a headwind or cross/headwind.

The plan for Sunday was 3.5 hours. This time I did a better job and only ended up going 30 minutes over. Excellent ride exploring some new roads and reacquainting myself with some old favorites. Love riding on Fernbank Road – quiet and very smooth.

To get me through these rides I loaded up the iPod with lots of quality podcasts. Listened to some excellent NPR Fresh Air podcasts, CBC Radio Q, CBC Radio Inside Track and my all-time favorite music podcast – Studio Brussels de Afrekening. (This is a countdown radio program from Studio Brussels that we discovered two winters ago. Definitely a must listen.)

Today I did an easy 90 minute recovery ride. At least it wasn’t as windy today. I’ll be super happy when the spring winds have settled down.

Had planned to start riding into work this week, but have decided to push this out one more week. Yep, I’m a wimp – it is still below zero at 6 a.m. in the mornings. Don’t feel like starting my day in the cold and dark. So hopefully next week, things will be a bit warmer and I can start commuting by bike.

Got in some excellent time in the gym this weekend. I’m really starting to see some progress in my strength and my pythons are making a comeback!

Okay, well I’m out of here. Sitting outside on the back step with Murphy the cat right now. Unfortunately we aren’t in the sun and my fingers are getting a little bit cold. Oh if you haven’t watched Running the Sahara, I suggest you do so. This movie got me through some weak moments during my training this weekend. The wind was starting to get to me and then I remembered watching Ray Zahab and his team mates running through blinding sandstorms in the Sahara Dessert. Kinda put my “suffering” into perspective…

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