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dedicated but stupid


hills and rain and bears, oh my!

saturday, by the numbers:

  • miles: 50
  • elevation gain: 5,638
  • minutes where it was NOT raining: 0
  • minutes where i was uncontrollably shivering on the bike: 180
  • hot chocolate purchased at the halfway mark: $1.50
  • rain jacket purchased at the halfway mark: $28.50
  • average age of person who would wear said jacket: 7
  • number of times i lost feeling in my hands: 3
  • # times i preferred killer climbs over (cold) descents: all the times
  • powerbar gels normally consumed over 3.5hr ride: 7
  • powerbar gels consumed due to climbing/scary, wet descents on sat: 4
  • close calls with crashing on wet pavement: 5
  • stupid crashes rolling into the parking lot curb: 1
  • minutes run off the bike: 15
  • minutes running where i was happy/warm: 15
  • bear cubs encountered: 1
  • momma bears encountered: 0 (KNOCK ON WOOD)




I woke up today morning feeling pretty awful: sore throat, stuffy nose, and running a high fever – the works – and decided to stay home to recuperate. With plenty of PTO days left in the bank, I figured I deserved the much needed R&R. After downing plenty of OJ, water and enough allergy & cold meds to sedate a 300-lb man, I felt pretty solid. Actually, I felt great! Great enough that it seemed like a wise decision to take advantage of the day off work and sneak in a little endurance ride. Never mind that it was raining. And 40-something degrees. And that I was sick. BLAME IT ON THE COLD MEDS.

Twenty minutes later, I enthusiastically clipped in with the hopes of riding out to Mt. Vernon and back for a good 40-miler. The allergy meds must have gotten to me. Clearly, today was not my day. Long-story short, I ended up with 3 failures to unclip, 2 dropped chains, and 1 pair of nearly-frostbitten big toes.

I only made it out to Reagan airport, before deciding to turn around and wheel back up through Georgetown, tail between my legs. Blood was running down my left knee from one of my to-the-ground crashes and I was 100% soaked. Never before have I been as happy to see my apartment building, rack my bike and get in a long hot shower to recover.

I don’t think I’ll be riding in the rain while sick for a long long time.

As an aside, I think I need new shoes, or I just need to better attach my cleats to the bottom of them. I think a big contributing factor to my number of clip-out snafus today is the fact that my cleats loosen up over the course of my ride. I had to get off my bike and tighten some of the screws using my house key several times across the course of my ride.

I think number one priority this weekend is to stop by my bike shop and see what they can do for my pesky cleats….



Good News, Bad News

The Bad News is that my body is just not cut out for marathoning... yet. Using Hal Higdon as my guide, I made it all the way up to 20-miles, knocked down the mileage for a recovery, week and then couldn't make it through the second 20-miler without limping. Knowing that I would probably end up with stress fracture or worse if I pushed through the pain, I've decided to hang up my marathon shoes for yet another year. Instead of running the full Nation's Marathon, it looks like I'm going to have to settle for the half. What I haven't decided is whether or not I'm going to go for a new PR, or just treat it like a training run. We'll see.. The Good News? This means that triathlon season is now underway! Yippee!

I'm looking forward to regularly OD'ing on chlorine in the pool, being a regular on my tri-club's long weekend ride, and getting back on the track. OH how I miss the track.