Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Mmmm ... frosty

Date: Jan. 4
Mileage: 20.6
January mileage: 57.0
Temperature upon departure: 26

Today's ride was sponsored by Heather in Ohio, who sent a wonderful note that arrived by mail at my office today. (My co-worker, as she handed me the addressed envelope, said "What's 'The Cement Box?'") Heather recommended that I "go get some granola bars and goo and get after it." So today, I tried that (without the granola bars and goo ... but now I can go get some). Thank you!

I was sitting in the Cement Box around 2 p.m. today, staring at my computer screen and probably looking a bit distracted, when my boss said "It's a nice day. I'm going to go on I photo safari."

Me: "Mmm Hmmm." (You see, I call it the Cement Box because there no windows in my office.)

Boss: "It looks like a good day for a bike ride, too."

I just smiled. She knows me too well already. But her statement did coax me to the front desk, where I confirmed that it was, indeed, a very nice day. So I punched out early and took advantage of the blazing sunlight to attempt a longer trail ride. I dropped off Diamond Ridge and looped around the forest that parallels the Sterling Highway. The quick elevation changes give me a full smorgasboard of trail conditions: punchy, moose-tracked snow; packed powder; hoarfrost-covered grass; glare ice; gut-busting climbs and cheek-rattling descents. In short, my own little Susitna. Progress was fun but slow. I was a bit disappointed to return from my ride nearly three hours after I left - with most of my clothing layers tied in various states of removal around my body and coated in frosty sweat - and realize I had only covered 20 miles of ground. But I felt good today. Strong. I'm getting better - I really am. Wow. This whole training business really works.