Saturday, February 11, 2006

Countdown

Date: Feb. 10
Mileage: 25.4
February mileage: 185.9
Temperature on departure: 35

Well, I can check the 10-day weather forecast and see the day of my race now; I'm receiving empathy e-mails from fellow racers. Looks like the countdown's on. I feel like I'm physically ready for the race, but right now I'm so obsessed with the weather that nothing else seems to matter. I might as well go eat a row of Oreos.

Instead, I took Geoff's advice to do one short-but-hard ride. Thanks to a full day of ad design (blah), I only had about a two-hour span between punch-out time at the office and the start of a foreign film I really wanted to see, "The Story of Weeping Camel." (Mongolia is definitely a place I want to bicycle tour through someday.) Anyway, today was probably not the best day to decide to go out at "run" pace. Above-freezing temps and a full day of rain unleashed havoc on the deep snowpack, turning every road shoulder and bike path into unholy basins of slush. Sloppy, slurping slush that rose to my calves in some spots. I should have geared up with my new overboots. As it was, I was dressed for 35 degrees (basically, my summer suit). I biked until I was soaked through and through, and then I biked another 24.4 miles.

Hard pedaling helped me stay warm, although the wind chill was an definite minus. I pumped out 25 miles in one hour, 45 minutes. Laughably slow for road cyclists, I know, but for moving a full-suspension mountain bike with about 30 psi in high-treaded snow tires through an ocean of melting snow, it didn't seem too bad. In fact, it felt really good. Until I stopped. Then I was really cold.

The camel movie was really cute, too. I highly recommend it to anyone with an actual DVD rental store in their town. T minus one week, eight hours, 58 minutes and counting.