Friday, January 05, 2007

I blame the sun

Date: Jan. 4
Mileage: 47.0
January mileage: 96.5
Temperature upon departure: 28

I love this picture because its timing is uncanny. Geoff and I hit this frozen, snowless trail in the only window of clear sky that slid over Juneau all week. It was only about 45 minutes, but it gave us our first shot of direct sunlight in the New Year, and Geoff his first shot of direct sunlight in Juneau since Nov. 22. Shielded from the wind by the thick forest canopy, we broke through bars of sunlight and relished our own little piece of July. I could taste it and see it and even feel it, despite temperatures that hovered in the 20s (which, in direct sunlight, feel more like 75). By the time we made it back to the snow-dusted road, the clouds had closed in and the sun was gone. By the time Geoff cut off and I continued north, the wind picked up something fierce. For the last six miles of my ride, the city was engulfed in a whiteout blizzard. In my own unique way, I loved it all.

But the sun is a little like caffeine. Too much, and it you only get a flash-flare of energy followed by hours of sluggishness. But deny yourself sun, for weeks at a time, and even the smallest taste is like cocaine. I had a great, high-energy ride. A little less than 50 miles took four hours (The snow drifts are back, I'm riding Sugar for now and I'm slow again.)I basically bonked toward the end because I neglected to eat anything after breakfast, but for the most part I felt unfazed by the ride. When Geoff announced he was going to the gym after my 4 p.m. lunch, I decided to follow him there. I did a typical session - 90 minutes, with 45 minutes moderate-to-high-intensity cardio and 45 minutes of lifting. I was going for wearing myself down, really good and down ... which at my current level of fitness, it seems like 5 or 6 hours would be a good threshold. But I'm a little disappointed. Just not really feeling it. So I have to feel regret for not pushing myself hard enough. I could try again tomorrow, but we're supposed to receive 8 to 12 inches of snow in this storm, and with all of that new powder, it seems like I should give skiing another try. I guess I'll just wait and see.