Monday, September 3, 2007

Bye Dr. Badger!

Ellen (aka PABadger, she of Holstein 100 fame) turned in her Ph.D. thesis and is heading off soon to a new job, so we threw her a sendoff bike ride culminating in a fun lunch at a brewpub.

Ellen, Lee, Nancy (BikeGoddess) & I started out in San Francisco, rode across the Golden Gate Bridge and thru Sausalito, where we met up with Sarah (maillotpois). We continued on thru Tiburon & along the Paradise Loop and up into Larkspur. We met up with other TE-ers for lunch and brewskis at the Marin Brewing Co. in Larkspur, and ended the day with a scenic ferry ride across the bay back to San Francisco.

Here are a few pics from a very fun day.

Once we crossed the bridge we took the back route into Sausalito via Ft. Baker, where we were treated to this stunning view of the bridge:

Here we are along the Paradise loop, which was a very nice route indeed (l to r: jobob, maillotpois, PABadger, & BikeGoddess)

Here's a view of the skyline on our way back to San Francisco:

We had lots of laughs this day!


Looks like I'm going to need to back off a bit.

It started this past Thursday. I took the morning off from work and Lee & I headed off for Palomares Road. I was planning on an up and over, turn around near the Castro Valley end of the road, head back up, meet up with Lee someplace along the way, and head for home.

I've been saying over and over that I need about 10 miles to warm up. Lee's been joking lately that he can keep up with me easily during that time, but once my body's kicked in I take off like a shot. Relatively speaking.

Except, on Thursday, I never did seem to get warmed up. I felt pretty lethargic from the get-go, so I warmed up a bit slower than I normally would, but even so, after around 10 miles, if anything I felt more tired.

We reached Palomares and I knew this wasn't going to be a good day. Eh, no biggie. I did what I could and figured an off day once in a while was no concern. I reached the top of Palomares (took me over 37 minutes, yech!), took a short break at the top, and continued down. Since I was taking so freaking long, and I was tired, I cut the backside a bit short and turned around at the first Palomares Creek bridge and slogged back up again.

A big 'ol hairy tarantula toodling up the center of the road kept me company for a few feet. I was so tired I didn't even freak at the sight of it. :p

Lee was waiting for me up at the top, and he turned around and accompanied me back down towards home. I was telling him I was having a really off day and he said he could tell, I stayed in his view nearly all the way up the climb from Fremont, which hasn't happened in a while.

The most telling bit of the ride was heading back home along the dead-flat Alameda Creek Trail. My speed on the flats has improved sigificantly over the past several months, enough that Lee often has a hard time keeping up with me nowadays. He'll usually either latch onto my wheel on the way home, or just tell me to go on ahead and he'll see me in a bit. Well, on Thursday, I could not keep up with him. It was a struggle for me to maintain 13 mph on a section where lately I'd been averaging 17-plus. WTF? But I chalked it up to a off day and didn't worry much about it.

On Saturday, I went out for what I thought was going to be a pretty long ride - up Palomares, Redwood, Pinehurst, Skyline to Grizzly Peak Rd., and play it by ear from there. But once again, I had that lethargic, fatigued, dead-leg feeling. Palomares was even more of a struggle than on Thursday - granted, it was pretty warm, but I don't think it was just the heat that was causing my fatigue. I didn't even bother timing the climb but it was probably on the order of 40 minutes or more. I decided to cut my ride short and loop back along Dublin Canyon and Foothill back to Sunol and then home. Again, I was just crawling along the AC Trail, I even had to stop and rest a couple of times. WTF??? This was getting weird.

On Sunday I did a ride over the GG bridge thru Sausalito and Tiburon to Larkspur with Ellen (PABager on TE), who is leaving for a new job in Texas, and Lee and Nancy (BikeGoddess). We met up with Sarah (maillotpois) outside of Sausalito and, once again, that gawdawful tired feeling kicked in as we were heading towards Tiburon and along Paradise Drive. Being near the ocean and along the bay, it wasn't particularly hot, at least not as my recent inland rides, so heat wasn't much of a factor today. Still, I couldn't keep up with them for the life of me, and even the littlest hill was giving me a world of grief. WTF????

Long story short, it looks like I've been overtraining, and I need to kick back. I've been doing long, hilly rides on several consecutive weekends, with very little riding during the rest of the week. Looks my body doesn't deal well with that "weekend warrior" foolishness after a time.

So, I'm taking the rest of the week off, after which I'm going to cut back on the mileage and also go back to doing my short early weekday morning rides at least 2, or 3 days a week. Then I'll raise the mileage and climbing but more gradually this time.

Gah, I have so much to learn about LD cycling and especially how my body deals with it. :p