Thursday, July 9, 2009

Independant Days

4th of July weekend was about as chaotic and stress filled as they come. Work was a circus and stress at home led to near melt-down levels for me personally. Thankfully, I have a bike. The fam bailed for the weekend, so I found myself alone again. Friday night at work we got absolutely crushed, but my crew rose to the occasion and we got through it. Saturday morning I decided I was going to hit the Kettles for a post-crushing (Friday)/ pre-crushing (Saturday) ride. So with the top down and music cranked, I headed west on highway 23 for the 25 minute drive to the Kettle Moraine National Forest Greenbush Group Camping Area (now you see why I just call it 'the Kettles'). I munched a Clif Bar en route for breakfast and hit the trail head by 10a.m. The first lap felt good, so I decided to knock off a second lap for the first 11-mile trail ride of the season. A Clif Shot (double espresso) just before lap two kept me from bonking during the 115 foot up-hill that beats your quads and glutes into submission for the first quarter mile of the trail (yes, I wore my altimeter watch for this ride). I finished the ride in 1:04.05 averaging 10.3mph, which is respectable. I shoot for an hour for the 11 mile version of this trail and aim for anything better than a 10mph average. I spent a little time in the vast empty parking area cooling down and meditating before heading back to town to treat myself to an iced mocha before heading to work for another holiday clobbering.
Sunday morning's weigh-in had me down just over five pounds, but my body mass index was up a little. Meaning I lost muscle. Unfortunately a lot of the weight loss was probably due to dehydrating and starving myself during the two pounding nights at work.
Monday I found the time to repeat the Kettles ride again. I was still lagging from the weekend and felt it on some of the later stretches of lap two. I never quite found that zen groove where it doesn't feel like work to fly through the woods. I was plagued by that dead leg feeling that makes riding feel like I'm slogging through 6 inches of jell-o. All-in-all the ride was an improvement over Saturday's ride. I finished averaging 10.5mph and knocked out the ride in 1:00.48. Not bad considering it was only the second time I attempted the whole (2-lap) ride. Again, I spent some time unwinding and zenning before heading back to town for an iced coffee and Clif Bar lunch. I'm hoping to get my Pro-Cal back on the trail soon. The hydrolic brakes locked up during winter storage and the shop urged me not to try fixing it myself. The Sugar's been treating me very well so far this season. What a deal that bike was! $600 virtually new on e-bay.