Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Grey Days

This is the time of year where the grey days can be hard. When it's January and it's grey and rain (or snow) threatens to ruin the day when you have a long workout on your schedule, you head for your basement and don't think twice. I'd rather sweat for three and an half hours in the basement than spend half an hour bundling up to ride outside.

In June, it's funny how the same decision is a lot more difficult to feel good about. Sort of.

With packing for the Lake Placid trip going on, I thought I should be at least available in case something needed to be done (contacts had to be picked up, as it turned out), so I did my run on the treadmill- 45 minutes listening to Coldplay at 8-8.5 mph. When I got done, I felt like I'd had a much better workout than I would have in the 60 degree, rain-soaked morning. I'd spent the time working on my form, thinking about the LP run course, and getting a good sweat on.

Margit asked me as she was leaving if I was going to stick to my plan of doing the LP DVD or head outside. It had stopped raining, although it still looked pretty threatening, and the roads were wet. Also, my back wheel is at Zanes so it was going be another ride on the Lightspeed, which is more adventure than I really need- the big ring needs to be replaced if I'm going to ride that bike outside. Since I'm planning to ride the actual course (2 loops) Sunday, I thought it was no big if I spun instead of slogged today.

Then again, the prospect of a 200 mile week (a lot for me) was dangling out there.

It's funny. As a runner, when I was just running (and maybe riding 30 miles a week), I measured everything in miles run. When I started training for triathlons, I left that behind. People ask me all the time- how far did you run just now (often hear this at work, where I run at lunch a lot). My answer is 'I don't know'. I don't map or drive or bike the routes I run, and often on my long runs I change my mind where I'm going during the run- the goal is to run out for half the run, and back for half the run.

I'm the same way on the bike, except that the bike has that damn pesky computer. So while I might ride for 3.5 hours, I want to to try and get in x miles and when I'm done I know I got in x (or y) miles. I still make the routes up as I go along and I have no clue how far point a to point b is (it's sad really, how little I work at all this), but at the end, I know the result. Add in a decent memory, above average math skills, and at the end of the week I certainly know how far I rode.

Of course, the right side of my brain- the same side that keeps track of how far I rode, I guess- knows that number is so meaningless.

An hour in, I considered stopping the DVD and heading out on the Lightspeed. Which is kind of silly. The first hour is out of town and around to Jay, or in other words, the easiest part of the ride, and the part of the workout where the advice consists of 'keep it easy.' And the point of going easy is so that you aren't gassed when things get hard. Still, I could easily have headed out and got in 50 miles.

I did hop off and grab a bottle of water to replace the gatorade I'd drank, but hopped right back on and kept going.

I had the same internal debate in the back ground for the next 30 minutes or so, even though there's still a part of my left eye socket that hurts if I press on it. However, I decided that this had been the plan from yesterday and I was sticking with it.

And spin instead of ride outside, I was still glad I did it. When the DVD was over I did unhook the Lightspeed and ride it outside for about 40 minutes.

It's kind of silly after having a good treadmill workout where I felt it definitely beat going outside that I really wasn't comfortable making the same decision with the bike workout. But even a June, a good trainer workout is still a good workout.

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