Friday, May 28, 2010

Pretending to Train Just for Fun

I've been riding as usual (to you that means I've been playing on my bikes way more than a person should be allowed). I spend days off "pretending" to train for some up coming event, but in the end I find that I am easily distracted by nature's simple artwork along the way...

I still ride as hard as I can (almost exclusively on single speeds now) in effort to rebuild muscle back to where I was before last fall when an unexpected back injury caused my left leg to loose a huge amount of muscle mass. I still have a numb lower left leg about half the time and I am still missing an entire muscle in my upper left leg. I fear that the nerve damage at these two areas has been too great for complete recovery...I'm trying to be patient since it can take up to 2-years to regenerated some nerve tissues, but at this point I am seeing little to no improvements which gives me the doubts. However, I am moving forward and taking advantage of every other muscle fiber in my bum left leg to compensate my form back into some kind of competitiveness (I hope). In the end it does not matter since I am what I am (got spinach?), plus I'm happy with where I've come back to at this point.

This weekend I'm off to play with some friends from Sandpoint, ID in the Spokane 24-hr race...this year I'm on a so called "we're-just-riding-for-fun-and-not-racing-team" (we'll see if that is true). Either way, competitive or not, I'm looking forward to a great time with good friends. Next week I'm heading up north again for the Adventure Sports Week 8-hr mountain bike race. It was fun last year so I thought I would try it again, but this time on the single speed...hmmm

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Body-Wide Systems Shut Down

I've been feeling a tad down lately, as in body-wide systems shutting down...I've been totally unmotivated and have had to force myself onto a bike (never been a problem before), plus pedalling started a whole new pain scenario screaming from my legs and the muscle pains continued after my rides. One side of my brain said, "Let's go for another Spring ride and look at the flowers" while another part of my brain was saying, "Oh no, we're not going anywhere, can't you feel the pain from those stupidly fast daily 5000-ft climbs you do on, of all things, a Single-Speed bike!" Oh but the flowers...

I even tried my geared bike to see if it would ease the pain issues while pedaling...didn't help at all and in fact I felt like it was more of a struggle pedaling the geared bike vs. the single-speed (yes, weird).

Then a few nights ago the pain in my stiff, heavy-feeling, useless, aching leg muscles woke me up and got me thinking about this seems to have started the previous week when I started hacking up lung crud, but that's essentially cleared up except for the occasional, spontaneous monster-crud-yuk-boogy-thing that seems to come from no where deep in the lungs. Then for some reason during this middle-of-the-night self debating session I had an instant hunger for a hamburger...that's weird I thought. But wait, maybe there's something to this, which got me thinking about my diet lately which was mostly non-meat meals. Hmmmm...sore legs, hard workouts climbing hell-hills on a single-speed, and very little to no protein intake for several days...can you say duh! So the next morning I started focusing on better protein intake, which brought about an amazingly fast recovery from the sore legs.

Today I got on the SS bike, felt awesome, climbed over 6000-ft and was ready for more except I had run into snow and I had some time constraints. Lesson learned...schools out!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Wool + Snow + Mud = Spring

At home I was contemplating my clothing needs for the day - it's always a dilemma to figure out what to wear and pack for the weather. After nervously walking outside several times to test the temps (which does nothing to plan for conditions 5000-feet higher) I finally settled on a wool long-sleeve with 2-more long-sleeved layers in the pack along with a windproof beanie for today's ride. Better to have too much I thought vs too little and getting cold up there (hah - little did I know what the day had in store for me). I had some insane adventure plan to ride up Lick Creek to the top, then ride Pinkham Ridge Trail back to some unknown point that would drop me back down towards the bottom of Lick Creek.

The plan was insane since the day previous I was up there and ran into some spring muck-snow (that's mud + snow to you), but I was not dressed well enough for the coolness and I had the wrong gear on the SuperFly SS (needed something easier for the snow to keep from spinning out so much). So I came home yesterday feeling a tad defeated. Hmmm...

At the last second I also decided to put some quickie-fenders on the bike since I had a mud bath by the end of yesterday's ride. The Gunnar Think Pink had the gear ratio I wanted so it was the bike of choice today (less fiddling with changing gears means more riding time - so the SuperFly rested today).

After getting part way up Lick Creek Rd, I was happy I had the wool on since the temps seemed to steadily decrease, then it started snowing - I was smiling big because this was soooo cool!!!

On the way up I ran across some tracks on the road - Mama's first...

...then baby's

I also found some flowers trying to grow in the white, cold patches...

Up on top the views were misty and totally jaw dropping...

I still got some mud, but nothing like the day previous.

Just so you know, even though I brought all that "extra" clothing, I still froze my buns off on the way down, but who cares, I had a super great spring adventure on my single-speed.