Like a Popsicle

Yeah, I know I was supposed to write about my ride in Grand Junction.  Sure, that was memorable.  I found out that the course had a few rolling hills, was covered in some cow poop, smelled awfully fowl of manure and nearly touched the Utah border… but that is probably all I need to say for now.  I will let you know more when I ride it during the race on May 18th so stay tuned for those details.

Today’s ride was a tad more interesting.  I had already planned to wake up early and endure a bike/run workout (also known as a brick workout to you triathletes).  I must say that I was rather accustomed to waking up to snow on the ground or maybe a fierce wind blowing across our backyard, but I was not really prepared for the layer of frost on our lawn chairs or on the windshield of my truck.  The weather report stated that it was just above freezing (maybe right at 33 degrees) so that was relatively warm in comparison to what we had been experiencing.  Needless to say, the frost did not make me feel any better.  As soon as I stepped outside I knew it was going to be a bitter cold kind of day until the sun decided to show its happy face (and that took longer than expected thanks to the clouds hovering in the sky).

Yet, I was already prepared and ready.  I just hoped that it would warm up a few degrees before I reached Boulder.  Well, that didn’t really happen.  I was one of the few stupid idiot cyclists who decided to start riding too early.  And who would’ve thought that 8:30 was too early?  It definitely wasn’t too early for the runners who were already out, but cyclists must endure a bit more wind due to the increased speed (unless you are a super fast runner who can attain a speed around 20 mph).  I am truly serious when I say that it must have been a “feels like 10 degrees” kind of morning out there.  My fingers and toes were about ready to fall off before I even started my ride.  As I finally mustered up the courage to get going, I thought about turning back, getting in the car and turning on the heat to high.  But that didn’t happen.  I am much too hardheaded for that kind of crap.  I kept going even if it meant losing my fingers and toes.

I became a human popsicle.  I was basically frozen to the bike.  I couldn’t move my arms (they were stuck in the aero position) and my toes were already somewhere in hypothermia land.  It didn’t matter if I even wanted water because I couldn’t be bothered to get it.  And forget trying to open a package of gel because that most definitely wasn’t happening.  I was frozen in place.  I was lucky that I could continue pedaling.  I kept thinking about my 52 degree swim last week and it didn’t even seem to compare because I knew there was a quick end in sight.  There appeared to be no end today because my bike ride was set to last at least 3 hours.  Three hours might as well have been an eternity.  An eternity in a freezer.  An eternity as a popsicle.

After an hour I had to stop so I could attempt to pry open a bag of gummy chews.  My hands could barely work, but the rest of my body was actually warming up.  I thought that maybe I could take off the full face mask (one that covers your entire head) so I did so.  Then I rode for a minute and decided that was a mistake.  I had to put it back on so I could feel my face again.  It took another hour of riding before I didn’t need it anymore.  The rest of my clothes, however, remained intact until I reached the truck after 3 hours of riding.

Running is another story.  I am a hot runner.  And of course I don’t mean “hot” like “HOT MAMA,” but “hot” like the overheating type of hot.  It is kind of ironic because I am such a cold person.  And maybe you might take that in the sense that I am a “COLD” human being, but that is probably true too so it doesn’t really matter either way.  All of a sudden I was in tights, biking shorts, a thermal long sleeve shirt, jersey, rain jacket and gloves converting to shorts and a thin long sleeve shirt.

Running seems so much easier to me.  Less clothing and gear required.   I can just go at a moment’s notice and not really even have to plan my route.  I took off like a flash and was happy with my half-marathon pace.  Yeah, that lasted about 3 miles.  Then I started to slow down.  I let a dude pass me.  I just couldn’t keep up.  I was getting slower and slower.  I was moving in slow motion and couldn’t do anything to speed up.  It was like hitting that damn wall at mile 20, except it was happening at mile 4.  Obviously I need to eat more.  EAT!  How often are girls told that they need to EAT MORE!

Well, these training workouts are trials and tribulations.  I know that I can only hope I don’t have to race in 33 degree weather, but I can work on the nutrition factor.  Four hours today.  I guess I only need to tack on an additional 2 hours… or maybe 3.  That just seems like a freakin’ long time.


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