Monday, January 01, 2007

A new year out on the farmland!

Happy New Year everyone!! I've got a feeling 2007 is going to be an awesome year! I know a lot of guys who are training for huge events and it's cool to watch them as they train and get to Ironman status. I know Comm is back in full swing Ironman training for the AZ Ironman in March (I think). My riding bud, Chris Ironman (no, that's not his real last name but it's really close!) is doing the 1/2 Ironman in Aug as well as my partner in crime for the River 2 River endurane ride in May. Wes is linked up to all sorts of satellites over in GA push towards the ING Ironman series.

As for myself, yes, I'm in training for the big River 2 River ride. I'm excited as in giddy right now. I thought about this ride a lot. I have spent a lot of time plotting and planning. I have a PR department that is behind me. The Foundaton Dept is on board. I have 2 great trainers. I have close friends that are close enough to push me to do better and raise an eyebrow when I don't. I have great riders all around me that inspire me in every aspect of riding.

I just came in from my first real training ride for the event. I ventured out to the farmlands for the first time since before the Hotter 'n Hell training ride. Since it is farmland and you never know if the roads are going to be good or bad I rode on out to England to check the roads. No fresh gravel on any but there were a couple of places where the road had been flooded and one section was still flooded in one lane. Nothing worse than getting way into a training ride to find a bad road! The plan was to take a lot of photos too.

I suited up for cold and wind and headed out. The road was smooth and the wind was light. I was feeling good. It stayed that way for about... uh... 2 miles then the swamplands that were breaking the wind ended and it was nothin' but field and then the smooth road changed to that rough chip and seal country road stuff. But I had a goal and I was going to meet that goal head on. And head on it was. 20 miles of headwind. I knew it was there and I knew I could beat it. There were times I was looking at 14mph into the wind but that was ok. The goal was to average 15 for the ride. That is what the endurance ride will be ... an average of 15mph. More on that another time. I wanted to stop for photos but told myself to do the whole ride and pick out the places I wanted photos of and shoot them on the way back home from the car. The ride was for training... remember?!
I really was enjoying the ride. It was so quite out there and it was pretty much just me and the farmers. I love the farmlands and the people who work it. I remember when I rode around the state there were lonely days out on the farmlands and it was the farmers that seemed to make things ok. What did they do? Well, nothing much but give a little wave. That's what they were doing today. Each would give a little wave. Remember when people used to do that? Give a little wave to each other?

I made it to Scott and as strange as it sounds, it felt good to have my old friend Mr. Shoulder Tension back with me. I know that I have been riding a good distance or riding hard when I have shoulder tension. I sat on the steps of the Agri Museum and chomped a clif bar. It was so good! Then it was time to head back. All the way to Scott I thought about how much fun it will be when I ride back because it will be nothing but tailwind. Guess what? The wind shifted! I still had a lot of awesome tailwind but towards the end I got a couple of evil blast of crosswinds. You know those kind that make you ride slanted? HA!
I finished up the ride and felt great. I was a little winded but felt on top of the world! I punched the computer for my numbers and yes!!! 46.3 miles and my average was 15.4. Now I was happy as a loon!

I walked into the house to the aroma of New Year's cooking! I got cleaned up and then dug in! Terri tried some new stuff from her Paula Dean cook book. That is one of Terri favorite cooks on the Food Network. I admit she is funny with her Savanah drawl. The meal was perfect and kept it pretty much in check. I could have eaten everything!

The rest of the afternoon was spent putting up the rest of the Christmas stuff. Sort of looks naked around the house now.

Tommorrow is back to work and for Em and all the others it's back to school. I like short weeks!! I'm already looking at Saturday's 60 degree and sunny forecast and thinking, "Where do I ride this weekend?" I'm thinking another farm ride like maybe England and to the east or maybe Maumelle to Conway. I don't know, I'll just let the adventure unfold!

2007 ... here we come!

1 comment:

Wes said...

Very impressive ride! and nice pics to boot. I'm not quite into the Ironman thing, yet. I'm still working on the running thing. Paula Dean is one of my favorites too, but I have to ask... What southern drawl? ;-)