Sunday, December 21, 2008

Found - 1 Mojo

I feel like I have been writing a lot about a lack of motivation to get out and train. Last weekend it seems that I turned a corner while riding with some big guns on Pedro's training camp ride. I mentioned in my last blog that I felt the motivation starting to return. I happy to save it has returned with vigor. So now, I feel like I finally refound my mojo.

My strong motivational feelings were actually strengthened when I wrote about the ride in Monday's blog. So what would happen next. After a Monday rest day (my norm) would I run on Tuesday or slip back into my non-motivational ways. Well, on Tuesday morning it was 30 degrees, wet, and foggy. My reaction to these conditions was a 3.5 mile run. On Wednesday and Thursday I endured freezing temperatures of 24 and 27 degrees respectively during my morning runs. And, I was enjoying every minute of it. I was beginning to feel like I was back.

The final act was Saturday's ride. A total of 11 of us braved an 8:00 a.m. start time and 27 degree weather to ride the hills of west Sonoma County. There were four of us, Pedro, Sarah, Pat and myself, that left at 7:15 and rode to our starting point which was West County Revolution. I knew it had the potential to be a dicey ride as we rode around frozen puddles of ice on the bike path. But we made it just fine, met with the rest of our group and we were off.

The first part of the ride was pretty uneventful. It was just cold. However it was sunny, the sky was a gorgeous blue and everything had a bright and crisp look and feel. And for some reason, the cold never bothered me that day. I tell you - as long as the sun is shining I seem to be fine with whatever the temperature gauge has to offer.

As we started up the day's biggest climb, Graton Road, I decided this would be my one moment of intensity on this ride. So I grabbed Pat's wheel and held on. I stayed with him about two thirds of the way up before dropping back. I was tired and out of breath at the top but hey the rest of the ride was flat so I would be fine (more on this later).

Then it was through Occidental and out to Monte Rio on Bohemian Highway. This a favorite road among our group. But Saturday was different. Not only was there ice on the road but there was also loose gravel to help cars deal with ice. There is nothing like hearing ice crunch under your 770c x 23 cycling tires to help keep you focused on the road ahead. After a quick coffee at Gold Coast Coffee & Bakery, it is back on the bikes for the ride home.

The ride back should have been uneventful except that we did have, well events. First there was a minor crash. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured and there was no major bike damage. Everyone was able to continue on with the ride and even start joking about it about 2 miles later. The second was changing the route back.

You see, we were going to take a relatively flat route back but it did have a lot of traffic. So we opted for a more scenic route with less traffic. And by more scenic I mean more hills. On the first hill I felt every pedal stroke from my push earlier on Graton. On the second and final hill on Green Valley Road I decided to really go for it and attempt to take the hill in the middle ring. I have never even contemplated middle-ringing this climb. On Saturday, not only did I think about it but I succeeded. Must be more of that new found mojo.

So there you have it. A grand total of 3 runs and one serious bike ride. Hell, I even thought seriously about doing a few core workouts and some strength training. I will still take it easy since it is the off season but I finally feel it's time to start getting ready for 2009.