Thursday, November 24, 2016

Gut Check

Was it only one week ago that I rode my bike in shorts on a 70° afternoon? Winter is here. It arrived last weekend, bringing our first dusting of snow and wind chill in the teens. The change was dramatic, but not unexpected. I felt really good about not having any more races on my 2016 calendar. WCA cyclocross went on without me in Milwaukee on Saturday and in Madison on Sunday.

But by mid-afternoon on Sunday the bike was calling to me again. I wanted to ride, and I especially wanted to prove to myself that I could renew my uneasy peace with cold weather. Prior to last weekend, temperatures in West Bend were consistently above normal for November. On Sunday, normal would have been 42° but we reached only 32° ... and that’s the bottom of my range. The sun was out, though, and the roads were dry and the wind wasn’t too bad. I actually enjoyed my 1.5-hour ride. It wasn’t merely a case of enduring something unpleasant. I did another 1.5 hours on Monday, and yet another 1.5 hours on Tuesday. A relentlessly wet and sloppy Wednesday turned into a rest day, and today was always going to be one because there was no way to get an after-work snooze and do a ride before my in-laws arrived for Thanksgiving dinner. I will be back in the saddle tomorrow if the rain stays away, and the weekend actually looks pretty good. I am 20 miles away from a personal record for miles in November, so I have extra motivation.

The bathroom scale is proving motivational too: my weight is creeping up. I spent most of the cyclocross season at 187 pounds but today I was 190 … and that was before the big feast. I exited November 2015 at 189 pounds and that’s not a bad goal for November 2016.

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