Managed to ride for nearly 4 hours this week end. Up north, so it was cold. How cold? Well, for the first time ever in my life, when I descended the moisture on my hair and on my wool top froze solid. There was a lot of very low cloud and this led to a damp atmosphere. So, after about 2 hours I had a crunchy carapace. It was at this point that I began to feel really cold.
Conundrum: ride faster to get the blood pumping; or ride slower so there is less cooling from wind-chill.
It was a toughee due to this. I was cold for several hours afterwards, and my fingertips still don't feel right, despite the winter gloves I had on.
Soup and a wee dram seemed to help.
However, it did act as a bit of a wake-up call. Having entered some endurance races for the summer, I am in need of a plan. As with so many folk my age, I seem to have been bitten by the bug to race and race harder over the last couple of years. So far, I am improving. But it is hard to relate this to anything other than less alcohol, a bigger gear and a 29"er.
My plan is to make a training program of sorts. I have always believed in looking fairly closely at the signals your body gives you during exercise. Well, there was one disastrous year where I thought I could 'push through' regardless.
My usual riding practice is to keep up 4+ hour rides through the dark months and try to get a little technical riding in on the wet slimey muddy stuff in order to build confidence and refresh technique and skills. Then, as summer approaches start ramping up the mileage and ease down prior to the 'enduro season'. By the time I have completed a few races, that is really pretty much all I am doing, apart from running inbetween.
This year, I seem to have really bottomed out over winter, so I feel the need to concentrate on building some 'base' over late winter early spring in a fairly structured way. Why you ask?
Well, I want to win a race, any race. I want to do well in a 24 hour solo. I want to feel like I was able to race for the whole time in my first 100mile race.
There we go...updates to follow.