Saturday, June 22, 2013

Change of Place, Change of Pace

What's in YOUR Airstream?
Well, I made it to Traverse City carrying no small load of fatigue and physical baggage.  My first couple of days here were wonderful mentally, if a bit disappointing on the workout side of things. I had huge expectations of enjoying some awesome workouts as soon as I got here.  Unfortunately, no matter how beautiful the location, it cannot undo days, weeks of overwork, stress, and minimal sleep.  My first real workout day was a replay of CapTex in a lot of ways.

This spot is home until I head to USAT AG Nats in August.

I took the bike to Einstein Cycles and the geniuses there undid some of what the drive did to the P5.  Not the least of which was crack the carbon bottle cage in half, break a piece on a wheel, and push everything just a little bit out of alignment.  I have a swanky new bottle cage (It says WHISKEY on it.. operating instructions?), Zipp sent the replacement part on the wheel immediately and free of charge, and the bike is back in beautiful working order.

While they worked, I swam.  That water was COLD!!! It's been cold at night still with many nights in the 40s.  The shallow water near the edge was nice and warm but the deeper water was biting.  Every boat that went by off in the distance sent waves of icy water over to visit.  I seriously almost went out and bought a sleeved wetsuit that day!

I picked it up and took it out for a 90 min ride with threshold intervals.  Midway through getting ready, I remembered to switch from a tubular flat kit to a clincher flat kit.  That disrupted my routine and it wasn't until a critical moment later in the ride that I got to appreciate what that means for a creature of habit like myself.  

I made my first ride the classic ride up the Old Mission Peninsula, opting for the more difficult center route rather than the easier coastal one.  I LOVE this ride.  You get to the tops of these hills and look down over vineyards all the way to the water on both sides.  Spectacular is too weak of a word.
It's a shame the depth is lost with cell phone cameras.
Those vines go all the way down the hillside.
This is a breathtaking vista!

I was feeling a little blah as I had been all day, much like I was before CapTex.  The swim was workmanlike but not awesome (fun though so I didn't much care).  As soon as I reached the parts where the route begins to get challenging, I asked my body for some performance.  Initially, I got it though my breathing was more labored than usual.  I got the end of the first interval and was at the base of the first decent climb.  Rest was not happening.  I basically added about 50% more time at threshold, overshooting the length of the rest interval by 150%.  I hit lap and started the next, knowing that it was probably going to suffer for the lack of rest.  I got my stubborn on and went for it.  About 3/4 of the way through the second, I was barely managing my breathing and trying to crest a hill.  I felt the jagged, wheezy feeling that means that I've lost that round to my asthma.  It was barely there and I knew that I might be able to recover it but not on those hills.  Descending required focus and some of the climbs coming were steep enough to push me well into VO2 range, even anaerobic.  My vision was just narrow enough to know better than to go down the other side of that hill.  I pulled off and dismounted.  Of course, doing that let all of it catch up to me and I had to lean the bike against a tree so that I could sit.  The alternative was to drop the bike as I fell down.  I finally got things under control enough to ride back to the shop, which was good because they were close and I was halfway through an out-and-back.  In all the ride was two hours.  Even without the intervals, still a respectable days work, especially paired with the swim... unlike CapTex.

Oh, and that moment of distraction earlier?  As soon as I felt the need, I reached for my inhaler.  Not there.  Crap!  Ok, back up plan... caffeinated gel (caffeine can help a little at times like this).  Also AWOL.  They were both sitting in the tailgate of the SUV where they were waiting to be packed into pockets when I remembered the flat kit.  Damn.  What a bonehead.  It cost me a workout.  Actually, three.  The two scheduled for the following day were a swim and run.  I did the run first and it was a tragic run/walk death march.  I pulled the plug on the swim and went home to lick wounds.

The season started beautifully and the last two months have felt like a downward spiral of disappointment.  The horse shows have been abnormally busy and I have not handled them well.  While I cannot pinpoint any underlying reason for the uptick in respiratory issues, though I could speculate all day long, I have to realize that this is the hand I am working with right now.  Sleep was last years priority and I more or less got that one nailed down, at least as much as it can be with my schedule.  Now I am nailing down the breathing and next up is nutrition (that deserves its own post).  I am failing in these departments and it not only ruins workouts like the one above, it ruins the following day/days as well.

55 lb, 6 load washer?
Necessary to slay the laundry monster!

Here's to having the right TOOLS...

On the upside, I am getting all kinds of work done in the camper that I had been putting off for ages.  I actually managed to vanquish the laundry monster and a four dollar tool is helping to finish the work that I started ages ago when I ripped up the carpet.  I am really excited to finally have some time off and be well enough at the same time to get to these loose ends.  It's amazing how digging around under the bed/table, etc, pulling rusty staples out of a sub-floor can be so exciting!!

In the end, I am remembering why I chose to hide deep in the north woods between these shows.  I needed a little R&R and this is the perfect place for it!!

...and here's to not using them before I'm good and ready.

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