Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Early Season Improvement

I love it when the weather changes. The dreary, short, cold(ish) days of February in NC really drain the energy from me. Since I started riding again, three years ago, February has always been my worst month. I begin to wonder if I've lost interest in riding. Will my desire return. Have I gone off the whole thing.

Fortunately, February is short and March returns. The weather makes a turn for the better and I no longer have to force myself to try and get on the trainer. The occasional sunny, warm days become more frequent and riding once again fills my brain (often to the exclusion of everything else). It signals the return of spring and visions of new goals begin to form.

One of the things I love about this this part of the year is that, despite my best efforts, my fitness has suffered and I am not as good now as I was back in September or October. But, and this is an important but, I get better rapidly. Previous skills return quickly and focussing on the new things I want to improve show sweet early successes. This year the goal is climbing. I desire to become a climbing monkey. I want to climb and climb and climb some more. Slowly, then faster and faster. I want to fly up mountains like Contador or Schelk.

To get started I've been heading out on the MOB Tuesday night rides. The route is easy and the company enjoyable. However, there are two little hills that come near the end of the ride (mentioned here) that have kicked my behind. Each week I get better though. Last week I started to get the feel of what kind of rhythm my body likes when going uphill. This week that rhythm has started to take hold. I got over the first one and still had room to go. Going over the second I was feeling so good I kicked it into high gear and pushed until I blew up. i got 2/3 of the way up. Three weeks ago I blew up 2/3 up the first climb. These early improvements are extremely motivating.

One other early success. Since I started to use the lap feature on the garmin, I've seen improvements in the 10-15 mile lap. Last week I was 18'10". This week, 17'30". Not bad. Not bad at all. I think it's time to start thinking about Pilot Mountain in preparation for Pisgah forest in July. Should be fun. Death suckingly painful and mind crushingly demoralizing but fun.

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