Friday, June 25, 2021

Keep going, It'll get better.

 Yesterday I couldn't head out for a ride until I got Harper to gymnastics at 9.  I was out pushing the Cutthroat pedals by 9:30.  The wind was strong out of the NE.  Upon leaving my plan was to make it to the Milaca Wildlife Management Area on the East side of Hwy 169.  

The wind and Benton County gravel had me going at a snails pace.  I wasn't "feeling it" either, mentally and physically I was struggling.  The wind seemed more North than anything so I altered my plans to head further North and checkout Oxcart Road, which is part of the upcoming Freedhem 76 course.  Once or twice I changed my mind back to the original plan but ended up with sticking with the Oxcart option.

My attitude and body took about 1.5 hours but they both came around and I was cruising along...feeling good and happy.  

Oxcart road is a minimum maintenance road used primarily by ATV's, it's a great road.  It was running very well.  The deer/horse flies were insane however!  I'm not sure I've experienced them any worse.

I altered my return route some to coincide with the Trans MN Route.  They were coming up through Little Falls to Camp Ripley.  I would need to refuel soon so I opted to head West a bunch and jump on the route. A buddy doing the race was in Little Falls, I at Camp Ripley.  I figured we'd meet in the middle.  However there is a spot where there are two options and I took the road I always take.  They took the other.  We missed each other!

I was able to slowly bring the average speed up with the now tailwind, albeit lower than when I started.  It's funny how different I felt at the start versus now.  I really felt I could have ridden through the night.  Although I know once the sun sets it's a different game.

The Ride.

Planning on 30-40 miles this morning, maybe the same Saturday, and race Sunday.  I'm also hoping to sleep in a bit, like past 6!

Wednesday, June 23, 2021


 Jen is gone a few days for a much deserved vacation with some friends.  With Brinna now working full time I'm left to shuttle the other two girls to and from their activities.  Today is the whopper of a day.  I dropped Avery and a friend off at swimming at 6 this morning.  I pick them up at 8.  Harper has gymnastics from 9-10:30 and Avery 10:45 to 1:00.  Not sure how Avery will get home as I do work too.  I may just have to leave for a bit.  So yeah, no riding this morning.  Maybe this afternoon?  Had I realized this I would have ridden in the cold Monday morning.  

The girls may be going to a cabin this afternoon, but still undecided.  If not, Harper has baseball 5:45 to 6:45.

Yesterday I got a 50 miler in on the T6 Rando.  I did a mini Dirt Bag.  After the little bit of rain we got the gravel, at least to the South, is riding so much better.  But we still need more rain.

Thursday will be a day of riding...I think.  Not sure if I'm on for anything or not yet, ha!

Monday, June 21, 2021

A Taste of Fall?

 After 9+ days in the 90's the temperature fell back into more "average" temps.  Riding last week was solid.  With not having to get Harper up and on the bus for school I am able to get out the door much earlier.  Plus with the sun peeking it's head over the horizon by 5 it's much easier to get motivated to do so.  During the school year I am able to get 30-35 miles in before work.  Now I can get 50 or so.

Because I am getting up earlier and trying to get out the door as early as possible I didn't blog last week.  I'm taking today off from riding so I have more time!

On a couple of my long rides last week I found myself fighting the sleep monster.  A stop for a Coke or just a stop to check my phone for a bit seems to wake me back up.  A change in music seems to help as well.

Yesterday we got some much needed rain, about 1/4".  I snuck a short ride, 35 miles, in on the All City Nature Boy (single speed and fenders).  I missed most of the rain but the last 15 minutes I got pretty wet.  After the rain passed the temperatures dropped.  We were 45 this morning and topping out in the mid 60's. It won't last long however, as the heat returns by the weekend.  A small taste of fall for a couple days.

This Saturday is the Freedhem 76 near Little Falls.  Several friends are doing it so I'm pretty sure I'll jump in.  Somewhat depends on what the family has planned and what needs to happen with Toby.

Enough randomness.  Tomorrow I'll ride.

Friday, June 11, 2021

The Heat is On.

 Our heat wave continues.  I think we are in our 8th or 9th day in a row of 90+ degree days.  Recently the humidity/dew point have started to creep up as well.  It's getting (or is) uncomfortable.  Nonetheless I've been riding, just sweaty!

Monday was an easy MTB ride.  Tuesday and Wednesday were 40-50 miles on the Moots.  Yep, I finally got that bike ready to ride for the season.  I have thought about selling it this Spring but after riding it I know why I like it!  While I do have a lot of "gravel" type bikes they are all different and all get used.

Thursday was predicted to be the nastiest of the days: hot and thick.  Half way down County Road 8 I thought I may need to alter my ride.  I was already pretty hot and wet.  I remained hyper vigilant about drinking my Infinite/Skratch mix (I freeze the Infinite in small cups.  I put 3-6 in my hydration pack mixed with Skrtach) and noting how I was feeling.  Oddly I started to feel good and really never had any of the usual side effects from the heat.

I made my way down to the Luce Line Trail.  I wanted to take it to it's end in Cosmos.  I haven't been there before so why not?!  

The last section of trail seemingly gets little use.  It was fun!
Although this is where I was the warmest.

From Cosmos I started making my way for home.  What wind there was had dropped in speed some but it was still there.  Some hills with the tailwind became heat zones.  Toasty!

I ended up stopping 3 times to refill my 100 oz hydration bladder.  I carried some Infinite/Skratch mix with for one stop but used Gatorade and water the other times.  I consumed about 400 oz of fluids!  For me that's the ticket to not feeling or getting sick in hot weather.  I an cannot drink just water, it has to have electrolytes.

My whole kit looked like this...layered in salt.

Sweat and gravel.

The Ride.

I was pleasantly surprised I never had ill effects from this ride...this time anyway.  I'm heading out soon for a 2-3 hour spin.  It's already thick.  I'm ready for a break from the heat.

Monday, June 07, 2021

Heat Miles.

 Unbound happened this past weekend and I stayed home.  Surprisingly I didn't feel any of the remorse or guilt I thought I would!  I was and still am happy with my decision.  Plus my anxiety is seemingly back in check.  Thanks to all the those the reached out or commented, it means a lot.

While I didn't go to Kansas I did get some solid riding in.  Also got a bunch of heat acclimation riding in as we were warmer than most of the United States!  When I wasn't riding we were outside doing yard work, watering, power washing the house, etc.  I'll be glad when Brinna's Grad Party is done!

Thursday's Ride.

Friday's Ride...#6 to Darwin.

When in Darwin.

After every ride in hot weather this pops up after I save the ride.  What happens when I hit 100%?!

Saturday's Ride.

Full sun all weekend.  90-100 each day.  But dew points ad humidity were in check.

Sunday's Ride.
Ironically this was the best I felt on any of last weeks rides.  
I wanted to keep going.

This popped up in my FB memories from Unbound, then DK, 4 years ago.
Even this didn't give me thoughts of doubt about not going.
But look at that road!  Such good, fun riding.

I tried sleeping in this morning but I woke up around 5:20.  Thinking an easy hour spin on the mountain bike will be a good way to start the week.

Monday, May 31, 2021

When Anxiety Consumes You.

 I've been on medication for anxiety for the better part of 13 years.  I've been amazed how well the medication has worked, as I know it doesn't help everyone.  The past handful of months the medication has seemed to lack some of it's power.  Anxiety has been creeping in a bit more and more into my life.  I know everyone has some form of anxiety but when it consumes you it becomes overwhelming.  Sometimes I feel like I have noise canceling headphones on, oblivious to anything going on around me, consumed in my thoughts.  Then there is the tightening of the chest, shortness of breath, and the nervous stomach.  Fun times.

With the upcoming Unbound XL my anxiety is ridiculous.  I don't think it's any one thing around the event but a combination of things.  Brinna's upcoming Grad Party, being gone a stretch of time, conference track meet, work, family, etc.  The race itself is not the concern.  I'm in shape and ready to ride.  But do I want to?  I feel this is all superficial "life" events that everyone deals with.  I guess I'm just not that good at it.  Anxiety can be the real deal.  Luckily riding helps and I still love it.  Maybe that's partly why I ride so much?!  

All that said I'm seriously still on the fence regarding Unbound.  While I know I'll have a good time, is it worth the angst I put on myself prior to said event?  Will I have more anxiety if I don't go?  What will 350 miles of solo riding be like if I'm strong out with anxiety?  Will I be letting my buddies down I'm going with?  Again, in the grand scheme of things this is all very banal.  But when you can't control your thoughts and anxiety it becomes a bit more cumbersome.

But know I'm fine.  It helps if I share and it may help others if I share as well.

Ride On.

Friday, May 28, 2021

From Heat to Brrr.

 It's been awhile but I didn't ride Thursday!  Mostly because we had an all day soaker with temps in the upper 40's but I had some errands to do as well.  This morning we are at a balmy 36 degrees.  I'm pretty meh on riding this morning.  But this afternoon is Brinna's graduation so if I want to ride this is my time.  

Next week at this time I will be in Emporia gearing up for 350 miles of the Flint Hills.  With the race not too far off I shouldn't do any crazy rides but I'd like to get one long one in this weekend.  I put some new tires on the Cutthroat, Teravail Rutland 700x47, for the event.  I'd like to get some rides in on those to wear off the "newness".

Brinna and Avery are done with school.  Harper has her last day today while Jen goes back on Tuesday for one day.  Then early morning rides can start back up!  Hopefully this cold snap is gone by then.

Short and sweet.  Happy Long Weekend.