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.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

More Heat mixed with Wind.

 Monday morning we were in a deep fog.  Not wanting to be out on the roads with poor visibility, I hit the dirt.  While it hadn't rained there was a thick layer of dew over everything.  I got and the bike got lots of spray from the tires.  I kept it to the SE side, so the Race Track, North Loop, and Friedrich Park.  I kept it a chill ride at 1.5 hours for 15 miles.  

Tuesday I had off from work.  It was sunny but crazy windy, 15 mph with gusts later hitting 40.  Once again I took the Cutthroat and headed down county road 8.  The wind was SW, later moving to mostly West and NW in the late afternoon.  

I made my way to Kimball before I made my push West.  I stayed South of Hwy 55.  Several sections of gravel had freshly laid gravel.  Combined with the previous nights rain and the headwind I wasn't setting any speed records.  Eventually I hit Lake Koronis.  From a previous trip out this way I knew where a Casey's gas station was, which was perfect as I was getting low on fluids.  After topping off I headed North of Hwy 23 and made my way back East.  Much easier this way!

On a bit of a time crunch I took a bike path for part of the way, making great time.  I needed to get home to get Harper and head over to the High School and get ready for the senior parade.  The seniors decorate up their cars (we had Jen's mom's convertible) and drive through the parking lot to cheering teachers and staff.  It was pretty cool actually.

The Ride.  The temp isn't correct as it was in the sun.  It was more like 85 degrees.

Another 8% increase! Ha.

The NW winds did come and cooled things off dramatically.  It's still windy as well.  Another day for the dirt!

Monday, May 24, 2021

Heat Acclimation.

 Saturday was hot and muggy.  While not my favorite riding weather I don't hate it and it's good timing if I hope to get acclimated to the heat before Unbound XL.  I headed out around 7:30 on the Cutthroat.  S/SW winds were pretty strong already at the start.  I decided on Darwin once again, trip #5, but took a different route.  I went further South, flirting with Hutchinson, before crossing Hwy 15 and making my way back up to Darwin and the Ball of Twine.

I popped the 100oz bladder into my hydration pack, previously 70 oz, before I left.  Good thing.  By the time I hit Darwin I was ready for more.  Couple Gatorades, liter of water, and a Coke later I was good to go.  I stayed East of Powder Ridge before making a push West.  The tailwind was amazing but created many "dead zones" hot!

The Ride.

Sunday I had to work so I was up and out riding before 7:00.  This time on the T6 Rando.  The winds were E/NE, more East, so I headed out straight East on pavement.  It was super thick.  I was sweating instantly. It felt more like Mid August that May.  But by the time I passed Foley the wind picked up and the dew points fell, almost instantly.  I got a bit chilled!

On the way home I took gravel with now whipping tailwind.  I got home early enough I didn't have to rush off to work, which I enjoy.
The Ride.

So racing...

I'm not feeling it anymore.  I love riding and will always ride but I'm not so sure how much racing I will do anymore.  I'm even contemplating bailing on Unbound XL.  Maybe it's because I ride a bunch already being gone for races seems too much?  Maybe I put too much pressure on myself?  Or maybe I just don't want to race anymore?  
Unbound is falling at a busy time for us.  Brinna is graduating and work is busy.  Grad party stuff needs to get done and bikes need fixing and to be sold.
What to do?!

Friday, May 21, 2021

Not as Planned.

 Monday and Tuesday were gorgeous days to ride.  At least in the morning.  Tuesday afternoon clouds rolled in and started to spit rain every so often.

Tuesday I met up with Jim to so some mountain biking.  We met at the River Bluffs, which we rode, and continued on to Plum Creek, the Dirty Beaver, Race Track, North Loop, and Friedrich Park.  Fun times.

Jim riding the Field of Dreams.  It's more of a winter loop so this trail will mostly be grown in soon.

Wednesday I woke up to wet roads.  It's so humid they are taking forever to dry out.  I headed out on the Evergreen once Harper was on the bus.  The bike got a little dirty and I hit some mist but not bad.  I did the Silo (shortened) Loop.  It rained a most of Wednesday evening.  Thursday was looking meh.

A scan of the radar and hourly forecast Thursday morning made it appear I had a 3-4 hour window.  Not my typical Thursday ride but better than not.  I started out on the Dirt Bag course but skipped some side loops in favor of going further South, into the wind.  Mostly so I'd have more tailwind on the way home and to switch it up some.  About 1.5 hours in I hit rain.  It wasn't bad so I figured I had time to make my turnaround point, basically Maple Lake.  

I made the turn and the skies opened up.  I stayed on gravel as much as I could as it was soaking up the rain.  It rained solidly on my way back.  I and the bike were pretty messy.  About 45 minutes from home it had stopped and the roads were back to being ok.  I figured the damage was already done so I headed back South for more.
I basically did the start of my Darwin Loop but cut it short and came up to Powder Ridge from the South and stayed West of it.
About an hour in from when I turned back South it started raining again.  Not as long as before but much harder.  Even the gravel roads were becoming saturated, thus messy and SLOW!

It didn't come across as well as I hoped but I and the bike are covered in gravel.  This is before the second round of rain.  We got worse.

My 4 hour ride turned into 6.5, so yeah...I got my 100 in.  Ha!  I went straight to the back yard and hosed myself and the bike off.  The Evergreen is already in need of a new BB so I wasn't too stressed of riding in the rain.

The Ride.

The plan is to do and easy Silo Route this morning.  More South winds.  I'll take the T6 Rando and spin.  Saturday we are flirting with 90 degrees and high humidity.  A good day to try and acclimate to Kansas heat!