Tag Archives: Cold

Not sure I can do this

It has taken my coach and I a bit of time to finally reach the point where I’m receiving my marching orders each day. It hasn’t been his fault. I’ve been dragging my feet as I’ve considered what starting this up means.

Actually, I was supposed to have started yesterday. Problem is, I didn’t look at the plan to see that the information had been placed in TrainingPeaks.com. I’m going to have to write that one off and just move on to the next day. Ooooo, look at what I’m supposed to do…

“On your MTB ride a course with various hills, single track, fire roads, technical sections, etc. Ride most of the time at RPE of 3-6. Keep cadence high and focus on form and being efficient. Be sure to hydrate and eat properly. This is a good ride to do in a group but careful of riding too hard. Steady at RPE of 6 on all climbs; cadence high (95+ rpm’s).”

Some chilly biiiicyles

Okay, so it's not THAT cold, but cold enough

Normally, I’d be jumping at this one. The problem is that right now as I look at the weather it shows 25 degrees — in the sun. By the time I make it out to Paris Mountain tonight the temperatures will have passed their peak of 35 degrees and returned to this morning’s temps.

Hmmmm, maybe I’ll do the ol’ switcheroo and do last night’s workout tonight. I can do that one on the trainer inside my house! I know that I’m going to have to go out in the cold at some point. But come on, cold in Greenville is normally at least in the mid-thirties! Sub-thirties is just not what my body can handle.

So, as much as I hate that physioball, I’ll be pulling it out of the closet tonight. My trainer is always ready for me to hop on for the spinning portion of the workout. I love to ride, but cold can kill the love real fast.

I sure hope this stuff works

All this week I have been feeling pretty lethargic.  It isn’t like I’m in a funk or anything. It is just that I have been dragging physically. This morning I woke up and I think I might know why. Seems I’m starting to get hit with a cold.

Of course, it could be that I’m just feeling like I’ve worked in a sauna all day. My office is in a large building that has a very large and open lobby. There have also been a number of reconfigurations of the office spaces and that seems to have messed up the balance of the HVAC. That means some spots can get pretty cool and in order to warm them other spots get very warm. That would describe my office!

There are times when I find my head dropping forward and I almost feel flush because of the heat. I have to escape to get myself to wake up again before diving back in to get some more work done. It gets hard to think and I get very grumpy — as some of my co-workers will attest!

Well, this morning I started to have the feeling in your head that warns you that something is on the way. My nose was running and the tickling sensation of a threatening sneeze comes and goes. It is time to go on the offensive!

Zicam - Cold RemedyFirst, I am trying to get a good night sleep. I even slept for 8 hours last night. I’ll keep trying to get as much as I can before Saturday’s race.

Second, I am keeping the old nasal passages moist. I have my nasal saline spray for that. I’ll use the netti bottle this evening.

Third, I am going to try Zicam again. I don’t know if the stuff actually works or not. Even if it is a placebo and makes me THINK I am getting better faster, I’ll take it!

Fourth, I’m going to be drinking lots of fluids. I should be doing that anyway in anticipation of the race weekend. Good hydration is not just good for a cold — it is necessary to a good performance on the bike.

Thankfully, today’s workout isn’t going to cause a lot of stress. I’m on the bike for about 2 hours spinning along at around 90 rpm with a perceived effort of 2 to 3. I definitely don’t want to wear my body down.

Then again, this could all just be my body bouncing back from Monday’s session. That one was pretty tough and in the cold. I’ve found that sometimes I get the feeling like I am about to get sick, but it never hits me. It is just my body telling me that it is recovering.

I’ll hope that is what’s happening — hoping for the best. However, I’ll do what I can to fight it like a cold — planning for the worst. Either way, I’m going to be ready for Saturday!

Hey! Where did my toes go?

I’m glad to now be able to type this. I can feel the tips of my fingers again. Maybe soon I’ll be able to feel my toes!

All dressed up for the 25 degree weather

All dressed up for the 25 degree weather

One thing about having a coach – you find that times when you wouldn’t normally ride you’ll pull yourself out on the bike and complete your workout. Today I was supposed to do an over-and-back-and-up of Paris Mountain. After coming back to the CVS side I was to give a 15 minute effort up that side before turning around and coming home.

When it is cold outside, I’ve found that it is a good idea not to think about it. Just head home from work, get dressed, and don’t think about what you are about to do. It worked this time.

I came home and put on my bibs, two sets of leg warmers, two sets of arm warmers, a base layer, a jersey, and a thick vest. My feet had wool socks with shoe covers. My hands had two sets of gloves – the outer set being 30 degree gloves. Finally, on my head I had a balaclava and my helmet. In my vest pocket I had a thin windbreaker and a skull cap just in case.

When I first started out in the 37 degree weather, I started to think that perhaps I had overdressed. I was quite comfortable. Once I got going into my warm up I was feeling pretty warm. However, I noticed that even during my effort up the State Park side of the mountain I wasn’t even sweating.

The sun was starting to dip on the other side of the ridge and my temperature field was now reading 30 degrees. Still, it didn’t feel so bad. Where I was at this point there wasn’t much wind and the effort was keeping me warm.

Then I reached the top. The cold was starting to find its way into my gloves. My face was starting to feel tight. It was 25 degrees at the top. In under forty minutes I went through a 12 degree temperature drop.

Now it was time to go down! Besides the wind generated from the descent, I also came upon sections of the road where the wind was a howling crosswind.  I found myself having to lean my bike to keep from getting blown over by the gusts. By the time I reached to bottom all my extremities were getting numb.

At the bottom I adjusted some clothing and then started back up. Ahhhh, it was a relief to avoid the wind of the descent. However, after turning a few corners I found that the crosswind on the way down had also been a tailwind at times… this meant I was now riding into a gusting headwind.

At the top I pulled out the windbreaker. I knew I needed it as I headed down the longer State Park side. With the balaclava pulled over my nose and the extra layer I was feeling a bit better. At least now I was about halfway through. The workout wasn’t my concern at this point – I just wanted to get home!

I managed to finish it up. By the time I was done I had ice forming in my water bottle and the bearings on my front wheel were sounding like they were freezing together in the cold when I reached a certain speed. Still, other than my toes, fingers, and face I was doing pretty well.

Coming into the warm house my toes and fingers began to ache. I knew better than to warm them up too quickly! I changed out of my kit (that had hardly any moisture from sweat) into some warm clothes.

It was then I was glad I did it. I also knew that I would have done the same thing again. I also know that I can handle this cold… at least down to 25 degrees! I’ll probably need that knowledge on my Friday ride.