Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ups, downs and going in circles ...

Lately, my whole focus riding has been Shenandoah, less than a month away now. Almost every ride I do now is preparation. I did a 60 miler on Saturday in Philly. Normally, I do my big mile rides out at Blue Marsh Lake in Reading. Philly is a tough place to do a longer ride, but there's something to be said for the training benefit of that. It was a good ride, but there are definitely a few things that have been working against me lately, and this week brought them all into sharper relief.

First, as I think I've mentioned before, I've had some considerable issues with cramping this year -- more often and more intensely than I recall experiencing in the past. I finally went to the doctor for some blood tests last week and found out that my creatinine levels are high. That means I'm either over-trained or I've got some kid of rheumatic issue. I'll find out more on the 22nd, but it's been on the forefront of my thinking every time I saddle up lately.

And then during Saturday's ride, I started hearing that awful sound I've heard twice before from my bottom bracket during my ride -- a kind of grinding, flexing sound. The previous two time sI heard that, it was a catastrophic: the BB housing was separating from the frame because the epoxy holding them together failed. That can't be replaced, and it had to be warrantied both times. If I had to warranty it this time, I'd never have it replaced in time for the race, which means I'd have to do it on the SS even with the health issues I've had. That could be potentially dangerous, so I was looking at possibly having to bail on the race altogether.

So I brought it to the shop and they took the BB apart and cleaned it up and ... fingers crossed ... that seems to have fixed the problem. I won't know for sure until i do another long ride, but I may get lucky on this one.

As for the health issues ... I guess I'll find out more when I go back see the specialist on the 22nd. He may tell me no race, or he may tell me I'll be fine. Either way, I'm reaching a point where I'll just flow with whatever happens. I'm sick of worrying about it.

And so tonight, I didn't. I got out for a 20 mile ride in Philly tonight and enjoyed every bit of it. I even felt pretty good all night, too! The weather was perfect, and I kept a pretty steady pace start to finish. It was the kind of ride I usually aim for regardless of what I am training for.

It was a really great time, but it wasn't the highlight of my week. That came on Tuesday night, when I got a chance to ride with Joanna! She is trying to get the feel for being on the bike again, so we went out and did a really short six loops around Souderton HIgh School before the rain came. She did great, and I had a lot of fun just riding along with her!

It was only a half hour, but it was probably one of my most enjoyable half hours of the season so far!

On the road again!!

So. after weeks of ups and downs (mostly downs), I have to say this past week has been one of the best riding weeks I've had all year.

Upnext: another long ride this Saturday, this time out at Blue Marsh.

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