Vacation ended yesterday morning. Seemed to go by really quickly. But in addition to having to return to work, January also means a return to training. This will be a short post because I have no pics and no data to post, but last night I got out for a true winter night ride, probably the first real one of the season. There have been other nights when it was cold, but none where I started well below freezing, and last night at Wiss it was well below freezing right from the start.
When I started, it was 25 degrees and only got colder from there. I was well-dressed (two thicker base layers with a jersey over a thin wicking t-shirt, and my windproof winter tights. Even my hands were fine right from the start since I wore the lobster gloves over a wool liner. In fact, the only area I had any problem with was mu feet. As I mentioned a while ago, I have been wearing plastic bags over a base layer sock and a wool sock over that. Because of this, I have been able to continue wearing my regular shoes. I have a pair of winter shoes, but they're kind of broken (part of the platform screw face on each one rotted off so I can't screw one side of the cleat in completely.) They're three seasons old, and they've been great, so I'm not complaining about it -- this is from use. I am able ot use them in a pinch, but I prefer not to if I can avoid it. But last night I forgot that I had brought my other shoes in the house to clean them after Sunday's mudfest in Nocamixon. So the winter boots were all I had. I always forget, though, that they are actually narrower than my other shoes, so the two layers of socks with plastic didn't exactly fit in properly. But I didn't realize this until about 6 miles into my ride when my feet became so numb and painful that I had to stop at my car and fix them. I sat in my car in a lot of pain for about five or ten minutes, and then I took off the outer sock layer and hit the trail again.
After that, my feet were still plenty warm, but they weren't crushed into the boot, so I felt really good. As for the ride, it was great - I pushed my pace on almost every hill (I decided last night would be a "push-the-hills" ride) and kept the riding pace high for long stretched considering it was the 3rd of January. All in all, a great night out -- 17.5 miles at about an 8 mph pace overall, which was about where I wanted to be. I took it easy on the flats and did intervals on the climbs.
Anyway, that's it -- first wintery night ride of the new year! One thign I will say about riding in the cold like that -- it makes you every sleepy when you get back into warmth. I fell asleep on the couch right after I ate my dinner, and ended up havign to wake up to go back upstairs to got to sleep for real!