Saturday, May 2, 2009

Sickness and the Rain

rain!As I sat shivering in the Marin Coffee Roasters in San Anselmo today, trapped in my soaked clothes, I reflected on the year so far.

Since December, I've been sick 5 times and injured once. First in Laos, I got a bad cold, which I battled for a week before finally recovering during the final day of the Red Spokes tour, in which Cara and I were participating. Then there was that extremely tastt smoothy in Vientiane, which left me in bed for a day and a half staring at the ceiling fan in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Upon returning from that trip on Jan 6, Cara and I got sick again. Another cold, another week.

My plans for the Austin Marathon on 15 Feb ruined, I decided instead to run the 28 Feb Woodside Half, a 12-mile trail run promoted by EnviroSports. A fantastic event, the extended decent through Huddart park trails left me with trouble in my left leg which continues still, although I've slowly improved. It's most noticeable when I stretch my hamstrings. But I feel it riding, as well.

Running is in maintenance now, but the hamstring issue certainly set back my training. A week after the run, I rode with the pack at the Menlo Grand Prix, but not counting that, I haven't felt good a single day on the bike. Always struggling to gain back lost fitness.

Then in early April I got sick again: another week-long cold. I recovered in time to get in a decent weekend's training, and the week following. Then after a weekend in New Jersey, where I at least got in a nice 6.8 mile run and a pair of hikes with Cara and my sister, I returned with another cold, losing another week.

4 colds, 1 case of food poisoning, and one annoying injury. If I was a horse, they would have put me down by now.

I'd been planning on Wente, but passed on that. It just wasn't an option. Next weekend's Berkeley Hills, but I'm really not ready for that, either. I'm tossing around the idea of marshaling in addition to my existing commitment to clean-up crew. I'd hate to start the race only to get dumped the first time up Mama.

Still, today was a bright spot despite the rain: I made my first Roaster's Ride this year. My goal was to hang with the leaders to the top of White's Grade, which I did, but this is just the opening salvo in the Roaster's festivities. The gas doesn't get turned down from there until Pt Reyes Station, a long way up the road. I'd done okay to get to the top of White's, but then I let the group go in the pouring rain, preferring to pace myself for was a long day by my 2009 standards.

GGTThe rain never really let up from when it picked up intensity as I climbed Whites Grade. By the time I rolled into San Anselmo, I was soaked and shivering. I simply wasn't able to warm up, even in the Coffee Roasters, sipping coffee and munching food. Fortunately, in Marin there's always the bail-out of Golden Gate Transit. I exercised my option and took the 22 to San Rafael for a seamless connection to the 70 which took me 1.2 miles from home in the City.

I'd have liked more, but still, I logged 59 miles in the on the day. Money in the bank, plus that intangible benefit in "suffering capital" of riding in the rain. I just need to put together a few months of solid miles, of time in Z3+. Consistency is the key to fitness. And consistency is what I've been clearly missing this year.

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