First outdoor ride of the season- check! And yes, this is my second post in one day, but the first seemed so negative and this is happy news.
I told my friends last night that this weekend would be my last rides on the trainer of the year. Then today just seemed like such a nice day, so why not now for the switch? First step- get the bike of the trainer and switch the training tire for the road tire. I usually dread changing a tire, and embarrassingly, it takes me about 30 minutes and ends in bloody knuckles and nightmares about having to change one on race day. Well, not anymore! Introducing...
This thing is magical. Easy off, easy on. Really nothing more to say than if you have ever had trouble changing a tire, especially getting that sucker back on, buy it! Might really be the best thing I have ever bought for my bike. Life changing! And really, that is not that much of an exaggeration. That fear of flat, even though I've changed one before, is always there in the back of my mind and can put a damper on rides. It reduces that independent, "I can take on the world" feeling I like to get out of long rides. So a little device that makes me feel more capable really is (kinda) life changing.
Anyways, the ride. Baby Beluga and I hit the open road (i.e. Lakefront Path) and was happy to see that we have not reached summer levels of crowding. The goal of the ride according to my training plan was an "Always Be Pushing" (ABP) ride- Zone 3. I knew this but I also just wanted to enjoy a day outside. My plan was to ride the lakefront path from top to bottom for a 36 mile re-introduction to outdoor riding.
The ride started out into the wind. Not too strong of one, apparently 10 mph, but I've been riding in 0 wind conditions since October. It was a good thing though, not enough to zap the legs but enough to get me in the ABP zone. Actually, my power was trending high, which I was happy about considering my legs were a bit toasted from yesterday's long ride. My Garmin died at about 45 minutes in, so I have zero data beyond that point. I just kept riding, trying to enjoy the day.
I try to never take for granted the amazing Lakefront Path. To be able to bike 18 miles in each direction with the lake on one side and gorgeous views of the skyline is truly awesome. What is annoying this time of year is that water fountains are still shut off and the bathrooms are boarded up. Bladder training!
I got to the South Shore Cultural Center and turned around for the return trip. The tailwind was awesome. I have no clue how fast I was actually going, but I felt like I was flying. I tried to keep pushing, not just coast, but it was definitely less effort. Seemed like no time before I was back home.
My two complaints are 1) my back was hurting! and 2) cold-numb toes. I should probably invest in some toe covers at some point. It took a really long time for my feet to warm back up once home.
So it looks like another year of the trainer is coming to an end. I use to hate the trainer more than anything, and now I'm a little scared to let it go. When I first got it, it was a struggle to stay on for 20 minutes. I remember what a rockstar I felt like when I did a 1.5 hr ride on it when it was storming one day during training for my first half ironman. When I was introduced to Sufferfest, it became more tolerable and more painful at the same time. Joining EN was the big game changer. I went from workouts that were mostly just "let's ride an hour" to very focused prescription of workouts. I'd hop on the trainer, hit my targets, enjoy some good TV or movie, and be done. I could do it any time of day. Don't get me wrong, being outside again will be lovely, but of grave concern is when will I watch all my TV? Kidding... sort of. My real worry is just how it is much harder to hit targets with all the variable in the great outdoors. I know a lot of people do one workout a week still on the trainer, which I'm keeping as a possible option, but I also need to get use to all the variability of outside and still try to keep my watts in check.
My next ride is Wednesday and it has some FTP intervals. I'm going to try it outside and we'll see. Yay for Vitamin-D!