Thursday, August 24, 2006

A Bad Day

Today was a bad day. I don't even know why.

Last night, I made sure to drink plenty of water. I was well-hydrated.

This morning, I got up and, as usual, had some yogurt. I brought some fig newtons (generic brand, which is why I didn't capitalize it). I brought a bottle of water and a bottle of Cytomax. I was wearing some really expensive Giordana bibs and jersey. I had my normal saddle back on (after many days of swapping saddles). Tires were filled. My wound has healed to the point that while on the bike (with nice, tight-fitting lycra), it doesn't bother me and I hardly notice it.

Everything was perfect.

Okay, I guess I can find some things might explain why today didn't go well. I have a FSA K-Wing handlebar. It is very comfy but the flat tops make mounting anything almost impossible. Because I was going for a longish ride before work (the Alpine Loop), I decided I couldn't wait for the sunrise and I'd get some lights on. I managed to jerry-rig the helmet mount for my handlebars. Here's the problem: after about 10 minutes of riding, I didn't need it anymore. (I got kind of a late start due to the lights. Ironic, no?) The rest of the time, it was just bulky, ill-fitting, dead-weight. I probably could have used a wind vest or arm warmers. It was cold up in the mountains.

It was a bad day. I was slow. I wasn't fluid. On the climbs, I kept feeling like I needed to stand up. Instead of using the momentum I gained by standing, I'd coast for about 1/2 second when I sat back down. This meant that I had to shift back down to the lower gears I was in before. On the downhills, I was slow and cautious. I was uncomfortable. My back hurt (something I haven't noticed for months). I was getting saddle-sore.

I think I can attribute some of this discomfort to a short ride I did last night (12.5 miles) in my street clothes. Also, I really pushed my legs last week with a mountain climb followed by a century. This is my first ride since (not counting last night's easy jaunt). Switching saddles around so much has made me used to no saddle.

Bad days come and go. Overall, they don't bother me. I know that the next ride will probably be better. They're just part of riding. Sometimes you can explain them, sometimes you can't. Here's my biggest concern: What if I have a bad day on September 9th? (That's LOTOJA, in case you didn't know.) What if I have a Stage 16?

15 days to LOTOJA.

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