Today I took a day off from the training schedule. With Gwen's preceptorship starting this week neither of us has been able to get very much sleep (she more than I... at least I don't have to put a full day in and then do 8 hours in the hospital and 2 hours of driving!). So, I felt that perhaps it would be a good day to hold off on the training (especially since it was a swim workout today) and just relax together.
As I've been mentioning in recent posts the weather here has finally turned for the better. It looks like the trainer is won't be making it's way out of the storage closet anytime soon, unless there is some really terrible weather outside. The last couple of rides I've been out on have been pretty windy which has been a blessing in disguise in a lot of ways. When it's windy out I'm forced to really concentrate on my handling of the bike, my efficiency, etc. The other day at the shop Jeff, one of the "uber" cyclists, said something along the lines of, "We don't have hills or mountains in Michigan. We can't train on the Alps. We have wind." This is definitely the case and it helps when you look at a stiff headwind as a training technique instead of a barrier. It sounds like group rides at the shop are going to be starting fairly soon and I'm really excited to get out with them and try to absorb as much info as I can.
Today the start times for the Fisk Knob TT were posted online. Looks like I'll have a 1:36 PM start. I'm trying to remember that I'm not necessarily out at this event to "race" but that it's another fun wrinkle added into my training. That being said, I spent a lot of time today obsessing over the #'s of the race (i.e. what the average speed of the top 50% of my age group was last year, how many individuals from my age group last year have signed up again, etc. etc.). Bottom line... I want to represent for Whisper Cycles. In the end though I need to remember that I'm in this for the long haul and I can't blow my wad on one early season race that should be used as a fitness gauge. I'm also reminding myself that Matt Smith and Joel Nemes, also from Jade/Whisper, will be out there representing and they're both fast.
In other news... our Whisper/Jade Tri jerseys and shorts and Cycling bibs and jerseys have been ordered. Jim showed me the design a couple of weeks ago and needless to say they are absolutely awesome! They're sweet enough that part of me is tempted to try to wear them in my everyday life...
Gwen and I received our new running shoes from Brooks (see the picture above). I'll be running in the Brooks Beast and Gwen will be using the Ariel. Neither of us has had the chance to put any serious miles on them yet but after my initial "test run" all I can say is that these are some seriously beefy, supportive, and comfortable shoes. I haven't ever had a shoe that feels like it was made "custom" for me but this is certainly the closest that I've been. It feels like the shoe kind of wraps around my foot... like it is molded to it. At any rate I'll continue to provide feedback as I get some more use out of them. They'll be the shoes that carry me through my first marathon which, coincidentally, is in two weeks! I'm really excited about getting out and getting an indication of where my running fitness is at. Again, same thing as the TT, it isn't about racing but finishing and making sure I'm feeling good and fit! I've heard from a couple of other members of the Brooks Inspire Daily program that they'll be out there as well and I'm hoping that we'll get a chance to meet and say hi!
In general training is going really well. It's been a constant struggle for me to learn what I should be worrying about and when I should let things go. There is so much uncertainty at this point but the most important thing is that I feel like I'm taking steps forward each day. Hope that everyone is doing well!
'Til next time...