Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season

Well, the wind is blowin' harder now, fifty knots of there abouts.
There's white caps on the ocean, and I'm watching for water spouts. "Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season" Jimmy Buffett

My son John was home this last week from his first summer semester at the University of Florida. He was scheduled to return to UF on Sunday morning for a week of marching band practice. Thus, a party was scheduled for about 150 of his friends at my house on Friday night. I didn't get to bed until 1 AM, playing the authority figure keeping things from going off the deep end. With a 60 mile ride scheduled for Saturday morning, my 5:15 AM wake up alarm left me with short sleep. Of course, with my son and his fraternity brothers staying in the pool at the after-party throughout the night, even that sleep was not a sound one.

As I get my water bottles filled and start applying sun tan lotion, I start to hear water running. I come out of the bathroom fully lotioned and ready to go, I realize its pouring hard. I turn on the weather channel and call riding buddy Tony to discuss the situation. The rain is a cell from a tropical wave moving through the area. Tony tells me he's going back to bed. I sit and watch the radar on the Weather Channel and note that there doesn't appear to be another cell for a while. I decide to go out for a solo ride for as long as the weather permits. As I ride north along A1a, the street dries fairly quickly. There is a cross wind that is blowing, but not so bad as to effect my speed. I'm good until the turn around 30 miles out.

As I turn to head south, I realize that cross wind was a little more of a wind out of the SE, which is now kind of in my face. Its not too bad for the first 10 miles of the return, but the wind starts gusting increasingly strong. My ability to ride at a steady speed is all but gone. The gusts blow me down to about 12 mph. Not only that, but the gusts make it hard to hold a steady line. But what's a rider to do? I see many small groups of riders pulled to the side of the road, but figure the front will be blowing through for several hours. So I ride on. It was real work getting home, but I got it done. I guess I can expect more of these conditions over the next month or so. It goes to show, its not just the rain you've got to worry about. Those winds blow a lot longer than the rain falls.

The other elements of training are going well. I've upped my overall workout load and have moved the long run to Wednesday evening. I got in 12 this last week and will probably stretch it to 14 this week. I'm working on my kick in my pool sessions, which were virtually non-existent in the past. My body is still adjusting to the higher work load. I'm also experimenting with different nutrition mixes to see what the body handles the best. Experienced IM buddy Miranda advises to separate hydration from nutrition by mixing the protein drink mix to a gue like consistency. I'll have to try this.

From an events standpoint, it looks like I'll have to scratch the Publix Sprint Tri in Miami on September 12th. Its the same weekend as parent's day with the band up at UF. I've got to support my son by watching a Gator game in the stands with the band. Twist my arm. Salome & I will have to bring the bikes for a ride to Micanope. Perhaps I'll squeeze in another sprint somewhere along the line before the Clermont HIM on September 27th. Yes, the "Upcoming Events" list is getting shorter, but harder.

With no athletic events on my personal schedule, I'm reduced to reporting on the exploits of my friends. On Sunday, when the winds let up a bit (but were still blowing), running buddy Jen Jones decided to do a sprint triathlon on Key Biscayne after a couple years hiatus from the tri scene. She did exceedingly well given the little swim and bike training she put in. Jen came in 4th in her age group based primarily on a killer run. I expect with a little more bike and swim training, Jen will start to compete for an age group win. As I told her, her Cervelo tri bike missed her. She had a blast doing it and I expect she is reinfected with the tri bug.

Finally, buddy Wayne Crayton surprised us all by completing the Humpy's Marathon in Anchorage, Alaska. As you may know, Wayne was coming back from a triple by-pass operation back in January. He had run a couple of 5Ks and 10K. He had announced he was doing the half marathon for Humpy's and had two 13 mile training runs under his belt. Well, the guy goes off and runs the full. He gave himself the option of cutting it at the half, but felt good at that point and decided to go the whole way. Not a personal best time, but he is back in the marathon saddle. I now consider his recovery complete and await his tempting e-mails and blog entries about his marathon tour of Europe planned for the Spring 2010. A couple of friends expressed interest in doing the Paris Marathon in early April, which is one of Wayne's planned Eurothons. Humm, this could be a nice coordinated group event. April in Paris anyone?

"In a week I'll be in gay Paris; t
hat's a mighty long airplane ride."


Jen Jones said...

I did have fun!!! No training=no expectations=no pressure=FUN!!

Yeah, I've been bitten by the bug again, but I have to wait until next summer. 6.5 weeks until St. George, yikes!

Good job dealing with the wind and getting in your bike ride! I give you credit for getting what needs to be done, done!

Missy said...

The wind is out of control! Way not to puss out, like I might have.

Marathons hurrrt. Have a blast in Paris;)

EuroWayne said...

Hey Bill (aka The Miami Tempter, are you skilled enough to run inbetween the rain drops? Yep, I believe the Eurothon 2010 is on. Rome, Paris and maybe a third, but this time I'm planning more "beach time" and an extra week somewhere exotic...Crete, Sicily, who knows! Hope we can get a bunch to go to Paris!