Today was my last day of freedom, as for tomorrow the bell tolls for me. Back in the air to tropical Calgary (well tropical compared to Fairbanks, AK) till Thursday. The sunny temps that helped usher the new year in the new year are a distant memory, and today was downright cold. Unlike most cold days here, we had 40% humidity and light winds which made the 26 degree temps feel more like 12.
I've never been a big fan of cold. In Tulsa, we used to play roller hockey in the mornings before work. The others would laugh at me as I would sit in my truck, engine running, till everyone was on the rink and skating. Then I would promptly head to the rink, play our hour or so and then return to the warmth of my truck and drive home. I think most of them thought I'd never make it in Colorado, but since moving here I've toughened up, or at least I've bought some good cold weather gear.
Today after going back and forth about getting out, I finally just decided to suck it up and get out. I kept thinking back to the last 8 weeks when I couldn't get out for a ride and decided I would brave the cold weather and ride.
I geared up, AmPhibs (Love Them!) on under my Helly Hansen pants, long sleeve winter jersey with fleece vest, skull cap and ear cover. Told Jill I'd be gone 30ish minutes, and was hoping to make it that long. Didn't take me long after getting outside to realize it wasn't too bad and that 30 minutes would be easily attainable.
For the first time since my Achilles rupture and subsequent surgery I headed for the dirt roads east of our house. Not exactly the "stationary bike" the doc prescribed for me, but I was smart about it. I rode in regular shoes, not clipped in as usual and took it pretty easy. Felt great to be out, and although I'm in terrible shape right now I rode pretty well.
Legs felt good, lungs hurt. As I was reaching the furthest point on my route, I encountered another bundled up biker. We gave each other a head nod and a "you're crazy enough to be out here too" look. Couple joggers and a car or two, but for the most part it was just gravel, me and my one gear.
Ride was 8.5 - 9 miles (not carrying any GPS, heart rate monitors, power meters, etc right now) with a whopping 157 feet of climbing. Yeah not exactly a climbing route, but I'm not technically supposed to be off road either.
Which brings me to my latest motivation tool, this website. At the bottom of each post, I'm going to post a "Days On Bike" and "Miles Ridden" tally. Not sure if I'll count trainer days or not, but just thought it would be interesting to have a tally and hope it helps me get motivated to get on the bike on days like today, when I usually would not have ridden. When I get a little further removed from the holidays and the surgery, I may even be bold enough to post my weight in each tally.
Days on Bike - 2
Miles Ridden - 14