Sunday, April 3, 2011

What's Your Limit?

The weather today in Oklahoma made me wonder what my limits are for training rides.  Today was my long bike ride of the week.  I slept in until 8:00 AM and then got all my gear ready for a my 2 hour ride and 20 min run brick workout.  My plan was to go out to Lake Stanley Draper on the southeast side of OKC and try to get in some hill work during my ride.  The roads are in pretty good shape and there is fairly light traffic in the area.  Plus, it's one of the few areas where you can actually ride some rolling hills in the metro area. I knew it was supposed to be windy today, but I don't guess I really expected it to be a big factor.  It's Oklahoma.  It's windy 95% of the year.  We get used to it and like I've joked before, it's our version of hill training.  Today was different though. 

When I parked my car at the marina, I got out to a howling south wind.  It was one of those winds that if you didn't have a firm grip on your car door it was going to get slammed shut or almost ripped off the hinges.  I looked around and noticed I was the only car in the parking lot.  Usually there are a lot of people out riding on the weekend so that was my first clue that today wasn't a good idea.  I got my bike ready and decided I'd do a couple of warm-up loops in the parking lot before heading out on the highway.  It was at this point that I almost got blown over on my bike and seriously started reconsidering my ride options for the day.  I turned the corner and took the wind head-on and got sand-blasted by the blowing dust.  Mentally I was shot.  No way did I want to spend two hours fighting to stay upright and pedal in place.  I set my limits for my bike rides today. My limit is 40-50  mph gusts I guess.  I'll take 20-30mph winds and struggle through, but when it gets more than that I'll stick to the trainer.  I racked my bike and headed back home for a date with the trainer.  The good news is that I put my tri bike on the trainer and knocked out 2 hours while watching the Ironman Louisville course DVD and then headed outside for a quick 20 minute run.  The temps today in OKC maxed out at 91 degrees and I ran in the heat of the day.  It was a good taste of things to come. 

I also tried out a new pair of Brooks that I won as a result of the race series in 2010.  I've had them for a few months, but have been scared to run in anything but my usual Adrenaline's.  I went ahead and tried out the Ravenna's today and really enjoyed them.  They are a guidance shoe which should fit my gait better.  I'm a mild overpronator so I think the Adrenaline's provide a little too much support. However, my body is used to the Adrenaline so it scares me to switch to a new shoe.  The last time I switched to a different shoe I had problems with pain on the outer part of my foot.  So far the feet feel good post-run and I think I'll continue to work in the new shoes on my shorter runs.  I like the heel cup of the Ravenna shoe better than the Adrenaline.  It a little more open and doesn't rub my Achilles as much.  I've had issues with my Achilles since my first marathon so any relief there will be a welcome change.  I'll report back later if I decide to make an official switch.

Now it's time to settle in for a little relaxation time.  I'm planning on watching some NCAA Women's Final Four action and the Academy of Country Music Awards.  I'm a huge country music fan so I can't wait to see some new music.  Run happy friends.

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