Saturday, September 1, 2012

Skipping toward the Skipjack

I blinked, and suddenly found myself in the middle of peak training for my next race.


How did that happen? 

As the kids headed back to school this week and we all adjusted to the new schedule, the days, the workouts, the lack of sleep, the stress of all the changes, took their toll.

Logging this week's workouts, I discovered that, by the time I check off tomorrow's 9-mile run, I will have completed 10 workouts in 6 days. No wonder I'm tired! Not to mention behind the eight-ball on calories (read Here). One more tough week to go as we climb the training peak toward the Skipjack, a 75.2 mile race that makes up part of the ChesapeakeMan Endurance Festival

To that end, today's 44-mile ride was our longest yet this season. As we geared up for the ride, my skin already slick with sweat, I gave in to the elements, closing the windows in our house against the oppressive heat and humidity. I'm not a big fan of AC and don't enjoy feeling "refrigerated" in the summer, but it was the right move today, no doubt about it!

Despite the 92 degree temps and the humidity topping 50%, there was a stiff and steady headwind from the west, dragging my average pace down 5 mph from where it was two weeks ago on the same stretch of road (on a day that was, in contrast, cloudy, cool and calm).

After 16 miles of direct headwind, we turned north and enjoyed some great rolling hills, with descent speeds hitting 40 mph. We juggled phone calls from our kids trying to schedule play dates, rationed our water (realizing that we were probably a full bottle short for a ride of today's duration and conditions) and spied Santa Claus along the way--a jolly bald man with a big belly and a fluffy white mustache and beard that spanned his collarbone and hung in a cloud down to his chest.

At 30 miles in, the climbing began in earnest, pushing up and over four ridges before finally peaking at the point from which we would enjoy a net downhill for the remainder of the ride.

Though I'd miscalculated fluids, thankfully one bottle was more substantial than water--a nutritional solution containing sodium, calories and sugar--the things my body craved to keep me moving forward. When I sampled the solution at home, I'd recoiled from the saltiness of it. By the time I was tapping into that bottle en route, I barely noticed the salt, my body so desperately craving it.

And so we pedal on, into the next week and our final peak stretch before we crest the training hill and begin our descent to the Skipjack that awaits . . .


  1. You'll be thankful you trained on those hills as you enjoy the literally hill-less course of the skipjack!!!! See you there.

    1. Yes! Looking at the maps & course elevation, it's even flatter than Cozumel! Is your race on Sunday? If so, we may not see you; Skipjack is on Saturday . . .