Friday, March 26, 2010

Still Training

It is not true that the reason I have not been blogging is that I have not been training.

I have actually been training quite a lot. I finished an 80km ride last week, which is my longest so far, and just two days ago, Erin and I did an extremely hilly 65km ride to Belcarra via Port Moody, which is her longest to date.

The reason I've not been blogging is that I foolishly hooked up this blog to Google Analytics out of curiosity, and found that virtually nobody reads this blog. Even more foolishly, I found that discouraging. I have to admit to myself that the reason I write is similar to the reason I talk: not to communicate to others, but to hear the sound of my voice. For me, not being read is no reason not to write.

So enough of that nonsense.

It turns out that training is quite difficult. I've done a fair bit of cycling in the last few years. When the weather is decent, cycling is my main form of transportation around town, and I routinely do rides of 30 km or more for the pleasure of riding 30 km.

I've been finding, though, that riding longer distances, like 50 km, you start running into problems that you never considered before. Working your way up to 30 km, it's almost all about the strength of your heart, legs and lungs. Then you do a 40 km ride and find that your forearms start going numb on that 10 km stretch of unbroken road. You do a 50 km ride and your bike seat, with which you previously thought you had an understanding, is suddenly doing everything it can to inflict pain on your ass. You do a 60 km ride, and the next day you can't move your neck and you need to see a physiotherapist.

This last thing is what happened to Erin yesterday, the day after our ride to Belcarra. She has been ridiculously confident about her ability to ride 100 km in a day, seeing it as being a 30 km ride, but more so. Now she's learning that doing twice 30 km doesn't just make your legs twice as sore; it identifies other weak spots in your body and mistakes in the way your bike has been set up for you, and turns them into fonts of agony.

Until you figure things out.

I bought a new bike seat, returned it, bought another one, added padded cycling shorts, and now I'm more or less confident that my ass will get me to Seattle. Erin is going to go to physiotherapy, learn some neck exercises, and change the set-up on her bike so she sits more upright and has to crane her neck less. We're both going to start doing core muscle exercises, in addition to cycling, to strengthen those muscles that need strengthening before they announce themselves to us when we're in the middle of a ride, 30 km from home.

We'll make it there.

And our fundraising is off to a fine start as well.

Ben: $550
Erin: $300
Tucker: $150
Steve: $0
(Poor Steve!)