Friday, October 21, 2011

Trouble in Paradise

This has been quite the roller coaster week...

It started out with an awesome weekend - riding bikes both days.  I got an awesome new mountain bike on Friday afternoon.  To make a long story short, Matt let me ride his full suspension bike the weekend before and I decided I wasn't giving it back until I had one of my own!  I scoured the local bike stores and walked out of Simon's Bike Shop on Robson with a smoking hot deal on a 2009 Specialized Era Expert.    And thus we went back to Elfin (on a perfect sunny, crisp day) to test it out on some familiar trails.  Love!

Specialized Era

She climbs like a mountain goat (I made one section that Matt didn't, and that just doesn't happen!) and descends plush enough to give me some much needed confidence.  For the first time I was happy to go down everything I went up.  Silly, I know, but it's true.  I'm getting super stoked about our trip to Moab - this is going to be such a fun bike to ride.  I am already scoping out the guide book for all the killer climbs and fun, swoopy singletrack descents.


And maybe a little less snow... but oh it was beautiful!


The only one who isn't happy in this equation is my poor Gary Fisher Tassajara hardtail.  She is going to have to find a new home when we get home from Moab.  Anyone for a new bike?

On Sunday morning we woke up to another perfect sunny day.  Probably the last day this season will will get out on our good bikes.  And it felt so good!  There really is a good reason to ride carbon.  It's, just, so, smooooooth.  We didn't have any big objectives for the day, just to enjoy the weather and the last good ride.  We headed down to Richmond and spent some time time-trialing at Iona Beach.  Iona is about the only place anywhere close to Vancouver where you can ride 10km without lights or stopping so it makes a perfect test.  It also sits right next to the airport.  When I finished up my 10km, I watched a KLM flight side slip in for an AWESOME crosswind landing.

We then headed out to the beach and hung out in the sun for a while - we made friends with a crow.  He came over making this super strange, soft garbling noise, almost acting like he was sick.  We finally realized the crow was BEGGING!  We had quite the conversation with him before he headed off to harass some newcomers.  Unfortunately we didn't get his picture but it reminded me of the little birds from Elfin, you know, the ones that can hear a granola bar wrapper 15 miles away and will do just about anything to steal it?


Ya, one of those birds...

Our good fortune in weather kept up and we were able to ride in Stanley Park on Tuesday after work - again probably one of the last times we will be able to do so this season.  As soon as the time changes there will not be enough light in the evenings :(

Then came Wednesday.  Matt was away in Prince George for a few days so I was on my own for our Wednesday night run clinic.  The weather had been pretty decent all day, but as soon as I arrived at the track, it started raining.  We started our warm-up - a super intense, more than I have ever done for warm-up before, warm-up.  I had been really tired all day (probably having something to do with not taking a day off the bike in, oh, 10 days), but I really picked up once I got outside with a group of people.  We got into drills and on the first "stride" (basically accelerate for 30m, sprint for 30m decelerate for 30m for the non-runners).  And BAM, strained my left quad.  It had been feeling a little funny the week before but since it didn't hurt at all through warm-up I wasn't even thinking about it.  So that was the end of my track workout.

Thursday I spend my day with ice packs and ace bandages.  Marginal improvement.  People tell me three days... well I'm at one and counting and I'm already bored...

So that leads to Friday.  Quad again feeling a little better, starting to believe in the three day thing.  Then I happened to look up the website for the ITU World Age Group Championships.  Matt and I are fortunate to be racing in two separate events.  In every schedule for previous years I could find, the two races were held on different days (usually one on Saturday and one on Sunday).  We thought this was perfect - we would be able to support and crew each other, and we'd even be able to share race wheels (a huge bonus as they are stupidly expensive).  However, in New Zealand, they apparently have decided to run the races back to back.  Matt's race starts at 6:55am and mine starts at 8:30am on the last day.  I will BARELY even have time to see Matt finish.  There is no way I can watch as much of his race as I want to, and he will have almost no time to relax after his race before I have to get started.  As you can well imagine, we are super disappointed.  I had so been looking forward to spend his race completely focused on him and have him be able to do the same thing for me.

Anyways, I am still sitting here with ice and ace bandages, thinking about poor timing and injuries, sad to have missed my track workout and my long bike ride, and the mountain bike ride for tomorrow morning, and having to cancel going to yoga this weekend.  So it started as a fantasic week but it ended with trouble in paradise.

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