Had a pretty good week last week. Between Skype, phone calls, Facebook, and texts Inna and and I have been able to share our lives together as best as possible. She'll fly to Israel on the 14th of August and stay until the 23rd with her friend Vika. She'll stay in Ra'anana at her friends house. She hasn't seen her for 3 years since she moved there, so they're quite excited to hang out, catch up, and do some tourist stuff. Her birthday was Sunday and the card I sent arrived Saturday...delivered by mom the evening of her birthday. Perfect timing. Mom said she cried with happiness reading the poem I wrote :-)
I guess the 1/2 century ride I did with mom got me going on cycling again. I need to do something and I was so frustrated with physical therapy that I just couldn't make myself get started on that again. 4 months with no improvement :-( I figure now I'll just ride for a bit and give it a go again this winter when riding outside sucks. Of the 1/2 dozen rides I've done so far each has been a real smack in the face. The first group ride I lasted 35minutes and got dropped like nothing. The 2nd I lasted 70 minutes of a 90 minute ride, then next 80 minutes. Each of those 3 rides saw me pulling out all the tricks to keep up. I'm experienced enough in the peleton to know the wheels to follow and I know the route well enough to know when you just have to go...no matter what, and when you can rest.
This week I did the Tuesday nighter and was a totally different rider. A bit of a man possessed I guess. I took offense to a move by another rider on a dangerous descent. In the past ride we took that descent gentle, regrouped, then hammered. He used the hill to his advantage. Totally acceptable in a race on a closed road but really dangerous in traffic and with a mixed bag of rider abilities. Beat us because you're stronger....not because you care less if you make it to work tomorrow. Anyway...I made it a bit of my mission to show that fellow how his lunch looks on his cycling shoes. Each time he went for a sprint I'd attack after. Each time he reach for his bottle or drifted off a hard pull I'd give a little surge. Death by a thousand needles all of which he wasn't smart enough to notice. Then I "won" the ride attacking the birdfoot climb and leaving them. 2 weeks of riding...and they're all mid-season with an entire winter of base under them. Take that!!
The next day I went to Haymarket for the big boy ride. Having done the wimpier Reston ride pretty much all out the day before and carrying that fatigue into a ride with my old teammates who were sure to make me suffer.....had me figuring I'd be dropped over the very first climb. Again I surprised myself and hung in some very tough riding. It rained for a while really, really hard and I had hoped that would slow us down and let us recover but they never let up. Then it hailed and 4 of us got caught in a cross-wind and dropped. Luckily the group had a bit of infighting leading up to the sprint point. As they slowed to jockey for position it allowed the 4 of us to catch back on. After that I was basically cooked though and I got dropped over the last climb. By then we were nearly 2hrs into the ride so I was still pretty happy and even more so with my solo effort over the last 20 minutes back to the shop. Jared and the fellow's waited for me at the crossroads. Nice to ride with the old gang again...and glad, other than poking fun at my hairy legs, that they didn't feel a need to torture me.
I took Thursday and Friday off from riding. Went Friday to a movie premier with Michael and Melissa. We watched the new movie about Anton Krupicka "In the High Country". Pretty awesome. I don't suppose the average guy gets it quite as much...but for me, watching....that was my life. The fellow lives in his truck and just runs. That's the life of the distance runner. Really good look into his life. It's a short film, I really recommend it.
Saturday I did some repairs in the house I'm living in. Replaced the dryer vent that was so full of lint and water that the weight had pulled it from the wall. Whew...rotten lint is stinky. I saw the break in the weather for a long ride didn't come until around 6pm so I waited and ate well and headed out with my lights for a night ride. Did a nice easy tempo. Only went hard a bit on the way home going through the section where that cyclist got the gun put in his mouth, was beaten, and robbed last month. I tore through that hilly dark section with much haste.
I had an interesting detour during my ride. After about 5hrs of riding it started to pour just as I was touring the monuments before the 90 minute push home. It really unleashed just as I was going through the mall. I gave thought to scurrying over to the metro station and just taking the metro back to East Falls Church (1/2 way home) and hoping the rain had stopped when I got there. It rained so hard however that I only made it to the snack bar on the other side of the mall. As I parked under the roof I saw a bunch of others running for it too. Turns out a local band was just wheeling their equipment to the metro for their trip home. Instead they setup under the awning...and we had a bit of a party. It was a really fun and neat way to wait out the rain. We sat there 50 minutes before it let up and we all went on our way. They sang a LOT of Joanna Newsome. Now I can't get this song out of my head.
3 rides for the week. 2 really hard, 1 long but really easy. No pains or hurts so far. Here's some more Joanna. Wish I knew the name of the local band that scurried over and gave me a free concert. They gave me their phone number and an invite and for some reason it didn't save in my phone. Here's more of their favorite artists. It was really fun singing along, normally I feel self-conscious about singing but they were so fun and the circumstance so peculiar that we really belted out the songs in the rain :-).