Canada to Mexico 2005
Aaron’s Training Journal
September 4 , 2005: Here Goes Nothing
It's hard to believe it was about 11 months ago that Eric and I started talking about and planning this trip. Anticipation truly does make time go by more quickly, but what an incredible and challenging 11 months it's been. I feel better than I've ever felt in my entire life, physically and mentally. I've become a morning person, which is something that I NEVER thought would happen. I sleep better and I don't feel as tired throughout the day (with the exception of the occasional morning that I got up at 5:30am-ish and crashed around 3pm, as my office mate can attest to). The downside? I feel like I've gotten a lot more serious, which is good and bad. I've become much more assertive, which is something I guess all of us can use... it just seems a bit out of character for me.
I feel like this is the end of the first part of a 2 part challenge. Who knows, this may have even been the DIFFICULT part. I suppose I'll find out soon enough. Am I ready? Mentally, yes. Physically, I think so. The final week of training ended on a very positive note. Had a few strong 30+ mile rides before work and got to relax this weekend. I'll probably head out for one last spin before I pack the bike up (flight leaves at 7:50am tomorrow). Thanks to everybody for listening to (or reading about) my biking stories and training complaints. It really helped to have the support of my friends and family. Now it's show time... there are lime margaritas and coronas waiting for us in Mexico.
Check out my ride journal beginning Sept 8 for updates along the way.
August 27, 2005: Burnout
This morning I was planning on participating in a 60 mile group ride on Skyline Drive. When I awoke to pouring rain, the onset of training burnout became official. I'm not sure if it's training burnout or anticipation burnout, but at this point, I feel that if I have to ride on one more mile of road or path in the DC area, I'm going to scream. I was really looking forward to a change of scenery this morning, and now I'm faced with doing another 50 miles on the W&OD trail in the rain. You know that one album that has been on heavy rotation in your car, the one where you know exactly which song will come up next, even which lyric, or even note? That is what the W&OD has become to me after 8 months of training. As I ride, I say to myself... "here comes that rest station, bridge, soccer field, etc.". Every once in a while I can throw the bike on the car and drive out of the city for a change of scenery, but as we all know, work gets in the way and the local trails and roads become a matter of convenience. I'm so completely ready for this trip. I think I have been for the past 2 months, and that's what's getting to me. I'm done with training. I want to go. Enough is enough. Only 11 days until ride time...
August 25, 2005: Like Mother Like Son
My wonderful mom had a pretty major bike wreck this morning, but fortunately she is ok. She was descending on one of the steeper grades of the W&OD trail before sunrise and a rabbit ran into her path. She's not sure if she hit the critter or jammed on the brakes, but she went over the handlebars and suffered many scrapes, bruises, and a broken hand. In true form, she is most upset about the fact that she has to wear a cast and won't be able to ride for a month or so. Keep her in your thoughts, and if you'd like to pass on any "get well" wishes, you can email them to me and I'll see to it that she gets them. She'd certainly appreciate it.
August 14 , 2005: Training in the Sweltering Heat
July 24, 2005: Bay to Beach Ride
Only one month left... let the serious training begin. This weekend I rode from The Chesapeake Bay, across the Delmarva Peninsula to Dewey Beach Delaware. (Some friends had a place so I crashed with them.) 200 mile round trip. Was a great ride through some scenic countryside. Lots of corn and soybean fields, chicken farms and not much else.
July 19, 2005: Crash Report
had about 1300 crash-free miles, so I guess it was bound to happen. On
the way home from my training ride this morning, I was crossing some recessed
railroad tracks (where they are cut into the roadway so cars can cross
them). My front tire went into the groove and over I went. Fortunately,
there was metal at the rail crossing, so I slid on the metal mostly, then
hit the pavement and got a little road rash on my elbow and arm.
July 10, 2005: NYC Triathlon
Well, I survived, and it was an AWESOME race! After getting kicked about 20x and swallowing about 1/2 gallon of the sparkling fresh Hudson River, I had a great 25 mile bike ride. What a rush. Ended up cranking out a 20.5 mph average, which considering the rolling hills was much better than I anticipated. And the 6 mile run... well, I finished without walking, but it definitely was not my favorite portion of the race. My goal, 3 hours. Final time, 2:49. Incredible race, incredible weekend. Click here to see some race photos.
June 24, 2005: I Hate Hills
the day off today and did a 50 mile training ride with Jason and Sean.
Great day, a little on the warm side (high 80s) but overall, couldn't
have asked for a better one. It's funny though, I think that I'm in great
shape until I ride with some of my friends that have been road riding
for years. Especially in the area of hill climbs. I really think Jason
intentionally cranks as hard as he can up every single incline just to
show me how far I have to come before the big ride. Thanks for putting
me in my place punk... just kidding. I appreciate the push. Lord knows
I need every push I can get over the next couple of months.
June 20, 2005: My Toe Hurts
June 4, 2005: Training Ride with Team CSC in Philly
Ok, I had been psyched about this one for weeks. I was sent to Philly as the official Team CSC photographer for the annual USPRO championship race. As an added bonus, I got to join the team for a 3-hour training ride through the streets and suburbs of Philly. For the first hour of the ride, it was pouring down rain, but honestly, I was just so stoked to be out there (I even got a team uniform, which I got to keep!). After doing the Manayuk "wall" side by side with Bobby Julich (Bronze medallist in Athens 2004), many of the other non-team members broke off and headed back. It was at that point that I found myself surrounded by pro riders as we flew through the streets of philly (some drivers cheering, others cursing). Total ride time was about 3 hours, logging about 50 miles. Won't be forgetting that day any time soon. And the race the following day was amazing as well. To check out the photos, click here.