A detour from the usual reflections on being a LIVESTRONG leader, cancer-related topics, etc. A little tidbit about training.
Or lack thereof.
OMG, it's cold outside. Now, mind you, it doesn't take a genius to understand that.
Now, I've ridden in some bad weather. Over the summer, I biked back from work in a lightningstorm. I've biked through rain, wind, etc (in summer/early fall, that is). With winter pending, I consulted with my resident bike guru. I consulted with Taylor Phinney (whose advice was simply, "Just do it") and a plethora of other experts. Neoprene, layers, booties, energy vs. fluid, studded tires, reduced air pressure - you name the wisdom, it was shared with me.
I have been trying to teach my son that neither rain, nor sleet, nor anything other than REALLY bad conditions should keep us off the road. This, however, has been relatively theoretical.
Christmas Day, we went for a 20 mile bike ride. It was sunny most of the day, somewhat warm, and the roads were clear.
Today, we went out. It was even sunnier. Roads took a while to clear, as we got a layer of fluffy white stuff last night. But it promised to be a good riding day. Or so I thought.
There he was, cresting the hill, moving about 2 miles an hour. Something was awry. He made it up to where I stopped, His cheeks were bright pink. I could see tears trickling down his face. I asked him what happened.
He just looked at me and asked me, "Aren't you cold?"
I shrugged, and said, "Well, duh... it's January! Sure, I'm cold, but let's keep moving!" in true cheerleader optimism.
"But, Mommy, I can't feel my legs."
"You can do it! Tough it out!"
"I can't feel my toes, either."
Then, I thought, "Hmm. Come to think of it... I think I might have left my toes 2 miles back."
"Mommy, you ok?"
"Why do you ask?"
"Your lips... they're blue. And shivery."
And that's when I thought to myself, "I'm all for toughing it out, but I'd rather not lose my extremities."
So we turned around.
We were out for an hour. We only covered 8 miles. But I'm thankful we did.
We push ahead and get to Vista Market. I tell him to pull in, wait inside, and I'd continue ahead to the car to pick him up. I go ahead, on a climb that I'd usually dance over, but today, felt like Mont Ventoux!
Finally, I get to the car. Do bear in mind that my toes and hands were actually doing ok until the point we stopped. And, even though they were numb, my toes didn't hurt. I kept wiggling my toes and moving my fingers on the ride to make sure sensation was still there and blood kept flowing. I drive to pick up my son, we pack up, I take off my booties and road shoes and slip on fuzzy slippers.
And that's when my toes REALLY went numb, and then hurt. I was crying while driving, my toes hurt so badly. And that was with the heat in the car aimed at the feet!
Sadly, this has made me reconsider winter riding with my son.
Sorry, Taylor. We just did it. Almost. We tried.
It's the thought that counts, though, right?
This doesn't mean that I'm going to stop training or riding this winter.
It just means I have to reassess the approach. Any advice is welcome.