January Recap

January 31st, 2008

The good news – I have been really consistent with my morning workout of yoga M-W-F and abs and push ups on T-T. In fact I have not missed a single day! My lower back is definitely getting stronger as by the third set of push ups my arms are now just as fatigued as my back.

The bad news – I am a bit disappointed because I fell short of my monthly mileage goal. I had planned on doing a 200 K (125 miles) brevet January 26. The weather gods were not cooperative. Parts of the route were flooded and there were reports of riders who did the ride, actually getting blown across the road in Point Reyes. My goal for the month was 370, miles. I’m short 98 miles. Those will be added onto on my February goal. February’s goal is now 538 miles. EEK! That’s going to be tough. I am losing 4 days of riding as I’m flying back to Maine for my grandmother’s memorial service. But like I always tell my students, “A goal is NOT something you know you can accomplish.”

I did have some really good rides this month. I rode Morgan Territory again and I did a ride up in Marin County with some friends. Thom and I really hammered the first part of that Marin ride. Over a 16 mile flat section we averaged over 18 mph! It was hard, but it was good training and I want to do that ride again.

My last non commute ride of the month was really windy and I took some pictures while on Empire Mine Rd. I was out between storms. As I said, it was windy, blowing a steady 18 mph, with gusts up to 25. This storm was coming from the south so the wind was ALL wrong. It started raining about twenty minutes before I got home. I was wearing my rain gear, so I was kind of glad when the rain began.
This is my normal after work training ride. Just out and back from my house, it’s about 16 miles with almost 800 feet of elevation gain. Sometimes I’ll do Empire Mine twice or I’ll add in hill repeats in the nearby ‘burbs. It all depends on how much time I have and how I’m feeling.

Empire Mine Road is about 3 miles long and closed to most traffic. There’s one house on it and lots of cows. It’s a great training road with some varied terrain. Since I do it as an out and back, the downhills aren’t free.

This is from one end of the road. It’s a nice sweeping downhill. The final corner that you can’t see is a blind one. You need to exercise caution because you never know what you will see on the other side: cows, a motorcyclist, old appliances…

The view off to the right as you roll down the road in the previous picture. That’s Mount Diablo in the distance.

This is the one house on the road. But the reason I took the picture is the trail on the ridge behind it. Not surprisingly, it’s called the Ridge Trail and if I’m going to mountain bike after work, that’s where I go. It’s part of Black Diamond Regional Preserve. The trail goes right along the spine of the ridge with nice views to either side and continues on the back side climbing a little more. In the summer you would never notice the trail because everything will be brown.

Since the road is closed to most traffic, it’s not being maintained that well. These trees are eucalyptus. They smell really good, but they sure do make a mess.
One of the many cows.

This is the view at the turnaround spot – another shot of Mount Diablo. This comes at the end of a straightaway, that’s nearly a mile long and slightly downhill, about -1.5 % grade. Usually the wind is behind me on the downhill and I’ve been able to hit speeds in the low thirties.

I’m going to need to do this ride a lot this month if I’m going to make my monthly mileage goal. Weather is still a big issue for us here. I have all the gear to ride outside and be comfortable in the rain. But it’s better training on a rainy day to do a Spinervals video, than to try to slog it out through the wind and rain. I want to achieve my monthly goal, but big picture – I want to finish the Devil Mountain Double.


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