Not long in the sense that it was more than 2 days, it was just a tough weekend. Justin and I went out hard Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of last week. No rest for the wicked. Friday I did an easy spin, and Saturday we got up and hit it hard again. Wound up finishing a ride I assumed would take 4+ hours in 3.5. We were moving along, and my legs were tired, and it was kinda warm, and I'm like, "Why is my heart rate so high? Why do I feel like I'm working so hard?" Apparently we were climbing up a 7% grade at 9.5+ MPH. Hmm. That might explain it. Not fast, but fast for me!
This was a ride Justin had been wanting to do for a long time, and I did a similar but shorter route in January when he was sick. Very little traffic once you get out to the rural/NF land, and once we got back to civilization it was…well, civil. For a change.
We'd been cranking for awhile, final climb up to Elsinore Peak
Up above Elsinore
Re-fueling and resting for a few before our big descent
We got home and spent the rest of the day eating (no joke). It was some damn good food, too. Finished the weekend up on weight (again!).
Sunday morning we were up super early, after a horrible night's sleep. Our upstairs neighbors, as I may have mentioned, are the most horrible people I've ever come in contact with. We had 7 or so people living upstairs previously, and while they were BAD (the kids threw all kinds of stuff down on our patio, including at US, and threw nail polish and stuff that left a mess and broken glass), at least they were in bed by 11 every night. The new neighbors, despite having two kids that clearly are not even in elementary school are up making amazing amounts of noise (for 3 people) until well past midnight, and then they get up around 4 am sometimes and do it all over again.
So, I was pretty much teetering on the edge of overtraining, and I haven't been sleeping more than 6.5 hours a night (and it's fitful at best). Needless to say, Sunday wasn't going to be an easy day mentally or physically.
I knew I'd be shelled, and the Tour of California spectating wasn't exactly going to help my Sunday workout(s). We got up early and got ready to hit race pace at Daley for just over an hour with Zippy.
I prepped by deciding maybe I could get some autographs on my 2006 (inaugural year) Tour of CA jersey
Daley was good. LOTS of standing water where there never usually is. It was pretty weird, but trails were okay. Lots of rain ruts and dirt was missing, but they'll fill it all in with sand this summer and it'll be packed down again. Such is the cycle.
Justin shaved some more weight from the bike by replacing the plastic/rubber chain guard with clean Crankskinz
He also added some more green
I dig my bar. It makes me happy inside
It was time to head out to catch the start after that, so Justin and I had something to eat in the car on the way down to RB. It was pretty packed right off, but we rode our bikes over from about a mile away and watched some of the team busses pulling in. I got it in my head that I wanted Boonen to autograph my S-Works, so I hung around the Quickstep RV. No one told me he had abandoned, so I missed out on seeing many other people.
No sign of Cav all day :( I was hoping for a pic or autograph!
Rock is not dead
I didn't even attempt to get closer
Justin hung out around the OUCH RV waiting for Floyd to emerge and sign our 06 jerseys (the year Floyd won). He was victorious, at least!
One of the Quickstep DS-people liked my bike
We rode down a bit as the last guy's lined up and I managed to sneak right in front of the throng and sit down for some front row shots (no barriers, w00t)
Lots of people turned out
Somewhat disappoints me that a bunch of idiots that don't know anything about cycling muck it up for fans that do care (e.g. I couldn't get auto's or pics cause a bunch of people that don't know jack about road racing, or riding a bike in general are there taking up all the space). I know that cycling is trying to reach out, but over half of the adults there this past week are just going to go back to being @$$hats on the road and not giving cyclists any respect or room to begin with, so why are they there? Two women behind me were chatting at the start, "Do you know what the best thing about this race is? They get to ride on the roads without any cars! Wouldn't that be nice?" And you know that 30 mins later they were pulling out of Starbucks checking their iPhones and honking and yelling at the cyclist trying to commute, exercise, or get out for fresh air.
Next up was Hodges. I ate some food, tried to rehydrate, and we headed out. I could tell just by getting dressed it was going to be pretty much a waste of time. My legs were fried and I had a headache. I had a Gu Roctane hoping for some energy. It lasted about 30 minutes.
We climbed up Bernardo Peak until I had to walk, then I decided it was turn around time!
Once we got to the flat section my HR wouldn't go up, my legs were tired, and I generally felt like crap. Justin was still enjoying the day, so I rode behind him with a fake smile plastered on my face hoping it would change my mood. It didn't.
We hit Hernandez Hideaway and turned around. I was pretty disappointed with my lack of effort/intensity and it was going to be a low volume day. Not what we had in mind, especially with Saturday being an hour short also.
I just wasn't into it. My legs hurt, my head hurt, I felt really not into riding my bike what-so-ever.
We caught up with Luke and Charressa in Esco for the finish a bit later. It was packed. Justin offered to hoist me up on his shoulders to catch the action, but my camera settings were not where I had meant to put them, so I didn't get much.
Right by the bus again (still no sign of Cav)
We had no idea who took the stage until after it was over (too far away from a screen or announcer), the pack comes around
I had meant to have my camera on burst, but it never occurred to me that the settings reverted back to single-shot only. So I got that one, and this one
And, that's all she wrote. Kinda disappointing.
I waited and waited for Mark. Nothing.
Big George was heading back to the bus after his podium finish for the stage
They said Mark had to do some press conferences, and he was probably driven back to the hotel by a car (he never came back to the bus). We wandered around for awhile. Saw Floyd just trying to enjoy his beer without being hassled
I got a pic with Bob Roll (he was much happier than he looks in the photo, but was being mobbed)
We decided to wander through the booths right before leaving
And some of the Garmin-Chipotle guys were walking through!
Christian was super cool and said he liked Justin's Division 26 shirt!
Tommy D was being rushed away (no time for pics or autographs, really)
Then it was time to head over to Chipotle for dinner! There had been an email that some of the team would be there signing auto's and eating, and whether they were truly showing up or not, Justin and I were ready for grub.
They did have a small section reserved when we got there, and the place was pretty packed. We hung around and Tyler Farrar, Steven Cozza, Trent Lowe, and stage winner Tom Peterson came in some time after 6. I snuck up to right in front of the table and was one of the first to grab a Chipotle Cycling - Avoid the Bonk tee and 4 autographs. Tyler was really cool. Tom seemed like he didn't want to be bothered (course, who would be after 8 days on the bike like they had?).
Tyler and Steven
Tom and Trent
The signed shirt
It's a large; too big to wear anyway!
While I felt pretty down and disappointed yesterday about missing out on certain things at the start/finish, overall it was a cool day. Wish I had been able to be more focused on riding, but it was a really tough build week.
Right now I have zero desire to ride a bike. Good thing today is a day off, and then I've got 4 days of regen. Just hope I feel like pedaling tomorrow, cause I've got an hour to get in!
Legs hurt today, so it must've been a pretty solid block. Hope that I can rebuild and get stronger and ready to go this week. Next weekend is the season's first "big" race!
Late edit: A few photos from Thursday night in the new WIENS gear!!
I still managed to be the caboose up to the top of Dam climb, but the boys weren't waiting very long!
The Short Version
19 hours ago