January and february in Maryland are usually pretty dismal. Temps are sometimes in the teens with a lot of wind to boot. My traditional winter workouts have mainly been on the trainer. I hate cold and hate cold wind even more. The trainer is safe, consistent and yes... boring at times (what bores you makes you strong), or at least complacent. So anyway, I live in an area that is vertically challenged which makes it hard for me to get some nice road climbs in on a regular basis.
This year, I have a lot more time to ride and have access to some great hills in and around Ellicott City. They are long, steep and everything you would want in a sufferfest of elevation. So I was, uh um, am determined to ride as much of these monsters as much as possible.
This past week, the temps have been in the low 20's with a wind chill added in, made for some 11°-15° days. Now, I could have taken the easy way out and sat on the trainer, but I decided that I was going to ride no matter what. Each ride had me begging to quit and cut it short to get warm, but I didnt and I was really glad of that. I would have felt worse ducking out than I did for the 2+ hours in the arctic blast. I feel as strong as I did last year at is time, if not stronger. The heart rate is getting lower and the legs are feeling great with good recovery times. I have only one ride on the mountain bike this year so far and I really think that has helped with getting in the shape I need to be in.
January 1st, I weighed in at 186, which is my normal weight. This year I am trying to "slim" down to 180 for race season. I know, 6 lbs isnt a lot; it isnt, but put an extra 6lbs on your back or strap it to your 20lb bike and see how it feels. As of today, I am down to 184.5 (darn Wendy's triple cheeseburger), but it was great!
Snotcycle is this saturday and I dont go to push as hard as I would in the spring, but I do try to stay in the top 10, which I have done every year so far. So, like usual, I have the jitters and get a little nervous about racing (especially after last years medical mess), so I have a lot to prove to myself this year.