The Soaking of Spring.

There is something to be said for rain. I usually like riding in the rain, especially a warm, soft drizzle. It's cleansing and usually so quiet when it rains. Yesterday however, was not a good day in the rain. It was cold and we got soaked. All because as we were getting ready to hide in the garage for our workouts, the sun peeked through the clouds. Wow! No rain! Time to get outside and ride! We bundled up and headed for Stratton open space. With the kind of workout I had planned and the soaked trails, Stratton was the best place place to ride. The decomposed granite that forms most of those trails only gets better with the rain. Everywhere else just gets muddy. Of course, the minute we left the house, the clouds closed in. The rain returned and before we even reached the trails, we were soaked. Then came the workout. I spent 30 minutes chasing Nick all over Stratton. And while I was dying and pedaling squares, he was idling along, "encouraging" me to work harder. Ouch. Add in the mud and the cold and it wasn't the most enjoyable workout ever.

But those kind of days provide more then fitness benefits. We always want the perfect weather for racing, but really - how frequently does that happen? I got hailed on during the Breck 100, slugged thru mud for 7 miles of the Battle of the Beat take 1 last year, and Nick and I survived the Arizona hurricane a few years ago down at 24 Hrs in the Old Pueblo. So we know just how bad the weather can be during a race. And as the events get longer, fitness is only one part of the equation. Preparation and planning can save an even or mean the different between a podium and a DNF. So while it can be tempting to either bail on the workouts or hide in the garage when the weather closes in, it's also important to be prepared. I need to plan my clothes for perfect weather and the crappy weather. I also need to know what will work to keep me on the bike and riding in circles, no matter what nature throws at me. The workouts like yesterday accomplish that - the fitness I will need, the mental confidence and strength to just keep riding and the knowledge of all my gear. And that's what it will take - looking at the whole picture, not just the fitness. I have five weeks to get it all figured out.

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