Sunday, November 27, 2005

Perfect Day

I was having trouble motivating myself on Friday despite the sunny 60 degree weather. I wasn’t feeling well and was tired from a hike the day before and agility practice in the morning. I somehow managed to force myself into a pair of bike shorts and haul my ass out to the Boulder Valley trail system, a network of novice level dirt trails near the Boulder Reservoir. I took my mp3 player for motivation, a first for me on the bike since I’m usually nervous about riding with one. But one of the glorious things about Boulder during the holidays is that noone is from here so it empties out and I knew the trails would be relatively quiet.

Biking’s been going o.k. for me but up until today I hadn’t been focusing on speed. It’s been enough to be able to just ride, especially on the trails & hills which had been hard for me up until a month or so ago. I’ve been doing a lot of one legged drills, ie pedalling with just my left leg and letting the right one sort of drag along. For a good while I could feel a huge strength discrepancy between the two legs but finally in the last week or so it felt like that left leg was finally catching up. Today I couldn’t feel any difference at all and was even able to dismount my bike on the left side to open all the cattle gates.

Even better though, I finally felt like I could speed things up a bit. Something about the combination of the music, sun, lack of pain and beautiful empty trails inspired some bursts of speed (well, relative to my normal pace anyway) as I tried to keep my cadence up with the beat of the music. It felt like when I first moved here and discovered the pure joy of riding on actual dirt trails, flying along with a stupid non-stop grin on my face and my tongue hanging out, prairie dogs flying out of my way and hawks swooping above, looking for lunch in the melee. Riding along I felt like just about the luckiest person in the world and took some time to give thanks for all I have (and of course feel bad/guilty for all the things many people in the world don’t have). Thanksgiving is a silly holiday to me, I’m always feeling thankful for being able to live and play in such an awesome place as well as everything else (great husband, job, dogs, etc.). Why restrict that kind of appreciation to one day a year?

The knowledge that winter’s coming and my days on the trails will soon come to an end makes those last few stolen rides of the season all the sweeter. There will be the occasional freakishly warm day but for the most part I’m resigned to the trainer for the next few months. I don’t mind running in the cold at all but biking is another story. I did some rides in miserable weather (14 degrees, light snow, etc.) as part of a duathlon race series last year but they weren’t pleasant and I’m not sure I’ll do them this year. It makes more sense to stick to snowshoeing and cross country skiing when the snow starts flying rather than be miserable on the bike.

Here’s the set list from my ride:

SUGAR-‘If I Can’t Change Your Mind’
THE CLASH-‘Train in Vain’
COOLIO-‘Gangsta’s Paradise’
GOLDFINGER-‘Here in Your Bedroom’
HOKU-‘Perfect Day’
ALKALINE TRIO-‘This Could Be Love’
AUTOPILOT OFF-‘Missing the Innocence’
THE METHADONES-‘Premature Mid-Life Crisis’
U2-‘Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’
STIFF LITTLE FINGERS-‘Doesn’t Make It Alright’
ALKALINE TRIO-‘Time to Waste’
TV SMITH-‘High Society’
THE POSIES-‘O-o-h Child’
THE METHADONES-‘Say Goodbye to Your Generation’
THE METHADONES-‘Suddenly Cool’
ALKALINE TRIO-‘We’ve Had Enough’
ALKALINE TRIO-‘Back to Hell’
ALKALINE TRIO-‘Continental’

And speaking of music, I went to see ‘Walk the Line’ last night and it was great, I was grooving from start to finish. My mom used to play Johnny Cash for me when I was really little and I loved it though I have to admit that growing up I never followed his music much. I remedied that last night by downloading a bunch of his stuff, including a classic cover of NINE INCH NAIL’s ‘Hurt’ and DEPECHE MODE’s ‘Personal Jesus’. Time to freshen up the mp3 player for my next ride, even if it is on the trainer.

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