Really? Only #3? I guess that's right, but it feels like so much longer. The boredom and anxiety have fallen away, and routine is setting in. I guess that's a good thing. Another week has been completed in a satisfactory manner, but not without a little adventure.
As you may have guessed from my weather-related whining, it has so far conspired to be crappy on any day that both my Death March partner and I are off of work. However, Saturday was supposed to be about 50 and sunny, so I pressed on, planning to do the real meat of the this year's planned route with my teammate Kristen as company. It should have been about 40 miles, cutting out the new stuff that I already hit the week before and big chunk of old stuff that I know pretty well already. Unfortunately, shortly after entering unknown territory, I realized that the cue sheet had fallen out of my jersey pocket on our food break. I thought I had the route memorized, but I was wrong. We ended up in a place where we definitely did not want to be, and ended up having to ride 20-something miles down a annoyingly rolling paved road into a relentless 20-something mile per hour headwind to get back to the cars. Double bummer in that the ride back was horrible, and I lost week's worth of route research. I can now clearly see where I messed up, but I still need to do that ride again next weekend to make sure that I can complete the whole thing flawlessly from memory alone.
The other part that worries me a bit is how trashed I felt from that ride. It ended up being somewhere in the low 50's mileage-wise, although I don't have a computer on my 'cross bike. The wind was a killer, but the route was only about 25% gravel at best, but I felt worse than I did after the Gravel Grovel, which was 62 miles of 95% gravel. I was pretty much catatonic for the rest of the evening once I got home, showered, and shoved food in my mouth. I had kind of hoped to turn this long weekend (MLK Day off work) into a mini training camp, but just getting through my regular planned 1.5 hour ride and evening weight session yesterday was enough. With the high temperature being 21 today, I not only decided to forego the second long ride for the weekend that I had originally considered, but I actually decided to take the day off entirely. I probably could have done another 60-90 minutes today, but I kind of wondered if there was any point to it. It's probably better to recover and hope the weather gods look more kindly on attempt to redo the route next weekend.
Anyway, with my free time today, I'm catching up on my TV and reading, and I've also been cultivating this little project: http://deathmarchmemes.tumblr.com/. Everyone liked the Grumpy Cat I made after Saturday's ride, as well as the Scott Bond as Ned Stark from a couple of months ago, so much that I thought I might try making Death March memes as entertainment until the race. We'll see how well my creativity holds out.