Monday, April 28, 2014

Shoes, swithbacks and bruises.

I didn't do a blog post last Monday.  Nothing spectacular happen.  I did have a speed goal for my Saturday ride on  the 19th.  I skipped all the hills at Bear Creek and just stuck to the flats going as fast as I could.  I did 17.1miles at 10.4mph!  But yeah, only 748ft of climbing.  If I could only do the entire course at that pace, I'd actually finish in less than 2 hours.  But I can't.  Hrm.

So I've been hemming and hawing for a few weeks about buying new shoes and/or getting a bike fit.  So of course I decide to do both 2 weeks before the race.  Not very smart.  Nancy with the Dirt Divas (the social club I've been riding with for a few years) is a "fit expert".  I sent her a message last week and of course she (and members of the club) were headed to Moab for the extended weekend and she didn't think it was a good idea to be changing things around the week before the race (this week).

That left the shoes.  So last Thursday (I didn't get my scheduled ride in that day due to work issues and difficult children that morning), I ran into Bicycle Village (Colorado chain) the other day while Jeremy and the kids went to get dog food, it's right next to Petco.  The problem with my current shoes were they were too narrow and also a little too squishy in the toes (so why did I buy ill fitting shoes the first time? My husband would also like to know this. I don't know, I guess I just wasn't paying attention). I had looked online and pretty much no one makes wide women's shoes, but Shimano run a little wider, and I should just go with mens.  So I ask the dude for 41 mens Shimano.  Yeah, no.  They only carry men's down to a size 42.  I wear women's 8.5, which I thought was plenty big to go with men's.  Guess not.  I ask for the women's Shimano and the only one they have in my size is the expensive $160 pair, the SH-WM82.  They fit awesome, and they are pretty.  Not terribly excited about the price though, the next ones down were $120, but white.  I decided to pass.

The next day I left work early, hit 3 different local bike shops (LBSs) in Golden after Jeremy had already checked out the one he races for.  No mens in my size, the womens were all too narrow and each shop only carried one or two brands.  I know now that Sidis, Specialized, Scotts, and Giros are too narrow for my fat feet (The woman helping me at Big Ring though had AWESOME legs).

I left Golden frustrated but then headed to North Table mountain, a trail I've never done.  After climbing to the top of the mesa on a really steep road (12% average grade, I think I stopped 4 times to catch my breath) I found the really fun single track downhill with rocks and switchbacks and stuff.  First switchback, hop off my bike and walk it.  Beat myself up a bit, I've been getting better at these, I can do the two at Bear Creek (yes, there are only 2) no problems.  Next swtich back, I try to make myself do it, get up there, and then freak out, try to come out of my pedals, don't make it, fall over hit a rock super hard with my hip.  Ouchy.  Then I proceeded to walk every single switchback.  There are 8.  I counted in Strava.  Grrrr..  Annoyed with myself.  After this race switchbacks are my next goal.  I know it's totally mental.  I just have to trust myself to do it.  I bet I wouldn't have even hurt myself as bad had I attempted it and then fallen, rather than just let myself topple over on the rocks.  I slept like crap that night because the huge bruise is on the side I sleep on most.  I thought about posting a picture but I decided to spare y'all that.  But I did make one really technical section that had a few 8+in drops.  I was proud of myself for actually attempting then actually clearing that.

So the next morning I went and bought the Shimanos and took them and my new Garmin Edge 500 that Jeremy got me for my birthday (which isn't until May) out to Bear Creek.  They are AWESOME.  My feet are soooo much happier.  I think I feel a little faster due to the stiffer sole, and I think my knees feel a little better because Jeremy moved the cleats back a bit.

So Saturday is the big day.  I can already feel myself overthinking every little detail.  I was awake at 6am this morning trying to think out how I'm going to get the kids and their chairs, and their bikes, and my bike to the race start after the soccer game since there probably won't be any close parking...  Yeah.  It'll be an interesting week.

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