Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wandering Mind on the Bike

Today I had my long bike ride for the week on the schedule. Three hours of pure-biking bliss. The weather was perfect - 75-80 beautiful degrees with low humidity. The sun was shining, the birds were tweeting, and the love bugs were out in full frenzy.

Okay, so that was gross.

For those of you not privileged to 1)live along the Gulf Coast or 2) bike through swarms of "love bugs", trust me when I tell you they're gross. Thousands upon thousands of bugs...stuck together copulating...bouncing off the helmet, flying down the jersey (give me a bee any day), doing gross things while smacking into your person while you bike at 18 mph down the highway.

One long word: Eeewwwwww!

But the ride was fantastic, it really was. There are some rides where you have so much to focus on: nutrition, route, pace, wattage, heart rate, the weather... And then there are other days where you can just let your mind wander. Ride for the pure enjoyment and love of the sport.

The later was my day today.

And while I was riding, I had many a thought drift through my mind. Below you'll find a few that I can recall (remember, I was out for a little over three hours).

-Should I have put on more sunscreen? I got my face, but I think my base layer is okay to handle Florida in September....?

I should have smeared the stuff everywhere. My back currently has two colors: red and the part covered by my tri top. It's not pretty. And the aloe smell is a powerful reminder that next ride, the suncreen is going everywhere.

-I really don't mind waving at strangers in trucks in the middle of Santa Rosa County. At least they're friendly... They probably won't run me down if given the option.

Duh. It's the ones that give you the finger or hollar out the window that you have to watch out for. Surprisingly, the friendly drivers today were all driving pickup trucks.

-Can a Power Gel survive in a hot car for 3+ months? It would be nice to have a little extra sodium with me... and I love the vanilla flavor... but will it be safe for human consumption?

Desperate times call for desperate measures. I found one gel in the house. And another in the car. Beggars can't be choosers: next time I need to prepare a little more ahead of time for my longer rides. I'm still here, and the gel was extra, uh, liquidy. It goes to the same place - so I should be okay...

-Do I have to put my time and mileage in Training Peaks? This doesn't look too good for me. Ah, it would appear that I'm biking at Mountain Biker pace - no offense to Mountain Bikers. But those riding on root-rutted trails juxtaposed to the smooth pavement of the road on a TT bike, well....Maybe I can use the wind as my defense...?

Dude - what do you expect? You're just riding to enjoy, not to race yourself. Or race your past self. The pace doesn't matter. Just the fact that you're having fun and putting in some time in the saddle - that's great. Plus, the longer I'm out, the better my "tan" will be. Tan lines are so en vogue!

-I am biking through a Hitchcock-like scene. There are billions of copulating bugs. They are everywhere. All around. Flying down my shirt, bouncing off my legs, into my helmet, off my sunglasses onto my shirt and then reverberating off my shorts. This is GROSS! If I could shiver I would, but I'm trying to stay *focused* on staying upright. I don't need to crash on account of some overly-sexed bugs.

And an hour later after I arrived home and got ready for my shower, I found assorted bug bits in the sports bra. You had better believe I was in that shower asap. And disinfectant (but sensitive skin!) soap was my new best friend. I wasn't brave enough to check the pile of clothes for residual bugs. Or bug bits. Yuck - I hate crunchy bugs!

-What should we do for dinner? Sushi? Lentil stew with crusy bread? How about both...? That would entail a quick stop at Publix on the way home. Ooohhh! I should pick up something special for Nathaniel. And me... Is it smart to go shopping after a long ride when you've only eaten breakfast food?

The perfect remedy was to carry a basket instead of going for the full cart. I was pretty tired after the ride, and knew that by NOT pushing a cart I wouldn't be able to 1)Lean against it and thus prolong my duration in the store or 2) Fill it full of stuff that looked good simply because I was tired and hungry. But sushi and lentil stew stuff was purchased. So was the crusty bread - made from flaxseed and soy.

Even Nathaniel said the bread was good. Better with peanut butter...

-Is Survivor on tonight?? I wonder what the new season will be like! The challenges look so fun, but I could never do the cut-throat politicking of the game. Speaking of politics... Nathaniel and I are on opposite ends of the spectrum. I think our votes will cancel each other out...

Wow. Survivor to the 2008 Election. Nice. And yes - Survivor did premiere tonight. Politics, well - don't get me started.

And I could keep going and going and going and going... But I won't. Overall it was a great ride - not the fastest, not the most intense. But the best long bike ride that I've had in a long time. And I did it because I loved it - no it wasn't the 5 hours that I had envision a few weeks ago. But in nearly every other way, it was perfect.

If we could just do something about the bugs though...


Train-This said...

Aren't bugs good protein? HA HA!

Ryan said...

Have you noticed that copulating over-sexed "love" bugs taste like almonds?

I like mine with raspberry hammer gels.

What's your favorite combo ;)

Ryan said...

Oh, are you going to ride the milton century on the 18th?

Flatman said...

Sounds perfect!

Beth said...

Glad you had such a great ride! Bug bits aside of course... Crunchy bugs - yuck.

Mel said...

OK Marit 3 hours on the bike...let the secret out "WHAT ARE YOU TRANING FOR:)" My bike is up for the season S L A C K-A S S....

BreeWee said...

Nice Marit! Glad you are tackling the bike again, and yeah, what's up?!

Those love bugs, don't miss em' a bit!

Mira Lelovic said...

I was just as excited about the new Survivor! I am wondering if it's a requirement for all the girls to be topless? I'd never make it long on the show either. I'd be too honest and speak my mind too often. Oh, and Amazing Race starts Sunday!

Kim said...

So awesome that you had a good ride and sorry about the "love bugs" but someone has to inspire us to go get some. Ha! Just kidding. Anyway, I've missed a few entrys this week but it sounds like you are doing well!! Hope dinner turned out great!