Saturday, January 15, 2011

Old Man Winter

The weather here in Sunset Beach has been cold.  Really, really cold.  We had some snow, some ice, some freezing rain.  Ice on a Palm Tree is just wrong!

I've been able to run without any problems in the cold - just bundle up and get moving.  I can only run every other day though, more than that and it puts too much stress on my knees.  I need to get out on the bike but it's been just too cold!

Carol and me on one of those ridiculously cold rides.
Riding  in the cold is a different story.  For some reason once I go on a ride and get really chilled I have a tough time getting out there again on my bike.  All I can think of is just how frozen my feet and hands were on the last ride. 

My cutoff for temperature is usually 32 degrees - as long as it's sunny.  32 degrees with overcast skies is a completely different animal.  I use "hot hands" in the toes of my booties and in my gloves when I ride in cold weather, but sometimes it still doesn't help.  I need the weather to warm up, just a little bit.  I've had two of those really, really cold rides this season.  The last one found me sick for a couple days afterwards.  Now, I'm gun shy.

So today,  it was finally warm enough to ride - so The Usual Suspects rode in the afternoon.  Where was I??  Working.  Sigh..... 

By the time I get back on my bike all of my cycling fitness will probably be completely gone.  I can also tell that I haven't ridden much lately because the muscles above my right knee are really hurting when I run.  Cycling keeps the muscles around the knee strong, especially the Vastus Medialis Oblique or VMO.  This is one of the main muscles that power your bike.  It also helps stabilize the knee joint.  I had knee surgery on my left knee back in 2002, and when I'm not riding consistently I can really tell in my left knee.

I know I should be using the trainer and riding indoors... but I've just been too darned lazy.  I do much better using the trainer when I have a race deadline in the near future.  But right now the first race I have scheduled is in May, that's a long way off.  So for now, I'll just complain and wait for Old Man Winter to let go.