This weekend, was an extra long weekend – 4 days, with both the Friday and the Monday off. Very nice, indeed. I was scheduled for three 3-hour EM rides. On Thursday, I wondered if this was going to be a little aggressive, but figured it shouldn’t be that big of a deal.

For the holiday weekend my wife and I headed up to Bonnyville, where her parents have a beautiful acreage near Muriel Lake. It’s picturesque, quiet, and always nice a relaxing. Knowing that I had to get some rides in, I tossed my bike on the roof of the car and we headed out early Friday morning. After lunch I rolled out for 3-hour slog number one. It was warm and sunny and so down the gravel range roads I went, enjoying the pastural scenery. I felt good. I felt strong, and so as my legs turned over, 1 hour turned into 2 hours pretty quickly. Hour three however, things started to get a little strenuous. The Bonnyville area isn’t quite as flat as the ‘most’ of Alberta. It’s what I’d consider ‘rolling’ country, but it still gets just as windy. And it was this combination of rolling hills and consistent 30km/h winds that started to take its toll on me. That, and just the general discomfort of being on the bike for that long. My lower back was squaking a bit and the back of my neck chimed in right near the end. As I rolled up the gravel driveway to the house at 3 hours and 6 mins, I was more than ready to get off the bike. I thought about last year’s TR, and this year’s TR3 and shuddered.

The next day I woke up sick. There was a time when I NEVER got sick. I once went almost 7 years without so much as a cold – from 19 – 25 I was immune to anything that came my way. When I turned 26, I moved to Japan. There I met my match. I got the Flu and a bout of Strep throat that lasted around 3 months. Since then, I still get sick ‘rarely’, but there is no question, I am a mere mortal. So, yes, I woke up Saturday with a sore throat, runny nose and a hacking cough. No fun, and needless to say I skipped my ride that day.

Sunday was a travel day, and I knew I wouldn’t be riding that day so my three scheduled rides were going to be, at best, only two, because I still had Monday off. I woke still feeling a little under the weather, but not too bad – nothing some Advil couldn’t fix. I met the guys at 11:30am and we set out. Again, I felt good, and my legs felt strong but as the ride wore on, I could feel myself start to fade. On the way back from Terwillger, we were going to toss in some long/slow hill repeats, but none of us had the gas, me included. And, it was here that I thought about the Transrockies again. Sure, I was feeling a little under the weather, and we’d been on the bike for several hours, but we really hadn’t done any climbing at all, all day. Day two of the 2010 TR is set to deliver 2700 metres of elevation gain…

This makes me ask a few questions of myself, like:

  • Am I really up for getting into TR shape again?
  • Have I actually lost that much fitness since last year?
  • How am I going to reconcile my regular race season goals with the TR3?

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.