The effort today was quite a bit above my training level at this point. I rode with a Cat 4, collegiate B, racer from William & Mary... and my high school. He was a runner of sorts in high school and a definite climber today. Weighing in at probably 135-140 lbs. with a height of 5'10 this kid had a good day. Not to mention, last week he was riding an average of 70 focussed miles a day at a William & Mary team camp. He was/ is a a bit of a different level than I at this point. I've been working hard on my trainer these past few months. Working hard on the trainer, though effective for base mileage and focussed workouts, does not put me at the climbing aperture my friend, Greg, was in today.
I was also underdressed and underprepared. Without leg warmers or leggings nor booties to give my feet adequate coverage from the brutal wind that also plagued my face and ears, I grew numb all over (except for my core). My fingers became numb even with wind/water resistant gloves, my legs and feet certainly grew numb, and my eyes even with the protection of glasses became so wind shot that I could not read road any road signs to see where Greg and I were. And allow me not to forget, my water bottles both froze discouraging any rehydration on this long, dry, windy, tiring day. However, I do not consider any of this pain I experienced beyond hard riding my fault. Unless, you can fault me for not having money to buy the equipment or accessories necessary to prevent such ill fates on the winter rides I plan on doing.
This is exactly what I was talking about in my previous post. Not that I need to justify anything that I do, I will say that this is also why I will readily choose to continue riding on my trainer at IUP. I'm not trying to suffer and focus on more than I have to when building base in my training due to harsher weather conditions. Although I was not anticipating such a cold and ill fated ride, I did know that given enough poor conditions, the numbness and pain I experienced today was a possibility.
Enough complaining. I enjoyed the ride today. I was able to ride with an old friend from high school, I found a great area to ride if I need my hill/ climbing fix while stuck here in VA within an hours drive, and I put myself through and survived a real challenging day. There was one climb that took about 30-45 minutes to climb! I don't know the exact time it did take, but I intend to go back and find out and challenge myself again in the future on it. I'm not sure how I will really feel tomorrow, but it is good to know I can still push myself beyond what I anticipate possible.