Saturday, February 23, 2013

Unseasonably Cold

Greetings from Antarctic... ahhh, wait, I mean Girona! It is a balmy 40 degrees here, which is a drastic change for me coming from the sun and heat of Oman, but it is also unusually cool for this time of year in general. Yesterday the temperature plummeted from 60ish to 30's with on/off rain all day, including some hail during my ride. Today we have the sun back, but it is pure deception because it is still cold out there! In fact, this afternoon we had some snow flurries. Unfortunately there wasn't any accumulation, so my hopes of sledding were dashed. Regarding training, today I at least had no qualms about riding outside. Yesterday however, I did not want to go out! I don't mind cold, but cold and rain is not a good combination. It is almost a sure bet to dial up some sickness. I was supposed to do 5hrs with some specifics, so I decided to give it my best effort by starting on the trainer with my specifics, then head outside for a couple hours "fast". It was more about quality than quantity in the junky conditions. I ended up with almost 4hrs, so I didn't lose so much in the end.

Other than the weather happenings, it has been almost a week since Oman, and I think I am finally recovering. I have felt sluggish on and off the bike the whole week. Overall, the race was not very difficult; however, I think the combination of race stress with travel stress created a bigger hurdle for me to overcome than I imagined. It was nearly 24hrs travel both to and from the race, combined with a 3 hour time difference, so in the end, I guess it makes sense that the stress on the body was pretty substantial. Plus, the return trip was craziness with leaving the hotel at 2am. In any case, I am happy to be home, recovering, and falling back into routine.

Here's a few more pictures from Oman...

This is very "Las Cruces" to me!
A shot from the car. A small hint of how rugged the mountains are. 
A shot from one of the start towns.
A typical "strip mall" of store fronts.
And fear not, they have McDonald's!

Holy smokes! I almost forgot the most monumental event of the spring thus far: CALCOTS! On Wednesday, a group of us went to one of the local hotspots for the local delicacy of these "onions". Their peak season is January-March, and they are highly sought after, so after several failed attempts and much discussion of partaking, we finally accomplished the task.

Lisa and Jamie are prepared with their bibs and gloves. It's messy business!
Very satisfied. And I still had my second plate and dessert to go!
The remnants... you only eat the juicy heart of the calcot.

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