Despite my frequent vows to take it easier at work, I often find myself putting in huge chunks of hours as grant deadlines approach. So after 108 hours in 11 days, I was able to take a Friday off and meet up with the WW Tri-ers group, a bunch of women who are gung-ho about having fun with triathlon and life. They have met up every year since 2004 to do a tri or a "spring training weekend" involving riding, running, swimming, eating, drinking, and laughing, in some combination. Last year we were in Austin, where I got to give a talk at Mellow Johnny's. This year, the gals (and a couple spouses) came out to do the Bay to Breakers run and some cycling in scenic NorCal.
I eschewed the B2B on the grounds that 12k was too far and that I wanted to be in Sacramento for the first stage of the Tour of California, the premier bike race in North America, finishing just a few miles from my front door. But on Friday morning, I was voluntarily out of bed at 6:15 sans alarm (!) and on the road to Healdsburg, in the heart of the Sonoma wine country by 7:20. A couple hours later I was waiting patiently for the convoy to arrive from San Francisco.
Lead by Marin-based Robin Van V., we toodled west out of town and along some beautiful rural roads that led us up the Dry Creek Valley. Some really fine zins and cabs come from there, and on this sunny May morning, it looked like paradise. The road wound gently up and down, which I wasn't really used to since I now live in pancake-flat Sacramento, but I was able to zoom down the downs and not fall too far behind in the ups. About half way through we stopped at Zichichi Winery to regroup, but there happened to be a sign outside that said "Barrel Tasting Today," so what could we do?
As often happens when I drink red wine these days, the wine went straight to my quads and the ride back was much, much harder. The 26-plus miles were more than I had done since last April, so I felt good about that, and I basked in the camaraderie and off-color triathlon/cycling talk we enjoyed with our upscale sandwiches at the Oakville Grocery. (Short and curlies in your BodyGlide, that sort of thing).
After a great evening with Michelle and Russ and a fine sleep, I rolled out of bed to get the alarm, feeling no soreness or physical fatigue. But wow, I was really dizzy. I lay back down, and the ceiling wouldn't quite stay still. Huh. I sat up. I was still dizzy. I lay down for 10 more minutes. Eventually I decided that a couple hours on a gyroscope was a bad idea and I bailed on the planned Tri-ers ride over the Golden Gate Bridge to Marin.
It was frustrating to feel so good physically after the ride, no sore buns, no stiff legs, but not be able to go out again. But I figured I needed to heed this signal to Chill the Hell Out, so I spent another pleasant few hours with my fabulous friends, and by late afternoon I felt good enough to join the Tri-ers for dinner. A little dehydration, a little reaction to the 100-plus hours of work and other excitement of the past couple weeks, a little reaction to the longer, hillier ride. I guess. I got home around 10:30 and slept for 9.5 hours that night.
I woke up on Sunday feeling like I'd been clubbed on the head - a frequent sign that some fatigueiness is around - but it soon passed as I started getting pumped for the Tour of California and meeting up with my "tri soul sistah" Leslie from Chico. But I'll blog about that tomorrow, I think.