While only probably JustACoolCat, HeavyLiftWithCaution & AlphaRat will appreciate this, it is important for me to record (for posterity sake…not bragging) the training accomplishment. During the last two weeks the wife and kids were away. I had always planned their absence would be used to get myself in a better state of shape. Would I be doing IronMan’s? Certainly not. Would I even be close to the level of form and fitness I had in 2003? No again. But, I was determined to get the waist pleats back in my dress pants.

So, here’s the report…

During the 16 day span, I rode 12. Two of those days were ‘easy spin’ days with no real mileage or extended level of effort. Additionally, it should be noted that the average daily temperature for July 2006 in Texas is now one of the hottest on record. 15 days reached triple digits. And, while there wasn’t a single day with a record high (110 or 115 or 125 or whatever), the overnight temps and relative dew-points throughout the month stayed very high…thus causing the average monthly record. And, it didn’t rain either. So, it was always hot when I was out there.

I rode about 385 total miles. Some times I had the wind at my back, most times the wind was trying to knock me down. Several rides were moderately to extremely hilly. I varied the efforts. I made it hurt. I probably could have gotten another 100 miles in if I had wanted…an extra 10 each outing would have done it…but, I was more intent on making each mile count instead of the overall total. JustACoolCat suggested I ride up to Minnesota. 385 wouldn’t have gotten me halfway. Sorry, Coolio, it was the best I could do.

Finally, I joined my old team on two of the rides. There were several new faces in the group, but mostly I saw the familiar companions. In the past, I was always among the most fit…maybe not the fastest or strongest…but certainly in the top 5. I could always compete in the sprint hot spots or hill climbing. I was typically helping to set the pace. I was usually showing off. This time, they were all in shape and I wasn’t. I got dropped both times. I lasted a little longer the second time out…but, that’s grasping at straws. I’m nowhere near my 2003 level of fitness.

Today the family returns. And we will be doing other things (soccer starts soon). I certainly won’t be riding 385 miles again anytime soon. I won’t be getting back to 2003 fitness.

But, I feel like I used the time wisely nonetheless…