Who is Ted?

I'm the father of two beautiful daughters and an amazing wife. For fun, I enjoy the long hours of seemingly endless suffering that endurance sports (mostly running, cycling and triathlon)provide. During my "down time" I'm an avid beer snob and self-described gourmet chef (in other words I like to burn things on a stove or grill).

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Recipe for Cotton Mouth aka Sweater Teeth

The "Test Track Road" on a Summer's Day
 For the last week or so, Spring has come early, and while that is about to change, it has been fantastic to have a whole week of 70+ degree days to enjoy.  This was further enhanced by the change back to daylight savings time, which meant that all week, the family was out after school and work, on walks, at the track, and even out on the bike.
Yesterday, my lovely wife was  out for a run in the a.m., and with a busy day ahead, I was relegated to using the trainer early in the a.m.  Today was a different story, so I left home about noon, and drove out to the University to start my ride.  This also happens to be the starting point of the Ordinary Mortals Triathlon that I'll be doing next month.  Not having been out to the test track in a while, I thought today would be a good chance to preview the course, and gauge where the turnaround point on the course might be located. 
The forecast revealed that the wind would pick up in the afternoon, but I was not deterred.  It's actually pretty uncommon for there not to be some wind when riding, and I've developed a philosophy that wind and hills go hand in hand with cycling.  You don't ever hear of them canceling Le Tour because of a little wind or a small hill or two, so why should I complain about them?  I feel the same way about bumpy roads.
By the time I arrived at the University, the wind had picked up considerably, but it looked like I would enjoy the wind at my back for the first portion of the ride.  I set off and quickly found that to be the case.  It is always very nice to roll along averaging above 20 mph with only a minimal effort. Today the wind seemed to be given my speed an extra 5 mph. 
After about 30 minutes of riding, I was reaching the crest of a hill, and as a reward I told myself that when I reached the top, I'd grab a drink from my water bottle.  However, when I looked down I noticed a slight problem:  No water bottle.  Here's where my water bottle was located:
Water bottle nestled in the car cup holder.
Well, at least I was making good time.   I figured I'd reach the turnaround point in the next 15 minutes or so, and while  I didn't like the idea of not having any water, the ride wasn't too long.  I figured I'd survive.  A few minutes later, the computer said I'd hit 15 miles, so I did a quick U-turn and was abruptly met by a blast of wind.  Once my friend, now my nemesis.
For the return trip, the wind kept up its barrage the entire time.  I managed to keep a pace of about 15 mph at times, but some of the hills had me creeping slowly up at half that speed.   Even the top brought little relief, as the hill that was blocking the wind disappeared.   With about five miles to go, I stopped and snapped this photo of some flags snapping in the wind:
Finally, over an hour after I'd turned around, I made it back to the car.  My mouth could not have been drier, and there was a nice, crusty, sweater of desiccated phlegm pasted to the front of my teeth. Needless to say, the water that waited in the car didn't last too long. 
Although the conditions today weren't ideal, and I compounded those by forgetting my hydration, I still had a good time today.  Experiences like these build mental and physical toughness, and that's definitely part of the appeal of endurance sports. 
Self Portrait: Post Ride