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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Wind tunnels and seagulls

Who needs a wind tunnel when you live in Nome.  I've been training for this triathlon and this one for August and have been "trying" to ride my new road bike. "Trying" is the key word.  Oh yeah, while Nome has hundreds of miles of gravel road we only have 10 miles of paved road, that is a loop.   Oh yeah, it hasn't stopped raining in 2 weeks and oh yeah it is constantly blowing 20-30 mph.  All I could think of when riding is that I am in a wind tunnel with a sadist at the control board. "Ok turn on the rain", "crank up the wind", "no I want a cross wind", "lower that temperature to 39",  "lets see how those entry level 105 cranks handle some dirt".

Aero (and geometry) are the key in tri's and finding a comfortable tuck is a little hard to do in a cross wind. The last two rides were 25 miles in 1 hr 10 minutes and I was so cold I couldn't feel my legs or feet.  A 25 mph headwind in the rain going 17 mph at 40 degrees is a lot of windchill and a lot of discomfort. I'd rather ride the fatbike going 3 mph in a snowstorm at -20.  I admit having a light carbon road bike is fun, it's fast and wildly dangerous but it doesn't seem like a workout to me.  It's more just plain chaos. I can't tell if my heart rate is up because I'm so focused on technique, comfort, small adjustments, paying intense attention to the road and trying to survive a ride in crappy weather.

Since the pool closed on July 1st I have had to alternate running and biking with weight training.  Because of upcoming triathlons I am focusing on speed training rather than distance and realize (although not surprising) I don't have any speed. The hoka's are definitely allowing me to run more. In addition to my usual 8 mile loop I was able to complete a 20 mile training run and more recently a 12 mile Anvil mnt race but I just can't get faster than 7-8 min miles.

To top it off, during my run yesterday I got attacked. Nope it wasn't the sled dog that was loose when I passed by a doglot but a ridiculously aggressive seagull a few miles later. There I was running along in my own world when I casually glanced to my left and saw a seagull, at eye level, silently diving what must be 30 mph straight at me. I ducked at the last minute and the gull extended his feet screeching at the same time, pissed as hell.  It was a devil reincarnate as it gained some height circled around and made for another dive bomb.  What the heck!? I've had my share of animal encounters but a seagull? Geez. On its second dive I was too busy watching the gull and not where I was going and tripped and fell flat on my face.  Gravel embedded in my hand, I scrapped my knee and drew blood.  I ran down the road as fast as I could.  I might have to go back and get video of this lunatic bird, likely protecting a nest but glad no one got video of me.

1 comment:

allapa said...

I'm sorry, I'm going to have to report this, Phil: seagull abuse.