Sunday, November 22, 2015

I've Joined another Club

Part of my plan to get ready for Ironman Chattanooga 2016 is to join several of the local fitness clubs around Atlanta.  So far I've joined the Atlanta Track Club (ATC) and Southside Cycling Club (SSCC). I listed the clubs I plan to join in the coming months on my blog's My 2016 Races, etc. page. I'm update that page as I register for additional races as well.  It's still too early for most race directors to post their schedules for 2016.

Being a part of these clubs will allow me to meet other folks training for big races in 2016. It should also help motivate me to get out of the house and onto the road or trail. That can be a problem during the cold winter months. Now that the 2015 season is basically over, both ATC and SSCC have introduced memberships which go beyond the traditional 12 months. The track club had an 18 month membership which they introduced a few months ago.  Southside Cycling has a 14 month membership that was just e-mailed to former members last week. I may have to wait until January and the new year to join the other clubs on my list. I'm especially interested in re-joining the Southern Bicycle League (SBL) because they offer discounts to members for their popular century rides, the Coventry Century and Wilson 100. The SBL discounts aren't enough to negate the cost of a $35 single membership (or $59 family membership) but I like to support my local clubs when I can. The Atlanta Track Club offers special incentives to its members as well. Most notable of these is pre-registration for the Peachtree Road Race 10K on July 4th. However, I prefer their less attended races that are often free or discounted to members like the Spring Tune Up 8K/15K which is part of the Atlanta Track Club Grand Prix Series. The Peachtree Road Race is such a hassle logistically with parking and MARTA, especially if you live OTP (Outside the Perimeter) like I do.

In the next few months I'll decide which training races I'll compete in. I know I'll do all the century rides that I can. I know I need to do a marathon as well.  The Museum of Aviation Marathon is an easy favorite because it doesn't cost an arm and a leg, it's close to home, and I've done it before.  I doubt I'll be ready by mid-January though. I need something in April but the Publix Georgia Marathon on March 20th might have to do. The Georgia Marathon is 11 weeks into my official 20 week long Ironman Chattanooga 70.3 training plan. It's also 9 weeks before the 70.3 so it gives me plenty of time to recover. The Snickers Albany Marathon is a second option but it's scheduled for March 5th which is 2 weeks earlier.

For the meantime, I've got to focus on my current goal of getting ready to start my real training on January 4th. For me that means losing weight and staying healthy - no injuries.

Thanks for reading.

LGHS Winter Fitness Ride

The Locust Grove High School (LGHS) Winter Fitness Ride is a weekly Saturday morning ride. The ride starts at 10 a.m. from, as the name suggests Locust Grove High School in Locust Grove, Georgia. The first ride was on November 14th. I attended the second ride the following weekend on November 21st. This was only my second ride on the road in months and was a great opportunity to meet with friends and talk about cycling.

We were 7 riders all bundled up for the day. The temperature was in the forties when we started and warmed up to the fifties when we finished. The sun never did come out. I wore a neck warmer, tights, shoe covers, long gloves, a long-sleeve Under Armour shirt, short sleeve bike jersey, long-sleeve cycling jacket, and bike shorts.I could have done without the sunglasses but alas, that's all I had with me. The weather was cool and humid. We had a bit of drizzle during the ride but nothing to worry about.

Before the ride - Joe, James, Alex, Neil, Rob, Matt (left to right) (photo credit - David)
The route was set by McDonough/Locust Grove resident David Mills. We covered 30 miles and made several stops to regroup. It wasn't a kill or be killed kind of ride, just a fun day outside.

We stopped for a photo at a house fully decorated for Christmas.

Christmas Photo Op - Matt, David, Neil, Alex, Rob, and James (front to back) (photo credit - Joe)
It was a great ride. I really enjoyed the company of my old riding buddies. I've been somewhat of a recluse lately but that's all about to change as the real training starts soon. If I'm going to be in any form to race in May I've got to start now.

Thanks for reading.