It was a dirty ride this morning. I spent a good 10 minutes post-workout just wiping down Oatmeal, making sure his frame was clean, chain was degreased/lubed and other components did not retain the cakes of mud and sot picked up during the Culver-to-Marina route.
I rode with two very great friends - family, really. I've been a teammate, co-coach and sister to Javier since we met in 2007 on the West Side marathon team. And I've know Rommel since 2009, when I coached him to his first endurance race. They are both Ironbuddies - Rommel completed the Vineman Aquabike this past year with IronTeam, and Javi is currently training for IMCDA next summer.
We met up before the sun woke up, and we took off along a dedicated bike path in southwest LA. The 7ish-mile route delivered us to the Pacific Ocean just as the sun rose above the horizon. Still struggling against the thick marine layer, it didn't really assert itself until the end of our trip.
We capped off our easy effort with a hill climb. Nothing brutal for too long, but 400+ feet over .6 miles will make your quads burn for a second. Upon the return home, I did the aforementioned cleaning - of the bike and of myself. Swap the cycle kit for a work outfit and head back into the general public where no one knows the secrets we warriors of the dawn share.
Nothing like starting the day off with an hour of spinning under your belt. It's not a workout, for me. It's some time with family. Catching up, checking in, and making sure all is well and good.
And all is well and good.