At 8am I found myself and 5 really fun, strong (and crude 🙂 ) friends / training buddies at the Morrison Y ready to embark on an 80+ mile ride. When the weather appeared it was going to be nice Saturday we made such plans to ride and knowing who would be in the crowd I was a little apprehensive being the only girl. Sometimes I wonder why I get myself into such situations, but I was determined to not let that get in my head. I did all of my training rides from the Morrison Y for IMAZ and IMLV so worst case scenario, I could get home just fine if I got shelled off the back.
Just over 4 hours and 82 miles later, we arrived back and the Morrison Y…all together as the group of 6 that left! It was one of the most fun rides I’ve had in a while primarily because I felt really good. The first two hours I had that “oh man, am I gonna be able to ride 2+ more hours at this pace” feeling, but 3 hours in I knew I’d be just fine. I haven’t been on my TT bike for a long “triathlon ride” in what seems like forever and I forgot how much more comfortable that kind of riding is. I’ve done so many long “roadie” rides in the past 6 or so months, where we hammer up every hill, ride at 30 mph for 2 minutes, then 15 mph, then 30, then 20. There’s no “consistency” in roadie riding and I was reminded yesterday that I am a much stronger triathlon rider than I am roadie.
I had two goals on yesterdays ride…well, I guess 3 if you include not getting dropped. First I wanted to come off my bike feeling fueled. Often times in the winter when we triathletes take a little break from T-runs, I get off my bike like I couldn’t pedal one more mile if a mountain lion was nipping at my back wheel. I was determined yesterday to feel energetic and fueled…and I did thanks to plenty of eGel, water and a pack of crackers.
My second goal was to feel fueled and strong enough nearly 4 hours into the ride to pull the group up Crane Road. Crane is a road in South Charlotte that is really fun to ride on the way out to Waxhaw. It’s pretty much a 3 -4ish mile gradual downhill that kinda marks the end of “warm up” and where I begin to settle in for the long ride ahead. On the way back however, it also always marks the end of a long ride and its 3-4ish mile gradual downhill becomes a 3-4ish mile gradual uphill (usually into the wind). It’s much less “fun,” per say. I have ridden up Crane more times than I can count on both hands and feet. I have ridden up Crane feeling like a rock star, but I’ve also suffered like a 110lb dog on a 100 degree day. How I feel up Crane usually sums up my long ride. Yesterday, I felt fueled and strong enough to pull the group not only up Crane but Jim and I pulled also for the 2 or so miles leading up to it! At about 3/4 of the way up Crane, Jim says “you’re riding really strong Kim, I don’t think we’ve dropped below 20 mph the whole way up this hill”. I hadn’t told anyone my little personal “goal” and it felt SO good to achieve it. It’s the little victories that we achieve along the way that help us keep our eye on the bigger picture. 🙂
I got home at about 1:30 and instantly had deja vu of last weekend. Insanely long shower, eat, re-dress, and hop on mountain bike for long run with sister! This time one of my favorite clients who is also half marathon training also joined us and it was awesome to push them through their tough, HILLY run! I was nearly in tears as they hit their intervals 6/7/8/9 miles into a run! So proud.
Being the anal schedule nazi that I am, when I realized I was supposed to have run earlier off my bike (overlooked it on my schedule) I opted to get it done after my sister and client finished up their run. I did a quick 2 miles while my dogs ran after me at the park. It’s always entertaining to watch my goofy Foster chase me thinking I’m trying to ditch him…and a great workout for him! “Wait mom, where are you going?” I can just hear it in his head. We are still working on his endurance, though I think he’d need to cut some muscle from his sleek 110lb frame.
Well, my Saturday ended with me crashing at 8:30 in bed and was passed out asleep by 9:10pm. Needless to say I was exhausted. But I wouldn’t change anything about my day 🙂