have you ever had one of those training weekends when everything just clicked? fell right into place and just made sense? after all the working and building and learning and "tri"-ing, it finally all falls together? a huge piece of the puzzle just drops smack dab in the middle of your lap and all of a sudden the final picture is now more apparent than ever?
i woke up late on Saturday morning. it was 6 AM and i needed to be at Fletcher Cove to ride by 7. seeing how i may have the weakest stomach on the face of the planet when it comes to eating and working out, i had to skip my normal breakfast of gluten free whole oats with half a link of sweet italian sausage chopped up and mixed in with Trocomare (the best seasoning blend EVER). after throwing everything together that i would need for a longish morning ride and a later afternoon swim lesson, i headed out the door with a cut up apple and an triple serving of Barney Butter in hand.
i met up with the new crew, headed by Kevin, who all seem to be training for Ironman Arizona. i always feel like i should explain myself in order to side step being made fun of for getting dropped, alert people to my innate sense of NONdirection or warn them to whatever the expectation for myself is that i fear i don't meet. in short, i like to let people know what they are getting themselves into. this day was not unlike any other in that sense and i was sure to let everyone know that i 1) was coming back from knee surgery so i wasn't an incredibly strong rider and 2) can get lost in a shoebox - as my two concerns were getting dropped and subsequently getting lost. after we left the meet spot to head out, i found myself up with the top riders for the majority of the first segment of the ride, keeping up pedal for pedal and thoroughly enjoying the company and the course. as we neared the edge of Elfin Forest and regrouped, i had a chance to shoot the shit with the other riders and they had the chance to fervently tease me for my very inaccurate assessment of my own riding abilities. Beth, a sponsored rock star of a triathlete, even made a comment to the effect, "she shows up all undercover in a cotton tank top ready to ride, spouting off something about not being very strong because of knee surgery and then totally blows it up. where do you even keep your nutrition?! just wait. she's flying now, but in a bit she'll bonk and we'll just ride on by." Lorenzo, Mary and the rest of the group chimed in with their own stabs at my speed and strength and the fact that i was indeed not lacking in either of those categories. i can honestly say that i felt very proud of all of my hard work up until that very point and i finally felt like i was making progress in comparison to other athletes. it felt great to have them tease me, and although i prefaced my abilities to start because my confidence isn't all that great due to the short time i have been back at this whole thing, i was stoked to know that these seasoned triathletes were telling me that i was a pretty decent rider. awesome. confidence level in reference to my cycling speed and strength is on the rise :)
we ended up doing the ride in 2:18:57 total move time, covering about 38 miles and averaged 16.5 mph including all of the stops for lights and regrouping. in a word: fan-freaking-tastic! the rest of the group needed to get in another 2 hours before they called it quits so i decided to skip out as soon as we rounded Fletcher Cove, as i needed to save some of myself for the swim lesson later that day. i invited one of my new riding buddies - who by the way has a BROKEN FOOT, is in a boot AND still managed to rock it on the ride - to join me for brunch at Naked Cafe where Dana and Sarah were waiting to meet us. one great morning beginning with a fantastic ride + meeting and chatting up new friends + very yummy and much needed food = one happy girl.
ps. i never bonked :)
next up: learn to swim...