On Sunday morning, Casey and Jay worked it out for me the opportunity to do a bike ride with Team Z. The day was gorgeous, with a slight touch of a chill for the first few miles. We were in Davidsonville, MD which is real near a spot where I did a tortuous TNT training ride in March. During that ride, my group got lost in the first few miles and were diverted for about 20 to 30 minutes. Coach Jenni and Timra felt bad for pulling me and Susana off the course, but I didn’t care. I was supposed to ride for 2 hours and we were at 2 hours and 25 minutes with about 3 more miles and a 15 minute run to go. During this current ride, I found it weird to be going up a particularly grueling hill, and then pass the house where we got picked up. It was reminder that even though I feel so blasted slow, I am making progress.
My favorite part of this ride was stopping to eat blackberries with Casey. I have not had freshpicked blackberries in forever. What an unexpected treat! One of the super fast girls passed us, made a comment about wanting blackberries, but then continued on. I reminded myself that I don’t ever want to be so focused on my training that I miss some of the random fun that comes from being on a rural roadside in MD on a Sunday morning.
I finished the 23 miles right at 2 hours and averaged 13 MPH. All in all not to bad.
Things I learned:
- Rides go better when I’m on time so that I can start with the pack.
- I ride better when I’m trying to keep up. It’s just really frustrating when I can’t. At one point, while going up one of those hills all by myself, I just really wanted to give up. I took a gu and walked a bit to a level area. Then I just got back on the bike. I knew I would start feeling better once the gu kicked in, and I did.
- For the 2nd time ever I got off my bike to walk a hill (twice this ride)…nothing learned from this, but I thought I would note it.
- I’ve got to watch the messages I give myself while on the bike. It’s so easy to tell myself I’m doing terrible. It’s more beneficial to tell myself that I’m doing great.
- I need to learn how to ride hills with a pack. I go downhill faster thanks to gravity and therefore I get to pass people. But when it comes time to go back uphill, gravity makes it harder for me. Then the people I just passed have to pass me. The polite southern girl in me wants to brake on the downhill so these people don’t have to pass me. But it’s frustrating braking on a downhill when I know how hard of a time I’m going to have going up hill. Casey says to just pass them.
- Casey reminded me to tell my leg muscles to “pull” when going up a hill. That was helpful. I’ve been thinking “push” so that I would focus on pushing down. Right now, it feels like less work to pull!
- My bento box is still my favorite bike purchase!
Things I want:
- To sign up for a half iron…that is all to be said on this for now!
- To join Team Z. It’s so nice to have people to ride with. The parts with Casey were easily the easiest and the most fun. There’s a part of me that is worried I’m not fast enough for the team. I spent part of the ride wishing I was fast enough to keep up with the back of the pack.
- A road bike. The bike shop guy at Spokes tells me that my hybrid bike is just as good as a low end road bike and that it may not make a difference in my time on the short courses. He said that if I’m going to do a half iron, then I’ll want a road bike so I can adjust my position on the bars for long distances so I don’t get sore.
- Another water bottle cage
- I need to give Maggie my hand pump for my bike. I’ve been spoiled by CO2 cartridges and will never use a hand pump again!