Monday, March 22, 2010

Joy and pain, Sunshine and rain.

Saturday was the most beautiful first day of Spring. And it may have been a perfect day. In my mind.

It started with 5x1600 at the track with a couple training buddies. On not so fresh legs. But there were little boys playing soccer on the infield. And we got to watch the sun rise as we hit each interval. I felt strong. And tried to relax, especially during repeats 4 and 5. And during lap 3 of each one. I wasn't super speedy, but I was consistent, starting with the slowest at 6:32 and ending with a 6:24.

And straight from there, we piled in our cars and drove down to the park on the river to meet a group for a ride. A ride which entailed about 50 miles and 3x8mile TT efforts. Dear God. Those hurt. But the first one was worse than the third. The ride started with shoe covers and arm warmers and tights. And by the time it ended, the sun was shining bright and it was 70 degrees. I went home for a shower and food. And then I went back down to the park with a blanket and the pup and laid on the lawn. And that night I met a friend for a beer. I was determined to sleep in on Sunday.

but.... Sunday was forecasted to be cloudy/rainy and kinda cool. And then they said the rain would hold off til mid-afternoon. And I had five hours of riding to get in. So I set out at 9:15 to meet a buddy (and super strong cyclist). While I was waiting for his arrival, I ran into a couple guys at the gas station who were waiting for a ride that was coming along. They were just gonna hop on the back and go along. And then my riding partner came along. And he asked if I wanted do the same.

I looked at him and asked, in all seriousness, if I could hang with them. He told me I could hang with whomever I wanted. And "whoosh". There went the peleton.

We worked our way up to them. And we rode along nicely for a bit. I took my pull. He took his. And then the fatigue started to settle in. And I panicked. I started to think about how I had another four hours to ride. I told him I couldn't ride with those guys today. And he just told me to fall off the back whenever I wanted. So I did.

And soon the tears and snot were flying. I HATE failing. And I felt like a failure for not being able to hang with those guys for the whole ride. Or not wanting to hang with those guys. But truth was, it was supposed to be a long recovery ride for me. We pulled in a driveway and he let me gather my wits. Gosh, what a girl!

Within minutes we were back on the roads. And we rode and rode and rode. Up hills, through the country, into the wind. He let me hang on his wheel when my legs started suffering. We stopped for peanut butter crackers and more water. And on the way toward home, he took me to a point that was through the worst part of the traffic.

Six hours later, I was home. And in dire need of real food. And a nap with the pup. She missed me too.

All in all, it was an amazing weekend. The rain held off until dark. And the sun actually made an appearance. And I got some quality time in the saddle. And on the track. And with friends and training partners. I learned a little bit about myself and listening to my body.


Kim said...

WOW. that is one heck of a training weekend amanda! way to hang in there and get it done! im impressed you can pull of a hard track workout, then do a 50 miler, and then ride 5 hours the next day. you did NOT fail on that ride. you hung on, and did it all. good job girl.

The Sean said...

A HUGE weekend!! Good work and excellent consistency on the track work.

Morgan said...

You're allowed to be a girl at times and you did not FAIL that ride! Keeping up with them was not Recovery so there for keeping up with them would've made it a recovery ride FAIL.

Big Daddy Diesel said...

The reason why you are uber fast and a speed demon is because you arnt afraid to train out of your comfort zone, you know that training with people faster then you will make you faster in the long run.

Bill said...

Wow, I'm tired just reading about your weekend. Take some well deserved recovery time today. You earned it.

Christi said...

Great job Amanda! I am super impressed by your cycling speed and your willingness to train with "the boys!" I need to do a lot more of that and you are giving me the courage to do it!

Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) said... are just amazing!! What a packed training weekend!

And, it is totally o-kay to be a girl, because let's face it, you are one. And, as hard as we try, sometimes our emotions just get the best of us!

You should be proud of everything you accomplished! :)

zencycle said...

The failure was a lack of discipline, not the inability to keep up. You shouldn't have taken any pulls. I know the temptation to stick your nose into the wind is great, but it being a recovery ride you should have sat at the back and spinning a comfortable gear. No shame in that. It's a common mistake amoung noobs to go to the front when they should be resting. You probably did more work the previous day than any three of them put together.

I went out for a 3 1/2 ride on saturday with about ten guys, half of us very active masters racers. About 1 hour in we ended up in a pace line for a few miles where I was pushing AT during my pulls. I yelled to the group "hey, I can't do this all day", knowing I had another 2+ hours of rolling hills to get in. Every one of them responded with something like "oh thank god". I didn't know they were trying to pace off of me.

The point is you need to have the discipline to resist the temptation to hammer just because everyone else is. I know it's tough being new to the sport as you are, but one of the reasons you're excelling at this point is the coaching you have. Your workout for the day was for a recovery ride, not stick your nose into the wind on a fast group ride.

vivere e imparare mio piccolo ciclista

Anonymous said...

I would definitely say you got some quality time in the saddle. Huge weekend! Sweet picture. Hope you were able to get some rest, you earned it.

Mary Sunshine said...

Wow, great advice from Zen... I know the feeling though...trying to stick to the schedule when there's so much going on around you. It IS a matter of maturity sometimes. God knows, you've got the raw talent!!!!

Wishing you a wonderful HOS...I'm thinking you are gonna win this one.