It was a cold and blustery day...
The day was as cold and windy as it was long...
Good grief it's cold out here and you want to WHAT???
(Not, by the way, angry dogs. Um, thanks to the rider behind me who yelled loud enough to scare the bejezes out of that angry looking dog running straight for my front tire. THANK YOU! You diverted a messy, messy fall.)
You know what it wasn't devoid of? Yeah...that would be hills. Nope. Don't worry. There were lots and LOTS of hills! Long ones, short ones, and those sneaky ones that appear right after a dangerous turn or around a blind corner. Yeah...THOSE.
Now, this was my first time on a bike. No...okay, it really wasn't, but I really felt like it was! I've clocked something like 700 miles on Banana (my lovely road bike plus yucky aerobars) this year on the trainer. In the basement. Watching the endless DVDs of Nip Tuck, Season One. But this was the first time she came off the trainer and hit the open road.
[Now, just a quick shout out to my ever-reliable Sherpa, Mighty M. Cause, you see, right about 7:30 the night before the metric, M happens to mention my tires. Or, to be accurate, my lack of tires. Tread, that is. See, those 700 miles on the trainer? Let's just say the tires were shiny and, er, not safe for out on the road. A quick call to my local bike store and another big charge on the debit and I was set up with safe and tready tires for the ride. WHEW!]
So, anyway, I am blessed with being able to sleep in a little since the ride was right around the corner from our abode (yeah!) and, after being a bit lost on all those back roads, I finally made it to the show. And, by the way, don't you just LOVE pulling into a race parking lot? Everybody gearing up and checking their bikes and filling up bottles. I just love it!! It's all so exciting!
I pulled Fancy (my car, if you remember, has a name and yes you can just shut up if you think that's stupid) up into a row and started unloading. Got checked in and looked around for Cheaper Than Therapy and her hubby, Speedy. I did see them...pulling away! Bummer, but I'd catch up with them later.
It was time to take Banana out on the road. With the newly raised seat post. And the new pedals. And the relatively new LG shoes. And what felt like a million pounds of fluid in bottles. And me, dressed in sixteen shirts and with tools and powders and whatnot in pockets.
It took me a little time to get my confidence back on Banana. I'm still not completely at ease with the setup (for instance, it feels very top heavy and my forward positioned seat takes some getting used to), but I think that I'll be fine with a few more hours under my belt.
But the ride itself was just beautiful. I didn't take it too fast. Instead I approached the day with the intent of getting used to being back in the saddle and having a good Zone 2 ride.
By the 10th mile I realized I would need to amend that idea a little. And add in the goal of just-freaking-getting-to-the-top-of-this-next-hill. And that stuck as the repeated mantra for the remainder of the day.
This course was hilly, people. Hill. Ly. I'll post up the Garmin results as soon as we solve some technical issues at home. (Technical issues being dragging upstairs the old PC that seems to be the only computer in my universe that actually can sinc with the Garmin software. Again...seriously, Garmin, get compatible with the Mac already, will ya!!) But let's just say that I may have burned off my break pads trying to slow down on the descents...including those 12% grade, gravelly and kinda scary descents!
At the end, I was pleased with my effort at the half metric (about 34 miles) and all the hills in between, so I was calling it a day. Just as I swung myself off the bike, I ran into Cheaper Than Therapy and Speedy on their way back from getting hot soup and trail mix. CTT is another member of Team StayPut* and just an all around cool chick. I poached this picture from CTT, but I'll post another later. And please forgive the chubby sausage look from the day...can you tell that I have six layers of clothing on? Yes, it was cold!
Next up: Lessons Learned.
And this time there are a TON of them!
Be well, train safe!
* Oh, that's right...you don't know about TSP yet! Ah...keep an eye out for fun info about the team, the Girls on the Run program, and my box of sixteen thousand Goody products!! Their website just went live, so I'm looking forward to posting all about the Team, my fellow 'mates, and GOTR soon.