You know that feeling that it is spring? Kind of smells like rain? With a smidge of humidity? And growing grass/trees/flowers? And all the pollen EVERYWHERE??? Yes, that was today.
And it was AWESOME!
I got a bit of a late start for my 2.5 hour ride, but was clipped in around 10. It was 77 degrees. Remember last week when I had to wear toe warmers on my shoes, a long sleeved jersey, and a vest? And full fingered gloves? Well today I had to put on my SPF 50.
I headed out on MacArthur and immediately heard my name yelled by someone. Not even 10 minutes later, I heard it again. I was riding solo and have come to terms with the fact that I will be doing a lot of training on my own this year. Hopefully a bunch of us can head to the same locations, ride similar routes, and all meet up for lunch - but my worries and whining about how everyone is faster than me is a story for another post.
Back to my AWESOME ride. I made it up the hill at Old Anglers and felt much better than the previous 2 weeks. I decided instead of doing loops, I would to head down the hilly River Road. And you know what, I saw even more people. It was AWESOME! Even though I was riding on my own, but I wasn't. And I loved it. I am pretty noticeable on Blain with his yellow glory, green bar tape (pic on the left in case you forgot what he looks like), and my knee braces and DC Tri jersey - but still, it's great. Every time I saw someone, I picked up my cadence, checked my form, and put on a smile. Thanks Andrea, Katie, Lindsey, Alejandro, Courtney, Jenny, Joe, AJ, Chris, Josh, and everyone else.
The only scary part to the ride - (Mom and Dad, you may want to skip this part!) was on my way back I was flying downhill and hit a max speed around 38.4 mph. As I was going down, a truck passed me and kicked up a rock that smacked right into my helmet. I was happy I wasn't in aero because even holding onto my breaks, it hit hard enough to knock my balance and make me pretty wobbly. I am also pretty luck it wasn't lower into my sunglasses/face or chest. It was one of those situations that has not happened to me before, I can't control, and that frightens me about biking. But, helmets are AWESOME.
Anyway, towards the end of the ride I saw a few more people, tried to stick with them, and push myself a bit more. I felt good - so I figured why not? By the time Jill and Kevin came by, I was ready to go. Then I looked at my heart rate. WAY to high 2 hours+ into the ride with a one more hill and a 15 minute power walk (or my first real brick of the season) to go. So I slowed down, off they went, and I still felt good.
When I finished the ride, I was at 39.2 miles, so I rode around until I hit 40 miles. WOOT!! I then put on my running shoes and started my power walk.
Now, that was the first time I didn't feel great. What a wakeup call! But it was 88 degrees out, my first time trying to brick, so I have to be happy with 15 minutes - it was a start. I will continue to choose to go minute by minute, mile by mile, even if I must walk 26.2 miles. And today's workout helped me believe that even more.