Well, remaining flexible was a key to success this weekend in regards to training. I’m a big believer in following the training plan, but this week, I followed my “I feel like” emotion. I have a swim buddy, she’s a tough cookie. She haranged me about wanting to ride indoors today on my computrainer when I could get outside and ride with others. Well, I had planned on riding in Lawrence with others – a dear friend and athlete. That didn’t pan out because I just didn’t think it made much sense to drive 3 hours each way to ride in the rain. Mostly, I was all about avoiding riding in the rain.
So, at 7:30 last night, after much discussion with Robert. I called my tough swim buddy and said, “alright, alright, your weenie friend will join you rain or shine for the Wicked Wind 50.”
Up at 4 am this morning, coffee and devo’s of course to start the day. You do remember yesterday’s blog and priorities – inside out right?
6:45 am packed and heading out to dear Lake Afton. Home away from home. Skies are cloudy, it’s a bit chilly, air is heavy with moisture. But, forecast calls for rain after 12 pm.
Ride starts and off we are with about 300 other riders. Take a left out of the park, head south on 263rd. Ah, pack riding, 23 mph, HR 125…gotta love that. However, it is a bit claustrophobic and scarey. We hook up with a few riders doing a pace line and we hop in. No aerobars for me in the paceline. But, it’s so crazy with people hopping in and out, dumb triathletes (yes..I said that) riding in aerobars in a 23 mph paceline that we jumped out. Heading into Clearwater a guy pulls up behind us and asks if we mind if he drafts. Ah, no is our answer. He drafts awhile and then invites us to draft him. So the 3 of us take turns pulling. He’s pulling at 23+ mph, we each hold a solid 21.5 – 22.0! Whew, that is FUN. We come up on another rider. Who is it? Yep, a TaT athlete’s uber cyclist hubbie. He joins our little paceline.
It’s all good. Having a blast, legs are pumping, the miles are passing.
Get to Clearwater, miss a turn, much discussion about just WHERE the 50 mile route is. We figure it out and our little group hustles up. One of the guys takes the first pull and we are hauling at 25 – 26 mph and pacing lots of other groups of riders. At some point, I lose my swim buddy. I hate that, but it is now raining and my guys are pulling away. Better to hang on to the wheels of these guys and get back as soon as possible. At their speeds, that won’t take long.
The 3 of us ride on, taking our turns pulling and passing lots of other groups. We come up on a lone rider, he’s easily doing 23-24 on his own. He jumps in with us and when he takes his first pull, he’s averaging 26 mph! It is pouring, I am drenched. I am also a little more than nervous at these speeds on the wet pavement.
Continuing on, even wetter, we come up on another group and now our group is really big – 7-8 of us. It’s still pouring. I’m even wetter..is it possible? My feet are floating in my shoes. I’m not cold, weird.
Up ahead, railroad tracks. Up ahead, rider takes a huge spill and ends up in oncoming traffic. YIKES. We get to the rr tracks, the guy appears to be ok. Not sure how, he landed hard on his back and flew to the opposite lane. Respect, must respect the wet pavement. I walk my bike over this set of railroad tracks and the next 4 ….why take a chance?
It’s raining even harder. We are around 40 miles in. Home stretch. Everyone starts talking now. TaT athlete’s hubbie pulls away from pack..darn, I would love to stay with him. Rain, yep, it’s still raining.
45 miles in. No rain….No wind. It is beautiful.
Pull into Afton 2:35, average mph 19.4, average hr 147. So much for avoiding the rain while riding this weekend. Wow, even though I’m wet…that was completely fun. I decide that I’ve had so much fun. Worked so hard. I am so wet…I can definitely skip the run part of what should have been a brick today. There is always next week for that.