Not much time to post lately, but I've been keeping up with my jogging and my cycling. We rode 55 miles this Saturday. The first 17 went fairly quickly and were a really pretty ride. We spent about 10 minutes at the first rest stop, and I downed a hammer gel and half a banana. That seems to be all my stomach tolerates at the stops - unless I'm fortunate enough to find vanilla wafers. (no wonder Nicholas is such a fiend for them! He gets it from his mom!!)
Anyway, feeling good after the first break, despite knowing we'd likely be facing a headwind the entire way back, and we decided to take the longer route - 55 miles v. 41 miles. To date, my longest ride had been that walk through hell called 44.5 miles in Cat Springs. I was not looking forward to a repeat, but considering that the actual 2-day, 160 mile ride is quickly approaching, my mileage needed to go up. So, off we go!
I suppose this is where I admit a bit of an ego stroke in even being able to tackle the longer ride. We're still seeing people being brought in on SAG vehicles during each of these rides, and even as out of shape as I am, I've managed to complete each ride, stand up afterwards (ok, it was TOUGH after Cat Springs), and maneuver myself up and down our stairs the next day with no lingering soreness. The scenery was nice, even the section where we had to cross some rather funky streets with loads of traffic and a stoplight where drivers varied between wanting to let us turn left across the street on a green light rather than waiting on our green arrow. Little did they know, they only pissed off other drivers who were stuck waiting behing them when we wouldn't venture out into the intersection and the very same drivers remained stuck at the light when we did get our green arrow. ouch! BIG trucks, small shoulders, pissed off folks - it could have made for difficulties, but instead, the people of the town were really cordial and quite accommodating. I think we were in Bellville, but I usually end up so out of it that I don't know where I am unless I'm looking at a map or a street sign. At any rate, yay for the locals who didn't run us over! :)
The second half of the second leg was the absolute worst stretch of road I've ever cycled on. Imagine being in your car and riding directly down the drunk-bumps. bump bump bump bump bump bump bump bump bump bump bump
Holy cow - my quads were screaming by mile 33! Consequently, the second rest-stop wasn't until mile 39, so I had more screaming quads to live through. My legs cramped, and we spent what was probably too long at the stop, but within .5 mile of getting back on the road, it was finally smooth again. I so badly wanted to scream - yahoo! - upon reaching the 50 mile mark (after all, this was my first time!), but when I hit it, all I could think was, "5 more miles.. c'mon, you can do it!" There was one final climb at the end of the last leg. Approaching a stop sign, climbing up a slight incline, seeing the odometer read 55.4 and thinking, "will this EVER end??" and finally, turning right at the stop sign - THERE IT WAS! The high school where we'd parked our cars that morning.
Thank God! I lived through it!
Hope you're all doing well - keep running, spinning, or whatever it is that you do!
Seek the joy! !