I got served.

By some freaking serious headwind.  After last week’s 66ish miler, I felt amazing, awesome, and ready to ride more miles.  Today I had 40 planned, but there were only five of us riding and everyone else was doing the full 57, so I decided to go along for the ride so I didn’t get lost.  Before even starting I knew everyone was much faster than me, but I had already drove all of the way out to St. Charles where we were meeting (about a half hour ride) and just hoped I could keep up enough that they wouldn’t have to wait for me.  Last week’s ride was a no-drop ride, so I figured this was the same since it was posted on the club board as a club ride, but I just hate being the last person the entire ride.

Off we went through some sketchy neighborhoods because the road we were going to start off on was closed, but after about two miles we were on the road we needed to be, and off we went.  The first 15 miles were around an 18-19mph pace which I could keep up with, but I knew there was no way in hell I could keep that up for the entire ride.  I just kept pedaling away and tried to keep up with the group the best I could.  At mile 17 I must have had my small gear up to high when I switched to the big ring and my chain dropped 😦  I was able to get it back on the ring pretty quickly but I had a chit ton of grease all over my freaking hands.  Argh.  We stopped at a gas station for a short break around mile 22 and then we continued to about 29 where we turned around and headed back.

All was well at first, I was happy I had made it half way at a decent pace and I was more than half-way done and then, it happened.  The wind.  Good lord… this wind was brutal-head-on-shaking-your-bike brutal.  I’m hoping that as I ride more I can learn to handle this type of wind better, but today, I wasn’t prepared.  Slowly I dropped to an 11 mph pace (and the others, except for a really speedy guy, dropped down too), and it was all I could do to keep upright.  For TWENTY MILES.  TWENTY!!!  I was near tears by mile 50, definitely because of the wind, but in addition I realized I had missed a crucial spot with the body glide in the ‘undercarriage’ area 😦  After having many conversations with myself that I needed to keep pushing, especially if I even am entertaining the idea of an Ironman, because this stuff is pickles compared to that.  This ride, by far, was the toughest ride, mentally and physically I have ever ridden so far.

We finally made it back to the cars where I proceeded to immediately fall over on my bike right in front of my car and eight people walking the trail that had stopped to take a group picture.  Embarrassing and ouch.  Really?  I can go 58 miles without toppling over but I choose the very last .00001 mile to do it?  Part of the issue is that I still haven’t gotten used to the higher seat.  My toes can hardly reach the ground while unclipped without really leaning over or lifting myself off of my bike seat.  Blah.  I’ll practice tomorrow if I have the leg strength to ride after my planned long run.

After the ride I did a quick one mile run which was sloooow.  I was seriously toast after that ride… to prove it, my heart rate monitor calculated that I burned 1,988 calories, whereas my 66 ride last weekend only burned 1,400.  Wind is hard work folks.  Then we all headed over to Trailhead brewery for some brews and some much-needed food.  The general topic of conversation was the Redman Tri/Club Nationals and the logistics since they’re transporting the bikes for the club members that are racing that weekend, which is 30 bikes!  All of the discussion about the race logistics, team dinner, tent/race day food, support really pumped me up for the race.  I simply cannot wait for this race and to join in the fun with all of the club members.  I’m definitely bringing a sign or two to cheer the members on that are racing on Sunday (my race is Saturday)!  Joining this club was one of the best decisions I have made in a long time 🙂

Now I’m off to the pool to do some light reading (snoozing) before JMR comes over for dinner tonight.  I’ve missed him!  It was a busy week for both of us so I haven’t seen him since last Sunday!  A movie night sounds like a nice low-key evening….

Wish my legs luck on the run tomorrow, they are pretty angry at me right now!

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