Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Long Update

So, where did I leave off? Oh yes, the second training weekend. As it turned out, I ended up having a minor surgery on May 30th which put a halt to my training for 2.5 weeks and I missed 3 Saturday rides. I wasn’t happy about this but that’s okay. It’s better to happen early in the season when I have more time to catch up on the miles.

I went for my first ride since the surgery last Tuesday to start warming up for Saturday’s 40 mile ride. I rode to work (10 miles) and extended my route home by 5 miles for a total of 25 miles that day. I could tell I was a little out of it after not riding for so long. Wednesday I rode to work again and then met the group after work for the optional weekday ride. Coach Becky decided it was time for some hill work. Eeps! Hills are not my strong suit but I know I need to start training for them some day. I was still a little worried about my incisions (which are in the abdomen) but I decided to do what I can without hurting myself. We left from the waterfront and rode the 7 miles to Mt. Tabor. Then we rode up Mt Tabor. TWICE. It starts with a fairly low incline (I was good), becomes steeper for awhile (yikes!), and then returns to a moderately low climb for the rest. I was being my blonde self that day and totally spaced taking my albuterol inhaler before the ride so I had some breathing problems heading up. I had to stop a couple times to let my lungs get air, and then I continued on. But I made, dang it! Yeah, my hills need work.

Saturday we headed out to Hillsboro for a 40 mile ride. I was feeling a bit nervous and apprehensive since my longest ride prior to this was 22 miles. Jumping from 22 to 40 is huge! Especially when you’ve been out of it for awhile. The ride started with a few rolling hills, a great descent and then… a .7 mile incline. And it wasn’t a minor incline (at least not for me). I shifted into the granny gears (yes, the easiest one I have) and just pedaled. And pedaled and pedaled. I almost stopped about 4 times but instead I pedaled. I probably could have walked faster at a couple points but I pedaled. Guess what – I made it up that hill! I was so freaking happy with myself. From there the ride continued on with some rollers, nothing too bad. Around mile 18/19 there was an unexpected stop as one team member had a flat. None of us were experienced with changing a flat (plus his tire actually blew out) so that was a funny site. At mile 22 we stopped for a bathroom break at a shooting range. At mile 30 we were back at the parking lot for a quick bite to eat before finishing up that last 10 miles. The last 10 miles was a loop that included the killer hill I had already rode up plus one other monster (shorter in length but steeper) that Coach Becky hadn’t warned us of previously and gave sort of an evil laugh as she mentioned it then. NOW, I’m worried!

I was starting to feel a little sore in the abdomen (where I had surgery) so I was a bit iffy as I took off. I knew that there was a shorter 6 mile loop that avoided one of the hills (the one I had already tackled) so I could make a decision at one point to cut my ride short. We’re pedaling along pleasantly and come to a bit of a hill. I was thinking “I hope this is the surprise hill that Coach didn’t tell us about”. I ride up that with only minor struggles, see a downhill, look up and wham! Yeah, that wasn’t surprise hill. I see this hill looming before me and dread washes over me. I shift into my granny gear again and start pedaling. I stopped. I rode. Stopped. Rode. Yeah, I made it to the stop but it wasn’t pretty. By the time I reached the top I knew I was done for. I thought for a moment I’d do the last hill but realized at the split point (back to the car or finish the last hill) that I’m an idiot if I do the last hill, cause myself internal bleeding and miss even more training!

I think my final mileage was about 38 miles (my cyclometer apparently needs a new battery). The route I did was 35.9 miles according to the map but 3 of us took a bit of a detour when we missed a turn and we figured it added on a couple miles. Not too shabby I think!!

Our next training ride is Saturday – 45 miles around Hagg Lake. Supposedly it’s a beautiful ride and I’m looking forward to it!