Living to see the starting line…

Why not swim a mile or so and then go for a 20 mile hill ride in the same day…

On the heels of an abusive (to my hamstrings anyway) run/strength workout the night before I woke up yesterday morning feeling surprisingly good so I went to the gym and jumped in the pool.  I didn’t have my workout with me so I just made one up that ended up at 2000 yards.  I swam a 400 in 8 minutes and wasn’t even breathing hard and when I got out of the pool, I felt great.  My training plan calls for an immediate bike ride but I just didn’t have time to do it and get to work on time so I decided to wait and see if anyone was going to do a group ride in the afternoon.  I didn’t have to wait long for someone to post about a 20 mile hill ride so my day was set.  I crammed my bike and other bikey bits into the truck and went to work.

I felt good all day but started to stiffen up a bit in the afternoon.  This was clearly the after effects of the run/strength workout as most of the pain/stiffness was in my hamstrings and quads, which is what we hit hard in the workout.  I was hoping the ride would shake things loose and it did… sort of.

The problem with this ride was picking a group to go with.  There were two options.  The first was the “A” group who were talking about maintaining a 22mph pace for a HILL RIDE… uhh… no.  The second group was a “no drop” group, which meant that they would stay together, regardless of pace so that everyone would finish together.  Reluctantly I chose this group and headed off with the leaders.  I soon found out that these weren’t the leaders of the no drop group.  They were the late arrivals of the “A” group…  *sigh*

Within 5 miles I was struggling to keep up and thrilled that they decided to stop and wait a bit at each major stop sign.  Not because it gave me a chance to catch up, but because I had NO freakin’ idea what the route was and would probably still be riding around somewhere west of Columbia if they hadn’t stopped occasionally so I could keep them in sight and confirm the next turn or two.  I did manage to stay within 100 yards or so until the last big hill.  By that time I was thanking the bicycle gods that I had a granny gear or I would have been pushing my bike up it.

What was amazing was how strong these guys were on the uphills.  They were spinning so much bigger gears than I could that they just flew up the hills.  The only way I could keep them in sight was because I am fearless on downhills and was able to track them down.  The problem with this hill ride was that there seemed to be far more ups than downs.  Still haven’t figured that out yet…

Anyway, other than a fat, grumpy lab that came out to challenge us at one point, it was a pretty ride.  It was cool and a bit windy, but I was dressed just right (finally) and, honestly, every ride I can get right now makes me better.  My legs tended to disagree this morning and were complaining loudly so I decided to switch my day off to today to let them rest and I will do my long run tomorrow since I am off.  Saturday is supposed to be a long ride and I will definitely be taking it slow for about 30 miles or so.  It might be a long ride but it definitely needs to be a “recovery” ride.

It seems to me that the more I get into triathlon training the more I realize that the goal may be more about living to see the STARTING line… rather than the finish line…!


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