Doesn't happen often that I take a day off and don't reschedule it, get onto a customer call or end up doing some work. I know - it's not healthy and it doesn't solve anything and all that. However, on this one, my boss was insistent, and he's rarely insistent. So I scheduled a doctor's checkup, a bank run and a 50-60 mile training ride. No way to get around any of that. Only replied to five emails ;-)
In response to the Pinehurst ride yesterday, Coach Bri emails and reminds me of today's ride:
"Have a nice ride tomorrow - do not do something stupid and try to recreate the race and see your mph - more important to stay steady and get the mileage in. Just saying :)"
Coach Bri is 30 weeks pregnant with her first child, a boy. And I think the pregnancy has brought about some serious mind-reading ability. She's really good at warning me to not do something before I've even suggested that maybe I could. That will be an invaluable parenting tool.
I was definitely not going to recreate the race, but I was hoping to see a little better mph.
However, the fact that I had today off from work seemed to cause my brain to stop working entirely. Sat in my driveway ready to leave and trying to remember what I forgot. Bike shoes. Ok - back in the house to get the shoes out of my tri bag that I did not unpack yesterday. Got in the car and drove all the way down to High House (ten minutes) when I remembered that my helmet was not in my car. It was connected to the same tri bag sitting in my bedroom. Really Michele? So back to the house for a 20 minute delay.
But I had everything else and started out on the same route Tisha had plotted last Sunday. Should be about 63 miles and there was a 10-mile lollipop extension I could cut off if I wasn't feeling that great. I decided I didn't want to stop at the store or restroom - just ride for 3.5 hours and let the traffic stop me when it had to, but other than that, just ride. I wouldn't stop during a race, so it's best to get used to sitting on a bicycle seat for 3.5 hours. Please only let it be 3.5 hours.
Little ring, high cadence. Enjoy the day. About 60 degrees and sunny, some wind, I think (my weather.com says the wind was 6 mph, but it felt a lot stronger than that). I was wearing my jersey, arm warmers and long-route bike shorts - noting that so I remember next time I have these conditions.
First 30 minute segment - about 16.3 mph with a pretty good cadence. Ok, I can work with that. The next three 30 minute segments: 15.0, 14.9, 14.6 - at two hours I was only 30 miles in. Ugh. Just trying to pedal pedal pedal and not care, but I was caring. Just gut it out, eat more Gu, drink more G2, stop doing the math that says this will be a 4 hour ride in B2B if I don't find some speed somewhere, and suck it up.
Having a route that is a single loop in an area I'm not terribly familiar with means that there are no shortcuts. So at mile 30, when I was contemplating what I would write in my log if I didn't do the 50 (excuses, just weak excuses), I realized that I didn't really have a choice. I only knew the way to cut the lollipop, but that was the only shortening of the route I knew from 63 to 52. I was going to have to do 50 at 15 miles an hour, so I had close to two hours left. And I'm alone and everyone I know is working right now - although I probably could have talked someone into a quick look at MapMyRide.com to help me out.
The cue sheet led me to the lollipop start at mile 37. Okay, skip that and go to the identical entry on Beaver Creek at mile 47. Turn around and head back down Beaver Creek for what would now be my mile 37 up to 52.
And that's where the cue sheet ended.
There's a second page somewhere, I'm sure. But it's not with me and that's what is important right now.
There are many really good reasons I love to ride with Tisha - and rising fast on that list is that she knows this area and I just ride and don't worry about where I'm at. So now I'm trying to figure out where I am and where her favorite Holland road is and wondering why in the world every other road in this area has "Chapel" or "Church" in it's name. And I've never actually seen a Catholic church anywhere out here - next time I ride by one I'll say a little prayer to St. Christopher, the patron saint of travelers, in the hope that I will learn better internal GPS ability.
I finally found a stop sign where it said Hwy 64 to the left or north. I also pulled out my phone, and because someone loves me, I had a signal. And Tisha gets off of work at 4:00, which because of my lollygagging pace, it was now 4:20. So she confirmed my direction back to Jean's Berry Farm. And I was able to get back to the White Oak ATT lot.
Thank goodness. I had hoped to maybe do a 20-minute post-ride run, but given the time of day, a slight ache in my leg and my intense desire for food, I decided not to. Plus I did not have Coach Bri's okay to add a run to my training plan. I've already heard the "Mom Voice" that she is practicing - don't deviate from the training plan.
If only I listened to my boss as well as I listen to my coach.
So I went to Waffle House
Off to swim - it will be amazing if I don't sink to the bottom of the pool :-)