Sorry for the long, pictureless post:
Last night I went on a Wolverine Sports Club ride. I admit it, I was a bit afraid. I was worried about a lot of things, like would I get dropped, would I look like a dork, would I crash, bonk, ect? I was feeling pretty excited about this ride since I rode on Monday with Kristel at Island Lake and it was a debacle, to say the least. This is what went wrong on Monday, so these were things that I had already planned to NOT go wrong on Wed:
1. Have a cage for my water bottle- I have my road bike here in MI since we had a space issue to bring the Trek up until late last night. As a result, I had removed the cage from "Burly #11" as we will call it and installed it on "Bones". I actually remembered to bring a FULL water bottle with me knowing that the sinks are not on yet (mistake from BBB that Kristel fixed with a gallon of water she got en route for me). I just had no where to put it. ARG. At least it was cold and dreary, and I wouldn't lose much water through sweat.
2. Have my bike computer set to the right bike. I had no cadence readout which drove me nuts because I forgot that my computer was smarter than me and knew which bike I was riding.
3. Have ALL things needed to repair a flat, not just a tube and pump. My levers are in my new fancy "smancy draft box" Kristel flatted, and I had to ride back to get her car for her.
3. Have my bike in good working condition. My road bike is a triple, and I totally forgot that the middle ring wasn't working so hot. I remembered this on the ride back to the car. It was into the wind and I could no longer hang out in my big ring without dying. I switched to the middle and it gave me major problems. Suck. I was either spinning like mad or grinding hard. Either way was no fun. Especially given the wind. I was never more happy to run on Monday than I was after this ride because it totally blew. Valerie and Cristina were smart to bail on this one.
All of those things were addressed before yesterday's ride. I took my bike into the shop bright and early on Tuesday and they got it all fixed up. They even let me leave it there so I didn't have to take it apart to fit it in the hatch of my car. I could ride to the start of the WSC ride from there easily. I remembered my tire tools and my old water bottle cage (it was not a favorite, but it looks really pretty so I figured I might as well use it). I switched my garmin to bike profile 1. I arrived in the parking lot for the start with Valerie. There was no one else because it started to rain. It was gloomy all day, and it just now decided to rain. Ugh. Finally, right at 6 two others appeared and it was going to be the 4 of us to ride together. This was my first experience in a pace line and WOW, did it make a huge difference. Danny pulled us for the first 16 miles and it felt super easy. We averaged almost 20mph for the first 10 miles. We rode on Hines Drive, which was the road where I got my BQ at Martian, so I knew it pretty well. It was also closed to cars at some points, and that was also nice. There was not hardly any reason to stop because it was straight road with very few intersections. At close to 15 miles, I did start to feel tired. I now know that 14-15 miles is when I need to gu/gel. We regrouped after 16 miles gued, and turned around. I am proud to say that I pulled for 13 miles straight on the way back (and should have gued)! Go me! We finished with an average pace of 18.6 miles, for 32.2 miles. While I still feel like I have a lot of work to do on the bike, this was the confidence booster that I needed. Not only did I ride in the wet grimy yuck, but I did well in it. I didn't wreck or get lost (you can't on Hines Dr until Northville anyway). I didn't get dropped. I accidentally dropped Valerie (for a really short time and she caught back up on her own, I fell off on the way out as well, and had we not stopped at the turn around, might have never caught back up), which as front person is bad, but as a triathlete, I can just say "sorry", as I am not used to being responsible for others. I didn't even know we lost her there! Oops, my bad! It was crazy how much easier it was to draft. Now I know how Ryan does his rides so insanely fast all the time (that and he is a stud). I also was on some crazy adrenaline rush from this ride because I felt like I could run at least a 10K afterwards. Valerie didn't have her shoes, and it was getting late, so we just headed home. We were so yucky grimy from all the road grit that we had a lot of work to do on our bikes to get them clean and then clean ourselves. It was pretty late when I finally was able to eat dinner and then relax finally. I still need to get my bike from Valerie's. Kent was nice enough to help us get them cleaned, dried, and lubed, as well as was the babysitter for the evening for all the kids. Whoo Hoo! I was so hungry and tired once I got home. I can't imagine how tired I would have felt had I actually ran.
As a result of all my fun yesterday, today's planned 10 miler was almost shortened to 8 when I woke up tired. I thought, 8 will be good for today, right? I had a battle with some ants this morning at the condo, and that was no fun. By the time I got to the gym, I was hungry, and thinking maybe 7 will be ok. I got on the treadmill, and by 1 mile, I was turning the speed down. Mile 2, slowing down more. I was getting defeated. At mile 4 or so, I had my Roctane Gu. That would fix everything. Amazingly, it did. I don't know if those things are my mental "wubby" or what, but I was able to bang out 10 miles on the treadmill. I would do a mile, and then tell myself, one more mile. After all, I didn't want to waste that Roctane on some short run. Those things are stinking expensive, and I have finally used up all my free samples from expos. I have to buy them now. It wasn't as fast as normal, but that was OK. I even did the last couple miles at the original pace that I started at, thanks to some Beasties Sabotage on the iPod getting me going a bit.
I am really hoping to get in 50+ miles on Sat. Hopefully that is not too much given what I have done already this week, and that the weather cooperates as well as everything goes as scheduled.