New this winter was my butt on the bike on my trainer. My goal was 3x a week. I'm really proud that for all of January & February I made that happen. I also ran 2x a week and did at least two workouts a week with weights. Throw in some Yoga a few times weekly as well. I feel like I'm starting to really see the results of it all in my clothes and how I feel. I'm sad to say that the first week of March saw me with a bit of a nasty bug and I fell off my workout regime. I managed to pick up a a run, a gym workout and 1 trainer ride. It's ok or at least I'm telling myself that because seriously I killed it for two months right? So this week I'm getting back on track!
If you're in Iowa you know that Mother Nature finally stopped being so moody and graced us with some beautiful weather! Saturday hit 35 degrees and found me & my girl Junebug out for the S.P.E.R.M. ride! (St. Patrick's Easy Ride In March) I'm sure you can tell there were some serious shenanigans going on! Just awesome to be out, see all my biking friends, toss back a few beverages in the sunshine and talk bikes, bike rides and more bike stuff all day long. Insert dramatic sigh of happiness here!
I started the day thinking I would take a quick 10-15 around the south end of town past the Iowa Speedway and out towards Reasnor. A great county road out there that doesn't have alot of traffic and several nice rolling hills. That was until I got a message on the Velorosa team board about a 25mi training ride! Well that put the hustle in me as in I grabbed my girl Pink geared up and pedaled up to Mojo to hope our FAVORITE bike shop guy Joe would squeeze us in for a quick tune!
(Up on the bike stand geting cleaned up & tuned up!)
Hello beautiful! I definitely have a woman crush on this bike!
So after our quick tune up I loaded up Pink and we took off for Des Moines and to meet the ladies of Velorosa Cycling. I joined this year to learn more, push my limits, challenge myself and well just become a bad @$$ bike babe in general ;-). When it comes to cycling & racing in Iowa these ladies definitely have alot of skill & knowledge.
So of course in honor of the occasion out came my fantastic Vanderkitten Vip kit! I wish I had remembered to snap a few pics but I was so focused on finding the meeting point, getting geared up, meeting everyone and riding. It was a challenge! While I'm thankful I'm in alot better shape right now than I was this time last year it took a few miles to get warmed up again. We started in right away with pace line drills and for the next 25 miles we definitely did work! I found myself feeling rather newbie all over again. I mean really I've ridden pace lines on rides but this was different. The constant rotating of position. Keeping it smooth, adjusting to the ever moving ebb and flow of the riders around you, staying smooth yourself and up to speed. I didn't do as well as I had hoped to but better than I thought I would still. I was ok for the first 22 miles but got dropped from the group the last 3 miles.
While I'd like to think a couple things were working against me like my right clete being slightly twisted and tweaking my knee causing a cramp in my quad periodically that I refused to admit or acknowledge (because I was sooo dang sure I had them adjusted last week and so maybe I hadn't remembered to tighten the right one back up) or maybe the week off the trainer in addition to my last few trainer rides taking it a bit easy on myself. How about we just have an honest little moment here, get humble and say....I have alot of room to improve and grow. I have alot to learn but I've started and so that was the hard part. Facing down the nerves, the fear of not being as good as I want to be, yet. I'm not there YET.
Here's what else I learned. I hate Winter. If I had taken that ride following Ragbrai or TOMRV I would have killed it. I hate that Winter sapped my stamina and strength. I rolled bigger longer hills faster last year. I hate being the weakest hill climber. I am kinda mad at myself for not pushing myself harder in my own training. But I can change that. It's the second week of March. There is time and well I am definitely motivated. YUP! MOTIVATED! So I'm going to pat myself on the back for the fact that I could not have done that ride last year as well and I would have not survived the first five miles two years ago but this time next year I won't get dropped again. Oh and 88 days on TOMRV 2014 I won't be 5 min behind the group. I won't be the slowest hill climber. I will be AWESOME!!