Saturday, October 19, 2013

When Peer Pressure is a good thing!

Today I had my 40 mile bike ride on the schedule! I was determined that this time I was NOT going to do it on the trainer. Whatever the weather, I was going to ride outside at the Silver Comet Trail! My first group ride/race is two weeks away and the longest I've done outside is 30 miles. Nothing was going to stop me!

And then I woke up this morning. To rain.

It was a light rain, and no thunderstorms, but I was nervous. The weather man said that the rain should be completely gone after the morning, so I decided to hit the grocery store and then I would go after lunch. And then after lunch, I checked the radar and there was rain all over the place! What the heck?!?! I was debating postponing the ride til tomorrow after church.

My hubby was encouraging me to go today instead of tomorrow. His reasoning was sound - today would be less crowded because of the rain, and tomorrow the temps and humidity would be down and even though the sun would be out, it would likely feel cooler. And with the sun out, everyone would flood the trail to get in their missed workout. To go today, he said, it would just be "You and the other diehards!"

To add to the Peer Pressure, my friend Cindy (of Tinker Bell and Princess 2013 fame) posted the following comment on my Facebook status where I was complaining about the rain:

"Hum, I have this really good friend that does tri's and bike is her weakest part. She did a tri recently that rained and the bike portion was tough, but she did great. I think she mentioned in her blog that she needed more training on the bike in not so perfect weather. You should check out her blog. It is Running Through the Castle....pretty good blog."

She's pretty clever, isn't she?  

Since I couldn't fight the overwhelming Peer Pressure, I decided to get out there. As soon as I pulled out of the garage, it started raining - and it rained the entire way over to the trail. Fun. Fun. Fun. 

You can tell the weather is bad when I can pull into the parking lot of the Silver Comet Trail at 1:30 in the afternoon on a Saturday and get the 3rd parking space closest to the bathrooms! LOL I saw a couple of other people with their bikes and we all just kind of smiled at each other like we're part of this crazy club. 

I won't give you a mile-by-mile description of the ride since we'd be here all night, but I do want to hit the highlights! It rained for the first 45 minutes pretty steadily. The trail was wet, and there were fallen leaves (which I was concerned about being slippery) but I took it nice and slowly and allowed plenty of time for braking at the intersections. There were so few people on the trail that I didn't have to do any quick braking or really any sudden movements. 

Once it stopped raining, the clouds remained for the rest of the ride. Instead of trying to eat on the ride and risk slipping or falling, I used my stops at the intersections to get my food. That seemed to work well.

The furthest I have gone on the Silver Comet was 15 miles (to make a 30 mile round trip), so these extra 5 miles were all new to me. It seemed especially remote, and we weren't as close to the major roads, but it was just fine! Just about the time I'd start to get concerned, especially since there weren't many people around me, I'd see a neighborhood or some businesses. 

And then I came to this sign: 

Good thing my turn-around is only half a mile past this sign! LOL (And please excuse the language - I obviously did not add that graffiti above the sign!)
Speaking of the turn-around: 

I decided to go to the official mile marker even though my Garmin said it was 1/4 mile more than 20 miles. I just wanted it to be officially official!

Half-way point and feeling strong!
Nothing terribly exciting happened on the way back. Though the neatest thing was my perspective about the distance. The last time I was out here, I was doing my 30 mile ride - and that was my longest ride at the time. Knowing I had 10, 12, 13 miles left was intimidating!

Since that time, I have done 35 and 38 and probably a 33 in there, too, but I can't remember. I have also been riding 20 miles during the week for several weeks. I'm stronger, not just physically but mentally as well, I think! 

So I got back to the car, and for some reason my Garmin measured the ride at 41.21 miles. I'm totally perplexed. Even if I did go 20.25 before I turned around, wouldn't it be 40.50 since I came back the exact same trail?!? Anyway, I'm sticking with this being a 40 mile ride! Officially, you know. 

I put Mike up on the carrier and was shocked - he was a mess! 

You may have to click on the picture to get it to zoom in, but Mike is filthy! He looks like I took him Mountain Biking on a trail!

And I didn't fare much better! Yucky!!
I changed clothes and headed home, feeling very glad that I succumbed to peer pressure today - the best kind of peer pressure! I was rewarded with a good workout - some time in the saddle in less than ideal conditions! 

Garmin tells me that Mile 39 averaged 17.6 MPH, and Mile 40 averaged 17.8 MPH! I hope that is accurate - if so, I'm pretty sure those are my fastest average miles ever! I did feel like I was really going fast at the end there, so I don't think it's terribly far off. It also shows a few miles averaging over 16 MPH! Overall, even including going slower in the rain, and being stopped at some of the intersections for what seemed like a really long time, I averaged 14 MPH which is fantastic! And my average cadence was 88 RPM which is super! 

Of course, it's also trying to tell me that I burned 3,384 calories during today's ride! I'm not sure how they get that figure but that's pretty hysterical! If only I burned that many - what fun I could have replenishing! :D

Have a great weekend, friends! Tomorrow, I shall take a rest day! :D

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