Today the weather was lovely, and I joined the tri club for a group ride. We had a new leader today, and he was dressed out to the nines, like he should be riding at the Tour de France! I was a little nervous, but he was awesome and patient and didn't make any of us in the group feel bad for being slower. He did push our pace a little bit and I was able to keep up just fine. Our overall pace was higher than the last two weeks, but I think it was even higher than my Garmin shows because I forgot to pause my watch during "the incident".
What was "the incident"? Well, I was a dork and decided that going up a massive hill would be a good time to shift chain rings. My bike thought otherwise and the chain came off and got stuck. My pedals simply stopped moving. I don't know how, but I managed to clip out in time -so I didn't fall over. It was a miracle! I was a bit panicked because I was already at the back of the group, and I yelled out that my chain had dropped. One of my new friends who has run and ridden with me several times now stopped and waited, but it was on a hill so I don't blame anyone for keeping on. It didn't take too terribly long and I managed to get it back on. I rode down hill to try to see if it worked, and it did! I felt pretty Tough, I have to admit! I had read a story by Swim Bike Mom about her stopping to help a lady whose chain had dropped in a race and I remembered thinking that I really needed to practice that (as well as fixing a flat). So I had a chance to work on it today.
Our group leader came back just as I was heading up the hill to see what had happened. He talked to me about shifting, and also gave me some tips to help me with the problem of everyone passing me on the downhills only to have me pass them on the up hills. It seems like I'm actually supposed to use that big chain ring - #3 as I like to call it (or, "the one I never use because it's too hard"). But I'm having a harder time keeping up with the group and I really don't think I should be, especially if I'm able to keep up/pass going up hills. So I suppose I need to practice using the big chain ring. Yikes.
We did a little longer route today and it was fun! I am ready to tackle some much longer distances on the roads, but I guess that will have to wait until the time changes and the sun stays out later. Also, the ladies I rode with today talked about doing some massively long distances at the Silver Comet Trail! YAY!! I asked them to please invite me when they do it this summer!
I came home and did the rest of the mileage on the trainer - for a grand total of FIFTY MILES on the bike today! WOW! And I was so surprised at how strong I still felt after the group ride. My cadence was right where I wanted it to be, and even higher since I kept it in the easy gear for this first time doing 50. (And my cadence was pretty good on the group ride as well!)
So now it's time for a Cut-Back Week. This is my first time doing one after only 2 weeks instead of 3, and I think it's a good thing. My body isn't exceedingly tired, but I am mentally tired. It's been hard to get the longer workouts in around school and the family's schedule, especially since the sun isn't up for very long due to the winter. This week will give me a chance to rest my tired muscles, and hopefully not feel like I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off! Remember that resting is a very important part of your training!
Have fun and be safe on your workouts!