I was up all night anxious about this ride. It's my first ride out in months. The weather was in the high 50's low 60's. Compared to last year in the 20's I will take it! It was extremely foggy - very dense especially in the forested areas. And the roads were wet and some hazards from the storms overnight. But I really wouldn't complain as conditions were pretty moderate. My nerves on the other hand were not so moderate. I was wound up. We lined up at the mass start and they were releasing in waves. Our wave started, but then they stopped us and I went down! Everyone of course was super helpful and concerned. I was shaking and bruised, but it was my confidence that took the brunt of that fall! But there wasn't time to stew because they started us, which was probably good for me! I'm not going to lie, the first 15 miles were rough. In addition to the fog, my sunglasses were streaked with mascara tears. My brake was bent making it hard to reach. And this was difficult because I ride with my hands on the brakes at all times. I was climbing hills well, but I was hitting the brakes the whole way down. Eventually I started to relax a bit. And the next 15 miles went my so much smoother. I hit the turn around at about 23 miles and felt pretty good. I was able to pick up the pace. I was slowly bringing up my average mph. I found myself completely alone out there quite a bit. Lots of time for thinking. The first 15 miles were filled with self doubt and negative talk I'm going to be honest. But then I turned it around and the next 15 miles I had thoughts filled with hope. I felt like I could do this. And then the last 15+ miles I literally counted down the miles and started talking to myself! Lol! Until I hit the last hill and I began cursing. I literally felt waves of nausea. While the majority of people at this point were walking their burnt out legs and bike up this hill, I toughed it out! And I watched my average pace plummet. But at that point I really didn't care. I was about to be done and I had feelings of both relief and pride. It may not seem like a big deal to some, but each ride I complete is a victory for me! And it's one step closer to achieving my goal!
I am doing The Get That Core Challenge on Instagram by my friend Heather Rose Scott, and it was Stretch it Out Saturday. And my lower back was definitely in need of stretching! I'm so thankful to Panache Cycle Wear and Rudy Project North America for making me look fabulous on my ride! As everyone passed me they complimented me on my jersey and socks! So at least I looked good out there - that has to count for something right?!?! Lol!
My friend Susan Oyler and I met at this race last year, and we came back to celebrate our friendaversary! I love seeing her out there! And I'm so excited to be doing Ironman Texas together! She's so speedy, I hope I catch a glimpse of her out on the course!
Here is the elevation from the course. It may not look like much to those in hillier regions, but to this Houstonian they were mountains! Ha!
I did not change gears one time on this very hilly course. I know that it burned out my legs, and I know it not only made the ride that much harder, but it also made my pace that much slower. Gear changing is one of the many things I need to work on, but confidence (and not falling) is my priority at the moment.