Tuesday, May 6, 2014

70km weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

I found this label in my cycle t-shirt getting dressed Sunday am

I'm still riding the high from Sunday's 70km ride for Cheo.  What an experience!  I am so so so glad that I didn't back out on this.  I had thought about backing out so many times and just riding the 70km on my own here at home.  I was so nervous about driving myself and my bike to the ride (sort of downtown), finding parking, riding in a group, basically all of the unknown new stuff.  I'm a creature of habit with anxiety and new things freak me out.  But I have great friends that talked me off the ledge and helped me come up with a plan.  Friday, my friend Melissa did a little ride with me and showed me lots of stuff about riding in a group.  It's amazing how every time I get on the bike I get so much more confident.  I actually got out of the Haven without getting off my bike to walk across the intersections (still refuse to turn left though lol).  Saturday I drove to the event site with the family and found parking options, which calmed my biggest anxiety.  I also had my friend Kelly meeting me at my house to drive together, so even we got lost or messed up I knew we would be laughing while doing it!

Sunday morning I woke up without any nerves, and was EXCITED to conquer 70KM!  So 70KM let me talk to you about that for a second.  When I signed up for this ride I had no idea how long it would take me to ride that.  I knew that I needed to ride 90km for the half iron in Aug so it seemed like a good idea to do this ride.  I had written up a little plan on my fridge, and on it I had written in a 2, 2.5 and 3 hr training rides.  I only ever biked 2hrs.  I think I was a little overzealous in thinking what I needed to do lol.  My longest training ride was in Norland (hilly) and I did 58km in about 2hrs.  I felt great on the ride (minus the giant hills) which made me feel much more confident about the 70km.  My biggest concern was the group of people and being around so many other riders and the fact that I can't drink or eat on the bike (I can barely wipe the snot from my nose!).  

So Kelly arrived bright an early at 6:30am and we were off with laughter!  Got close to the venue and OH CRAP ROAD CLOSURE!!! Why had I not thought of that and my GPS was in my other car! Cue Panic!  That's when Kelly saw the car in front of us with 2 bikes on the back and said FOLLOW! So the chase began, chase because they were driving so fast! 80 in a 50! I tried to keep up but wasn't going to get in accident doing so.  We lost them but made it and found parking on our own.

We met up with the rest of our awesome team! Muriel, Donna, Josee, Nadia, and Allyson :)  We walked our bikes to the start line and chose to hang back near the back to avoid the crush of people.  Next time I will go closer to the front so I don't have to fight the pack.  We waited a long time to start.  Did I mention it was raining and cold?  I know this was a charity event but standing there listening to "speeches" in the cold drizzle shaking, was really annoying (I'm a horrible person).

Muriel taking Team Selfies while we wait to start :) We look good! 
So the ride starts and it took me a bit to feel ok in the crowd of people, to find my "line".  After a bit, as I gained some confidence I started trying to work my way through the crowd.  I had lost sight of my friend Muriel and wanted to catch up.  My first OOPSIE came at a tight turn, I'm not used to that (this was like my 5-6th time on the bike).  The lady next to me yelled TURN!! I yelled back "sorry I'm a newbie, doing my best."  She was actually pretty nice.  I focused the first half of the ride on trying to catch up, I was pushing hard when I could and trying to get through the pods of people.  I was a mix of to scared to push through the crowds and then would get some balls and call "on your left!" and go!  I played back and forthsies with a few people too.  I missed two of the turns and had to unclip and turn around (go figure me taking a wrong turn lol).  Just over half way I started to worry about the fact that I hadn't had anything to drink yet.  I didn't want to stop, it wasn't hot out.  In fact it was cold and wet.  My feet were ice. But I knew I should at least take the gel or risk hitting a wall in the second half.  So I stopped, unclipped both feet and had a little to drink and a gel.  When I stopped I struggled getting my right foot clipped back in because I put my foot down in the wet mud and my clips were caked with mud.  So I tried to balance and clean it, and almost fell over.  Back on the bike and away I went.

The second part of the ride was my favourite.  I was past the crowds of people for the most part, and we were much more spaced out now.  There were long smooth stretches where my legs felt so fluid and strong.  Mentally I started to think holy crap I still have a long long way to go but I just focused on the bike and the ride and the time passed really quickly.  I had a little nervous moment where I got stuck in a pod of people on the right, I was used to being on the left.  Being a newbie, tired, and a little disoriented from the rain. I edged out to the left without checking a couple times only to quickly realize oh shit NO you can't do that.  I got out of the pod and was back on my own.  There were long moments were I felt totally isolated and on my own, and then for some reason would look back and there would be someone right behind me.  Totally unnerving I tell you.

The turn around was coming into sights, I once again missed the turn and had to unclip and right myself.   I headed back out and into the last stretch I think I had about 16km or something like that to go.  My butt was starting to hurt.  My lady parts were very very sore.  I saw my friend Josee on the turnaround and I yelled out "My ass is killing me!" I actually panicked a little and thought how am I going to make it back this is awful.  I shifted around a little and wouldn't you know the discomfort went away.  I felt good overall, other then my feet feeling ice!  I tried to wiggle my toes but it just made it worse, better for them to be numb.  I also started to get some nerve pain in my hands, I really need to get bike gloves.  I ride with my hands in the down bars as I feel more stable there, but it is a lot of pressure on my hands.  So I again shifted about and tried to get comfy. I was worried my hands would stop "working".  But everything was fine, especially when I rode up behind a lady and heard there were only 8km left.  8km I can do that!  5km I've got this. 2km almost there.  I have to admit the finish line was kind of anti climatic.  I just rode 70 freaking km!!! There was no crossing the Sportsstats Mat.  I got of the bike and was disoriented and cold.  Didn't really know what to do with my bike.  It was really just an odd cold all by myself feeling.  I smartened up though and went back to the car to change out of my soaking wet clothes and ditch my bike. I felt so good in my running shoes and warm sweater.  After that the happy endorphins started to flow, I found my friends and we began celebrating an amazing ride and everyones accomplishments.  Oh boy did we laugh hard celebrating, when out for lunch.

So longest ride to date, 70km and in 2:27! YAHOOOOO!!!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, way to go! And from what I hear about CHEO (a friend is a nurse in PICU there) it is a great thing to support. I've never biked in a pack either. Were the roads all closed that you were on? Traffic is my biggest fear...